Holocaust survivor center loses building, may close

By MELANIE LIDMAN
February 14, 2011 02:02

The Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors helps more than 3,000 Holocaust survivors with daily activities.

2 minute read.



An elderly woman eats at the hostel

Holocaust survivor 311. (photo credit: Etti Cohen)

An organization that assists more than 3,000 Holocaust survivors with daily activities like laundry, cooking, travel, and small home repairs is in danger of closing after the building they have rented for years was sold.

The Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors is desperately looking for a new place in the center of the country, but cannot find a building big enough that they can afford.

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The 12-year-old organization is run completely by volunteers, who donate their own money to keep the organization functioning. The volunteers cook food, perform home visits, help with handiwork around the house, act as legal advocates, provide transportation to doctor’s visits, and wash and fold the laundry for 3,000 struggling Holocaust survivors spread across the country.

“We have NIS 600 in our bank account right now,” said director Tamara More, who volunteers her time and donates tens of thousands of shekels to the organization from her own money. “This is really serious...it could be the difference between life and death for us.”

According to government statistics, there are 220,000 recognized Holocaust survivors in Israel today, 60,000 of whom live below the poverty line. The association had rented a building close to Herzliya for many years, which the owners let them rent at a reduced price because they did extensive renovations on the property.

When the property was sold a few weeks ago, the new owners gave the organization until the end of January to evacuate the premises.

More estimates that the organization can afford between NIS 10,000 and NIS 11,000 per month for a property with a house and large area for storage, but she has only found properties for rent which are NIS 15,000 per month or more. The organization provides rooms for up to three survivors to live, in addition to storing the belongings of many survivors who are forced to move to overcrowded nursing homes where they don’t have enough room for their things.

The organization also runs a gemach (free loan society) to provide extra blankets and electrical appliances during the winter.

The organization is appealing to the public to help them find a place to move in the center of the country, anywhere from Hadera to the airport. They are also looking for any donations to help with paying a higher rent.

Interested parties can contact the organization at (03) 525- 7888 or israelnow@gmail.com.


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