Jewish Family Services of WNY receives $40K to assist local Holocaust survivors
Jewish Family Services of Western New York has received $40,000 in matching funds from the Joseph Gringlas KAVOD SHEF National Fund and local partners to enhance care and services for Holocaust survivors living in Western New York.
The funding will provide the community’s remaining Holocaust survivors with critical health and human services such as dental, vision, medical, food, emergency home care, emergency transportation, emergency home services such as utilities, home repair, rent support and more.
“Holocaust survivors have earned the right to live out their life in dignity and not have to make the difficult choice between rent, food and medicine,” said Molly S. Carr, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Jewish Family Services of WNY. “JFS along with Jewish Buffalo are proud to partner with KAVOD SHEF to expand these types of support services to survivors who are such an important fabric of our community.”
Pre-pandemic studies indicated that 80,000 Holocaust survivors were living in the U.S. and more than 30,000 were living at or near poverty levels. Recognizing the critical needs of survivors, Seed the Dream Foundation partnered with KAVOD to establish the KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (SHEF) in 2019 to match funding in order to expand services while increasing awareness of the significant challenges of the Holocaust survivor population.
Emergency services are just part of the support Jewish Family Services provides to local Holocaust survivors. The organization recently held its first Holocaust survivor lunch attended by 20 survivors and their loved ones.
In the early days of the pandemic, Jewish Family Services began its Friends to Holocaust Survivors program to keep its Jewish community services clients feeling engaged and connected, specifically those who were living in assisted living facilities or at home alone. The program began by having volunteers write and exchange letters or engage in weekly phone calls with those who were isolated.
“Once it was safe to see each other in person again, many of these friendships between volunteers and Holocaust survivors blossomed,” Carr said. “Survivors have told us that the volunteers made them feel less lonely during the pandemic and now they are enjoying the established connections with members of the Jewish Family Services community.”
For more information on the Holocaust survivor and Jewish community services offered by Jewish Family Services, visit jfswny.org/jewish-community-services/.
For the original article visit niagara-gazette.com.