New fund created for needy Romanian Holocaust survivors in the Diaspora


(JTA) — A new fund for Holocaust survivors from Romania will distribute $1.3 million among approximately 4,000 potential recipients with low incomes.

The World Jewish Restitution Organization, or WJRO, this week announced the Romanian Survivor Relief Program fund, which comes from the restitution of communal properties wrongfully taken from Jewish communities of Romania during and after World War II.

Applications are being mailed to 4,000 potentially eligible needy Holocaust survivors of Romanian origin living outside of Romania and Israel, WJRO said in a statement.

Applicants must be Jewish victims of Nazi persecution who had resided sometime between 1937 and 1944 in Northern Bukovina or Bessarabia; in Southern Dobruja or in Transnistria. Eligibility is reserved to applicants with an income below a specified level. Heirs are not eligible to apply.

Applications will be available through a network of social service agencies worldwide. The deadline for applying is November 30, 2018. Additional funds for the same program are expected to become available in the near future, WJRO added.

The funds have been made available by the Caritatea Foundation, which is a partnership of the WJRO and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania.  The Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany is implementing the program on behalf of the Caritatea Foundation.

Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations, called the new fund “an important symbolic step” in a statement. But WJRO will continue negotiations with the Romanian government “to ensure that remaining Jewish communal properties are returned and can be used to help more Holocaust victims,” he said.

Payments funded by Caritatea totaling $2.9 million were made to Holocaust survivors of Romanian origin in Israel in March 2018 and social welfare programs for Holocaust survivors in Romania are also being supported by funds generated from the restitution of former Jewish communal property in Romania. The new international Romanian Survivor Relief Program will provide funds for survivors outside of Romania and Israel.