Yair Lapid speaking at a conference titled "Treatment of Holocaust survivors in Israel - Present and Future Challenges".
(photo credit: MOTI ZEEVI)
The Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority in the Finance Ministry launched a service on Wednesday that will enable Holocaust survivors to determine their rights via an online calculator.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid unveiled the plan during a two-day conference, titled “Treatment of Holocaust survivors in Israel – Present and Future Challenges,” held by The Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.
“I want to tell the Holocaust survivors: You fought in order to live. You fought to survive.
You fought to overcome. You fought to get recognition from the state. You fought Israeli bureaucracy in order to receive the rights to which you are entitled,” Lapid said at the conference.
“Now you can stop fighting. Now we are fighting for you. We are fighting so that each and every Holocaust survivor will know exactly what they are entitled to and receive everything they are entitled to,” he said.
Through the online calculator, Holocaust survivors and their families will be able to receive information regarding possible eligibility for pensions and benefits.
According to the authority, just by answering a few basic questions such as date of birth, country of birth, and date of aliya, Holocaust survivors will automatically receive general information about their rights to assistance from government as well as nongovernmental organizations. In addition, the calculator instructs the survivors on how to exercise these rights.
“The innovation presented by the [finance] minister is welcome. This is an important response for survivors but also for their families. Anything that makes it easier for the families and the supportive environment encompassing the survivors helps to fulfill the goal and allows them to live in comfort and well-being as much as is possible,” said Rony Kalinsky, CEO of the foundation.
Earlier this year the government approved a NIS 1 billion national plan to assist Holocaust survivors presented by Lapid and Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen.
The national plan outlines 10 points aimed at reducing the bureaucracy faced by some 193,000 survivors and improving their living conditions.
Among the points, the plan calls for an increase in allowances, a 100 percent discount on medications, elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy, and increased welfare services in day centers as well as home visits by medical professionals.
The online calculator is available in Hebrew and in Russian on the Finance Ministry website at zakaim.mof.gov.il.