July 13, 2010
Claims Conference Chairman Julius Berman announced today that the Claims Conference will receive a five-year, $10 million grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to provide emergency assistance to Holocaust victims in North America.
The Weinberg Holocaust Survivors Emergency Assistance Fund will fund a range of emergency services to Jewish victims of Nazism, including medical equipment and medications, dental care, transportation, food, and short-term homecare.
“The Claims Conference is honored to work in partnership with the Weinberg Foundation to address the increasing needs of elderly Jewish victims of Nazism,” said Mr. Berman. “Every day, Holocaust victims with very limited means have to cope with the costs of housing, medicine, food, and other vital needs that they often cannot meet. We hope that the generosity and vision of the Weinberg Foundation will galvanize support for these heroes of the Jewish people.”
Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said, “Aging Jewish Holocaust victims, abandoned by the world in their youth, must now know that they are remembered and cared for in their final years. The Claims Conference is grateful to the Weinberg Foundation for recognizing and responding to the basic needs of so many Nazi victims. Together, we must continue to take on the moral imperative to ensure that Holocaust victims live out their years in a manner befitting the courage and resilience they displayed and the suffering they endured.”
The Claims Conference will implement the distribution of the funds from the Weinberg Foundation to agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada that provide services to Holocaust victims. Each agency has an advisory committee comprising Holocaust survivors that reviews individual requests for assistance.
For 2010, the Claims Conference has allocated a total of approximately $200 million to assist Jewish victims of Nazism in 46 countries worldwide. With sources of restitution-related funding declining, the Claims Conference has made it a priority to obtain additional funds in order to continue providing vital services to Nazi victims.
“Aging victims of the Holocaust require assistance to meet their basic needs for shelter, food and medical care,” said Rachel Monroe, president of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “The grant for emergency assistance is expected to help at least 10,000 Nazi victims living in poverty throughout North America. The Weinberg Foundation remains committed to honoring these courageous men and women whose memories we call upon to educate the world today and for generations to come.”
Judge Ellen M. Heller, a Trustee of the Weinberg Foundation, stated, “The Weinberg Emergency Assistance Fund gives recognition to the increasing medical and social welfare needs of the aging Jewish Holocaust victims in North America as they enter the final chapter of their lives. No amount of money can compensate these victims of Nazi persecution for the horrors they have suffered. But, the funds will provide crucial assistance and allow these older adults to live out their remaining years with dignity and respect.”