Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty Receives Funds for Groundbreaking Holocaust Survivor Care

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty is proud to have been selected to receive a grant from the Jewish Federations of North America through their recently launched Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. These grants mark the first time in history that the United States federal government has provided direct funding for Holocaust survivor services. When combined with matching private funds, this award will support $442,666 in new programming for survivors.

In New York Metropolitan area alone, there are 56,000 Holocaust survivors and more than half live at or below the poverty level.

The grant from JFNA Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care will enable Met Council to provide additional case management services and monthly socialization programs to lift the spirits of this increasingly frail and homebound population.  Social workers will empower clients by providing maximum choice and control over their individual healing process.  As victims, they were not given freedom of choice, which makes the power of choice all the more valuable. One major focus will be providing appropriate transportation to aging and less mobile survivors.  Holocaust survivors will also be connected to Met Council’s array of social services, including, assistance applying for SNAP benefits, food through our kosher food pantry network, and free home repairs and safety upgrades.

Together with the Boro Park JCC, Canarsie JCC, UJC of the Lower East Side, Queens JCC, Shorefront JCC, and JCC of Washington Heights-Inwood the new program will serve low-income survivors, including those with Russian and religious backgrounds. As local community based organizations, the network of JCCs understands the individual needs of the local Holocaust survivors.  Our collaborative care will ensure that this vulnerable population benefit from the person-centered and trauma informed care.

“We are both humbled to be selected by JFNA and grateful to the federal government’s commitment to provide essential services to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Alan Schoor, CEO of Met Council. “Support from the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care will enable our social workers to provide customized care for survivors whom have been traumatized through their experiences during the Holocaust.  To compound their situation further, most of our clients live in poverty or near-poverty, resulting in additional trauma caused by the lack of financial resources.  Having been traumatized early in life and now re-traumatized as a result of their financial insecurity later in life, our clients’ historical trauma continues to resurface.”

The Jewish Federations of North America launched the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care in the fall of 2015, following an award from the United States 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 United States. 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.

“Taking care of Holocaust survivors, ensuring that they have their physical and emotional needs met, is of the utmost importance and a fully attainable goal if we continue to work together.” said Mark Wilf, chair of Federations’ National Holocaust Survivor Initiative.

“Grantees of the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care will lead the charge and help prepare the nation’s Aging Services Network to ensure all Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line have their basic needs met.” said Todd Morgan, vice chair of Federations’ National Holocaust Survivor Initiative.

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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