The deadline for submitting questionnaires to Project HEART, a worldwide initiative to identify Jewish property lost or stolen during the Holocaust, has been extended into 2012, the Prime Minister’s Office announced late last week.

The decision to extend the deadline was made due to the high number of inquiries received from Holocaust victims over the past few months, as well as numerous requests from families of Holocaust victims to participate in the program.

Project HEART - Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce - was launched worldwide in February by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency, with the goal of obtaining restitution for survivors or their heirs. Its goal is to be the most inclusive Holocaust era property restitution program in history.

Bobby Brown, executive director of the project and a native New Yorker who has been active in the field of Holocaust restitution for more than a decade, said the extended deadline was necessary to ensure as many eligible people as possible participate in the program. “Project HEART may be the last restitution program of its kind. It would be unfair to Holocaust victims and their heirs to prematurely close the doors to this monumental and historic restitution effort,” he added.

Project HEART has not yet set a date for the deadline to submit questionnaires, but the date will be announced as soon as it is determined.