Amid winter, Holocaust survivors forced to choose between food and heating

Decades of neglect and meager stipends from the government resulted in many Holocaust survivors relying on charity to survive the winter; 'When it's cold, I just freeze at home,' says one survivor

Ynet |
Published: 12.20.21, 18:02
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has served to exacerbate the already dismal economic and medical condition of many of the country’s Holocaust survivors.
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  • Despite years of public calls for help, Holocaust survivors in Israel have suffered from decades of institutional neglect and meager stipends which resulted in some being unable to afford even the most basic of needs, such as heating during winter.
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    דנמציה אלצהיימר שכחה זקנה קשיש
    דנמציה אלצהיימר שכחה זקנה קשיש
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    “How did we get to a situation where Holocaust survivors have to choose between heating, food or medicine?” asks Tzviya, a Holocaust survivor who found herself struggling during winter.
    “When it's cold, I just freeze at home,” she says, adding that those who provided her aid in her time of need are the volunteers of the Chasdei Naomi association - an NGO which seeks to help families in need as well as Holocaust survivors.
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    עצרת הזדהות עם ניצולי השואה בכיכר הבימה
    עצרת הזדהות עם ניצולי השואה בכיכר הבימה
    Demonstrators in Tel Aviv protesting the lack of aid to Holocaust survivors during the coronavirus pandemic
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    “The volunteers came to me like angels because I do not usually ask for help. They simply placed heating supplies on my doorstep before the last storm. I called to say thanks and they said no thanks was necessary,” added Tzviya.
    The Chasdei Naomi association, meanwhile, stated it is in the midst of an ongoing operation to distribute heating and food products to the needy and Holocaust survivors.
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    Frida, one of the Holocaust survivors aided by Chasdei Naomi
    Frida, one of the Holocaust survivors aided by Chasdei Naomi
    Frida, one of the Holocaust survivors aided by Chasdei Naomi
    (Photo: Chasdei Naomi)
    "Just this week, we distributed dozens of heating products to women who escaped the prostitution industry in Tel Aviv, and we sent many packages to the needy together with Israel Police," says CEO Moshe Cohen.
    “During the COVID pandemic, the situation has become much more difficult and many needy people need help from the public.”
    “Many are fearing the encroaching winter and are begging for help. We are asking anyone who can help to join our campaign."

    Those wishing to join the association or donate to families and Holocaust victims can do so through the Chasdei Naomi website.
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