Claims Con­fer­ence to up funds for Shoah sur­vivors

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By SARAH LEVI

Fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the Con­fer­ence on Jewish Ma­te­rial Claims against Ger­many and the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, Julius Ber­man, president of the Claims Con­fer­ence, an­nounced an un­prece­dented in­crease in fund­ing for so­cial wel­fare ser­vices for Holo­caust sur­vivors, bring­ing the to­tal global al­lo­ca­tions for 2019 to $564 mil­lion.

The Tues­day an­nounce­ment was made at the Holo­caust Mu­seum in Washington, DC, after the Ger­man del­e­ga­tion met with the Claims Con­fer­ence ne­go­ti­at­ing del­e­ga­tion and heard first­hand tes­ti­mony from sur­vivors about the need for fund­ing in­creases.

“The sig­nif­i­cant in­crease for so­cial wel­fare ser­vices se­cured by our ne­go­ti­at­ing team will lead to more home care, food sup­port, medicine and trans­porta­tion ser­vices for Jewish Holo­caust sur­vivors around the world,” said Ber­man.

In ad­di­tion to the fund­ing in­crease for so­cial wel­fare ser­vices, ne­go­ti­a­tions this year also in­creased monthly pen­sion pay­ments to some 55,000 Holo­caust sur­vivors by 53.6% over the next three years, from $411 to $633. The first in­crease, to $485, will take place on Jan­uary 1, 2019. An­other out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions was the low­er­ing of cri­te­ria for the Child Sur­vivor Fund pay­ments; the length of time child sur­vivors need to have been in hid­ing or liv­ing un­der false iden­tity was re­duced from six months to four months.

The Claims Con­fer­ence cur­rently funds in-home care for ap­prox­i­mately 76,200 needy and frail sur­vivors around the world so that they are able to re­main in their own homes. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also as­sists over 62,000 sur­vivors with other ser­vices, in­clud­ing food, medicine, trans­porta­tion to doc­tors, and pro­grams to al­le­vi­ate so­cial iso­la­tion.

The Claims Con­fer­ence is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that se­cures mone­tary and ma­te­rial com­pen­sa­tion for Holo­caust sur­vivors around the world and has of­fices in New York, Tel Aviv and Frank­furt.

Since its found­ing in 1951, the Claims Con­fer­ence has ne­go­ti­ated for and dis­burses funds to in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions on be­half of Jews whose prop­erty was stolen dur­ing the Holo­caust.

To date, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment has paid more than $70 bil­lion in in­dem­ni­fi­ca­tion to in­di­vid­u­als for suf­fer­ing and losses re­sult­ing from the Holo­caust.

In 2018, the Claims Con­fer­ence will dis­trib­ute ap­prox­i­mately $400m. in di­rect com­pen­sa­tion to over 80,000 sur­vivors in 83 coun­tries and will al­lo­cate ap­prox­i­mately $500m. in grants to over 200 so­cial ser­vice agen­cies world­wide that pro­vide vi­tal ser­vices for Holo­caust sur­vivors such as home care, food and medicine.

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