When Herbert Block
received a call from Citibank in 2004, it wasn't about his
credit card bill or personal banking.
Consequently, HCPO approached Herbert Block, JDC's representative at WJRO, to help determine what to do with the accounts.
Block researched in the JDC Archives and, with the help of Senior Archivist Misha Mitsel, determined that the original holder of these accounts was the Centralinis Zydu Bankas Kooperacijei Remti Lietuvoje (Central Jewish Bank for Furtherance of Cooperatives in Lithuania), a bank founded in 1920 with the help of none other than JDC!
realized that the funds had come "full circle" and found their way back to the Joint.
He recommended that the monies be granted to the Vilnius-based Foundation for the Lithuanian Jewish Heritage, which was being formed by WJRO and the current Jewish Community in Lithuania to support cultural, educational and welfare activities for Holocaust survivors and the local community.
Citibank transferred the funds from these two accounts to JDC
to hold in escrow until the new Foundation was established.
has now sent these funds back to their "original home" in Lithuania's Jewish community
"The reclaimed funds from the bank that JDC
helped establish have supported Jewish communal efforts and have maintained Holocaust survivors," explains Block