12,000 Holocaust survivors died over the past year (JERUSALEM POST) By RUTH EGLASH 04/16/12)
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Some 12,000 victims of Nazi atrocities died over the past year and,
according to data published Monday by the Foundation for the Benefit
of Holocaust Victims in Israel, at least one survivor in Israel dies
Released to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be
marked countrywide starting Wednesday night, the Foundation
highlighted the findings of a special report showing that even as the
number of remaining survivors falls rapidly each year, the needs of
the aging population have increased more than ever. The foundation
also pointed out Monday that despite vast governmental resources for
helping the survivors, many of their needs are still not being met.
The foundation’s report, which is based on the findings of a survey
carried out last year by the American-Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee (JDC) Meyers Brookdale Institute, noted that even though
the number of survivors will have dropped by more than 30 percent to
145,000 in 2015, the number of those in need of financial assistance
and medical aid will have risen sharply.
Today, out of the 198,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, the vast
majority – 88 percent – are over 75 years old and nearly 20,000
require special homes and rely on other people for their day-to-day
The foundation, which provides enrichment programs and home care
services for survivors, also highlighted that roughly 98% of the
survivors continue to live at home and more than 10,000 of them often
express feelings of acute loneliness.
(Res. General) Elazar Stern, chairman of the foundation’s board, said
that the findings were worrying and stressed that more hours of
nursing care and financial grants were needed to help survivors live
out their final years with dignity.
Stern also highlighted that while there are vast resources set aside
by the government to help survivors, many of those benefits are not
reaching those who need them.
“We will continue our work with survivors,” he said of the
foundation, which receives 40% of its budget from the Israeli
government and the rest from the Conference for Material Claims
Against Germany (Claims Conference), “but we do not have enough
resources to satisfy all the needs of the remaining survivors.”
While Stern’s message ahead of the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies
cast a spotlight on the plight of Holocaust survivors in Israel, the
Ministry of Welfare and Social Services and the Holocaust survivors
Rights Authority, a department in the Finance Ministry, both released
statements Monday about their increased budgets and additional work
with the population.
According to information released by the Welfare Ministry, the budget
for programs and services for Holocaust survivors was increased by
NIS 6 million over the past year to NIS 206 million.
The ministry also said that despite discord over who is official
recognized as a Holocaust survivor, it runs a series of programs that
provide support and treatment for all those who suffered at the hands
of the Nazis during World War II.
The Holocaust survivors Rights Authority announced Monday that its
budget had also been increased and stands today at NIS 3 billion. It
claims to work with more than 90,000 and, over the past year, has
instituted programs that help survivors understand their rights and
claim the benefits that are owing to them. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 04/16/12)
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