Thanks to the efforts of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, state lawmakers have appropriated $3.6 million to assist the most needy among the estimated 20,000 Holocaust survivors living in California.
Funding approved last week for the California Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program ensures that survivors of the Holocaust — the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis — are able to live out their lives with dignity.
The program was proposed and stewarded by JFS, in partnership with the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California.
The money will be used for home care, case management, home-delivered meals, transportation and emergency financial assistance for approximately 600 elderly Holocaust survivors throughout California who are currently underserved by existing resources.
“Holocaust survivors in California are becoming increasingly vulnerable as they face the challenges of aging,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “According to the state Treasurer’s Office, there are roughly 20,000 Holocaust survivors living in California today, and at least one-third of them are frail and living in poverty.”
He said Jewish agencies throughout the state already provide wide-ranging care to more than 3,300 survivors, but “many of these programs have wait lists and have reached funding capacity. The funding from this new program will help fill the gaps.”
JFS will use its share of the new funding to expand the Serving Older Holocaust Survivors program that helps 129 vulnerable survivors in San Diego.
Founded in 1918, JFS operates throughout San Diego County and the Coachella Valley to provide individuals and families of all faiths with counseling, job coaching, transportation, education, nutritious meals and social connections. The organization also helps settle refugee families.
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