Jewish Family Service of San Diego Receives Funds for Groundbreaking Holocaust Survivor Care
First Time in History U.S. Government Provides Direct Funds for Holocaust Survivor Services
With the funds, JFS will offer regularly scheduled social-cultural opportunities for 40 isolated Holocaust survivors to improve their emotional and mental well-being and will also provide crucial JFS Foodmobile home-delivered kosher meals to 23 low-income, homebound survivors.
The JFNA launched the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care in the fall of 2015, following an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for up to $12 million over five years to advance innovations in person-centered, trauma-informed (PCTI) services for Holocaust survivors in the U.S. PCTI care is a holistic approach to service provision that promotes the dignity, strength, and empowerment of trauma victims by incorporating knowledge about the role of trauma in victims' lives into agency programs, policies, and procedures.
Of the more than 100,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, nearly one quarter are age 85 or older, and one in four lives in poverty. Many live alone and are at risk for social isolation, depression, and other physical and mental health conditions stemming from periods of starvation, disease, and torture.
“Since the 1940s, JFS has been addressing the needs of Holocaust survivors. For years, these survivors have expressed a desire to experience the world beyond doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and other errands,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “They want to be with people from similar backgrounds, who have endured similar traumas. Through funding from the JFNA Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, our Serving Older Survivors Program will enhance its services with activities that improve survivor physical and mental health.”
Survivors from the former Soviet Union in particular, live on limited finances and as a result, cultural stimulation specific to their Jewish and Russian heritage is virtually non-existent.
The Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care promotes these innovative service delivery models together with the expertise of partner organizations, including the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies and the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The grant money is a combination of federal dollars and philanthropic dollars raised by Jewish Federations as part of JFNA's National Holocaust Survivor Initiative, which seeks to raise $45 million to support the survivor community.
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