Holocaust Survivor Assistance
Broward County has one of the largest Holocaust survivor populations in the United States.
The Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program at Goodman JFS is dedicated to providing compassionate support to survivors of the Holocaust by coordinating benefits and services tailored to meet their unique present-day needs.
Our professional staff has the expertise to identify – and the sensitivity to address – the healthcare, social, financial and emotional needs of Jewish survivors of the Nazi atrocities.
As the social service organization selected by the Claims Conference to provide resources to survivors in Broward County, we can help those in our community qualify and apply for compensation, restitution and a wide range of programs and services.
Goodman JFS of Broward is committed to honoring the dignity of Holocaust survivors while providing the care and support needed to improve the quality of their lives.
Financial Assistance and Reparations
The governments of many countries that participated in the atrocities have set aside monies as “reparations” for survivors. Though the destruction of Jewish lives during the Holocaust is impossible to repair, the reparations are intended to provide restitution, compensation and some relief for victims.
Since 1951, the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has negotiated with various governments including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and others to obtain reparations, providing “a small measure of justice for victims of Nazi persecution.”
Making a Claim
The Claims Conference awards grants and allocations to social service organizations, like Goodman JFS, to identify and help survivors apply for compensation and restitution – as well as provide services to help meet their present-day needs.
We are the only social service organization in Broward County funded by the Claims Conference to assist survivors of the Shoah residing in our community.
The process of sorting through the list of reparations funds available – and completing applications for them – can be an overwhelming task.
Our expert staff can assist survivors with the application process and provide emotional support as they document the specific details required to determine eligibility.
If you lived in – or escaped from – any of the countries under Nazi occupation or control, you may be eligible for reparations.
Many factors – including the definition of “survivor” itself – contribute to the determination of eligibility for reparations.
Contact us for further information on how you or your loved one may qualify for reparations.
Consultation and Training Opportunities
While Goodman JFS provides Holocaust survivors with direct services, we also consider it our duty to educate other service agencies about the unique needs of this population. This is done to ensure that other service providers, as do we, treat survivors with the same levels of sensitivity and dignity they deserve.
We provide consultations and cultural sensitivity training for social service and health care providers in our community.
We also periodically host seminars designed to familiarize professionals with current trends in caring for survivors.
Person-Centered Trauma-Informed Care for Holocaust Survivors
Through a grant from the Jewish Federations of North America’s Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, BHAB’s Dr. Jessica Ruiz, Chief Psychologist, has created and will lead a Person-Centered Trauma Informed Care training program for our staff and volunteers, as well as home health care aides, medical professionals and all who are involved with our survivors. The goal of this training is to provide the knowledge to recognize present day trauma symptoms and the role that trauma has played in the Holocaust survivors’ lives, in order to be best prepared for interacting with the survivors. Dr. Ruiz says “Participants will receive training to better understand the impact of trauma on the life of a survivor and learn a framework for applying this knowledge to tailor services that consider survivors’ past experiences and current needs. The training will provide tips on how avoid common triggers for survivors, as well as strategies for how to assist a survivor who may be experiencing a post-traumatic reaction.”
For example, a Cupboard volunteer may be late for her delivery to a Holocaust survivor client, and even if she calls to let the client know, she may still find the client very agitated when she arrives, due to triggering traumatic memories of starvation or waiting in long lines for food. PCTI training will prepare our volunteers for possible reactions and give them tools to handle the situation.
GJFS plans to share these materials with other organizations, as PCTI training can be valuable for anyone with clients who have suffered traumatic experiences.
The first set of trainings began in August 2019, hosted by the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Center on the campus of Nova Southeastern University. This venue offers the benefit of primary source materials, images and artifacts from the Holocaust, which will serve as context for the training.
This program was made possible by a grant from The JFNA Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care.
Goodman JFS offers special opportunities for Holocaust survivors to socialize with others, relieving isolation and carrying on a long-standing post-war activity in the survivor community.
Café Europa is modeled after the informal post-war get-togethers that took place in coffee shops and cafes across Europe. Survivors would meet on a regular basis seeking news of their families, friends and neighbors. Café Europa is an annual event that brings local survivors together for socialization, a nosh, a few songs and plenty of laughter.
Join the next Café Europa! Call 954-370-2140 for information.
The program receives funding from the Claims Conference (The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany).For more information, Click here or the logo below.