KKL-JNF transfers millions for Holocaust restitution

Money to ensure that survivors won’t hold back from buying food, medicine "due to economic hardship."

Efi Stenzler 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Efi Stenzler 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund completed on Wednesday the transfer of funds totaling half a billion shekel to the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets, a government- owned corporation established “with the goal of doing historical justice with the victims and reinstating the assets of Holocaust victims located in Israel to their rightful beneficiaries.”
In what KKL-JNF is calling an “historic ceremony,” chairman Efi Stenzler transferred NIS 159 million for the families of Holocaust victims, completing the half-billion shekel sum.
According to the group, this is the “largest amount ever transferred by the Israeli organization for the families of those who perished in the Holocaust.”
Wednesday’s transfer is the cash equivalent of the value of properties in Israel originally purchased by European Jews who perished in the Holocaust and which were transferred in trust to the KKL-JNF to keep them out of the hands of both the British Mandate government and “anti- Zionist elements.”
Stenzler described the KKL-JNF transfer as a correction of an “historical injustice."
“After two years of hard work... we completed the transfer of half a billion shekels to families of victims.”
Speaking in Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, Stenzler added that his organization harnessed its offices and workers around the world to “to help search for victims’ families.”
“We declare that we completed the historic task entrusted to us, and now we are passing the baton to the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets,” the chairman said.
Micha Harish, chairman of the company, stated that “the recovery was established primarily for the benefit of the heirs of Holocaust victims – our work focuses on locating heirs, so far more than a billion shekel were transferred to heirs identified all over the world.”
Other roles of the company, Harish added, are to “help survivors in need of assistance in everyday life,” as well as devoting “resources to the subject of commemoration.”
Stenzler said that he hopes that the money ensures that Holocaust survivors no longer need to hold back from purchasing food and necessary medicines “due to economic hardship.”