The company that is supposed to look after Holocaust survivors in Israel is locked in a legal dispute, meaning that survivors are denied funds from which they need every shekel.

Holocaust survivors in Israel, most of whom are aged 90 and over, have for the last few months not been receiving crucial financial support owed to them.

On Wednesday a stormy discussion took place in the Knesset Finance Committee regarding the failure of the Company for the Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets (RHVA) to transfer funds to survivors.

An average of 40 Holocaust survivors a day are missing out on crucial financial support. (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
An average of 40 Holocaust survivors a day are missing out on crucial financial support. (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


According to a 2006 law, after which the company was established, any assets belonging to victims whose descendants could not be found would be transferred to Holocaust survivors as quarterly payments.

A 2014 amendment stipulated that the yearly total the company was supposed to set aside was NIS 135 million, which was increased to NIS 150 million in 2015.

In mid-2015 the company announced that it could not make the payments due to not receiving dividends from the Jewish Colonial Trust, in which it has holdings, leaving the RHVA’s coffers empty.

The RHVA further indicated that if they were to make the payments while their stocks were in decline, both the company and Holocaust survivors would suffer the results.

The company’s attempts to find a workaround led to a legal dispute breaking out between it and the JCT, which according to representatives from the two is heading for a court ruling.

Yet while the battle continues, each day an average of 40 Holocaust survivors are losing out on crucial financial support.

Finance Committee Chair Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism and other committee members voiced their displeasure with the companies concerned and the Ministry of Justice, which hasĀ been tracking the issue since the beginning of the dispute and not resolved it.

“Israel’s primary concern must be to do all that it can for Holocaust survivors,” Gafni said during the meeting. “Unfortunately some of them are no longer with us. We, as publicly-elected officials, feel that we have not done enough to help them.”

The CEO of the RHVA, Israel Peleg, responded that his company had approached a court regarding the JCT’s non-payment of dividends and that a court ruling was due.

Gafni, in concluding the session, said: “The matter is not closed and I will return to it next week.” He then addressed the heads of the two companies, telling them to “reach an agreement and transfer the funds.”

Gafni also stated that he would be contacting the Finance Minister regarding the issue.

As reported by Ynetnews