The Claims Conference has been the steadfast partner of Jewish Family Service of North Jersey and JFS of Clifton-Passaic in providing vital social services to Jewish victims of Nazism for 13 years. Your April 24 article “Homebound Survivors May Lose Funding” should have focused much more on the pioneering role of the Claims Conference in developing and solely funding for many years these agencies’ homecare programs for elderly survivors.
Claims Conference funds have enabled Nazi victims to receive care in their homes and avoid institutionalization that can be especially traumatic for the survivors. The Claims Conference, above all other organizations, has understood that survivors need specialized care and has worked closely with these and other JFS agencies to meet critical needs. And in 2009, when funding from other sources has been cut back, the Claims Conference alone has increased its support for services to Nazi victims.
However, Holocaust-related restitution funds are declining. The Claims Conference instituted a matching funds requirement for a small portion of its grant in order to raise community awareness of survivors’ needs and increase funds from other sources to address these needs. With Claims Conference support for JFS agencies at current levels only likely to last a few more years, other sources of funding for Nazi victim services must be developed now.