JERUSALEM, May 9 – The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) today announced the first distribution of NIS 12 million to support some 2700 needy Holocaust survivors of Romanian origin who reside in Israel. The funds have been made available by the Caritatea Foundation in Romania.
In a joint statement, Ambassador Colette Avital, president of the Caritatea Foundation, and Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations, said: “These funds are derived from the restitution of properties once wrongfully taken from Jewish communities of Romania. We are pleased to provide support to Romanian Holocaust victims to help them live with the dignity they deserve.”
Payments of NIS 6,500 grants began yesterday to a first group of 987 individuals. These are Holocaust survivors whose monthly income is no higher than NIS 3,151 and receive a supplementary income from the Bituach Leumi (hashlamat hachnasa).
In the coming weeks, a second group of approximately 1,500 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, will receive a grant of approximately NIS 3,000.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), a WJRO member-organization, is implementing the program on behalf of the Caritatea Foundation.
The Claims Conference worked with the Israeli government to identify the elderly survivors who qualify for the grant.
The Caritatea Foundation is a partnership of the World Jewish Restitution Organization and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FEDROM). WJRO, together with
FEDROM, negotiates for the restitution of Jewish property seized during the Holocaust and the Communist-era in Romania.
The Caritatea Foundation applies the proceeds from restitution of Jewish communal property in Romania to sustain and revitalize the Romanian Jewish communities, preserve Romanian Jewish religious, social and cultural heritage, and assist elderly Jews from Romania.
The World Jewish Restitution Organization works toward the restitution of private property and Jewish communal property seized during the Holocaust in Europe, except for Austria and Germany. Working together with local Jewish communities, WJRO negotiates with governments to reach agreements and obtain legislation concerning such restitution.