• Nir Kafri, The Jewish Agency for Israel ©
Blog

Giving a Hand: Helping Holocaust Survivors

The Jewish Agency for Israel has been helping Holocaust survivors in Israel for over 20 years, with holistic programs like Amigour, providing housing and social work assistance to over 9,000 survivors. The Jewish Agency also works to assist needy Holocaust survivors through the La'ad (Forever) emergency fund supported by generous donors, Jewish Federations and largely the UJA-Federation of NY.

Every year, we commemorate Yom Hashoah, remembering the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. We retell their stories, again and again, so that we never forget the suffering they went through.
But lately, it seems as if those who survived that inferno have been forgotten, as the years go by – though they themselves never forget. They live with their pains day by day, no matter how much time has passed. Today, Holocaust survivors have been in the headlines because they are suffering from hunger, they are unable to pay for serious healthcare and live alone.

CLICK HERE to make a gift to directly assist Holocaust survivors; enter "Holocaust Survivors" when directing your gift.

B. was born in Bulgaria. Her father was sent to a concentration camp, where he died of disease. B. was only 8 years old when this happened. During the war, she and her family lived under a strict curfew, with many prohibitions only because they were Jews. She remembers wearing a yellow star, and tells that she and her mother had to steal food, in order to survive, even after the war. That feeling of helplessness and hunger continue to haunt her to this day.

L. lived in Nalchik, in the Caucus, throughout World War II. She was 16 years old when the Germans occupied the city and put all the Jews there into a ghetto for 3 months

P. was born in Chelm in Poland, and was less than a year old when the war erupted, her father drafted to the Russian army while her mother fled with her to Russia. In the next four years, they lived in the ruins of a building, gathering crumb after crumb, living in silence so that the Germans could not discover them.

Today, these women live on their own, and try to deal with the daily problems that arise. There are many Holocaust survivors who live in dire need throughout Israel – not only financial need, but emotional need. Many live alone, some with relatives that try to help them as much as possible, but many families are unable to fully address their plights.

The Jewish Agency for Israel has been helping Holocaust survivors in Israel for over 20 years, with holistic programs like Amigour, providing housing and social work assistance to over 9,000 survivors. The Jewish Agency also works to assist needy Holocaust survivors through the La'ad (Forever) emergency fund supported by generous donors, Jewish Federations of North America and largely the UJA-Federation of NY.

In the past, The Jewish Agency’s Aliyah, Absorption and Special Operations department, in conjunction with the Ministry for Senior Citizens, ran the program “La’ad”, in which thousands of young volunteers helped Holocaust survivors retain their rights. Over the course of 6 years, 100,000 survivors were helped.

This year, the Immigration, Absorption and Special Operations department has distributed over 100 grants to needy elderly Holocaust survivors in extremely dire conditions.

The grants were distributed by The Jewish Agency in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and by dozens of volunteers and municipalities nationally. The data on the survivors needs and particular circumstances is reported by local social workers.

Every survivor in these straits received a grant of 6,000 NIS.

Among others, support comes from the UJA-Federation of NY, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, and the The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

Additionally, The Jewish Agency continues to train volunteers to connect to Holocaust survivors through “Bochrim Machar Laad”: Choosing Tomorrow Forever, with its first launch in Beersheva, with the support of the UJA-Federation of NY.

We receive numerous positive feedback from welfare offices, families, and the survivors as beneficiaries themselves, appreciating these grants particularly during cold winter days and during holidays.

The Jewish Agency oversees a diversity of educational and experiential programs throughout Israel and the Diaspora, including Holocaust history tours, lectures and seminars with Holocaust survivors: ensuring that these stories are never forgotten. We hope to continue this partnership with other organizations, doing everything we can to improve, however we can, the daily lives of Holocaust survivors.

CLICK HERE to make a gift to directly assist Holocaust survivors; enter "Holocaust Survivors" when directing your gift.

13 Apr 2015 / 24 Nisan 5775 0
  •   Print  

Jewish Agency We connect Jews with Israel, with one another, with their heritage, and with our collective future