Photo Credit: courtesy, WJRO
The "Caritas" hospital in Romania, later returned to the Caritatea Foundation. and subsequently sold. Its funds were distributed to Romanian Holocaust survivors.

The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) this week announced the distribution of approximately NIS 9,143,000 ($2.65 million) to more than 2,100 needy Romanian Jewish Holocaust survivors in Israel.

The funds were made available by the Caritatea Foundation in Romania through a program administered by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).

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“In these difficult times, these funds will help needy Romanian Holocaust victims in Israel to live with the dignity that they deserve.

“The Caritatea Foundation has been honored to provide over NIS 57.5 million to Holocaust victims in Israel since 2016 to this program from the proceeds of the restitution of properties that were once wrongfully taken from Jewish communities in Romania,” said Gideon Taylor, Chair of Operations, WJRO, and Ambassador Colette Avital, Vice President of the Caritatea Foundation, in a joint statement.

Payments of NIS 5,760 were made to more than 1,200 Holocaust survivors who receive a supplementary income payment (“hashlamat hachnasa“) from the Bituach Leumi, Israel’s National Insurance Institute.

An approximate additional 920 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 2,202 each.

Over the last five years, Romanian Holocaust survivors in Israel have received more than NIS 57.5 million.

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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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.