Abraham Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is coming out of retirement with an ambitious goal: to raise $28 million to feed Holocaust survivors during the pandemic.
Foxman will lead the national initiative for the Met Council, the social service agency and the largest distributor of kosher food to New Yorkers living in poverty. Since early April, the organization has been delivering groceries to more than 1,200 Holocaust survivors every week through a partnership with Uber.
But with the number of Holocaust survivors in the United States estimated to be around 75,000, that’s not enough. So now the organization is trying to raise enough money to feed 10,000 survivors for a year in New York and across the country.
Foxman said he didn’t anticipate taking on a new project at 80. But with time running out to help survivors, he felt it was too important to pass up.
“This has to be a priority because the lifespan of the people we’re talking about is shortening,” he said. “I think we should have done more, and we’re doing it now.”
For Libora Engelsgteyn, 86, the packages have been a lifeline. She and her sister, Yevgeny, have family that live in New York, but they’re unable to visit frequently. For the two sisters, who were born in Ukraine and survived the Holocaust in Siberia, the packages they receive from the Met Council and the calls they get from their Met Council-assigned social worker are a lifeline.
“We so appreciate of the organization,” Engelsgteyn said. “It’s very helpful, it’s really good and really fresh, we cook everything ourselves.”