Holocaust Survivor Services
JFCS’ commitment to Holocaust survivors is deep and enduring. Over the decades JFCS has provided thousands of survivors support and services to give comfort and strength. Today, more than 70 years after the Holocaust, approximately 4,000 survivors live in Northern California. Many are frail and continue to bear scars.
JFCS offers help through our senior care program, Seniors At Home, our Reparations and Financial Aid Program, cultural engagement and peer support through Cafe by the Bay, and opportunities for survivors to engage with their communities and tell their stories through Conversation Circle and Survivor Speakers Bureau. See details below:
Seniors At Home
A full range of senior services including home care, skilled nursing, palliative and end of life care, dementia care, money management, and a robust case management program can all be found through JFCS’ Seniors At Home Program.
Cafe by the Bay Gatherings for Survivors
Cafe by the Bay offers Holocaust survivors weekly gatherings to discuss issues of concern and gain strength and support from one another. Participants also get together for social, cultural, and educational activities, such as concerts, lectures, and other live presentations. Due to COVID19 safety, the group is not currently meeting in person. It has been substituted with a remote version of the program.
Gatherings would typically take place in San Francisco, the Peninsula, and Marin. In addition, those attending San Francisco’s Cafe by the Bay look forward to a catered Shabbat luncheon and special program the last Friday of every other month.
Café by the Bay welcomes volunteers for serving refreshments, greeting and connecting with guests, and clean up. Find out more about this volunteer opportunity.
Conversation Circle and Survivor Speakers Bureau
The JFCS Holocaust Center’s innovative program, Conversation Circle, has created profound connections between Jewish Holocaust survivors in the Bay Area and local high school students. If you are someone you know is a Holocaust survivor who would like to tell their oral history or learn more about our Holocaust Education and Survivor Speakers Bureau. Visit the JFCS Holocaust Center for details on other opportunities for engagement.
Reparations and Financial Aid
JFCS provides assistance with reparations applications to Holocaust survivors who may qualify for:
GG12: Claims Conference Home Care Program
Through this new fund, survivors may be eligible for home care services provided by JFCS’ Seniors At Home program. Contact Seniors At Home intake department at 415-449-3700 to get more information.
Survivors who lived and worked in Nazi-controlled ghettos may be eligible for ongoing pensions from the German government. The definition of “work” is being broadly interpreted by the German courts. Survivors who prepared meals, swept streets, cleaned homes, worked in factories (outside of the ghetto but were forced to return to it at night), and performed other tasks are encouraged to apply. Widows and widowers of those who lived and worked in ghettos are also encouraged to apply.
GGWP Ghetto Compensation Fund
Ghetto survivors may be eligible for a one-time payment of 2,000 euros (about $2,500) for “non-coerced” work during the period they lived in Holocaust-era ghettos. The Shanghai Ghetto is included in this program, and the application is short. Germany has signed an order ending the prior deadline and will continue to allow survivors who did “voluntary” ghetto work to apply for compensation under the German Ghetto Work Program.
Hardship Fund Area Expanded
A one-time 2,556 euros sum (about $3,200) may be paid by this Claims Conference-managed program for certain Jewish Nazi victims from Eastern Bloc countries meeting eligibility criteria. (Prior Hardship Fund recipients may not re-apply.)
As of January 1, 2012, victims who may now be eligible include those who fled between June 22, 1941, and January 27, 1944, from areas of the Soviet Union that were generally up to 100 kilometers from the most easterly advance of the German army (Wehrmacht) but were not later occupied by the Nazis. They include Jews who fled from Moscow and Stalingrad during these dates. Eligible victims also include those who fled Leningrad after June 22, 1941, but before the siege that commenced in September 1941.
Germany has clarified that the Hardship Fund will process applications from applicants who were in utero at the time of their mother’s persecution.
Article 2 Fund
Article 2 Fund Liberalization—The Article 2 Fund is a Claims Conference-managed reparation fund providing ongoing monthly payments—paid quarterly—to eligible Holocaust survivors. The Claims Conference has again negotiated reduced eligibility requirements for receiving a monthly pension of 300 euros (about $380) through the Article 2 Fund. New rules now include victims who lived in ghettos, in hiding, or under false identity in Nazi-controlled areas for 12 months. It also includes Nazi victims who were in concentration camps for even very short periods.
New Article 2 Fund Category—Eligible survivors 75 years of age and older who were in a ghetto between three and 12 months may be entitled to a special monthly pension of 240 euros (about $300). This liberalization now allows inclusion of those who endured the Budapest Ghetto—the last major group of ghetto survivors who have yet to receive pensions.
Article 2 Fund programs are open to survivors who are not getting German B.E.G. fund payments (Wiedergutmachung) and meet eligibility guidelines.
Those previously denied should request a claim re-opening for re-evaluation under the new criteria.
Free application assistance is available, and survivors are encouraged to contact JFCS to obtain more information or to schedule an appointment for assistance. Our multilingual staff can provide assistance in English or Russian.
Social Services for Jewish Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.