The Jerusalem Municipality has initiated a project to aid the city’s 19,000 Holocaust survivors, with the help of 1,400 volunteers from across the capital.
Condemning the low standard of living and high poverty rates of survivors living in Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat called the initiative “sacred work.”
“The Jerusalem Municipality has initiated this important project because it is our moral and human commitment to do all we can to ensure all Holocaust survivors receive proper assistance and have the honor and welfare they so deserve. I want to thank all those who are helping.”
The volunteers have already made contact with thousands of Holocaust survivors to help them complete applications to receive the financial aid, disability and welfare benefits they are entitled to, Barkat said.
As part of the initiative, the municipality is establishing social centers for survivors, distributing computers to their homes and sending volunteers to chronicle their stories.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid commended Barkat’s initiative, and implored other mayors to follow his example.
“I congratulate the Jerusalem Municipality on this important project and call for all mayors to join the project by assisting Holocaust survivors in their city,” Lapid said.
“We will continue to work together to improve the quality of life for survivors in the coming years.”
Asher Aud, chairman of the Organization of Former Residents of Zdonska Wola in Israel, an NGO supporting survivors from Aud’s hometown, said the initiative helps him fulfill his life’s work.
“One of the main things I wanted to do in my life was to reach every Holocaust survivor’s home,” he said. “Now, with this project, I am hoping to reach my goal.”