holocaust hand 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
Holocaust survivors in the US will receive federal funds designed to help them
age at home, rather than having to move to an institution, according to a new
congressional bill drafted by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ileana
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The bipartisan proposal calls for survivors to be
added to a list of elderly citizens receiving preferred treatment under the
Older Americans Act, to designate an individual within the Administration on
Aging to overlook programs offered to survivors and create a grant program
helping them with their transportation needs.
“As a nation that upholds
the values of freedom, liberty and justice, we have a moral obligation to
acknowledge the plight and uphold the dignity of Holocaust survivors to ensure
their well-being,” said Wasserman Schultz.
“Our children’s generation
will be the last to know Holocaust survivors and hear their stories
firsthand. We must do all we can to honor their struggles and their lives
by improving their access to transportation to get them where they need to go,
and improve their home-care options so that they can have peace of mind. This
bill does just that, and it’s time to make it happen.”
survivors of Nazi persecution deserve to be honored in their old
“The sad reality is that every day, we have fewer Holocaust
survivors among us to tell their tragic tales that remind us of the reality of
evil,” she said in an email.
“Many of these survivors have pressing
medical and housing needs and this bill seeks to address those gaping holes in
The Jewish Federations of North America on Wednesday
took credit for helping create the bill, saying it was the result of a series of
meetings it arranged between the lawmakers, and Holocaust survivors and social
“We thank Reps. Wasserman Schultz and Ros-Lehtinen for
introducing this bill, which takes the necessary step of recognizing and
addressing the unique situation of Holocaust survivors who have contributed
greatly to this country since the Second World War,” said Cheryl Fishbein,
chairwoman of the Federations’ America Domestic Affairs Cabinet.
passed, this bill will provide the support local agencies need to ensure that
survivors are able to live their lives with comfort, security and
There are some 127,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United
States today, the Federations said in a press release.
About 75 percent
of those are over the age of 75 and about two-thirds live alone.
these survivors struggle to make ends meet, and are in poor health.