May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Supporting and Uplifting the Survivors in Our Community

(Courtesy of Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern NJ) Fifty thousand. That is the estimated number of Holocaust survivors living in the U.S. today. Many of them are older than 85 and approximately one third of them live in poverty. These individuals who have suffered through one of the greatest tragedies in modern history are also continuously at risk of becoming food insecure, experiencing social isolation, and being deprived of their basic needs. While the picture painted here could easily result in more tragedy, we are so fortunate to live in a community that is dedicated to supporting and uplifting our survivors.

Here at JFCS we believe that our survivor community should be treated with the utmost care and respect, and so we offer comprehensive services to more than 250 survivors in Northern New Jersey. As with all of our older adult clients, we strive to ensure that our survivor community can age safely and respectfully at home, while also providing them with opportunities to socialize and make new friendships.

One of our clients expressed what it means to have JFCS on “their side” saying, “We are homebound and,ok at times, getting even basic chores done can be a burden. JFCS has been helpful in so many ways, including providing us with a social worker to guide us through our options. She helped me find an agency that places home health aides which is something we really needed. JFCS is a great organization to turn to if you need help.”

Through the generous support of Claims Conference and others in the community, JFCS are able to offer survivors a robust suite of services aimed at improving the quality of their lives. These include Cafè Europa, which is a socialization program, and case management services, which are aimed at helping their clients navigate their options for care and assistance.

Our Cafè Europa program is especially loved by the survivors who attend because of the way it promotes camaraderie. One participant expressed her gratitude when she said, “We all have the Holocaust in common. We each have our own stories from different parts. It’s nice to have a reunion. It’s a favor from God that we get to see each other. There are not too many of us left, so it’s nice to be together.”

“Never Forget” is a popular and important refrain when discussing the Holocaust, but JFCS believes it applies to more than just never forgetting the tragedies of that time; it also applies to the survivors. Never forget THEM, their needs, and their much deserved right to live out their golden years in safety and happiness.

JFCS is a mental health and social services agency that serves Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties. It is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of everyone in the community who needs help. No matter the situation, JFCS is here. To learn more about JFCS, donate, volunteer or request services, visit jfcsnnj.org, email [email protected] or call (201) 837-9090.

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