• Centers for Actualizing Survivors' Monetary Rights

    Background

    It is estimated that 50% of Israeli Holocaust survivors have still not accessed all of the rights and benefits to which they are legally entitled, including those granted by the Claims Conference and entitlements from Israeli government agencies.  The situation is critical, as elderly survivors, the majority aged 85+, grow progressively more vulnerable.  There are approximately 220,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today – some forty pass away each day. Eshel sees it as a moral imperative to ensure that the remaining survivors are able to live out their lives in dignity and receive the benefits and support that is deserving to them.    

    Need

    Accessible centers for receiving advice and practical assistance on how to access available rights and benefits for survivors throughout Israel. 

    Program

    Over the past three years, Eshel has been collaborating with the Aviv NGO and local municipalities to develop centers for legal services for Holocaust survivors. The twenty-one centers work to ensure that these vulnerable survivors receive the rights and benefits they are entitled to receive in an efficient and timely process.
     
    The program provides survivors with pro-bono legal counseling and assistance navigating the application procedures.  This program also serves to raise awareness amongst family members and professional caregivers of the legal rights and social benefits available to Holocaust Survivors. 
     
    Despite the initial success of these centers, Eshel became aware of the fact that Holocaust survivors in the peripheral regions of the country were not benefitting from the centers. This was due to the significant distances between survivors' homes and the main towns where the centers were located. In addition, there were tens of thousands of homebound survivors who could not access their local centers due to their immobility. 
     
    As a result, in 2017, Eshel started working with Aviv and local municipalities to develop three regional and mobile centers in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. These centers will serve the peripheral areas in the north, south and center of the country. In addition, volunteers trained by Aviv are visiting homebound survivors as a new service component of the service model. 

    Outcomes

    • Receive available rights and benefits in an efficient and timely process
    • Improvement in wellbeing and able to live a life with dignity

    Contract dates

    2015-2019

    Partners

    Aviv NGO, local municipalities