Since 1999, Holocaust Community Services (HCS), a collaborative effort of Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS), CJE SeniorLife and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, in partnership with HIAS Chicago, has helped ensure that the Chicago Holocaust survivor community and their families can continue to live independently and with dignity.
HCS serves survivors ranging in age from 75-105, average 85. Over 90% of survivors served by HCS are from the former Soviet Union. For survivors, the consequences of advanced aging are compounded by the physical and emotional horrors they endured during the war. As aging and frailty take their toll, the number of Holocaust survivors turning to community agencies has steadily increased.
HCS quintupled in clients served in past 6 years, now serving more than 1,900 survivors with monthly financial assistance, and over 2,000 in total with other programming, referrals, and socialization opportunities. Beyond conducting comprehensive assessments to determine need for financial assistance for food, medication, and homecare, HCS also facilitates support for one-time emergency needs, transportation, support groups, wellness classes, events, and restitution and reparations assistance. In addition, training for professionals who work with survivors and their families is provided to professionals and community members to provide awareness and advocacy around the growing needs of aging survivors.
HCS is supported by social welfare grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Inc., KAVOD SHEF, and other generous foundations and donors. Approximately 75% of the total funding is allocated from the Claims Conference, which supports organizations serving Jewish Holocaust survivors in 47 countries, providing for in-home caregiving, hunger, medical care, and transportation.
For more information on Holocaust Community Services at CJE, please call 773.508.1004.
Violins from the Holocaust become symbols of hope
We are grateful to NBC News and Today Show for airing a story featuring a Holocaust survivor client of Holocaust Community Services at #CJESeniorLife for Holocaust Survivor Day on Sunday, June 4. Watch the full clip from Sunday TODAY with host Willie Geist about the Violins of Hope with NBC’s Jesse Kirsch reporting the Sunday Spotlight.