Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, announced on Wednesday that it had ended its long-standing partnership with its U.S. fundraising arm due to an internal financial dispute that is the focus of an Israeli government investigation.
The decision to sever ties with the American Society for Yad Vashem, which was founded more than 40 years ago to help fund Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Center and is its second-largest donor arm after the Israeli government, was made public only a few days after a wave of unfounded Israeli media reports suggested that the government was attempting to replace Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan for political reasons.
According to a Yad Vashem spokesman, the American Society for Yad Vashem has been transferring only a portion of the funds it raised on the organization’s behalf each year, which has caused a rift with the organization’s largest global fundraising partner.
The American Society for Yad Vashem has accumulated what it refers to as an “endowment fund” by depositing many of the donations that have been raised for Yad Vashem over the years.
The accumulated funds have recently exceeded $80 million thanks to the generosity of American donors to Yad Vashem, but the American Society for Yad Vashem has only been distributing $1 million annually from this fund,” stated Yad Vashem in a written statement.
In addition, Yad Vashem has decided to assume direct responsibility for “all activities” directly from Jerusalem after carefully reviewing all of its international partnership agreements, according to the statement, which also offers full support for Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan from the organization’s directorate.