Homeless NYC Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100K Gift

Woman with no known relatives donates large sum to university

By Xana O'Neill
|  Monday, Aug 10, 2009  |  Updated 7:28 AM PDT
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Homeless NYC Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100K Gift

The 92-year-old Holocaust survivor -- who appeared destitute and had no known relatives -- bequeathed the large sum to Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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She had the riches but chose to stay in rags.

A homeless woman who lived out of a shopping cart in Manhattan had secretly amassed a small fortune and stunned a university when she left it $100,000 upon her death.

The 92-year-old Holocaust survivor -- who appeared destitute and had no known relatives -- bequeathed the large sum to Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the school's public relations director Yefet Ozery said. She had no known connection to the school.

"She lived as a very poor woman," Ozery said. "And when she died at the age of 92, it was discovered she had accumulated close to $300,000."

The university declined to disclose her identity.

Little is known about the woman or how she was able to save nearly $300,000. She died two years ago but the university learned of the generous donation just three months ago and received the money this week.

The money will go toward scholarships for medical research students, which is what the woman had requested, Ozery said.

The woman's last employer was a Jewish man in New York who gave her a meal and a room in exchange for moving his car to avoid parking tickets. She also left some of her savings to her employer.

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