On May 26th, 2016, the Latvian Jewish community restitution fund was officially registered (LV40008252290). The Fund was created by the Latvian Council of Jewish communities at its general meeting earlier this year.
The Fund will receive property that was received by the Council on the first stage of restitution of Jewish religious and communal property in accordance with laws passed by the Saeima of Latvia on February 25th, 2016. It is planned that the Fund will receive any future property or funds, received in the Jewish community in the process of restitution.
The Fund will act on behalf of the whole Jewish community to achieve the following goals:
- Management of the restituted property
- Managing funds that will be received in the process of restitution
- Assisting Latvian Jewish community by supporting religious, educational, cultural, scientific, charitable, health care, sport and other Jewish organizations and projects
- Providing material assistance to Latvian Holocaust survivors and commemoration of Holocaust victims
- Integration of Latvian society, its unification, and development of civic society in Latvia
To act on behalf of the whole Jewish community and to attract international Jewish organizations to the activities of the Fund, a 12 person Fund management Council will be created as the main governing body of the Fund. The Council will consist of 6 representatives of Latvian Jewish community, 5 representatives of international Jewish organizations and an observer from the government of Latvia.
The Council sets the strategy and activities of the Fund and approves the budget. Any monies to be distributed by the Fund are defined by the Council.
In accordance with laws passed by the Saeima on February 25th, 2016, 5 properties that before World War II belonged to the community were returned to the Jewish community as the first step of restitution of Jewish religious and communal property. Of the 5 properties 3 are in Riga – former Jewish school building at Abrenes 2, former Jewish religious school building at Birznieka Upisa 12, former Jewish hospital Linas Hacedek building at Ludzas 25, and former synagogue buildings at Klavu 13 in Jurmala and Liela 31 in Kandava.
The laws that were passed by the Saeima state that the building are being returned to the Council to lessen the historic injustice done to the Jewish communities and organizations as a result of the Holocaust by the Nazi totalitarian regime and activities of the communist totalitarian regime in Latvia.