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The Claims Conference has received an additional $4 million grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to provide emergency assistance to Holocaust victims in North America. The Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private Jewish foundations in the U.S., has as its mission the funding of nonprofit organizations that assist low-income and vulnerable individuals and families.
The $4 million grant, which will be allocated through 2016, supplements the $10 million, five-year grant that the Weinberg Foundation provided to the Claims Conference in 2010 to help elderly Jewish victims of Nazism live out their lives in dignity. The Claims Conference will distribute the $4 million grant as follows: $500,000 in 2014 (in addition to the $1.5 million already granted for 2014, for a total of $2 million in 2014); $2 million in 2015; and $1.5 million in 2016. This means that the Weinberg Foundation grant to the Claims Conference originally scheduled to end in 2014 is now extended through the end of 2016.
The Claims Conference’s Weinberg Holocaust Survivors Emergency Assistance Fund (Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund) underwrites a range of emergency services to Jewish victims of Nazism in financial need, including basic health-care items – such as walkers and eye glasses – as well as medicine, dental care, transportation, food and short-term homecare. The Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund provides the financial resources needed to supplement critical services for the most vulnerable of Holocaust survivors in the communities where they reside.
Allocations from the Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund have been made to 41 organizations in the U.S. and Canada that assist Holocaust victims in need. Each agency has an advisory committee, which includes Holocaust survivors, that reviews individual requests for assistance.
“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 Claims Conference Chairman Julius 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. The generosity and vision of the Weinberg Foundation has provided aid and comfort to 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 has made it a priority to obtain additional funds in order to continue providing vital services to Nazi victims in these final years.
“This generation of courageous men and women who survived the Shoah is rapidly dwindling,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President. “We must work even more diligently to ensure that these victims of Nazi persecution, who do remain, receive the assistance they need to live out their remaining years with dignity and respect. Over the past two decades, and including these grants for the Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund, the Weinberg Foundation and the Claims Conference have distributed more than $24 million to 62 organizations serving Holocaust survivors throughout North America. The Weinberg Foundation is especially proud of this commitment.”
The Claims Conference has allocated a total of $305 million in 2013 for homecare and other vital welfare services for Nazi victims in 47 countries.