December 2, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- A prominent Israel activist was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft.
Daniel J. Kliman, 38, was the co-founder of San Francisco Voice for Israel, an affiliate of the national Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, and a well-known pro-Israel activist in the San Francisco Bay area.
His body was found Monday in a San Francisco building where he was taking Arabic classes. It had been at the bottom of the elevator shaft since Nov. 25, building manager Brad Bernheim told the San Francisco Chronicle. There were no classes held last week, and the elevator supposedly was closed for repairs.
Police are investigating his death.
Kliman was scheduled to fly to Israel on Thanksgiving Day as part of the Honest Reporting mission, a pro-Israel media initiative.
"He was the public face of grass-roots Israel advocacy in the San Francisco Bay area," said Mike Harris, his colleague at Voice for Israel. "He was passionate about standing up for Israel, literally -- standing up in public with flags and signs."
Kliman, also known as a fervent environmentalist, often was seen bicycling around the Bay Area instead of taking rides to reduce his carbon footprint, friends said.
Harris told JTA that he knew of no specific threats against Kliman, but that Kliman had been assaulted before at a pro-Israel rally.
Kliman's body is being flown for burial to his hometown of Schenectady, N.Y.
Sue Fishkoff writes about Jewish identity for JTA and is the author of the 2003 book "The Rebbe's Army."
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