Posted: September 25, 2009.
Published: September 26, 2009.
Print: L.A. Times
The origins of the case date to when Max Feinberg, a Chicago dentist, discovered that a grandson was taking a Gentile to the junior prom at Niles West High School. Feinberg wrote his strong feelings about religious loyalty into his will in a section that some family members have dubbed the “Jewish clause.”
When Feinberg died in 1986, his son, Michael Feinberg, and daughter, Leila Taylor, became executors of trusts for their mother. Max Feinberg had stipulated that upon Erla’s death, their grandchildren would become lifetime beneficiaries of those trusts. However, if any of them married outside the faith, and their non-Jewish spouse did not convert to Judaism within a year, he wanted their share of those trusts to revert back to their parents.
After her husband’s death, Erla Feinberg came up with a different scheme, same intent. When she died in 2003, she bequeathed $250,000 to the one grandchild who had married within the faith. The four other grandchildren, who had not, got nothing.