By Jennifer Gilbart, FedConnect Editor
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah in Hebrew, began at sundown on May 4 and ends at sunset on May 5, with people around the world memorializing the six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators in the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah is one of the most solemn national events in Israel, where people nationwide stand at attention as sirens blare.
This year a number of charitable organizations are calling on supporters to do more, shifting from remembering the past to acting in the present to help the world’s remaining survivors in their last days.
According to Gary Siepser, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Rockland, “It’s critical that we never forget the Holocaust. But if our focus is solely on memorializing, we are ignoring the plight of hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors around the world who are living out their last days in abject poverty.”
There are an estimated 189,000 survivors in Israel, or one-third of all remaining survivors worldwide, and some 70,000 living in the former Soviet Union (FSU). About 25 percent of survivors live in poverty, while those in the FSU are among the poorest Jews in the world.
Donations to the Jewish Federation of Rockland go directly to help Holocaust survivors in our local community and abroad. We enable Rockland Jewish Family Service to provide survivor case management and home health care services, and we allocate funds to our international partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to provide home health care, housing, nutrition and transportation services to survivors across the globe.
This Yom HaShoah, you can make a difference in the life of a Holocaust survivor with a gift to the Jewish Federation of Rockland County. Give online at jewishrockland.org/donate