Senior Citizens Minister Orbach “failed to earmark further budget for Project HEART, which will therefore be forced to fold,” source says.

Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach at the weekly cabinet meeting, October 20, 2013. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach at the weekly cabinet meeting, October 20, 2013. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

Project HEART, a government initiative cataloging Jewish assets stolen during the Holocaust, may have to shut down operations in May due to the failure to earmark funds for its continued operations, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach “failed to earmark further budget for Project HEART, which will therefore be forced to fold in May,” a source familiar with the matter told the Post.

HEART, which stands for Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce, began operations following a government decision to involve itself in the issue of restitution.

HEART does not involve itself with restitution negotiations with Austria and Germany – the domain of the Conference of Material Claims Against Germany, a New York-based organization that has been providing restitution and support to Holocaust survivors and their heirs since the early 1950s. Rather, HEART compiles claims relating to assets stolen, confiscated or looted throughout the rest of Europe.

Last August, Project HEART executive director Bobby Brown told the Post that the body was facing a budget shortfall and would have to curtail some of its activities should it fail to receive further funds.

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