June 18, 2024
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National Matching Initiative Responds to Holocaust Survivors in Crisis

(Courtesy of JFS MetroWest) Heavy questions continue to weigh on Holocaust Survivors across the country: How will I get food this week if I cannot go to the grocery store? Will I be able to afford my medicine with decreased access and rising prices?

The KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (SHEF) initiative, launched by Seed the Dream Foundation in partnership with KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Survivors in March 2019, supports thousands of Holocaust Survivors across the United States. With the uncertainty and persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this special initiative has been identified as a key program that allows social service agencies to reach any Survivor in need regardless of where they may live.

In 2022, 34 communities nationwide have partnered through KAVOD SHEF to address unmet needs of Holocaust Survivors. The KAVOD SHEF partnership involves collaboration between KAVOD, Seed the Dream Foundation, National Philanthropic Partners, Jewish Federations, local donors and Jewish Family Service agencies.

KAVOD SHEF dollars directly respond to Survivor needs in nine emergency areas: food; medical; dental; vision; urgent home needs (utilities, rent, repairs); emergency home care; transportation; essential deliveries; and PPE.

What began in 2019 as an effort to expand access to emergency services for Holocaust Survivors in 12 cities has quickly grown to a coalition of 34 communities nationwide. KAVOD SHEF funds have filled more than 40,000 emergency requests across the country since it launched. All funds raised by local communities are matched 1:1 by the Joseph Gringlas KAVOD SHEF National Fund. 100% of all KAVOD SHEF dollars go directly toward emergency services for Survivors.

Marcy Gringlas, President and co-founder of Seed the Dream Foundation, explained that the Survivors’ unmet needs far outweigh the resources available to cover these emergency services. “It is for this reason that we launched this initiative and are prepared to continue matching every dollar raised on the national level. We can and must do more to alleviate these impossible choices and help our Survivors live in dignity during their last years.”

The KAVOD SHEF national phone hotline allows Survivors who are not already in contact with their local agencies to have a way to begin the process of accessing critical support. The KAVOD SHEF hotline number is 720-295-8484.

“Our Survivors are getting older and are having bigger financial stresses. We only have a few years left with these courageous individuals. They have been through enough and as a human community, we are responsible,” said Amy Israel Pregulman, executive director and co-founder of KAVOD.

To learn more about KAVOD SHEF visit https://kavodensuringdignity.com/kavod-shef-initiative/ or call 973-637-1704 (English) / 974-637-1716 (Russian). www.jfsmetrowest.org

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