July 14, 2010; Source: Baltimore Sun | Having survived the Holocaust many decades ago, large numbers of these individuals still suffer, but this time as victims of poverty. According to the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany some 37 percent of the 144,000 Holocaust survivors still alive in the United States live at or below the poverty level. That’s about five times the rate of other elderly.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the average age of a Holocaust survivor is 79, and one in four lives alone. To help, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation will award $10 million over five years for medical equipment, medicine, dental care, transportation, and short-term home care. Foundation officials estimate that their support will help at least 10,000 individuals in need living throughout North America.
Past grants for similar purposes from the Weinberg Foundation have topped $6 million. “Many 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.—Bruce Trachtenberg