Chabad in Israel has launched legal proceedings against Russia demanding that the transfer of ownership of Alexander’s Courtyard in Jerusalem to Russia be frozen until it releases the Schneerson Collection.
The Association of Chabad in the U.S. filed an appeal on the matter to Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.
In a letter written by Attorney Uri Kedar, he states that the Schneerson Collection is a “historical collection that includes approximately 12,000 books and original writings, which were gradually collected and preserved by Chabad from the end of the 18th century until today. The collection is a heritage asset for the entire Jewish people, in a way that goes beyond the boundaries of Chabad Hasidism.”
“For historical reasons, since the end of World War I, the Schneerson Collection has been in the possession of the government in Russia, which was formerly the Soviet regime in the Soviet Union, and now the Russian government.”
“The Schneerson Collection has historical Jewish importance, and therefore it is only natural that the State of Israel will mobilize for this historic task, and will do everything in its power on the legal and practical level, to assist my client’s worldwide efforts to return the Schneerson Collection to its possession at the Chabad Hasidic Center in the U.S.
“Freeze all activity for the transfer of ownership of properties in Israel to the Russian government, and in particular the Alexander Nevsky Court, until the move that my client is promoting to return the Schneerson Collection as a whole to its possession will be successfully completed,” Kedar demanded.
Chabad has been taking legal action in the US for years in the US and courts have ordered the Russian government to return the collection and issued sanctions when it refused to do so, which have accumulated to about $170 million.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)