Congressmen support aid to Holocaust survivors in poverty

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A bipartisan letter is circuating among members of the House of Representatives calling for the creation of a Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund.

The  letter, which is being formally submitted on April 4th to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the respective chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, was cosigned by a bipartisan group of Representatives .

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The two-page letter was authored by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). As of Tuesday, there were 36 co-sponsors.

The letter calls for $5 million be included in the 2015 fiscal-year budget to create a Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help survivors in the United States who are living in poverty.

The goal of the assistance fund would be to leverage public-private partnership opportunities with nonprofit organizations, foundations and the private sector to address the urgent needs of both survivors and the non-profit organizations that support them, according to the letter.

“Without immediate action on behalf of these survivors, we risk losing them to the very things they should never have to face again – eviction, hunger, inadequate medical care, loneliness, social isolation and despair,” the letter states.

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