Kavod Shef – Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund - JFSSD
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Kavod Shef – Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund

National Matching Initiative Responds to Holocaust Survivors in Crisis by Partnering with 34 US Communities

Amy Israel Pregulman
[email protected]
(901) 831-0684

Logo for Kavod Shef

Heavy questions continue to weigh on Holocaust Survivors across the country: How will I get food this week if I cannot go to the grocery store?  Will I be able to afford my medicine with decreased access and rising prices?

The KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (SHEF) initiative, launched by Seed the Dream Foundation in partnership with KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Survivors in March 2019, supports thousands of Holocaust Survivors across the United States. With the uncertainty and persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this special initiative has been identified as a key program that allows social service agencies to reach any Survivor in need regardless of where they may live.

In 2022, 34 communities nationwide have partnered through KAVOD SHEF to address unmet needs of Holocaust Survivors. The KAVOD SHEF partnership involves collaboration between KAVOD, Seed the Dream Foundation, National Philanthropic Partners, Jewish Federations, local donors, and Jewish Family Service agencies.

KAVOD SHEF dollars directly respond to Survivor needs in nine emergency areas: food, medical, dental, vision, urgent home needs (utilities, rent, repairs), emergency home care, transportation, essential deliveries, and PPE.

What began in 2019 as an effort to expand access to emergency services for Holocaust Survivors in 12 cities has quickly grown to a coalition of 34 communities nationwide. KAVOD SHEF funds have filled more than 40,000 emergency requests across the country since it launched. All funds raised by local communities are matched 1:1 by the Joseph Gringlas KAVOD SHEF National Fund. 100% of all KAVOD SHEF dollars go directly toward emergency services for Survivors.

Marcy Gringlas, President & Co-Founder of Seed the Dream Foundation, explains that the Survivors’ unmet needs far outweigh the resources available to cover these emergency services, it is for this reason that we launched this initiative and are prepared to continue matching every dollar raised on the national level. We can and must do more to alleviate these impossible choices and help our Survivors live in dignity during their last years. When we come together and work together, our collective reach extends beyond what we thought possible.

“Seed the Dream Foundation remains committed to KAVOD SHEF. We will continue to work with our National and Community partners to bring most-needed attention to address this silent crisis,” shares Talia Kaplan, Executive Director of Seed the Dream Foundation.

“Every day, we lose more than 40 Holocaust Survivors, and yet every day we continue to see hundreds of new requests for care. There is no time to waste,” adds Gringlas.

The KAVOD SHEF national phone hotline allows Survivors who are not already in contact with their local agencies to have a way to begin the process of accessing critical support. The KAVOD SHEF hotline number is 720-295-8484.

KAVOD Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors, is an organization that is making a massive impact for Holocaust Survivors living near or in poverty in the US. KAVOD was created in the fall of 2015 when the founders, John and Amy Israel Pregulman, learned that 1/3 of the up to 80,000 Survivors living in the US struggle with basic needs when they encounter an unexpected expense. There is little awareness surrounding this enormous unmet need. “We still get looks of dismay every time we share these numbers. We get asked time and time again how is this possible and why is this happening?” says John Pregulman Co-Founder of KAVOD.

“The issue is not going away and is not dwindling! Our Survivors are getting older and are having bigger financial stresses. We only have a few years left with these courageous individuals and we feel it is our responsibility to take care of them and offer them peace in their final years. They have been through enough and as a human community, we are responsible,” says Amy Israel Pregulman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of KAVOD.

This really is our last chance to help our Survivors—those who are still with us—to live out their lives in dignity.

You can learn more about KAVOD SHEF at https://kavodensuringdignity.com/kavod-shef-initiative/