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The Commercial Appeal 4-22-2017

Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day

On Monday,

which is Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember not only those who perished but those who struggle to survive.

There are about 100,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States. More than one in four of them are existing at or below the poverty level.

Those unconscionable numbers will continue to rise as survivors age into their 90s and drain whatever resources they have.

Many lost their life’s savings in the Holocaust and were never reimbursed. Others have no family support. Too many don’t have the means to overcome major medical bills or other unforeseen expenses.

A Memphis nonprofit organization is standing in the gap.

KAVOD – the Hebrew word for dignity – provides emergency aid to help Survivors meet their basic needs and maintain their dignity.

KAVOD was founded in November 2015.

Working through community Jewish Family Services or other local agencies, KAVOD’s board quickly reviews confidential requests for aid.

Survivors in need receive gift cards they can use at local groceries or pharmacies. The gifts offset expenses incurred from emergency situations such as medical and home repair problems.

As we help survivors in need, we preserve their stories and their witness for new generations. We still have so much to learn.

Genocide isn’t just something that happened long ago. As we see time after time in places such as Rwanda, Bosnia and Syria, the evil of genocide goes on.

Survivors remind us that we are capable of unfathomable horror and boundless love and generosity.

We must continue to remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust, teach our history, and tell their stories.

We must remember the stories of resistance and the ways that maintaining human dignity were fought for even though the Nazi’s strategized to dehumanize and destroy.

We must continue to honor the survivors and support their rights to a dignified life.

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