LOS ANGELES — Ari Ephraim Rubin, vice chairman of the Jewish Defense League, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 20.
At 30, Ari Rubin had been active in the militant JDL, rejected by mainstream Jewish organizations for its violent tactics, since his youth, and became vice chairman in 2006. He is the son of the late JDL leader Irving “Irv” Rubin.
His death was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, whose spokesman, Craig Harvey, said that a neighbor found Rubin in his car with the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
The report was confirmed by Sgt. Marty Morrow of the Glendora, Calif. police department, who said that no suicide note was found but that foul play was ruled out.
Attempts to reach members of his immediate family were unsuccessful.
In an obituary notice inserted by his extended family in the Pasadena Star-News (Calif.) on July 25, Ari Rubin was described as a life-long resident of Arcadia, who graduated with high academic honors from Pasadena City College and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
His death continues the chain of violence which has ended the lives of the JDL leadership in general, and the Rubin family in particular.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded JDL in 1968, was assassinated in 1990 in New York by an Arab-American gunman. His son, Binyamin Zev Kahane, 34, was murdered by Palestinian gunmen while driving with his wife and five daughters in the West Bank.
Irv Rubin, Rabbi Kahane’s successor, died in 2002 in a Los Angeles federal detention center after allegedly cutting his throat with a jail-issued razor and then jumping or falling over a railing and plummeting to his death.
Irv Rubin, 57, had been indicted for allegedly plotting to bomb a Culver City mosque and the offices of a California congressman of Lebanese descent.
Shelley Rubin, Irv’s wife, has consistently denied that her husband took his own life and earlier filed a wrongful death suit against prison authorities.
In addition, Earl Krugel, indicted with Irv Rubin in the alleged bomb plot, was brutally murdered by a fellow prison inmate in 2005.
In reporting Ari Rubin’s death, the Jewish Defence League U.K. described his death as “another tragic loss for the Right Wing Jewish Leadership, first Rav Meir Kahane, then Binyamin Kahane. Irv Rubin and now his son. When will it end?”
In 2008, Ari Rubin visited Israel for the first time through the Birthright Israel program. He returned in 2010 to study at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem, then “embracing the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and striving to be a better Jewish man in the world.”
He is survived by his mother Shelley, younger brother Kelman, and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins. Graveside services were held on July 24 at Sholom Memorial Park in Sylmar, Calif.