Two Israeli orchestras argue over unclear $1 million bequest

Posted on: November 30, 2011

Tuesday (11/29) on the English-language Israeli news site Ynetnews.com, Eli Senyor reports, “A US court will soon hand down its ruling in an inheritance case involving two Israeli orchestras. A will left by a late Jewish American classical music fan promises one of the orchestras millions of dollars—but which one is it? Dr. Kurt Nassau, a wealthy Jew from New Jersey, was a gemology expert and held a series of positions in the American high-tech industry and academic institutions. … He has left behind an estate worth some $1 million. According to his will, his love for classical music promoted him to leave all his fortune to the Israel Symphony Orchestra. … When the New Jersey registrar of wills opened Nassau’s testament, it was unclear who should get the money. An inquiry conducted in Israel revealed two possible candidates to inherit the fortune: The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion. … On the one hand, the Philharmonic claims to be the biggest and most famous orchestra in Israel, performing all over the world, and says the deceased attended its concerts. … The Rishon Lezion Municipality, on the other hand, says that the name mentioned in the will, Israel Symphony Orchestra, is closer to its orchestra’s name, and that the deceased visited the city throughout his life and may have even attended one of the orchestra’s concerts. … the New Jersey court will have to rule next week on which of the two will be entitled to the desired inheritance.”

Posted November 30, 2011