As Jews, we are responsible for one another. And we have a special responsibility to our brothers and sisters who survived one of humanity’s darkest chapters.
Of the approximately 75,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, about one-third live below the poverty line, on an average annual income of only $15,000. Thanks to organizations like the Blue Card, they are able to put food on the table, keep their heat and lights on, and get necessary medications.
Blue Card provides emergency aid to 2,000 Nazi victims across the country who live in poverty. My grandparents, who survived the horrors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, rebuilt their lives in America after the war with the help of organizations like Blue Card.
Now I can repay the kindness the Jewish community showed my family, by stepping up to make sure that others who were not as lucky as my grandparents receive the help they desperately need.
Even as the number of Holocaust survivors worldwide shrinks, their needs increase as they age and their health falters. They need our help. Many of Blue Card’s clients were not as fortunate as my grandparents and have little to no family of their own ““ except the Jewish community.
On November 3, I am running the New York City Marathon on behalf of the Blue Card, which has fielded a team in the race for the past few years, raising tens of thousands of dollars for elderly survivors in need. Hurricane Sandy put the kibosh on my plans to run last year, but I am lacing up my sneakers this year and asking the local community to help support this important work.
Nothing can replace what was taken from victims of the Nazi regime. We must make certain that its survivors are not forgotten in their old age and have the means to live out their final years in dignity. I am running because of that responsibility.
To learn more about my campaign and make a contribution, go to www.imathlete.com/donate/joshlipowsky.