New York – The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is proud to announce that the United States Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the organization $12 million over 5 years, pending the availability of federal funds, to advance innovations in person-centered, trauma-informed supportive services for Holocaust survivors. This award will help Jewish organizations and the broader Aging Services Network support the compounded and urgent needs of Holocaust survivors, and ultimately, all aging survivors of trauma.
“We are honored and humbled to partner with the federal government to provide much needed assistance to Holocaust survivors,” said Mark Wilf, chair of JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative. “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. These are our mothers and our fathers, our teachers and our mentors. They deserve to live their remaining years in dignity, and this award will help make that hope a reality. Our gratitude goes out to the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee for recognizing this particularly vulnerable population.”
Today’s announcement is in line with Vice President Biden’s three-pronged initiative announced in December 2013 to inspire public-private partnerships to address this dire need. When combined with matching funds, the $2.5 million each year will support $4.1 million in programming annually for organizations that help Holocaust survivors, including many Federation-affiliated agencies. Through a competitive award process, this program will allow local agencies to expand their provision of comprehensive supportive services for survivors. In addition, the program will allow for the development of a national technical assistance center, housed at JFNA, to facilitate the spread of information about person-centered, trauma-informed approaches to serving Holocaust survivors.
“We thank the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Leadership for funding this vital program and we are grateful for the unending bipartisan leadership of Senator Cardin, Senator Kirk, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen for calling attention to the needs of Holocaust survivors,” said William Daroff, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Director of the Washington office for Jewish Federations.
JFNA will implement this program together with the organization’s partners at the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and other partners including UJA-Federation of New York, Selfhelp Community Services, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, The Blue Card, Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox Union of America, LeadingAge, Meals on Wheels America, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative links support from Federations, foundations, private citizens and federal, state and local governments to help aging Holocaust survivors live their remaining years with dignity, security and peace of mind in the comfort of their communities.
The Jewish Federations, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).