Latvian Jewish Community Restitution Fund Begins Its Operation

The Latvian Jewish Community Restitution Fund, established in accordance with resolution of the general meeting of the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia, has officially begun its operation. In the nearest future, the Fund is going to take over the real estate objects obtained by the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia during the first step of restitution.

On the 25th of July of this year, the Latvian Jewish Community Restitution Fund, which was registered in the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia at the end of May (LV40008252290), has opened a bank account.  Moreover, the Fund is now registered at the VAT Payer Register of the Republic of Latvia.

Formation of the Fund’s main governing body – the Council, will be finished at the beginning of September of this year. The Council will consist of twelve members: six representatives of Latvian Jewish organisations, five representatives of international Jewish organisations and an observer – representative of the state institution of Latvia. As of today, the Fund has received a confirmation on participation of representatives of five international organisations – American Jewish Committee (USA), Joint Distribution Committee (USA), World Jewish Restitution Organization (USA), Association of Latvian and Estonian Jews in Israel (Israel) and European Jewish Council (European countries).

In the nearest future, the Fund is going to take over property objects, which were obtained by the community during the first step of restitution from the Council of Jewish Communities. As it was announced previously, in accordance with the law passed by the Saeima of Latvia on the 25th of February 2016, five real estate objects, which before the Second World War belonged to the Jewish community and religious organisations, were returned to the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia during the first step of restitution. Those objects were: three buildings in Riga – former Jewish vocational school at 2 Abrenes Street, former religious school at 12 Ernesta Birznieka-Upisa, and former Jewish hospital “Linas Hecedek” at 25 Ludzas Street, as well as former synagogue buildings in Jurmala at 13 Klavu Street and in Kandava at 31 Liela Street. The laws that were passed by the Saeima state that the real estate objects are returned to the Council of the Jewish Communities of Latvia at no cost to lessen the historic injustice done to the Jewish communities and organisations as a result of the Holocaust caused by the Nazi totalitarian regime and activities of the communist totalitarian regime in the Republic of Latvia.

In turn, at the end of 2017, the Fund is going to start accepting applications from persons interested in receiving funds that will be distributed by the Fund in accordance with the Statutes. Applications will be accepted from any organisation whose objectives coincide with the objectives stated in the Fund’s Statutes.

It should be recalled that in accordance with the Statutes, the Fund’s goals are:

1 Management of the restituted property

2 Management of funds received in the process of restitution, as well as management of received donations

3 Promotion of the development of Latvian Jewish community by supporting religious, educational, cultural,  scientific, charitable, health care, sports and other Jewish organisations, and their projects

4 Provision of material assistance to the Holocaust survivors and commemoration of the Holocaust victims

5 Promotion of integration of Latvian society, its unification, and development of civic society in Latvia