Placards placed on railway to Birkenau 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Some 12,000 victims of Nazi atrocities died over the past year and, according to
data published Monday by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in
Israel, at least one survivor in Israel dies every hour.
coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked countrywide
starting Wednesday night, the foundation’s data highlighted the findings of a
special report showing that even as the number of remaining survivors falls
rapidly each year, the needs of the aging population have increased to the
highest levels ever. The foundation also pointed out Monday that despite vast
governmental resources for helping the survivors, many of their needs are still
not being met.
The foundation’s report, which is based on the findings of
a survey carried out last year by the American- Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee-affiliated Myers- JDC-Brookdale Institute, noted that even though the
number of survivors will have dropped by more than 30 percent to 145,000 in
2015, the number of those in need of financial assistance and medical aid will
have risen sharply.
Today, out of the 198,000 Holocaust survivors in
Israel, the vast majority – 88% – are over 75 years old and nearly 20,000
require special home arrangements and rely on other people for their dayto- day
The foundation, which provides enrichment programs and home-care
services for survivors, also highlighted that roughly 98% of the survivors
continue to live at home and more than 10,000 of them often express feelings of
Elazar Stern, chairman of the foundation’s board, said
the findings were worrying and stressed that more hours of nursing care and
financial grants were needed to help survivors live out their final years with
Stern also highlighted that while there are vast resources set
aside by the government to help survivors, many of the benefits are not reaching
those who need them.
“We will continue our work with survivors,” he said
of the foundation, which receives 40% of its budget from the government and the
rest from the Conference for Material Claims Against Germany, “but we do not
have enough resources to satisfy all the needs of the remaining
While Stern’s message ahead of the annual Remembrance Day
ceremonies casts a spotlight on the plight of Holocaust survivors in Israel, the
Ministry of Welfare and Social Services and the Holocaust Survivors Rights
Authority, a department in the Finance Ministry, both released statements Monday
about their increased budgets and additional work with the
According to information released by the ministry, the budget
for programs and services for Holocaust survivors was increased by NIS 6 million
over the past year to NIS 206 million.
The ministry also said that
despite discord over who is officially recognized as a Holocaust survivor, it
runs a series of programs that provide support and treatment for all those who
suffered at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
Survivors Rights Authority announced Monday that its budget had also been
increased and stands today at NIS 3 billion.
It claims to work with more
than 90,000 people, and over the past year has instituted programs that help
survivors understand their rights and claim benefits that are owed to them.