Florida

Rene Hammond

Rene Hammond, born in Czechoslovakia, survived a ghetto, Auschwitz and hiding. She receives services from the Gulf Coast JF&CS, a Claims Conference agency. Read Rene’s story.

Direct compensation payments are made from the Article 2 Fund and the Hardship Fund. The Claims Conference negotiates on an ongoing basis with the German government to include additional Nazi victims in compensation programs, increase payments, and provide increased funds for social services.

Florida has the third-largest Nazi victim population in the United States, after New York and California. Approximately 97 percent of the state’s Nazi victims live in the southeastern tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. The proportion of “snowbirds” has decreased, owing to many in the Nazi victim population remaining in the state year found.  Nazi victims represent a disproportionate share of Jewish households both living below the poverty level and with a health-limited member.

Florida may be the “oldest” of all U.S. states (17.3 percent of the population is elderly, compared to a national average of 13 percent), but its public social support system for the elderly, particularly in-home services, is extremely weak.  The five Jewish Family Service agencies in the state receive State of Florida funds for restitution assistance, but in general, there is a dearth of public funds for home- and community-based service programs for the elderly.  Simply stated, the provision of in-home services to Nazi victims in Florida is a challenge.

The following agencies receive Claims Conference allocations to provide services to Nazi victims, including case management, homecare, transportation, emergency cash assistance, food assistance, medication assistance, minor home modifications, and socialization programs:

:: Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, West Palm Beach (also provides in-home services to Nazi victims living in the Jacksonville area)

:: Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Clearwater

:: Jewish Community Services of South Florida, North Miami

:: Jewish Family Service of Broward County, Plantation

:: Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service, Boca Raton