AVIV VOLUNTEERS aid a client..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As the world’s last living Holocaust survivors reach the twilight of their lives, frequently alone and impoverished, an Israeli NGO is hoping that a website designed to inform them of their rights to aid and compensation will help lessen their burden.
Noting that half of survivors around the globe remain unaware of the rights they have been afforded for their profound loss and suffering, Aviva Silverman, CEO of Aviv (“Spring”) for Holocaust Survivors, recently launched the site www.avivshoa.co.il.
“Elderly Holocaust survivors are left with many questions and few answers,” Silverman said of the initiative. “Full realization of their rights would ensure that they live the rest of their lives with dignity and comfort... and could mean the difference between living in poverty or well-being.”
“Now,” Silverman continued, “all the information they need is available in one click.”
To help Holocaust survivors and their families maximize their rights and improve their financial status, the site clearly delineates easy-to-access information in Hebrew and English on the subject free of charge.
Moreover, if survivors or their family members are unclear on any of the website’s functions, the NGO has a call center and a staff of lawyers to provide further assistance on filing claims and translating documents, also at no cost.
Spring for Holocaust Survivors was founded by Silverman in 2007 to ensure that the 180,000 elderly survivors living in Israel know their rights in light of an overwhelming lack of public awareness of what the law provides for them.
“Our vision is that all Holocaust survivors living in Israel should live their lives with the dignity and comfort they deserve, and that they receive respect and proper treatment from the various agencies assisting them,” the website’s mission statement says.
According to the NGO, among the country’s survivors, 25 percent live in poverty.
“Thousands of them do not take advantage of all their rights, whether granted to them by law or under various programs,” the website says. “They are unaware of benefits due to them from Israel’s Finance Ministry, from Germany, from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, and other agencies.”
To date, Spring for Holocaust Survivors says it has helped over 50,000 elderly men and women procure over NIS 200 million in fiscal assistance by obtaining their legal rights.
“The new site is intended to aid all segments of the population – survivors and their families...
and offers easily accessible information about the rights and benefits offered to survivors from different countries around the world,” Silverman said.For more information, survivors and family members can call 072-242-4404, or go to www.avivshoa.co.il/about.