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Court: Gay survivor's partner entitled to benefits
For first time, court recognizes rights of Holocaust survivor's life partner, rules he is eligible to inherit restitution payments

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court set a legal precedent last week, declaring a gay Holocaust survivor's life partner was eligible to inherit his entire estate – including his restitution payments, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.

 

The court was asked to rule in an estate claim filed by René Lev Ran, whose life partner of nine years, Wolf Bleichman, passed away and named him his sole heir.

 

The estate included Bleichman Holocaust restitution payments, as paid by the Finance Ministry's Holocaust Survivors Rights Center.

 

The latter did not oppose the unprecedented request per se – as survivors' spouses are entitled to inherit their benefits – but still preferred to have the court rule on the matter.

 

Lev Ran retained Attorney Ira Hadar, a legal expert in gay rights and family law, who petitioned the court on his behalf.

 

The court was satisfied that the two were living as a couple and ruled – for the first time ever in Israel – that Lev Ran was entitled to inherit Bleichman's benefits.

 

Hadar welcomed the ruling saying it was another important step for gay rights in Israel: "Similar precedents have also been set in cases involving benefits paid by the IDF, Defense Ministry, National Insurance and more."

 

Ofra Ross, director of the Holocaust Survivors Rights Center, also welcomed the ruling, saying that "this important ruling will allow us to review every similar case according to merit and the court's guidelines."

 

 

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