U.S. Report

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A single-engine airplane crashed into a three-story apartment building in Los Angeles, killing five, including three local Jews.

Among the dead in last Friday's crash are Jeffrey Siegel, the pilot of the six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza; his niece and passenger, Jessica Kaplan, 24, a screenwriter; and Tibor Reis, 78, a resident of the apartment building.

Two other victims were charred beyond recognition and have not been identified.

The plane was en route to Siegel's second home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Rabbi's daughter dies on roller coaster

NEW YORK (JTA) — The daughter of a New Jersey rabbi plunged to her death from a roller coaster in Indiana.

Tamar Fellner, 32, was a roller coaster enthusiast who fell off the Raven roller coaster last weekend at the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari amusement park in Santa Claus, Ind., the New York Daily News reported. Fellner's fiance watched in horror as she plunged 80 feet from the car, which typically accelerates to 60 miles per hour. An investigation is under way.

"We lost a beautiful young girl," Cantor Kenneth Koransky of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, N.J., told the Daily News. Fellner's father, Azriel, is rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom.

Jewish lawyer to defend Rudolph

ATLANTA (JTA) — A Jewish lawyer will defend white supremacist Eric Rudolph in his upcoming trial for bombing an abortion clinic in Alabama.

Court-appointed lawyer Richard Jaffe said Rudolph, arrested earlier this month for four bombings, told NBC's "Today" show June 5 that Rudolph is not anti-Semitic.

"There's been a public perception painted of Eric Rudolph that's far from accurate," Jaffe said.

Rudolph is believed to have ties to the Christian Identity movement, which believes that non-Jewish Europeans are God's chosen people, and others, including Jews, blacks and Asians, are inferior.

Yale prof assailed for anti-Semitic quip

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Yale professor is under fire for calling Jewish students in a pro-Israel group members of a "pro-war cabal."

In an e-mail to members of a Yale group that opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Mazin Qumsiyeh, an assistant professor of genetics and co-founder of a group called the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, singled out 64 students, many of them Jews, as pro-war and as members of a Yale pro-Israel group, the New York Sun reported.

Qumsiyeh, who later apologized for misidentifying some students, also is active in efforts to compel the school to divest from companies that do business in Israel. In an earlier e-mail he wrote about "prominent Jews in the media," and he once said that "Zionists regularly collaborate with Nazis."

U.S. government to keep Hitler art

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Following a court ruling, four paintings by Hitler will remain in the hands of the U.S. government.

The May 30 ruling ends a 20-year fight over the paintings and a trove of photographs, including some of the Nazi dictator.

A Houston collector of Nazi memorabilia, in conjunction with the heirs of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's friend and personal photographer, had filed a lawsuit to get the works back from the government, saying they were illegally seized by the U.S. Army during the waning days of World War II.