Commitment to survivors of National Socialist persecution in Germany and Israel

In the program survivors of National Socialist persecution are supported to maintain psychological, physical and social stability as well as dignity in their advancing years. They participate in social life and are protected from isolation.

The projects pay tribute to the survivors, their biographies, life achievements and their contribution to societies today. The structures and capacities of civil society organizations are in the process of being strengthened. In this way, organizations are able to meet the changing needs of elderly survivors and empower descendants of survivors as well as volunteers in their community commitment.

Pilot project: How civil society alliances can empower survivors

The Foundation is also funding three alliances in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Nuremberg in the form of pilot projects up to 2023: for a broader commitment to survivors of National Socialist persecution in local civil society. The alliances are to become visible in the local public arena. After two years, their results will be processed so that they can be transferred to other regions and used there.

Berlin Alliance: Psychosocial Support

What does the EVZ Foundation intend to achieve with the project?

The needs of survivors of National Socialist persecution change as they age and become increasingly immobile. Relatives and new groups of volunteers become skilled and are supported in their work with supervision. Existing services in Berlin and the surrounding area will be systematized and gaps will be identified. The objective is to provide a website in German with information about services; parts will be translated into Russian.

Who’s involved, and who does the project reach?

Three partners cooperate in the alliance. Club Dialog supports Russian-speaking survivors. The Amcha association contributes its expertise for the training of employees and also for coping with trauma. Kom:zen, a center of competence for intercultural opening of care for the elderly and the Jewish community complete the services.

Why is the Foundation supporting this project in particular?

It is a network alliance of complementary players with a great deal of experience in the provision of psychosocial support for survivors. Together, gaps are to be identified and addressed to local politicians and society.

Project sponsor: Club Dialog e.V.
Duration of the project: 2021-2023
Funding amount: 69.941 Euro
Funding country: Germany
Website: www.club-dialog.de/buqua-lokale-buendnisse-fuer-ueberlebende

Beratungszentren für Holocaust-Überlebende in Israel

What is the EVZ Foundation aiming to achieve with this project?

Holocaust survivors live in precarious circumstances in some cases. The project is improving their living conditions and their participation in society.

Who is involved in the project, and who is it reaching?

The Aviv for Holocaust Survivors organization operates four counseling centers in Jerusalem, Holon, and Bat Yam. Around 1,800 Holocaust survivors and their families can seek individual advice from lawyers and volunteers. A 24-hour phone hotline is also available for concerns and difficulties. Informational events and further training for 150 professional workers who care for the elderly are a further component of the offer.

Why is the EVZ supporting this particular project?

Aviv provides information to Holocaust survivors, files applications on their behalf, and ensures that their rights are exercised. In many cases, the applicants are poorly informed due to language barriers, with the complex, frequently changing legal situation presenting further difficulties. The organization offers these services at no cost. A further objective is to identify and support new beneficiaries in the course of partnerships.

Duration of the project: 2020–2022
Funding amount: EUR 80,864
Funding country: Israel
Project and project sponsor websites: www.facebook.com/avivforsurvivors; www.avivshoa.co.il

Psychosocial center with therapy and counselling services

What is the EVZ Foundation aiming to achieve with this project?

Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany (ZWST) has been providing low-threshold access to individual support services for Shoah survivors at the Frankfurt meeting point since 2004. Regular afternoons in cafés, group activities, therapeutic services and excursions facilitate contact between people with similar life experiences as well as an exchange with professionally trained specialists.

Who is involved in the project, and who is it reaching?

The meeting point is a protected space in which social participation is made possible for traumatized Shoah survivors, thereby improving their quality of life. Volunteers, frequently members of the second or third generation, support the services. During the pandemic, the work switched to a variety of individual services, for example meals cooked by community members. This was brought to the homes of survivors in order to stay in touch with them.

Why is the EVZ supporting this particular project?

In the many years that the meeting point has existed, visitors have become much more diverse. In addition to very elderly survivors, so-called child survivors as well as descendants are making increasing use of the services. The ZWST project team evaluates and develops the services on an ongoing basis. This is how a cross-generational historical eyewitness theater came into being, the process of which can be seen in the documentary movie "Jetzt" (Now).

The ZWST fosters exchanges between practice and research, e.g. with scientific institutes as well as trauma experts in Germany and internationally.

Project sponsor: Die Zentralwohlfahrtstelle der Juden in Deutschland e.V. (ZWST)
Duration of the project: 2020 to 2022
Funding amound: 140,000 Euro
Funding country: Germany
Website: www.zwst.org/de/angebote/ueberlebende-der-shoah/treffpunkte

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contact people

Stephanie Bock

Senior Project Manager

Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 92 97-66
E-Mail: bocks@stiftung-evz.de

Christa Meyer-Prochnow

Senior Project Manager

Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 92 97-73
E-Mail: meyer-prochnow@stiftung-evz.de