The Situation of Holocaust Survivors in Israel
Of the approximately 200,000 elderly Holocaust survivors living in Israel today, nearly one-third live in poverty! Thousands of Israeli Holocaust survivors do not take advantage of their rights under the law and existing programs. They are unaware of benefits due them fromIsrael’s Finance Ministry, fromGermany, from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims againstGermany, from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims inIsraeland other agencies.
Even professionals and volunteers working with Holocaust survivors are unaware of the latter’s basic rights and cannot guide these elderly people through the bureaucratic maze.
Those paying out the pensions and grants know only what is being done in their own area of expertise, and cannot provide survivors with a complete picture of their rights.
Thus, elderly Holocaust survivors are left with many questions, few answers and, primarily, without full realization of their rights. Realizing their rights would ensure that they live the rest of their lives with dignity and in comfort. We can help them – and it is our obligation to do so!
Among our many activities, until January 2012 –
- We initiated an Internet site in order to reply to all questions, free of charge. 180,000 visitors entered our site until today!
- We trained 6,800 volunteers and professionals who helped over 60,000 Holocaust survivors.
- We answered 14,000 aid requests of survivors and their families.
- We gave lectures to more then 8’000 Holocaust survivors and held many Rights Realization Days all over the country.
Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah succeeded in raising more than 100,000,000 NIS (~US$ 26,000,000) for the benefit of Holocaust survivors!
The service we are giving for the Survivors is free of charge. We believe they are entitled to receive all of their rights, with no commission or “membership fee”.
In addition, Chairperson Adv. Aviva Silberman received the Leonore and Larry Zusman-Joint Prize for Excellency in the Field of Human Services in Israel in 2009 for her work with Holocaust Survivors.
A brief word about Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah (Spring for Holocaust Survivors)
Until recently, Israel lacked authorized sources of information about the full realization of Holocaust survivors’ rights inIsrael. There was no single, comprehensive government information center that could advise survivors about what is due to many of them under the law.
The Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah (Spring for Holocaust Survivors) non-profit organization was founded in 2007, to ensure the full realization of the rights of Holocaust survivors inIsrael.
Our organization is headed by Aviva Silberman, an attorney with 18 years of experience in the field of Holocaust survivor rights. The orgnization is primarily involved with the instruction of professionals, volunteers, Holocaust survivors and their families on the subject of realization of rights. Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah works to disseminate and make accessible information on the subject, often ensuring a significant improvement in the financial status of Holocaust survivors in Israel.
Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah is the only agency in Israel that trains volunteers, professionals and Holocaust survivors in all aspects of realization of survivors’ rights.
Our goal is to bring information to both professionals and survivors as quickly as possible. Our dream is that all Holocaust survivors will be able to live their lives with dignity and in the comfort they deserve, and that they receive respectful and proper treatment from the various agencies assisting them.
Activities of Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah
We have developed special instructional materials, making it possible to understand all the rights of Holocaust survivors inIsrael. The material, organized and distributed in binders, includes summaries of rights, examples of applications on every subject and detailed instructions as to how to help a survivor obtain what he/she is entitled to. Until now, comprehensive, clear and well-organized information about this complicated subject was not available.
We have trained 50 volunteers from the Kibbutz Movement, with the cooperation of Yad Vashem – which, with our professional guidance, helps approximately 5,000 Holocaust survivors living on kibbutzim to realize their rights.
We have trained teams from Information Centers for the Elderly all overIsrael on the subject of Holocaust survivor rights, and guide them in their work.
We have trained professionals who work with survivors, helping them realize their rights. They refer the survivors’ inquiries to Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah’s attorneys, who respond to specific questions.
We have trained young women and youths in Israel’s National Service under the VeHadarta Pnei Zaken (“. . . and you shall honor the face of the old.”, Leviticus 19:32) program. Under this program, these young people regularly visit and assist individual Holocaust survivors.
We have trained hundreds of volunteers under the Bizchutam (“Thanks to Them”) project. The volunteers visit survivors at their homes and help them realize their rights.
We send a monthly newsletter to caregivers with updates, hints and tips in Holocaust survivors rights.
We hold Rights Realization Days in different cities, when our staff, together with trained volunteers, gives direct assistance to Holocaust survivors.
We have answered thousands of e-mail requests, and have telephoned many survivors and their families, instructing them as to how to realize their rights.
We have given lectures to Holocaust survivors at their clubs and in old age homes.
We have given lectures to university students.
We have initiated radio programs providing important information for Holocaust survivors, as well as question-and-answer programs for survivors.
We have compiled a table of approximately 15 current programs that grant rights and benefits to Holocaust survivors, and have disseminated it to the public.
We have provided translations and explanations of the new German Ghetto Fund application form, in order to help survivors complete this complicated form. We have a special e-mail address to respond to questions about filling in the form.
We have initiated an e-mail advice center for social workers, in order to reply to the specific questions of social workers who care for survivors, and to guide them in assisting survivors to receive the maximum rights due them.
We have initiated an internet site in order to guide and assist survivors to receive their maximum rights and reply all questions free of charge. The site includes an extensive, clear and accessible Internet listing of survivors’ rights for professionals, the survivors and their families. (An English language version of our site is in preparation).
We have published “Holocaust Survivors Rights” pamphlet, aimed to reach every Holocaust Survivor home.
News and updates as of September 2011
Production of short rights -videos with the assistance of the Claims Conference. These videos were launched on Holocaust Memorial Day 2011.
Pilot project in cooperation with the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims – Assistance in exercising rights among Holocaust survivors. Locating survivors which are entitled to additional monthly allowance while they did not realize it. (Assistance will be provided by disseminating information about their rights at various levels and support the foundation during the process).
Assistance to legal clinics throughout Israel – Ben Gurion University, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University
Pilot project – “Community Trustees for Holocaust survivors”, in collaboration with the kibbutz movement and local authorities.
Pilot project for Holocaust survivors -counseling service centers in Tel Aviv
Project -dissemination of medical rights of Holocaust survivors in cooperation with Manpower care
Project -dissemination of information regarding the 2000 Euro ghettos fund
Examples of thank you letters
“My parents are Holocaust survivors. I heard you on the radio and my eyes filled with tears. Now I know how to help them! God bless you for your work.” Y.G., daughter of survivors
“Thanks to your sacred work Holocaust survivors receive assistance without any fees. I don’t know where to start… The importance of your work is just unbelievable!” B.S., Volunteer
“Thank you for the detailed explanations and all of your patience. I wish we knew about your organization before!” T.S., Social-worker
By mail : Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah
By wire transfer: Bank Mizrachi-Tfachot Branch 481
Account name: Aviv Lenitzolei Hashoa
Account number 183577
Swiftcode Mizbilit 481183577
For tax deductible donation by credit card:
Via “Israel-gives” web-site: http://www.israelgives.org/amuta/580481638
Because we do not take money for our services, Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah now urgently requires additional contributions in order to function and continue its important work and significant assistance for Holocaust survivors.
Our dream is that all Holocaust survivors will be able to live their lives with the dignity and comfort they deserve- join us!
Help us helping Holocaust survivors!
It is my great hope that we will have the resources to go on, and even increase our activities.
For Holocaust survivors, this is the realization of their rights.
For us, this is our mission!
Aviva Silberman, Adv.
Chairperson, Aviv LeNitzolei HaShoah