A Hungarian-born French Jewish widower, who died 10 years ago with no children, has left an extraordinary legacy in his will.
Nicolas Beauman, who died aged 97 in 2009, left 13 million euros to the state of Israel with the specific instruction that the money should help bereaved families.
It’s taken ten years and a lot of bureaucracy, but the money has now arrived in Israel and will be distributed to bereaved siblings through a fund managed by the Justice Ministry and KKL-JNF.
In a statement, KKL-JNF said: “Bereaved brothers and sisters are part of the bereaved families, but their standing and rights have not been completely settled, and they do not receive full support from the official commemorative bodies in the state of Israel”.
A team from KKL-JNF and the ministry will be set up to “decide on clear criteria for areas of assistance and eligibility.”
Nicolas Bauman was born in Hungary on July 1 1912 but almost nothing is known about where he was during the Holocaust, when he moved to France, or how he amassed his fortune.
The world chairman of KKL-JNF, Daniel Atar, said: “In these days of memorial and commemoration, we remember and thank those who gave their lives so we may keep ours. The fact that Jews around the world are deciding to leave their life’s inheritance for the benefit of the state of Israel constitutes an example of the power of the Jewish people everywhere, and the importance the state of Israel holds for those in the diaspora.”