The Custodian-General’s Office has decided to transfer NIS 73 million in shares purchased by Holocaust victims to an organization that works for the restitution of their assets, the Justice Ministry announced Monday.

The funds are expected to be transferred next month, pending Finance Ministry authorization, according to Avraham Roet, the head of the Israeli Organization for the Restitution of Assets for Holocaust Victims.

The organization was established by the Knesset last year in an effort to uncover and return assets of Holocaust victims to their rightful heirs.

Earlier this year, the group published a list of assets and property of Holocaust victims found in Israel.

Property and assets belonging to Holocaust victims valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars have been held by various state institutions in Israel – including the Custodian-General’s Office – for decades, and only recently have begun to be transferred to their rightful heirs.

The shares were purchased in the Jewish Colonial Trust, the pre-state financial organ of the Zionist Movement. The Jewish Colonial Trust was founded by Theodor Herzl in England in 1899 to promote Jewish settlement in Palestine, a group spokesman said Monday.

Earlier this month, the group published the names of 55,000 Holocaust victims who had purchased more than 100,000 shares in the company. The shares are valued at more than NIS 200 million.

About 250,000 Holocaust survivors are living in the country.

Nearly one-third of them live in poverty, Israeli welfare reports have found, prompting a recent landmark accord for additional government assistance.