Holocaust survivors in Israel_311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation has approved an amendment to the
Holocaust Survivors Benefits Law aimed at increasing government aid to survivors
and helping them maximize their benefits.
The amendment, which was
submitted by Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Minister of Welfare and Social
Services Meir Cohen, both of Yesh Atid, along with other MKs, includes two major
The first states that all eligible Holocaust survivors are
to receive an annual grant of some NIS 4,600. Until now the grant had been
provided only as an income supplement. This modification, expected to cost some
NIS 60 million a year, will benefit an estimated 12,000 people.
second says that survivors will now be able to convert service vouchers into
equivalent sums of money that can be put directly into their bank
According to the Treasury, the amendment joins a series of
initiatives recently advanced by Lapid with the goal of improving the welfare of
Holocaust survivors. The total cost of the aid measures is estimated at some NIS
100m. a year over a period of five years.
Among the steps that have been
taken so far is a tax refund averaging about NIS 350 a year, per person, for the
purchase of electrical appliances; free legal consultations for survivors to
maximize their rights to benefits; and an increase in the percentage of
survivors eligible for disability benefits.
“The coming years are the
last years during which we can fix and ease the situation for Holocaust
survivors,” Lapid said in a statement. “The number of survivors who live among
us is declining every day. We have a moral obligation toward them, and my
mission is to make the last years of their lives a little better.”
Atid MK Yifat Kariv said the amendment constituted “another step that joins the
steps already initiated to improve the situation of Holocaust survivors living
She was among its initiators.
“In recent months we’ve
seen unprecedented administrative work regarding the situation of Holocaust
survivors living in Israel by the finance minister, welfare and social affairs
minister and teams established to deal with the subject,” Kariv said. “There is
more work ahead and we will continue to find ways to improve the situation.”