Posted by Elyse Rast

created at: 2014-02-11I’ve worked with Holocaust survivors for many years, but until I began working at JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services (SHS), I had no idea what was happening behind closed doors. The survivors with whom I worked were always well dressed, kept lovely homes, and had appropriate medical care. They seemed to enjoy speaking to groups of children, going out for coffee, and talking about their grandchildren. Underneath that façade, however, is a group of people living in conditions that I’m embarrassed by. The statistics vary but roughly 25-50% of Holocaust survivors in the US live 200% below the poverty level. This means many are deciding between food and medicine or a gift for their grandchild and winter boots. They are heating their homes by opening the oven door and saving money by reusing toileting products, creating unhygienic situations that can lead to infections and pain.

Tablet Magazine just published a wonderful article bringing attention to the plight of survivors and a follow-up story highlighting New York agencies that are helping them. In addition to their wonderful work, JF&CS offers an array of services to Holocaust survivors and their families in Greater Boston.

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