BALTIMORE, Nov. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, announced today an additional $4 million in funding for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), which will allocate the funds through the Weinberg Holocaust Survivors Emergency Assistance Fund (Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund). The Weinberg Fund provides a range of emergency services to Holocaust survivors including medical equipment and medications, dental and vision care, transportation, food, and short-term home care.

In 2010, the Weinberg Foundation created the fund with a five-year, $10 million grant to the Claims Conference to support emergency services for Holocaust survivors residing in North America. The additional $4 million grant will now extend such support through 2016.The Weinberg Fund will provide the financial resources needed to supplement critical services for Holocaust survivors in the communities where they reside.

"This generation of courageous men and women who survived the Shoah is rapidly dwindling," said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President. "We must work even more diligently to ensure that these individuals receive the assistance they need to live out their remaining years with dignity and respect. Over the past two decades, and including these grants for the Holocaust Survivors Emergency Fund, the Weinberg Foundation has distributed more than $24 million to 62 organizations serving Holocaust survivors throughout North America. The Weinberg Foundation is especially proud of this commitment."
"Aging Jewish Holocaust victims, abandoned by the world in their youth, must now know that they are remembered and cared for in their final years," said Claims Conference Chairman Julius Berman. "The Claims Conference is grateful to the Weinberg Foundation for recognizing and responding to the basic needs of so many Nazi victims. Together, we must continue to take on the moral imperative to ensure that Holocaust victims live out their years in a manner befitting the courage and resilience they displayed and the suffering they endured."

In addition to its support through the Claims Conference, the Weinberg Foundation has granted millions of dollars to nonprofits that provide direct services to Holocaust survivors and other poor, older adults throughout Israel and the Former Soviet Union, where the majority of survivors reside today.

According to the Claims Conference:

  • Of the 500,000 Nazi victims alive today worldwide, approximately 113,000 live in the United States and 15,000 in Canada. The other two large populations of Holocaust victims are in Israel and the former Soviet Union.
  • Jewish victims of Nazi persecution living in the U.S. are more likely than other Jewish elderly and other American elderly to be living in poverty. Survey research shows that 25 percent of all Nazi victims live at or below the official U.S. poverty threshold, compared to 5 percent of American Jewish elderly who are not Nazi victims and 9 percent of all U.S. elderly.
  • Nazi victims who are poor are also more likely to be disabled. One-fifth of the Nazi victim population in the U.S. is estimated to be poor and disabled.

The Claims Conference represents world Jewry in negotiating for compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs. The Claims Conference administers compensation funds, recovers unclaimed Jewish property, and allocates funds to institutions that provide social welfare services to Holocaust survivors and that preserve the memory and lessons of the Shoah. Today, the Claims Conference manages grants made by governments and funders throughout the world, and has a structure currently in place for emergency assistance grants that will ensure the swift and effective distribution of funds for critical services to assist survivors. For 2013, the Claims Conference allocated $305 million to organizations and institutions providing vital services to Holocaust victims in 47 countries.

The Weinberg Foundation is one of the largest private Jewish foundations in the US with a mission to fund nonprofits that assist low-income and vulnerable individuals and families. For decades, within that broad mission, the Foundation has focused much of its efforts on poor older adults and the Jewish community. Please learn more by visiting the Foundation's website: www.hjweinbergfoundation.org

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Alvin Awaya, and Chair Ellen M. Heller. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Craig Demchak 443-738-1159 cdemchak@hjweinberg.orgSource:The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation