Distribution of federal funds for Holocaust survivors begins
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Distribution of federal funds for Holocaust survivors begins

Holocaust survivors attending an event honoring the victims of Nazi persecution at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2014.

Holocaust survivors attending an event at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., honoring the victims of Nazi persecution, April 30, 2014.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Jewish federations umbrella organization disbursed $2.8 million in federal grants to assist Holocaust survivors.

With matching private funds, required under terms of the Department of Health and Human Services allocation announced last year, the Jewish Federations of North America said its disbursement announced Wednesday will result in $4.5 million in assistance for Holocaust survivors.

The allocation is a tranche of $12 million to be distributed over five years and is part of an initiative launched in late 2013 by Vice President Joe Biden.

A statement from the Jewish Federations of North America described the services as “person-centered and trauma-informed,” saying it is a “holistic approach to service provision that promotes the dignity, strength, and empowerment of trauma victims by incorporating knowledge about the role of trauma in victims’ lives into agency programs, policies and procedures.”

The grant recipients include Jewish social service agencies in 11 states and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The statement said that of the more than 100,000 survivors in the United States, one in four is 85 or older and the same number live in poverty.

“Many live alone and are at risk for social isolation, depression, and other physical and mental health conditions stemming from periods of starvation, disease and torture,” according to JFNA.