Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Israeli Minister of Social Equality Merav Cohen speaks at the Committee for the Status of Women at the Knesset in Jerusalem on December 13, 2021.

Israel has reached an agreement with the government of Romania that will enable Romanian Holocaust survivors living in Israel to receive compensation in the form of a pension from Romania’s social security agency.

During World War II, between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their Romanian collaborators, according to a 2004 report issued by the Romanian government. The figure does not include those murdered in Hungary-controlled Romanian territories at the time.

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The agreement announced Monday by Israeli Social Equality Minister Merav Cohen and caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid includes development of a system for Israeli citizens who fled Romania during the war to file claims for a monthly pension.

“Not many years remain in which to serve the survivors of the Holocaust; therefore, we are working with a sense of mission and urgency to do everything in our power in order to improve their economic situation, further develop services for them and allow them to grow old with dignity,” Cohen said.

“Last year we finalized agreements with several countries which have brought additional hundreds of millions of shekels that will be transferred to the survivors’ accounts. We have also allocated NIS 300 million in the state budget in order to increase support payments for the poorest Holocaust survivors.

“These steps have enabled some Holocaust survivors to increase their monthly incomes by thousands of shekels,” she added. “We will continue to act with full force on behalf of Holocaust survivors, and the older population in general, in Israel.”

The Center for Holocaust Survivors’ Organizations in Israel Chairperson Colette Avital, Dan Ezrachi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israeli Ambassador to Romania David Saranga and the Romanian Embassy in Israel were all involved in the process, she said.

“The State of Israel needs to do everything so that Holocaust survivors may live here in the country with the dignity they deserve,” Lapid said.

“This is our basic obligation as a society – to see to it that the survivors live out their lives in the best way possible.”

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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.
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