With more than 400,000 Holocaust survivors still alive across the world today, a Christian and Jewish ministry is observing Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday with a call to action to assist these seniors in their final years – many of whom are living in poverty.
More than one out of three Holocaust survivors in the United States and about one-third of the aging group in Israel live below the poverty line, while approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors currently living in the former Soviet Union (FSU) do not have enough food, medicine or heat every winter.
Actions over thoughts
In order to improve the lives of those who have survived the horrific tragedy that took place in World War II Nazi German concentration camps, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) launched a new global campaign that calls Christians and Jewish people to put their faith into action and help provide this elderly population with basic necessities on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“We must move quickly from memory to action to provide a measure of dignity to these Holocaust victims who are living their last days in crippling poverty,” IFCJ Founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein proclaimed in a statement on his website. “We must remember the past, but we also must act now.”
His ministry announced that over each of the next five years, it is launching $15-million campaigns targeting the most destitute Holocaust survivors in Israel and the FSU.
Many Holocaust survivors across the globe are already being assisted by IFCJ, but some are still not receiving the resources they direly need.
“We must do whatever we can, while we still can, to bring compassion to those who endured one of the most horrific periods in our history,” Eckstein impressed, according to CBN News. “Sadly we are not. Instead of giving tens of millions of dollars for Shoah museums, testimonial libraries and the like, we ought to also focus on helping provide for these desperately poor Jews in the few years they are still alive.”
The effort is being supported by Haim Saban, a philanthropist and business leader who is donating $1 million to make the last years of their lives more bearable.
“It is a privilege for me to help these poor, elderly survivors,” Saban expressed, CBN News reports. “I urge others to join us. We must remember, but we must also act now.”
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Michael F. Haverluck