Obama administration earmarks $12 million for Jewish Holocaust survivors

Obama administration earmarks $12 million for Jewish Holocaust survivors
The United States Department of Health and Human Services awards Jewish Federations of North America $12 million over 5 years to advance Holocaust survivor care. Federations and the Starkey Hearing Foundation came together at Yankee Stadium Wednesday to provide hearing aids to 100 people, including aging Holocaust survivors.

The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has awarded $12 million for assistance to Holocaust survivors.

The allocation from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Jewish Federations of North America, to be disbursed over five years, is part of an initiative launched in late 2013 by Vice President Joe Biden to address the needs of survivors in the United States, a quarter of whom live below the poverty line.

Combined with matching private funds, the approximately $2.5 million per year over the five years “will support $4.1 million in programming annually for organizations that help Holocaust survivors,” the JFNA said. According to JFNA, the funds will be used to advance “innovations in person-centered, trauma-informed supportive services for Holocaust survivors.”

“With this award, we will be able to advance our efforts to provide crucial services to vulnerable survivors, including those living in poverty, those in the Orthodox Jewish community and those from the former Soviet Union,” Mark Wilf, the chairman of the JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative, said in a statement.

“These are our mothers and our fathers, our teachers and our mentors,” he said. “They deserve to live their remaining years in dignity, and this award will help make that hope a reality.”

The JFNA statement also thanked congressional sponsors of the funding, including U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

After Biden launched the initiative in December 2013, the White House in 2014 named a special envoy to the community to coordinate volunteer activities to assist the survivors.

Some 130,000 Holocaust survivors are living in the United States, according to US government estimates.

Wilf, a co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, helped organize the distribution this week of hearing aids to about 100 people in the New York area — more than 20 of them Holocaust survivors — at Yankee Stadium in New York.

The hearing aids, USA Today reported, were provided by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, with backing from JFNA, the Wilf Family Foundations, the NFL’s Vikings and the New York Yankees.

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Jewish Federations of North America

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) brings together 151 Federations and 300 Network Communities to maximize our impact as the central address of North American Jewry. Collectively among the top 10 charities in the world, we secure and manage $16 billion in endowment assets. Each year, we raise over $900 million through the Annual Campaign and emergency campaigns, and distribute over $2 billion from our foundations and endowments.

In the fields of caregiving, aging, philanthropy, disability, foreign policy, homeland security and health care, we are thought leaders and advocates.

We lobby in Washington, DC to secure $10 billion in public funds that flow to Jewish communities. These funds support thousands of agencies serving people of all backgrounds, including hospitals, nursing homes, community centers, family and children’s service agencies, and vocational training programs.

We partner with the Government of Israel and a variety of agencies to secure the Jewish State; help the most vulnerable groups, including immigrants and Holocaust survivors; and strengthen and rebuild Jewish life throughout the world.

At a time when Jews are less economically and politically secure than we were a decade ago, JFNA leads a continental response, providing assistance and rapidly raising and distributing funds. We have provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to Jewish and non-Jewish victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including Nepal, Ukraine, the Philippines, Haiti and Japan.

JFNA provides services that build the capacity of local Jewish communities. We help Federations learn from one another, build affinity groups, and provide training, collateral materials and seed funding for innovation.
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Video: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the Jewish Federations of North America

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Video: Holocaust Survivors’ plea for Israel to accept refugees

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