Government of Israel Pensions for Holocaust Survivors

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January 9, 2008

At the request of the Government of Israel, the Claims Conference is providing technical assistance for the distribution of pensions to Holocaust survivors in Israel. The pensions are to be funded by the Government of Israel under its recent decision. The technical assistance being provided by the Claims Conference will greatly assist in expediting these Government payments to survivors in Israel – none of whom currently receive Holocaust-related pensions.

The following is a translation of the statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office on January 9, 2008:

“Government of Israel

Press Release Prime Minister’s Office 1/09/2008

Process Continues to Pay Pensions to Survivors

The Government is quickly moving forward to transfer pensions to survivors of camps and the ghettos who do not receive a monthly pension from any other source. The group of the neediest should get a first payment within two weeks.

As part of the preparation, the Prime Minister’s Office has requested from the Claims Conference technical assistance in locating eligible survivors that are receiving a governmental income supplement. At this time, the Ministry of Finance’s Department of the Disabled will transfer the funds until another decision is made by the Finance Minister.

The assistance of the Claims Conference was required in order to identify a first group of eligible survivors. The Claims Conference represents the Jewish people in negotiations with the German government and currently pays monthly pensions from its Article 2 fund, funded by the Germany, to approximately 23,000 Israeli citizens. The willingness of the Claims Conference to join the effort, without any compensation, and allow access to its database will greatly speed up the beginning of payments to the neediest.

The Claims Conference has agreed to the request and announced that it would offer all the measures required to provide the technical assistance needed. The chief of staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, Raanan Dinur, thanked the organization’s directors for their willingness to be a part in promoting this issue and pointed out the professionalism with which this matter was dealt.

It should be pointed out that the arrangement as to who will pay the pensions to the general group of survivors has yet to be reached. In accordance with the Government’s decision last Sunday, the Treasury is looking into a number of options in order to guarantee the payments in a fast and credible manner.”