Holocaust survivors 521.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, the NGO Aviv for
Holocaust survivors published a report reviewing changes made to survivors’
services for the year 2012.
As the organization states in the report,
while some of the changes benefited survivors’ rights, others had a negative
impact on them.
Amongst this year’s positive changes in the field, Aviv
mentions the Finance Ministry’s Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority which
changed the terminology describing the financial grant for survivors that it
provides. In the past, the grant was described as dedicated to “the
According to the NGO, many survivors saw the name as offensive,
which even prevented some from applying for the financial aid. In the past year,
the authority changed the term and calls recipients of the sum individuals
“eligible for compensation according to income.”
In addition, the report
states that more organizations started special programs to help Holocaust
survivors in 2012. This includes projects undertaken by Yad Sarah, Refua
Vesimcha, the Foundation Optical Center as well as Latet’s Aid for Life program,
an initiative by Bank Leumi and another one by MADA.
On the list of
negative steps taken this year, the organization includes the Company for
Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets, which unexpectedly cut
down its grants for disadvantaged survivors by 20 percent this year.
report also mentions that governmental bodies have left many Holocaust survivors
hanging this year, according to the NGO, as they filed requests for longterm
Many of them died before ever receiving an
Lastly, the list includes The Foundation for the Benefit of
Holocaust Survivors, which in November suspended the financial benefits it
annually provides survivors for their medical needs, due to an overflow of
requests and a shortage in the allocated budget.
This step, Aviv writes,
caused “damage to poor Holocaust survivors who struggle to meet basic medical
The Foundation will now have to cut survivors’ nursing
services due to budget, according to a Ynet report released on Sunday
Meretz MK Ilan Gilon called on Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to intervene in order to prevent the cuts on Sunday
“The budget deficit must not come at the expense of the welfare
of Holocaust survivors,” Gilon said.
“This is the minimum that Israel can
and must do for those who went through the Nazi horrors just because they are
Jews. I believe that this important issue should be placed on your desk and get
immediate response,” he continued.
Aviv stressed the importance of the
review explaining that it will “help maintain the rights of Holocaust survivors
and pay attention to the areas where care and assistance to survivors are still
Some 183,000 survivors lived in Israel in 2012. About 30 of
them die each day, according to the organization, which since its establishment
in 2007, has trained some 7,000 volunteers to provide daily assistance to 65,000
Holocaust survivors across the country.