Federation Partner Spotlight : JFCS is making a difference for Holocaust Survivors
By Jewish Family & Community Services
As Jewish Family & Community Services prepares to dedicate the region’s first and only Holocaust memorial gallery, the organization is seeking increased support for its work to nurture and preserve a living legacy: Northeast Florida’s Holocaust Survivors. According to executive director Colleen Rodriguez, 89 Holocaust survivors currently reside in Jacksonville, Palm Coast and the surrounding area, and JFCS has been working with them and their family members since 2010. For all participating survivors, the organization provides opportunities for socialization and works to ensure they receive Claims Conference reparations to which they are entitled.
For those in need, JFCS also provides an array of food and home care services, supplying groceries and fresh vegetables as well as companionship, light housework and transportation. That’s a significant investment, since roughly half of local Holocaust survivors live at or below the poverty level, and it’s increasing as the survivors age and require greater assistance. In fact, JFCS has been unable to fully fund/provide home care services for a number of survivors who need help.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our cherished elders and for the support of donors who have stepped up to help, but we are asking the rest of the community to join with us as well,” Rodriguez said.
Current supporter Steven Silverman agrees. “It is our collective responsibility to help support these precious survivors who mean so much to us all,” he explained. “They are a treasure for the world and our community, and it’s an honor to help them live out their days in comfort and dignity.” To make a difference in the life of a Holocaust survivor, call Kathy Wohlhuter, JFCS’s Director of Development, at 904-394-5727.
Holocaust Survivor Totals
· 28 in Mandarin
· 33 in Palm Coast
· 18 in Southside
· 5 in San Marco
· 2 in St Johns
· 2 at the Beaches
· 1 in Fleming Island
* More than 60 % of them are living at or below the poverty level.
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