AHEAD OF ROSH HASHANAH, THE WORLD JEWISH RESTITUTION ORGANIZATION (WJRO) ANNOUNCES PAYMENTS TO ROMANIAN HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN ISRAEL
Nearly NIS 16 million provided to almost 2,500 Needy Survivors
JERUSALEM, September 26, 2019 – In advance of Rosh Hashanah, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) today announced the distribution of almost NIS 16 million to support some 2,500 needy Romanian Jewish Holocaust survivors in Israel. Benefiting from the program are two 103 year- old Holocaust survivors and 12 other survivors over the age of 100. The funds have been made available by the Caritatea Foundation in Romania through a program administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).
“Since 2016, the Caritatea Foundation has provided Holocaust victims in Israel with nearly NIS 50 million for this program from the proceeds of the restitution of properties that were once wrongfully taken from Jewish communities in Romanian. These funds will help needy Holocaust survivors living in Israel to live with the dignity they deserve,” said Gideon Taylor, Chair of Operations, WJRO and Ambassador Colette Avital, Vice President of the Caritatea Foundation in a joint statement.
On September 19, NIS 15,890,040 million was distributed to 2,431 needy Holocaust survivors of Romanian origin who reside in Israel. This year, payments of NIS 9,340 were made to 1,356 Holocaust survivors which receive a supplementary income payment from the Bituach Leumi (hashlamat hachnasa). This was an increase of more than NIS 2,000 from last year. An additional 1,075 needy survivors, who are categorized based on income and disability as Nizkak, according to the definition of the Authority for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors, received a grant of NIS 3,000 each – an increase of nearly NIS 400 from last year. Over the last four years, hashlamat hachnasa and Nizkak Israeli Romanian Holocaust survivors have received more than NIS 48.4 million.
Needy Holocaust survivors of Romanian origin living outside of Israel and Romania benefit from a separate program– the Romanian Survivor Relief Program (RSRP) – launched in December 2018 with a distribution of $1.3 million to over 5,000 people. Additional funds will be made available through the RSRP program in the coming months.
The program for Romanian Holocaust survivors is administered by the Claims Conference on behalf of the Caritatea Foundation, which was formed as a partnership of the WJRO and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FEDROM) to deal with the return of former Jewish communal property. The Claims Conference worked with the Israeli government to identify the elderly survivors who qualify for the grant. WJRO, together with FEDROM, negotiates for the restitution of Jewish property seized during the Holocaust and the Communist-era in Romania.
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