JFCS joins national effort to aid Holocaust survivors


To mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) of Southern New Jersey, an agency of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, joined 40 community organizations across the country partnering with national funders, organizations, and stakeholders in an effort to support the 25,000 Holocaust survivors living in poverty in the United States.

The Kavod Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (Kavod SHEF), which is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by Seed the Dream Foundation and KAVOD—Ensuring Dignity for Survivors, funds basic emergency needs, including rent, utilities, food, home care, transportation, and medical, dental and vision services. Since its launch in 2019, KAVOD SHEF has provided more than $20-million to survivors across the United States.

“I am so proud of our organization’s longstanding commitment to caring for South Jersey’s Holocaust survivors, and participating in the Kavod SHEF initiative has greatly expanded our ability to continue this sacred work,” said Raechel Hammer, JFCS executive director. “Thanks to Kavod SHEF’s matching grant, JFCS has been able to provide an additional $240,000 worth of critical services—including emergency home repairs, food, and dental, vision, and medical care—this past year. This is in addition to the supports we already provide through funding from the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany, state grants, and private donors.”

To learn more about JFCS programming for Holocaust survivors, visit jfcssnj.org/holocaust-survivor-support/

“More than a third of the Holocaust survivors in this country are living in poverty, a situation only made worse by skyrocketing healthcare costs and the reality of an aging population,” said Marcy Gringlas, president of Seed the Dream Foundation, who is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. “Yom HaShoah is an annual reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust, the resilience of the Jewish people, and our enduring obligation to support survivors in our communities today. But it can’t be our only reminder. As survivors age, we need to act quickly to ensure they are able to live their lives with the dignity they deserve.”

Participating community organizations, including JFCS, raise money locally, which is then matched dollar for dollar by a national fundraising coalition that includes more than 20 philanthropists and foundations. All of the funds raised through Kavod SHEF go directly to survivors.

“The issue is not going away and is not dwindling! Our survivors are getting older and are having bigger financial stresses,” said Amy Israel Pregulman, executive director and cofounder of KAVOD.

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