Holocaust survivor news...

Deadline nears for German property claims 

Eligible Holocaust survivors and their surviving heirs may be able to receive funds by completing a free application by December 31, 2014. Jewish Family Service is assisting those eligible - former owners of residential and/or commercial properties stolen by the Nazis in specific areas of the former East Germany - with the application process.

The funds are available through the Claims Conference’s Late Applicants Fund (formerly the Goodwill Fund).

“We encourage anyone in the Jewish community whose family had ties to the former East Germany to review the on-line list, even if someone in your family received compensation for property following WWII,” says Gail Ziegler, Manager of Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors.  “Our staff are aware of quite a few survivors who have found family members listed on the site, and Jewish Family Service is here to assist heirs in the application process. Don’t miss this deadline!”

You can view a full list of former owners and properties at www.claimscon.org/LAF.  Call Jewish Family Service at 513-469-1188 for more information.

Friendship Club Annual Hanukkah Party

Cincinnati December 13, 2012

More than 60 participants attended the annual Hanukkah luncheon organized by the Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors. The Hanukkah party, which was at Adath Israel Congregation, was one of the many Friendship Club activities held throughout the year. Open to all Jewish Holocaust survivors, the entire program was in both English and Russian. The atmosphere was joyful as participants lit the Hanukkah candles, laughed with good friends, enjoyed a buffet lunch, and joined in a raffle to win one of many gifts. The Hanukkah party was made possible by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, Inc.


Memorial dedicated to Jews who lost their lives to Nazi regime in WWII

Cincinnati November 9, 2012 

“Today we are opening this memorial here on this wonderful American soil, thousands of miles away from the burial places of those who sacrificed their lives in the battles against Nazi Germany. We are both sad and proud of their short but brave lives. Thanks to them we can live our lives,” said Zygmund Keller, Holocaust Survivor and WWII veteran.


Keller was addressing an audience of 150 Friday, November 9, 2012 at the dedication of a permanent memorial to honor all Jews who lost their lives by the Nazi regime: Jewish soldiers, partisans, and innocent victims.


The memorial was initiated by Jewish Family Service and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education and is located at the Mayerson JCC in Amberley. It is the first Holocaust memorial in Cincinnati to also honor the memory of Soviet Jewish soldiers and Jewish victims who died during WWII. The dedication occurred on the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), which was the first series of state-sanctioned organized attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany.


“This permanent installation not only commemorates the victims of the Holocaust but also the soldiers that fought to liberate Europe from the Nazis and in particular Soviet Jewry’s connection to WWII. The time is overdue for us to incorporate the experiences of Russian Jewry into the history of World War II. I hope this is the first step towards greater awareness and acknowledgement of these stories which were held captive by the Iron curtain for so long,” said Sarah Weiss, Executive Director of the Center for Holocaust and Humantiy Education.


The memorial’s inscription reads, “In memory of the 6 million Jewish men, women, and children who perished during WWII (1939-1945). In Memory of all those who gave their lives and contributed to the great victory and liberation of many nations. ‘No one is forgotten, Nothing is forgotten.’ Olga Bergholz.” Bergholz was a Soviet poet.


Special thanks is given to Schott Monuments for donating the stone for the memorial, and to the Mayerson JCC for providing the public location and facilitating the establishment of the marker.

Claims deadlines for Holocaust survivors

The Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors wants to alert survivors of the following December 2011 deadlines:


Changes in the German Ghetto Pension and Ghetto Fund payments now allow eligible survivors to receive both types of payments. For survivors who have never filed an application for the Ghetto Fund one-time payment (2,000 Euros) the deadline for receipt of a new application at the office of the BADV authority in Bonn, Germany is December 31, 2011. For information on the criteria and how to apply: http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=badv.


Project HEART is a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), funded by and in cooperation with the Government of Israel.  It focuses on identifying individuals with potential claims regarding the following types of private property:
(1) private property that was located in countries that were controlled by Nazi forces or Axis powers at any time during the Holocaust era;
(2) private property that belonged to Jewish persons as defined by Nazi/Axis racial laws;
(3) private property that was confiscated/looted/forcibly sold by Nazi forces or Axis powers during the Holocaust era.


Questionnaires can be downloaded or completed online at http://www.heartwebsite.org. Postmark deadline is December 1, 2011.


For assistance in obtaining or completing any of these applications, contact Gail Ziegler, LISW or Sophia Schnare, ARSP volunteer, at Jewish Family Service, 469-1188.

New grant awarded for hearing service program for Holocaust survivors

Jewish Family Service was awarded a $25,000 grant from The Bahmann Foundation to support a hearing service program for Jewish Holocaust survivors in the Greater Cincinnati area. The grant will provide them with hearing tests, interpretive services, assistive listening devices, and other adaptive technologies.


“We are very appreciative of The Bahmann Foundation’s continued support for this work,” says Gail Gepsman Ziegler, MSW, LISW, program director for the Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors. Jewish Family Service has worked with The Bahmann Foundation since 2004.

“Studies indicate that approximately 10% of age related hearing loss is misdiagnosed as early stage dementia,“ says Ziegler. “Addressing hearing loss can increase the quality of life by encouraging aging survivors to become more engaged with others thereby decreasing their depression and isolation.”


Because many of Jewish Family Service Holocaust survivor clients receiving assistive listening devices are Russian speaking, the grant will also provide medical interpretation for hearing tests, appointment scheduling, and home visits.


“The success of the hearing aid program is directly related to the follow up care that is provided,” says Ziegler. She often schedules routine follow up appointments with Dr. Tom Goldman at The Jewish Hospital. In coordination with Lorraine Croft, nurse liaison with The Bahmann Foundation, Ziegler visits with survivors to ensure proper hearing aid use.


“Meeting with clients in their home or in accessible locations, such as the Jewish Family Service offices, allows us to monitor and support clients as they learn to use this new technology,” says Ziegler.


Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors is a program of its Aging and Caregiver Services department, which receives funds administered by Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio. Social services for Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.


Jewish Family Service also strengthens lives through Adoption, Emergency Financial Support, Family Life Education, and Jewish Family Service Food Pantry. In addition to grants and private donations, Jewish Family Service receives a portion of its support from Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Case Management helps Russian speaking survivors plan for the future

To help Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors plan for their future health care needs, Jewish Family Service Resettlement brought in attorney Edward G. Marks on August 25, 2011.

See the full story

Vision monitor helps Holocaust survivor maintain independence

CINCINNATI Jewish Family Service recently gave Iosif Vak, a Russian speaking Jewish Holocaust survivor who has congenital eye disease, a visual monitor that allows him to read and write once again. Vak, who is a resident at Cedar Village, is known in the Russian community for his scholarship and his Russian poetry, which this machine helps him to write.


Because the visual monitor enlarges the text of books and papers, it allows him to read current events as well as write his poetry. This helps him maintain his independence, an objective of the Jewish Family Service Aging and Caregiver Services program.


“With older adults, increased isolation can increase depression,” said Gail Ziegler, Jewish Family Service social worker. “The goal of these machines is to help keep older adults engaged with the world around them to decrease depression.”


Vak’s machine is the third Jewish Family Service has placed in the survivor community. He received instruction on its use from Lorraine Croft, a nurse liaison for the Bahmann Foundation that provided funding for this adaptive equipment.

Also shared in The American Israelite and thebimah.com 

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