Claims Conference announces $720 million to support Holocaust survivors
Allocations Include Nearly $47 Million USD In Social Welfare Services In Ukraine As Claims Conference Continues Commitment To Support Holocaust Survivors In The Face Of Imminent Threat
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ Among Those Receiving Grants in the United States
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: March 2, 2022 – Gideon Taylor, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), announced today the allocation of $720 million USD in funds to more than 300 social welfare organizations globally to support home care and supportive services for frail and vulnerable Holocaust survivors.
Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference, said, “We are proud to announce this significant allocation at a time when these funds are critical, due to the age, poverty and increasing disability of our waning survivor population, and as they also continue to face the ongoing uncertainty and threat of COVID-19. We know these funds provide vital support during these difficult times.”
In recent years, during negotiations with the German government, the Claims Conference pressed the urgent need to increase home care funding for Holocaust survivors both in the United States and across the globe. The new allocations are distributed to social welfare organizations in regions where significant numbers of survivors live, to ensure vital services, such as home care, medical care, emergency assistance and food are available for Holocaust survivors in those regions. Funds for these vital services provide a critical lifeline to frail, elderly Holocaust survivors in need around the world, enabling them to live out their remaining days in the dignity that was stolen from them in their youth.
Greg Schneider, Claims Conference Executive Vice President, said, “Survivors will be supported wherever they live, whether war-torn areas or conflict zones, and no matter the obstacle. Whether in the face of the ongoing pandemic, issues of inflation, or threat of war, we are committed to providing home care, food and medicine to elderly poor Holocaust survivors. We will continue to fight for more year-after-year to ensure every survivor has the care they deserve.”
These considerable funds constitute one of the largest allocations from any grant-making organization globally in one year and the largest amount ever allocated for Claims Conference in a single year. In 2021, the Claims Conference distributed $653 million USD in grants to over 300 social service agencies worldwide and this year the Claims Conference estimates that the funds, through the grants and partner organizations, will reach approximately 120,000 survivors.
Among the organizations in the United States to receive grants is Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFSMW) which is a comprehensive social service agency providing mental health counseling and support services on a non-discriminatory basis. The funds allow JFSMW to provide case management, homecare, emergency financial assistance, and socialization for survivors.
“Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ is grateful to the Claims Conference for their generous support, which allows us to maintain and enhance the dignity and independence of over two hundred Holocaust survivors in our community, as they age. During COVID19, support from the Claims Conference has been even more crucial, as Holocaust survivors have declined significantly from prolonged stress and isolation. The long-term impact of the pandemic is still to be determined, but the needs of our aging Holocaust survivors are only increasing.” stated Liz Levy, LCSW, JFSMW Coordinator of Holocaust Services.
By state, the number of grants distributed comprise: Arizona (2); California (7); Colorado (1); Connecticut (1); Florida (6); Illinois (1); Maryland (2); Massachusetts (1); Michigan (2); Minnesota (1); Nevada (1); New Jersey (11); New York (9); Ohio (3); Oregon (1); Pennsylvania (2); Texas (2); and, Washington (1). In some cases, the grants are distributed to organizations that reach survivors in adjacent states.
Mark Sisisky, President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), said, “I cannot overstate how critical these lifesaving funds from the Claims Conference are to ensure the well-being of survivors in the former Soviet Union. As we see in Ukraine, and throughout the region, crisis can erupt at a moment’s notice and increase the plight and needs of survivors and other elderly. The services we provide them in partnership with the Claims Conference are a literal lifeline of care, dignity, and hope for better days.”
Marian Turski, Auschwitz survivor and member of the Negotiations Delegation, said “Funds negotiated by the Claims Conference and allocated to social welfare agencies are used to finance life-sustaining social services for needy survivors of the Shoah around the globe, implemented by accomplished and dedicated social agencies. In my home country of Poland, for example, I was able to see for myself the lasting impact these services had for survivors during the past two years, especially under the conditions of the rampant pandemic,” he said.
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Special Negotiator for the Claims Conference Negotiation Delegation, stated, “As the long-time negotiator for the Claims Conference delegation, I am proud to lead this dedicated team of survivors, nonprofit leaders and Claims Conference staff in the ongoing mission of securing care and services for Holocaust survivors. Our negotiations with the German Government are critical to the care and welfare of survivors and we are committed to continue to fight for the care of this final generation of survivors globally.”
Additionally, Claims Conference continues to provide direct compensation to survivors. In 2021, the Claims Conference distributed approximately $820 million USD in compensation to over 210,000 survivors in 83 countries.
Representatives from 23 major Jewish organizations founded the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) in 1951 in response to the West German government’s promise to make “material amends” to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. The Claims Conference represents world Jewry in negotiating for compensation and restitution for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their heirs.
For more information about the Claims Conference, please visit: www.claimscon.org