Holocaust Survivor Community Fund:

Caring for Holocaust Survivors

Caring for Survivors means providing their personal care and also the work professionals around them must do to ensure and support such care.

Here is the impact your gift makes:

$7,500 Supports a Survivor for one year

The average total cost to care for a Survivor for one year is $28,000. The Claims Conference covers only 65% of the total cost. After the Federation of Greater Portland’s allocation, JFCS is responsible for the unfunded mandate of $7,500 per year, per client. That remainder must come from our community via fundraising.

60 of Portland’s 100 Survivors are certified, meaning they qualify for aging in place support services through the Claims Conference.

We need your help to take care of our community’s Holocaust Survivors and fund the following services:

$4,125 covers case management

Every day, bilingual case managers address the personal and home-care needs of our Survivors. They also research, analyze and complete reports that are required by the Claims Conference oversight process in order to maintain client funding.

$1,875 pays for personal care & housekeeping

Successful aging in place requires weekly, and often daily, assistance with bathing, feeding and hygiene, as well as cooking, cleaning and errands.

$1,000 supplies Direct Aid

Utilities, medical and dental bills, hearing aids, home-safety modification, air conditioners and more are provided by donors’ gifts. These gifts often are supplemented or matched by our foundation partner, Kavod SHEF.

$500 funds a Café Europa event

Virtual gatherings and a reboot of in-person support are critical for the physical and emotional well-being of our Survivors.

Some facts about Survivor clients

  • The majority of our 60 Survivor clients live at or below the federal poverty level.
  • Their average age is 85.
  • As they age there is a substantial increase in the services needed for daily basics, such as dressing, toileting, bathing and grooming. JFCS also arranges housekeeping, and shopping.
  • 80% of Survivor clients are from Ukraine or another country of the Former Soviet Union. Many don’t speak English and still have family overseas.

Some facts about JFCS’ Holocaust Survivor Services program

  • For JFCS, the annual Claims Conference grant only covers 65% of what it actually costs to operate this service.
  • The remaining 35% (this percentage varies annually) is considered by the Claims Conference to be our community’s responsibility.
  • In other words, for every dollar received from the Claims Conference, JFCS and the community needs to raise an additional $0.35. This year, JFCS must raise approximately $7,500 per Survivor. This equals roughly an unfunded mandate of $450,000!
  • Recently completed HSS actuarial analysis shows a notable increase in JFCS’ required subsidy starting in 2019 and peaking in 2024. (click here to view the actuarial table)

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

KAVOD SHEF (Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund) is a partnership between nonprofits Seed the Dream Foundation and KAVOD to specifically assist with emergency funding for Holocaust Survivors living in poverty.

Double your impact with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000 from the Renée Holzman Challenge Grant for Holocaust Survivors


For more about the Holzman Challenge Grant and the philanthropist behind it, read The Jewish Review’s article, “Challenge grant to aid Shoah victims.”

Sergei's story

In 1941, Sergei’s parents spirited him to safety upon the German troops’ invasion of his Belorussian town. A baby, Sergei never would know his father, who died in the Soviet Army, fighting against the occupiers. Despite suffering from dysentery, Sergei managed to live through train trip after train trip, each one in inhumane conditions, until he, his mother, infant sister and grandmother, made it to an eastern town overrun with other refugees on the Volga River. Sergei’s earliest memories are of cold, hunger, overcrowded quarters and fellow refugees covered in lice. Loved ones of all ages were brutally murdered by the Germans, shot into the ravine in which they perished.