israelholocaustIsrael’s Knesset (legislature) approved a new plan that will increase support to poverty stricken Holocaust survivors. Approximately 193,000 Holocaust survivors remain in Israel, with some 50,000 of them living in poverty. Every year an estimated 13,000 of these special people pass into eternity. New funding allocated this week comes none too soon.

Under the new plan, Israel is stepping up their assistance by about one billion NIS (New Israel Shekels). Holocaust survivors who arrived after 1953 have been receiving less benefits than those who arrived in the years leading up to a law made effective that year which reduced aid to immigrants from the war thereafter.  Much of Israel’s finances were, of necessity, driven toward defense funding as the new nation struggled to keep the Land given to them by God and the United Nations in 1948. It is well agreed upon that it is time for this inequality of aid to end.  Under the new plan, Holocaust survivors will see:

  • Increased monthly allowances
  • Increased minimum allowances
  • Free medications that are within Israel’s healthcare plan
  • Streamline delivery system of allowances, eliminating confusing bureaucracy
  • Increased benefits for surviving spouses of Holocaust survivors
  • Increased  and new welfare services including day centers, doctor home visits, as well as services to address the emotional/psychological needs of Holocaust survivors

Holocaust survivors often still carry with them lasting effects of the trauma they experienced during the war. Their poverty has heaped more suffering on those who already endured more than anyone should. A survey conducted in April 2014 produced statistics which bear the watermark of individual faces and affected lives:

  • israelholocaust2One in five have had to choose between food and other needs such as medication
  • 60% of survivors worry about their finances
  • 45% said they felt alone
  • 43% fear the Holocaust will happen again

MK Yifat Kariv is the chairwoman of the Lobby for Holocaust Survivors. A third generation survivor, she said she would “continue to work a hug, warmth, and love throughout the year, to relieve the unbearable loneliness, and a dignified life for Holocaust survivors.” She added, “This moral and ethical order is an imperative.”

Jewish Voice has a heart for these historical treasures and we are grateful on their behalf for this newly approved plan that increases aid to them. We are actively involved in assisting them, too. When dental care and eyeglasses are beyond the reach of national aid and monthly income, Jewish Voice is providing free examinations, custom prescription eyeglasses, and extensive dental work. We are burdened to share the love of Yeshua and help them live out their final years with the dignity and comfort they deserve.


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