Major Effort to Support Holocaust Survivors Announced by VP Biden
Caring for aging Holocaust survivors in our community is a high priority of our Jewish Federation, and we’re very pleased with Vice President Joe Biden’s unveiling of a major initiative to address the needs of this vulnerable population. In fact, the federal government will be partnering with Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Family Service Agencies like our own Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service (AJF&CS) to take on this momentous task. Vice President Biden praised the efforts of Jewish community groups like AJF&CS, which provides services from professional training, social activities, and transportation, to helping survivors to access benefits and medical care.
Calling the initiative a “major step forward toward addressing the needs of many Holocaust survivors,” JFNA Chair of the Board of Trustees Michael Siegal said the program will “ensure that Holocaust survivors receive the support of programs to help them live with dignity and comfort.”
Jewish Federations have a long history of advocating for Holocaust survivors and supporting legislative efforts to help them to live in comfort and security, such as the RUSH Act, which would provide support for survivors to age in their own homes and avoid the trauma of being moved to a facility. “Enabling Holocaust survivors to age in place is vital for health, comfort and security and brings dignity to this vulnerable population,” said Jerry Silverman, JFNA’s President and C.E.O. It is estimated that 15,000 Holocaust survivors live in South Florida out of 127,000 in the U.S., and about 25 percent of American survivors live in poverty, often alone with no family support. Holocaust survivors in South Florida were responsible for bringing the matter to the attention of the White House. To learn more about this initiative and how our Federation helps to support Holocaust survivors, click here.