CHISINAU, Moldova (JTA) — Given enough vodka, some of Shimon Katz’s non-Jewish acquaintances here usually bring up a name that has complicated his relationship with them.
That name is Ilan Shor, and it belongs to a Jewish businessman-turned-lawmaker who is believed to have fled to Israel to escape corruption charges.
For most of the some 3,000 members of Moldova’s Jewish population, including Katz, Shor’s Jewishness is irrelevant to his record of local largess on the one hand and alleged corruption on the other.
“Shor isn’t even Jewish in any sense other than genetic,” said Katz, a metal parts factory owner who has never met Shor. “Shor has renovated several churches but not a single synagogue, as far as is known. I don’t consider that man a part of the Jewish community.”