Almost all Holocaust survivors in Israel feel lonely, some 50,000 said they needed assistance on Passover eve and at least 12,000 will not have heating this holiday, a survey published by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel revealed on Sunday.
The survey, which was conducted by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, indicated that some 200,000 survivors live in Israel in 2012, compared with over 233,000 survivors in 2009. Some 35 survivors pass away every day.
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According to the survey, a third of Holocaust survivors in the State of Israel require permanent assistance based on socio-economic criteria. In 2012, the Foundation reported an increase of 120% in the financial aid given out to survivors, though it still was unable to address all of the survivors' needs.
The research also examined the emotional and social condition of survivors who are receiving assistance, and found that some 40% of them feel lonely frequently, and a similar number can't run errands and go shopping on their own. Most survivors said they rarely left home for cultural events or activities.
Increasing number of survivors require aid (Photo: Noam Moskovich)
As for the survivors' housing and health conditions, the report showed that some 20% of survivors who receive assistance from the Foundation lack proper heating equipment and suffer from the cold. Some 25% said they had enough food, but not of the variety they would like, while 5% reported suffering from food shortage.
Half of the survivors said they were in need of more financial help, while 30% said they required a caretaker to help them with daily tasks such as eating, bathing and getting dressed.
CEO of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel Ronnie Kalinsky addressed the findings of the report, saying: "One hungry or lonely Holocaust survivor on Passover eve – is a failure for the State of Israel.
"Awareness to Holocaust survivors' needs has grown significantly in recent years, but we must make sure that this awareness is translated into measures that can help us give assistance to survivors," he said.
"The younger generation will never forgive us if we fail to care for the older generation with the respect it deserves. I call on all relevant parties, headed by the finance minister and his office to provide all the necessary means immediately," Kalinsky added.
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