Serving Holocaust Survivors is not only our honor at JFCS, it is a passion and commitment that we have held steadfastly to for decades. It is our mission to make sure that no one affected by the atrocities of the Nazi regime is left without proper services and care to which they are entitled.
A segment of the Survivor population, from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), are helped by JFCS through various services and social programs, and are invited each month to Café Europa, which is a luncheon open to Holocaust Survivors. Recently, a grant was given to JFCS through the Jewish Community Foundation to specifically support the FSU Survivors further, and bring them a special event that honors their traditions.
In response to significant outreach efforts, JFCS has had an increase in the numbers of FSU Survivors in the past few years. JFCS senior services staff, always striving to educate themselves more deeply in the unique traditions of clients, reached out to other JFCS organizations nationwide who service this population, to learn even more about cultural norms of those from the FSU. They also attended webinars and researched local venues that celebrate Russian culture. It is of the utmost importance for the staff to seek guidance on continuing to build the trust of the FSU population, and understand the significant dates of history related to the FSU Survivors, as they are different than those of the Eastern European Survivors.
“We have served this population starting with their resettlement, but this grant has helped us to gain even more education to better understand Russian culture, which helps to deepen the bonds developed between clients and staff,” says Wendy Cohen-Klier, MSW, LSW, CDP, a Geriatric Social Worker at JFCS says. “Additionally, culturally-specific invitations were specially sent out to FSU Survivors, inviting them to a luncheon at the Palace Royal restaurant. At this event, they will have lunch and be entertained in Russian style, to celebrate the heritage of their homeland.”
“JFCS’ support for the FSU Survivor population has allowed many of the Survivors to continue to live in their homes with help, instead of moving into a nursing facility. It is the goal of JFCS to service them with dignity and cultural appropriateness,” says Wendy.
JFCS currently assists over two dozen FSU clients by providing homecare services, case management, counseling, transportation, food programs, adult day care, and home response systems, funded by the The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
For those receiving support from JFCS, the impact goes further than tangible services. For many, it provides socialization, more independence, and comfort in their golden years.
JFCS encourages the community to help identify those who may benefit from the funds allocated for Holocaust Survivors. JFCS is committed to assisting all Holocaust Survivors, as much as possible. Please call our offices at 856-424-1333 to find out more about our support services.