Washington, DC — The Jewish Federations of North America applauds the United States Senate for passing S.192, the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Act, by a voice vote this afternoon. In addition to advocating for the bill, Federations succeeded in adding to it a new provision that specifically benefits Holocaust survivors. The bill, which also passed the House of Representatives, now heads to the desk of President Barack Obama. Jewish Federations praise members of both chambers for their tireless work and urge the president to sign this measure into law.
“With more than 1 in 5 Jewish Americans over 65 years old, Federations have been a steadfast supporter of the OAA, which helps enhance vital services at Federation-affiliated agencies,” said William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of JFNA’s Washington office. “We thank both the Senate and the House of Representatives for passing the OAA Reauthorization Act. We are also thrilled about the new provision that will ensure the comfort and security of Holocaust survivors, and look forward to working on its implementation with the Administration for Community Living.”
Since its original passage in 1965, the OAA has provided funding for programs that support the health, well-being, safety and dignity of our nation’s seniors. JFNA has long championed the OAA due to its critical role in supporting home and community-based services at Jewish family service agencies, vocational service agencies and community centers, including adult day care, case management, home-delivered meals, elder abuse prevention and intervention, and more.
With the inclusion of the new provision on Holocaust survivors, the bill now directs the assistant secretary for aging to issue guidance to states on serving and conducting outreach to this vulnerable population. The provision complements JFNA’s Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care and its person-centered, trauma-informed program, which distributed $2.8 million in grants earlier this year to agencies serving survivors.
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).