Claims Conference Establishes Special Emergency Fund for Holocaust Survivors During COVID-19 Crisis

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$300 Million Advanced To Social Service Agencies Globally, And An Emergency Fund Of $4.3 Million Established For Social Service Agencies Providing Life-Saving Assistance

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: April 6, 2020 – Julius Berman, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), today announced a Holocaust survivor emergency assistance fund to help address emergency needs worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $4.3 million in initial funding, which may be increased as needed, will be available to many of the Claims Conference grantees around the world that already provide life-saving services to 120,000 Holocaust survivors. Berman stated, “We will work vigorously throughout this crisis to help social welfare agencies protect survivors globally. With a network of agencies funded with approximately $610 million in Claims Conference grants, the infrastructure for delivering such assistance already exists; further, Holocausts survivors, many of whom are poor and without savings to fall back on, can rely on receiving continuing payments totaling $350 million in direct compensation. We will continue to evaluate this emergency fund to address critical gaps as they arise. Our leadership and staff are committed to ensuring that all grants and services are uninterrupted and emergency needs are met.”

“The Claims Conference is committed to supporting survivors through our network of social service agencies around the globe. They are the real heroes that day after day help this fragile population, which is at the greatest risk of contracting coronavirus,” commented Greg Schneider, Claims Conference Executive Vice President.

“We are taking a number of immediate steps to meet the urgent needs the pandemic has created and to get funds to agencies rapidly,” Schneider explained. “This includes significant advances of nearly $300 million of previously committed funds, relaxing reporting deadlines which will allow these funds to get to agencies far earlier than usual and, of course, this new Holocaust survivor emergency fund. Agencies are going to have a cash flow problem and fundraising is going to be difficult. We want them to do what they do best and go save lives. This is what is important – this is why we are pushing approximately $300 million into the system immediately.”

In addition to an initial $4 million contribution from the Claims Conference, the emergency fund includes generous donations of €200,000 from the Alfred Landecker Foundation and $100,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The fund was established to reinforce an array of services already in place, including delivering meals and medicine, assisting survivors with rent and utility payments, supporting short term sheltering for Holocaust survivors, and expanding virtual/telephonic socialization programs and volunteer programs to help alleviate isolation and loneliness through secure methods. It also seeks to ensure that survivors can be cared for safely, by providing funding for personal protection equipment (such as masks, gowns, gloves, etc.) and sanitizing agents.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a frightening time for Holocaust survivors as this is a population, like many elderly, that already tends to experience too much social isolation,” observed Julius Berman, President. “The social isolation caused by this health crisis can take a serious emotional toll which, if unchecked,

can lead to physical ailments. To help head this off, we are offering additional funds for our partner agencies to cover the costs of urgently-needed items, like protective equipment for home health aides and for those in the field doing the heroic work of caring for infirmed elderly, who are most at-risk for COVID-19.”

“After enduring so much tragedy and suffering such extreme deprivation and persecution in their younger years, Holocaust survivors need to know we are determined to do all that is possible to maintain their health and safety during these unprecedented times when social-distancing is a matter of life-and-death,” said Schneider. “For this reason, it’s our moral obligation, especially now, when we are required to maintain physical distance, to reinforce our existing programs and meet the new challenges we encounter during this global public health emergency.”

The agencies listed below will receive grants from the Claims Conference Holocaust Survivor Emergency Fund:


Technology and Software to support virtual mental health services and remote socialization programs to reduce social isolation

Medical Supplies and Equipment

Association of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Residences 
Medical Supplies and Equipment for nursing home staff

Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel
Food Programs

Latet – Israeli Humanitarian Aid
Israel Food Programs

United Hatzalah of Israel
Medical Supplies – Personal Protective Equipment Kits

Zikaron BaSalon
Volunteer Coordinators to combat social isolation


Jewish Family and Children’s Service 
Phoenix, AZ 
Food Programs and Virtual Socialization Programs

Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County 
Irvine, CA 
Case Management and Emergency Assistance

Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco 
San Francisco, CA 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Elayne and James Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County 
Stamford, CT 
Food Programs

Goodman Jewish Family Services, of Broward County 
Davie, FL 
Medical Supplies and Equipment

Jewish Family & Community Services
Jacksonville, FL 
Food Programs

Jewish Community Services of South Florida
Miami, FL 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago 
Chicago, IL 
Food Programs, Medicine Assistance, Virtual Socialization

Jewish Federation of Greater IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN 
Food Programs

Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Boston 
Waltham, MA 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies, Medicine

Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit 
West Bloomfield, MI 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies Psychosocial support, Virtual Socialization

Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey 
Cherry Hill, NJ 
Food Programs

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey
Teaneck, NJ 
Food Programs

United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment, Medicine

Pesach Tikvah/Door of Hope 
Brooklyn, NY 
Food Programs

Selfhelp Community Services
New York, NY 
Emergency Assistance Programs and Virtual Socialization Programs

Rockland Jewish Family Service 
West Nyack, NY 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland 
Pepper Pike, OH 
Food Programs

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia 
Philadelphia, PA 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Memoria y Tolerancia 
Mexico City, Mexico 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment


Jewish Community Zagreb 
Zagreb, Croatia 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment, Temporary Housing

Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic 
Prague, Czech Republic 
Medical Supplies and Equipment

Jewish Community of Estonia 
Tallinn, Estonia 
Food Programs, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Paris, France 
Food Programs

Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania (FEDROM) 
Bucharest, Romania 
Food Programs, Medicine Assistance, Medical Supplies and Equipment

Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia 
Belgrade, Serbia 
Food Programs and Medical Supplies and Equipment