Holocaust Survivor denied citizenship on the basis of faith

Calev Myers | May 23, 2012 | Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ)

Holocaust Survivor named Rose Keller*, whose family was murdered in the Holocaust, was unlawfully denied citizenship on the basis of holding Messianic Jewish beliefs. This move to Israel is particularly symbolic as Ms. Keller will be fulfilling her late father’s dream. Letters from her father, written from within the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, urge Ms. Keller to preserve her Jewish identity and to one day return to the Land of Israel. Although the Ministry of Interior has refused to grant Ms. Keller this right, she is fully entitled to citizenship according to the Law of Return, and therefore cannot legally be denied immigration.

Sadly, Ms. Keller’s case is a poignant reminder of the government’s neglect and complacency of bureaucracy that Holocaust Survivors often face in terms of receiving citizenship, government assistance, and proper health care in Israel. JIJ is currently representing Ms. Keller’s case and has submitted a Supreme Court petition against the Ministry of Interior’s arbitrary decision.

Accessing Justice

In cooperation with other social justice organizations and government ministries, JIJ is currently in the process of developing Project A2J (Access to Justice), which seeks to protect and promote the rights and wellbeing of Israel’s most vulnerable communities. Immigrants to Israel can face formidable odds due to cultural and social differences, leaving them often isolated, underrepresented, and victims of discrimination. Project A2J will assist these immigrants, from primarily the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, in receiving the rights they are entitled to under Israeli law through legal aid and representation. By advocating for their rights and communicating with various government offices on their behalf, Project A2J seeks to both empower these sectors and promote change in the existing procedures and attitudes prevalent in government agencies.

Joining Us in the Battle for Justice

We want to thank you for partnering with the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) in our struggle to advance civil rights, justice, and religious tolerance in the State of Israel for we cannot effectively fight these battles without you! JIJ has successfully handled over 450 cases, including 19 Supreme Court victories, dealing with religious discrimination and civil rights.

*Fictitious name to protect client confidentiality

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