US Congress representatives call for $4 million funding boost for Holocaust survivor aid

The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education reiterated its call for a significant funding boost directed toward supporting Holocaust survivors in its draft 2023 funding bill.

The committee proposed $10 million for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program, which provides support — including combating isolation and aiding with physical, mental and cognitive health — for aging Holocaust survivors and their families, as well as elderly victims of other traumatic events. The program was funded at $6 million for 2022, despite the House subcommittee having proposed $10 million for the program last year.

There has been significant behind-the-scenes support for increasing funding for the program this year, including letters from bipartisan groups of House and Senate members to the leaders of their chambers’ respective Appropriations panels.

A group of 215 House members, led by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Troy Balderson (R-OH), sent a letter in April urging the House subcommittee to support $10 million for the program.

“The Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program remains a critical lifeline for survivors, their families, and providers,” the letter reads. “It is critically important that we robustly fund the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program, particularly as it expands to help both Holocaust survivors and other older adults with a history of trauma.”

The lawmakers specifically argue that $5 million is necessary to support Holocaust survivors and an additional $5 million would go to further expanding the program’s methodology into other aging services. They also say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the funding even more necessary.

The assistance program operates as a public-private partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services, The Jewish Federations of North America and local health and service providers.


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