As Israel’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust, Yom HaShoah, begins on Wednesday night, data by the the Welfare Ministry and the Finance Ministry’s Authority for Holocaust Survivors’ Rights indicates that almost a third of the 200,901 Holocaust survivors living in Israel are still living under the poverty line.
This figure backs up the general trend of rising poverty among the elderly in the Jewish state.
“The government needs to look Holocaust survivors in the eye. What they’re giving us is not enough. We need more help,” Holocaust survivor Lea Karsik, 83, told Yedioth Ahronoth. Karsik lives alone in a small apartment. While she has food, her monthly salary of NIS 3,000 ($1,018 Cdn) is not always sufficient for all basic supplies.
While the Israeli government has been introducing a number of economic measures to help Holocaust survivors in Israel, data also shows that at least 90,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel still don’t receive monthly stipends or pensions.
“The ministry allocates vast resources in order to assist Holocaust survivors and to expand their rights. The allocated budget for 200,000 survivors stands at NIS 4.2 billion [$1.43 billion Cdn]. We are continuing to initiate and to advance additional programs,” said Deputy Finance Minister Itzik Cohen.