Jewish Community Federation of Richmond supports isolated Holocaust Survivors throughout Virginia
Since 2016, The Jewish Federation system has been addressing the needs of aging Holocaust Survivors in the southeast through the Holocaust Survivor Support Fund (HSSF).
In September 2019, Holocaust Survivors who live in 10 Southeastern states and outside of cities and metropolitan areas came under the oversight of HSSF partner JF&CS Atlanta. The states in the Regional program cared for out of JF&CS-Atlanta are: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
To date, the Regional program supports 64 Survivors. Enrollment continues to climb. These Regional Survivors do not generally receive support from local agencies. And Claims Conference dollars are insufficient to meet the Regional Survivors’ homecare needs.
The critical needs for these Survivors have primarily been funded through Claims Conference.
Founded in 1951, Claims Conference allocates German government funds to agencies for Holocaust Survivors in need for this aging population because:
- Available funds cannot keep up with demand
- Stringent Claims Conference restricts limits on home care
- Medical equipment, hearing aids. dental, prescription drug, and other health related needs are underfunded
- In addition, Claims Conference does not help Survivors with assisted living expenses despite the fact that some people need the care provided in such an environment.
HSSF stepped in to meet the unmet needs of Regional Survivors. HSSF provides funds for unmet homecare and funds areas that the Claims Conference funding is not available including grocery food gift cards to low-income Survivors, and assistance with medical, dental, hearing aids and other expenses.
Our Federation learned of the needs for five Survivors in Virginia who are cared for through HSSF and stepped in to help. The organization had already provided help toward securing hearing aids for one Survivor. We learned of more needs for these Virginia Survivors identified by the Atlanta case manager, namely:
- Grocery food gift cards for three Survivors
- Orthopedic shoes for one Survivor
- Transportation-related needs for Survivors
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond immediately allocated a grant to HSSF to cover the needs for these Virginia Survivors.
When we heard of the need to support Holocaust Survivors in more remote areas of the commonwealth, we wanted to help. We feel honored to partner with HSSF and JF&CS-Atlanta to provide dignity and care for our survivors. We are grateful that there is an infrastructure in place and together we worked as partners to support Virginia Survivors.
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