The chairwoman of the Knesset Subcommittee on the Status of the Elderly, MK Tali Ploskov (Kulanu), announced on Monday that it was decided, in conjunction with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), to earmark NIS 5 million per year for organizations which assist Holocaust refugees (defined as the 80,000 or so people who suffered under the Nazi regime and immigrated to Israel after 1953; they were recognized as refugees by the State in 2014) and for Holocaust survivor organizations that have yet to receive any funding. The funds will be transferred to the Holocaust Survivors` Rights Authority, which will determine the criteria for receiving support.

”Thousands of elderly people are sitting in their homes in solitude and poverty, without being recognized by the welfare agencies, and dozens of them pass away each day,” Ploskov said during the subcommittee`s meeting. ”Many of them are not even aware of their rights. The Holocaust Survivors` Rights Authority must determine the criteria soon so that we will be able to assist these organizations.”

Organizations supporting Holocaust refugees to receive NIS 5 million annually

MK Tali Ploskov

Yehuda Davidov of Hazit Hakavod (”Front of Respect”), an organization which assists Holocaust refugees, said ”some 50,000 of the refugees live in poverty and do not know that they are eligible for assistance in housing. They are forced to choose between buying bread and buying medicines.”

David Levin, chairman of the Association of Ukrainian Immigrants in Israel, said ”any assistance provided by the organizations represented in this room is significant for the survivors.”

Natan Lavon, founder of the ”Yes! to Seniors” volunteer organization, noted that those who immigrated from Commonwealth of Independent States constitute ”the poorest population in Israel,” adding that ”they have no inheritances, no apartments and no reserves.”