State ward’s hidden fortune found
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Treasure in the closetTreasure in the closet

State ward’s hidden fortune found

Half-a-million shekels discovered in elderly woman's neglected apartment

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Shekels, lots of 'em (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Shekels, lots of 'em (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Almost half-a-million shekels in cash were found in the neglected apartment of an elderly women in Haifa, Maariv reported on Wednesday.

State-appointed guardians who had entered the apartment were surprised when they found NIS 471,000, an old Torah scroll worth an estimated NIS 80,000 and a large collection of jewelry. The items were in a locked closet, while pigeons were nesting in other parts of the room.

The money was transferred to the woman’s bank account and will be used to help her.

Effi Rozner, the northern district manager for The Israeli Center for Legal Guardianship, told Maariv the treasure was found in an apartment that was falling apart. Water stains covered the walls and ceiling, and pigeons were nesting in the closets, he said. Usually we find a few jewels, but this time we were in for “a large surprise,” Rozner added.

The 79-year-old widow was hospitalized in an institution for the elderly mentally ill after the local health and welfare authorities determined she could no longer take care of herself. As part of the decision, after no family was found, she was appointed a state guardian to safeguard her belongings.

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