AmeriCorps launches recruitment drive for volunteers for Holocaust survivors

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) –AmeriCorps-VISTA, the federal anti-poverty volunteer program, launched its recruitment drive for volunteers who will assist Holocaust survivors.

The program is seeking volunteers for 14 agencies operating in seven states, according to a release Thursday from the Jewish Federations of North America, one of the partner agencies.

The states are: California, Illinois, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and New York and the year-long volunteer stints are expected to begin in the fall.

Vice President Joe Biden announced the partnership with AmeriCorps in December in outlining plans to assist impoverished Holocaust survivors.

According to JFNA, there are about 113,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, of which about 25 percent live below the poverty line.

“In order to remain in their homes and communities, Holocaust survivors need home health care, assistance with transportation, help paying medical and dental bills, and rental assistance or affordable housing,” the JFNA said in its release.

Other partnering agencies include the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies; Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles and Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles; Jewish Child and Family Services and CJE Senior Life in Chicago; the Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Palm Beach County; the Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services of Boca Raton, Fla.; Jewish Family Service of Broward County; Jewish Community Services of South Florida; Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit; the Jewish Social Service Agency in Greater Washington; Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey; Selfhelp Community Services in New York and UJA-Federation of New York.