Jacob and Sonia’s* parents both fled from Russia during World War II. They met as young people in Ukraine in the 1960s, and fell in love. They started a family and moved to Israel in the 1990s, and when their daughter and grandchildren moved to Vancouver they followed.

As child survivors of the Holocaust these beloved members of our community, who overcame so much, live out the remainder of their lives in modest comfort and dignity here in Canada, but not without its challenges. “The horrors and disasters that we experienced in early childhood remain in our memories for life, we got emotional and physical trauma now reflected in our health,” says Sonia.

“Jacob and Sonia are typical of the survivors we are helping,” says Cindy McMillan, Director of Seniors Services at JFS. “Many have no savings, limited income, and an array of health challenges, in many cases because of their wartime experiences.” The food vouchers and medication reimbursement make a huge difference in their quality of life.

In Vancouver, 175 Holocaust survivors cannot afford to meet their basic needs on their own. The gaps are small – sometimes as little as forty dollars a month – but the impacts are significant.

Thanks to the Claims Conference and our generous donors, many gaps are filled. Case workers who truly care about their clients go above and beyond fulfilling requests for food vouchers, medical supplies, and home care; they serve as translators and trusted supporters who take the time to accompany them to appointments and who use their expertise to ensure they feel safe and are taken care of.

"Case workers have helped this couple secure housing; they have acted as a liaison with government and medical services; and most recently we were able to purchase a hearing aid for Jacob. These supports make a significant difference to the quality of life for Jacob and Sonia in their remaining years." says Cindy.

It was just over 75 years ago that survivors of Auschwitz were liberated. Nothing can change what happened during and after the Holocaust. But we are grateful that thanks to you, JFS is there for them now.

*Not their real names

Social services for Jewish Nazi victims are supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany or Claims Conference.

Your gift will help survivors like Sonia and Jacob live out the rest of their lives in comfort and dignity.

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