Holocaust Survivor Support Systems

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Dear Friends,

Muriel is 88. She’s a Holocaust survivor who spent 1943 to 1945 in concentration camps. She suffers from conditions that can be traced to the malnutrition and deprivation of those years. Hearing loss compounds her feelings of loneliness and depression.

Klara is 80. When she was a child, she witnessed atrocities that are still vibrant in her memory – sadistic maltreatment, constant terror. She suffers from severe disabling rheumatoid arthritis and aortic stenosis.

Abram is 91. He’s very frail. His wife died years ago. They were both Holocaust survivors, but now she’s gone. He was never good in the kitchen but he managed … until recently. He’s starting to show signs of dementia.

Holocaust survivors have access to various forms of assistance, but this is a very elderly population whose extreme needs exceed the available help.

The generosity of people like you can ensure that our frail, disabled survivors can get to medical appointments … have help at home … have companionship … and have enough to eat.

In the 12 months prior to June 30 of 2016, compassionate donations helped to provide badly needed services to 2,263 local Holocaust survivors:

  • Home care for 574 elderly Holocaust survivors totaling over 350,000 hours
  • Transportation for 1328 individuals (almost 50,000 trips)
  • Home visits to 194 home-bound Holocaust survivors
  • Over 8,600 meals – many delivered directly to homes

While the poor elderly in this country face many difficulties, Holocaust survivors face even greater hardships. As the Washington Post noted on March 1, 2016, “experiences during the Holocaust such as malnutrition, torture and severe mental stress have had lasting effects, and as survivors age, they are at greater risk than the general population for poor physical and mental health, depression and social isolation.”

Additionally, Holocaust survivors often lack the family structures that other elderly individuals can rely on, because so many of them lost sisters and brothers in the war years.

Plus, experiences of imprisonment, terror, and displacement have made this population especially fearful of institutionalization in nursing homes. It’s essential that we step up and provide the assistance these individuals need to stay in their homes.

You can do that. Because your dollars go directly to services like:

  • Home care – such as dressing, bathing, feeding, cleaning, and laundry
  • Case management – helping to secure the services and assistance our seniors are eligible for
  • Transportation – to medical appointments and treatments, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, dialysis and other essential care
  • Sunday programs – providing a hot, nutritious, kosher meal and an opportunity to socialize with their peers – and home-delivered meals on Sundays when government-funded senior centers are closed

Every dollar we raise from this letter except for the very minor cost of this mailing will go directly to services provided for Holocaust survivors. With thanks for your consideration and a heartfelt promise that your generosity will be directed to the local Holocaust survivors who need it most, I remain sincerely yours.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Moshe Wiener
Executive Director

P.S. A benefactor has committed to donate $1 for every $2 we raise. In other words, your kind donation of $10 would result in $15 and a generous donation of $50 would become $75. We are grateful for every donation no matter the size, but the extreme need of our Holocaust survivors compels me to hope you will be as generous as you can be. Thanks!

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