LOS ANGELES (January 27, 2017) Bet Tzedek, one of the nation’s premiere public interest law firms, is proud to announce it was selected to receive a grant from the Jewish Federations of North America through the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. When combined with matching funds, this award will enable over $575,000 in new programming for Survivors. The announcement of funding was made on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – the day the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated.
The Jewish Federations of North America launched the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care in the fall of 2015, following an award from the United States Department of Health and Human Services for up to $12 million over 5 years to advance innovations in Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) services for Holocaust Survivors in the United States. PCTI care is a holistic approach to service provision that promotes the dignity, strength, and empowerment of trauma victims by incorporating knowledge about the role of trauma in victims’ lives into agency programs, policies and procedures. Of the more than 100,000 Holocaust Survivors in the United States, nearly one quarter are aged eighty-five or older, and one in four lives in poverty. Many live alone and are at risk for social isolation, depression, and other physical and mental health conditions stemming from periods of starvation, disease and torture.
This funding will ensure that survivors have access to essential legal services so they can secure and maintain vital resources – including those public benefits and legal instruments necessary to protect their safety, independence, and quality of life. The grant allows for a piloted expansion of Bet Tzedek’s proven holistic approach to meeting the legal needs of Holocaust survivors in key cities across the country.
“This is a transformative investment both for Bet Tzedek and the survivor communities we serve. Access to legal services can mean all the difference for clients fighting to maintain safe affordable housing, to access medical care, and to feel peace and dignity as they plan for the future. These dollars mean all the difference in our ability to ensure all those survivors who needs such services have them,” said Jessie Kornberg, President and CEO of Bet Tzedek.
“Meeting the needs of Holocaust Survivors is a critical mission, and we are excited to partner with the federal government for the second year of this project, which will help us improve the lives of this fragile community,” said Mark Wilf, Chair of the JFNA Fund for Holocaust Survivors.
The Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care promotes these innovative service delivery models together with the expertise of partner organizations including the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The grant money is a combination of federal dollars and philanthropic dollars raised by Jewish Federations as part of JFNA’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative, which seeks to raise $45 million to support the Survivor community.
About Bet Tzedek
Founded in 1974, Bet Tzedek pursues equal justice for all by providing high-quality, free legal services to low-income people of all racial and religious backgrounds, with a particular focus on seniors and people with disabilities. One of the nation’s premier public interest law firms, Bet Tzedek uses direct legal service, impact litigation, community outreach, and legislative advocacy in the areas of consumer rights, employment rights, elder justice/caregiver law, Holocaust reparations, housing, human trafficking, public benefits and real estate to serve more than 20,000 people every year.
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