Yesh Atid commits to raise Shoah survivors’ budget

Fubds earmarked in coalition deal to serve thousands of survivors; allow some 6000 to continue receiving nursing aid.

March 17, 2013 19:46
1 minute read.
Jewish men looking at Holocaust exhibit in Yad Vashem, January 27, 2013.

Jewish men looking at Holocaust exhibit in Yad Vashem 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

According to the coalition deal signed by Yesh Atid on Friday, the party has committed to increasing the budget for Holocaust survivors’ services this year to NIS 110 million, about half of which will be allocated to nursing care offered by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.

The agreement came after Yesh Atid MK Yifat Kariv, along with MKs from other parties, held an emergency meeting two weeks ago to discuss the issue. The foundation had announced at the end of January that it would have to cut three of the nine hours a week of nursing care that it provides to disabled survivors by March 1.

“The State of Israel will not abandon Holocaust survivors on my watch,” Kariv said at the event. “Just a month ago I was sworn in as a Knesset member and I vowed that Israel will not abandon them. It is a moral and ethical imperative.”

The new funds are expected to serve tens of thousands of survivors in Israel and allow some 6,000 of them to continue receiving the nursing aid.

The coalition agreement also stated that the budget could be further expanded during the next five years according to the foundation’s needs.

“I am proud to be part of a party that established the issue of treatment of Holocaust survivors as one of its main goals,” Kariv said following Friday afternoon’s signing, “We are committed as a society to do everything we can to provide survivors with the best conditions we can give them.”

The Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel called the initiative an “important achievement” for the 200,000 Holocaust survivors living here.

“We welcome and appreciate the efforts of Yair Lapid’s party Yesh Atid to include the treatment of Holocaust survivors as part of the burning issues that the new government faces,” Ronnie Kalinsky, CEO of the foundation, said on Sunday.

“We hope that the important issue of treatment of Holocaust survivors will remain on the public agenda throughout the year, not just for Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Kalinsky also added that he hopes the Finance Ministry will keep the budgetary promises and consider canceling the cuts.

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