2017-02-01 / Editorial

Meet Holocaust survivors’ needs


The South Jersey Jewish community is proudly committed to remembering the Six Million and honoring our local survivors.

Jewish Federation and its agencies provide numerous programs to care for survivors, from Café Europa, a social group, to running the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program, which provides home care service, meals, case work and social service needs management, emergency assistance and rides to meet their medical and shopping needs. The JCRC’s Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Educational Center, dedicated to reducing prejudice and lessening hatred, bigotry, bullying, and violence against all groups, is strongly supported.

Sadly, survivors in other parts of the country and in Europe are not as fortunate. On January 27, the day International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed, a survivors’ aid group announced that an estimated one-third of the 100,000 survivors in this country live at or below the poverty line. The Blue Card, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to survivors, noted that requests for help by Holocaust survivors grew by 20 percent in 2016 over previous years.

The poverty is due to a number of factors, Masha Pearl, executive director of The Blue Card, told CNN.

“They tend to be very isolated, losing their families during the war and then either did not or could not have children,” said Pearl. “Many started working in menial jobs because they did not have the language skills. Today they are in their 80s and 90s and it is beyond difficult to make ends meet.”

More then 70 years after the Holocaust, survivors’ needs are only growing as they age. We cannot rest until each and every one of them is provided the help he or she needs to live out their years in dignity. 

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