Did you know Jewish Family Service (JFS) has a long tradition of advocating and caring for survivors of the Holocaust in both Denver and Boulder? This population remains a top priority for the agency. They will never be forgotten and they will never be abandoned. JFS is providing vital services to this especially vulnerable population, including care management, food, and companionship. We are providing home-based care to keep them from being institutionalized and social programs that brighten their lives.
Last year, Jewish Family Service provided life-saving services to 71 Holocaust survivors—and we did it with care and compassion—one at a time.
Jack Welner, 96, is charming, funny, and kind. His bright eyes and warm smile betray the suffering he sustained as a young man. Jack endured the brutalities of four years of hard labor and near starvation in the Lodz Ghetto before being transferred to “the hell that was Auschwitz” in 1944. It was there that he was torn from his invalid mother, who he never saw again. Soon after, he was put in a locked boxcar with 70 other Jews for a horrific four-day trip to a labor camp near Dachau, where the abuse continued. As the war was finally coming to an end, he was transferred to Dachau and was then lead on a death march. Somehow he survived it all.
As Jack gets older, his needs have increased. His JFS care manager meets with him often and has arranged for a homemaker to clean his condo, change his sheets, and do some of the heavy lifting he can no longer manage. Jack frequently attends JFS at the JCC, where he receives a nutritious kosher meal and enjoys playing cards with friends. He relishes his frequent visits with Carole, his JFS Friendly Visitor volunteer. In addition, JFS helped him apply for a monthly pension from the Polish government, which helps him make ends meet. With JFS’s help, Jack is getting the care he needs and deserves.
Like Jack, many survivors living in Colorado are growing older and more frail. JFS is there for them, but we need your help to continue to provide all the services they need to stay healthy and safe.
Much of the funding that supports our survivors is provided by the German government through the Claims Conference for Material Claims Against Germany. This year the Claims Conference has committed to provide $524,000 to support our survivors, but there’s a catch. To receive this grant, we need to raise a $28,000 match, demonstrating that we are invested in this mission and in the welfare of our survivors.
Help us reach this goal with a generous donation to Jewish Family Service in support of our survivors today. Your support will ensure that they will continue to receive the services they need and deserve. Your donation will help provide essential services like counseling, homecare, food, and companionship to vulnerable Holocaust survivors.
Thank you for your support of Jewish Family Service and your commitment to our mission to make life better for the vulnerable in our community.
Shepard Nevel, President & CEO and Michael Opatowski, JFS supporter and child of Holocaust survivors