CARITATEA FOUNDATION was established by THE FEDERATION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ROMANIA together with THE WORLD JEWISH RESTITUTION ORGANIZATION, as a permanent institution for the conservation, the maintenance and the administration of the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Jews in Romania, as an irreplaceable testimony of the human creative potential of the Romanian Jews, within the historically constituted environment, on the territory of Romania of the national and universal history and civilization.
The FOUNDATION will aim to support and improve the living conditions of the socially disadvantaged, ill and elderly Jews living in the territory of Romania as well as those Jews living in other countries, and to promote the education and studies of Jewish children.
The FOUNDATION has the following purpose:
a. to file applications related to the restitution of the Jewish communitarian properties, including those which belonged in the past to Jewish communities public institutions and organizations and that were confiscated, nationalized or constrained and transferred into the Romanian State Patrimony;
b. to acquire ownership rights as well as to claim and own protect, manage and dispose the immovable communal Jewish properties that will be returned by the Romanian competent Public Authorities, to the FEDERATION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ROMANIA and/or to the FOUNDATION, according to the Romanian laws and relevant ordinances, and properties which became heirless will be claimed by the Foundation on behalf of the Federation, in its capacity as representative of the communities, and will be transferred to the ownership of the Foundation;
c. to contribute to the conservation and to the promotion of the cultural identity of the Jewish community in Romania, as well as to the presentation of the ancient and modern history of the Jewish people,focused mostly on the history of the Jewish community in Romania, nonetheless to the maintenance of the relations between Jews living in Romania and Jews born in Romania and living abroad, mostly in Israel;
d. to contribute the improvement of the living conditions of the Romanian Jews living in Romania or elsewhere and provide assistance in exceptional cases to other disadvantaged persons.
The foundation will perform mainly the following activities:
a. the involvement in the matters related to the restitution of the Jewish communal, immovable properties by performing the documentation and the necessary research for the identification of these properties, as well as filling restitution applications both in the name of the FEDERATION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ROMANIA and the FOUNDATION;
b. own, manage and dispose the immovable communal Jewish properties which were confiscated, nationalized or constrained, that are to be returned by the Romanian competent Public Authorities to the FEDERATION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN ROMANIA and/or to the FOUNDATION, according to the Romanian laws;
c. support charitable activities for the socially disadvantaged Romanian Jews living in Romania or abroad;
d. offer scholarships for proficient young Jews;
e. raise funds for the conservation and the restoration of the Jewish religious places, as well as the establishment of social institutions for the sick and elderly Jews and for the establishment of cultural and spiritual institutions.
At the end of the two terms given by the legislature for submission of restitution claims (March 2nd 2003 and January 25th 2006), Caritatea Foundation has submitted to the Technical Secretariat of the Special Commission for Restitution a number of 1980 separate applications from which were solved about 60 %.
Although, following the addition of amendments, there was a significant increase of restitution claims solved, as a result of the modification of the procedure provided for probation and sanctions for breaches of the laws, the pace for claims resolution remains slow. We believe that the solving pace and the difficulties encountered are based on the authorities' intention to minimize budgetary spending.
• With regard to granting compensation for buildings whose restitution in kind is not possible, the Central Commission for Establishing Damages has issued decisions, with “CARITATEA” Foundation as beneficiary, the total amount of appox. 115 million lei, which are collected partly in cash and partly in Proprietatea Fund's shares.
In July 2010, the Government issued an emergency ordinance that suspended the payment of cash compensations for a period of two years, remaining active only compensations in Proprietatea Fund shares.
After a period of five years of existence, Proprietatea Fund became operational in January 2011 when the shares were listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. For now, stock market price does not reflect the entire value of the fund as established by experts. The reason seems to be the pressure on the suply from many shareholders, individuals, in need of cash.
The rest of the claims submitted by “CARITATEA” Foundation are under review and completion with probation documents requested by law, and will be resolved in accordance with statutory provisions, after the submission of these documents.
• The capitalization on the restituted properties of „CARITATEA” Foundation is achieved by leasing and/or selling.
• At the moment, from the Foundation’s patrimony are leased properties located in Bucharest and in different cities of the country
• For the restituted properties where are operated educational institutions or health institutions, is required to maintain their destination for up to five years from the issuance date of the restitution decision.
• If the leased properties have financial support from the State budget or local budgets, there are difficulties in accepting the amount of rent provided by law. In many cases tenants do not include, in time, these expenses in their budgets or they obtain financing with great delay. In these circumstances, „CARITATEA” Foundation is forced to ask the court to recover amounts due.
• Presently, some properties of „CARITATEA” Foundation are commissioned under bailment agreements (Lauder School, Jewish State Theatre, DASM building, building in Bucharest - Str. Vigilenţei - Elie Wiesel Institute, “Cultura” School – Sborului Street, Bucharest).
• According to the annual budget approved by the Board and the General Assembly of the Foundation’s members, the income from rents, sales and financial activities (interest, etc.) were used for the sponsorship program.
• Note that the Sponsorship Program began partially in 2006, when FEDROM was allocated 50.000 USD. Subsequently, the amounts were significantly increased.
• FEDROM used the financial resources obtained from sponsorships from “CARITATEA” Foundation to:
• Supporting the social and medical assistance programs. • Preservation of the Jewish Sacred Heritage (Synagogues and Cemeteries).
• Judaic education, Jewish faith and the development of Jewish cultural and historical heritage.
• In Israel also is carried out an extensive social activity - through Hitachdut Olei Romania (HOR) - with funds allocated by the CARITATEA Foundation.
• Another area funded by CARITATEA Foundation is The Romanian Judaism Museum, from Rosh Pina - through the organization AMIR
The museum will be developed on land where there is a building with an area of 750 meters, which will be rebuilt. At the same location it will be constructed a public space for the visitors of the city. The building, which will be annexed to the museum, will house permanent and occasional exhibitions, an archive, a space for researchers, a coffee shop and others.
The Museum, raised in a lively and intense tourist activity location, will reflect the achievements of the Romanian Judaism as a significant part of the Jewish people’s history as a whole. Unlike most museums that symbolize the past, the intention, of those who initiated the building of this museum, is to exhibit the testimonies of the past and present, but also the ones of the future, efforts are made to present both the past of Romanian Judaism, as well as the huge effort of the Romanian natives to build Israel.
While raising the museum, it was taken the initiative to fraternize the City of Rosh Pina with the City of Moineşti. It is important to note that the city of Moineşti is the place from where the first new immigrants from Romania left and, being the ones to set up the Rosh Pina area.
The project organizers hope that the new museum will be presented to the public until December 12, 2012, the day when the City of Rosh Pina will turn 130 years old.
All sponsorship activities are approved by the Board of the Foundation and controlled by an external auditor.