Federations allocate $5.4M in Grants for Survivor Care

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27, 2023 

Jewish Federations of North America’s Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma is proud to award grants totaling $5.4 million over two years to support Holocaust survivors and older adults with a history of trauma. Grants will support the work of dozens of Jewish and non-Jewish agencies that deliver social services to tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors, diverse older adults with a history of trauma, and their family caregivers.   

“Caring for our survivors is not only a privilege but a duty, and is a core value and deep commitment of our Jewish Federations,” said Jewish Federations of North America board chair Julie Platt. “It is thanks to the generosity of so many in our communities, together with our government partners, that we are able to provide our survivors with these critical services to help them live in comfort and dignity.”
"Holocaust survivors are our teachers and our heroes,” added Shelley Rood Wernick, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and Managing Director of the Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma at Jewish Federations of North America. “Widespread trauma means we need a better approach to care, and with these grants, Jewish Federations are revolutionizing aging services.”   

This allocation for the Center’s Expanded Critical Supports Program and National Network Program is part of the Center’s larger initiative, which includes supporting dozens of agencies to develop person-centered, trauma-informed (PCTI) programs. Spearheaded by the Center, PCTI care promotes trust, dignity, strength, and empowerment of all individuals by incorporating knowledge about trauma into agency programs, policies, and procedures. 

Expanded Critical Supports Program grants will be distributed over two years to a selection of Jewish Federations (see list below). Through this program, Jewish Federations convene local and diverse Leadership Councils of aging services providers to assess, prioritize, and fund the critical support needs of Holocaust survivors, older adults with a history of trauma, and their family caregivers.

The National Network Program grant will be distributed over two years to the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA) to provide innovative technologies for older adults with a history of trauma who are socially isolated and/or experiencing memory loss.  Additionally, as the Center aims to make PCTI care the universal strategy for serving all older adults, NJHSA will receive an additional one-year grant to partner with Jewish Federations to develop an online training curriculum on PCTI care for social service providers.

Funds are provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living and dedicated philanthropists. 

Approximately one third of the Holocaust survivors in the U.S. are estimated to be living in poverty. As a group, Holocaust survivors are subject to increased risk of depression, social isolation, and extremely poor outcomes if they don’t receive the proper care.  The challenges have become even more acute with social distancing and the threats posed by COVID-19.

Acknowledging Jewish Federations’ profound impact, the federal government has empowered Jewish Federations to be the national resource center on aging and trauma and has highlighted our approach as a model for serving all older adults and family caregivers.  Last year, the federal government budgeted a record $8.5 million for its Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program, an increase Jewish Federations advocated for.

Jewish Federations launched its Holocaust Survivor Care initiative in 2015. Since inception of the program, Jewish Federations have supported approximately 35,000 Holocaust survivors, 16,000 professional caregivers, 6,000 family caregivers, and 5,000 older adults with a history of trauma. 

To learn more about how Jewish Federations advance care for Holocaust survivors and other older adults, visit www.holocaustsurvivorcare.org.

*This year’s grantees are: 
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
Jewish Federation of Broward County 
The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago 
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit 
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles 
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ 
Greater Miami Jewish Federation 
UJA-Federation of New York 
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies 
This work is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $5,922,000 with 75% funded by ACL/HHS and $1,974,000 and 25% funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.  


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