Jewish Family Service receives funds for Holocaust survivor care

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 14, 2019


WEST BLOOMFIELD — Jewish Family Service  of Metropolitan Detroit recently received a grant from the Jewish Federations of North America’s Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, according to a press release.

The matching-fund grant was given $140,000 in additional funding to help Holocaust survivors in a multitude of ways throughout metro Detroit, said Missy Lewin, director of Holocaust survivor services at Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit, 6555 W. Maple Road.

The grant will support person-centered, trauma-informed programming for Holocaust survivors in partnership with Flint Jewish Community Services, Jewish Senior Life and Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.

Jewish Family Service serves more than 500 Holocaust survivors in the metro Detroit area annually through indemnification and restitution claims, home care, friendly visitor programs, translation work, emergency financial assistance, assistive technology and more, according to the press release.

“We are grateful for the federal government’s commitment to helping Holocaust survivors,” Mark Wilf, the chair of the Jewish Federations of North America’s board of trustees and co-chair of the group’s National Holocaust Survivor Initiative, said in a press release. “Together, we are using this window of opportunity to make sure more survivors are connected to their communities and have the social support necessary to age in place.”

Yuliya Gaydayenko, the director of older adult services at Jewish Family Service, said that this is the organization’s second year of being a recipient of the grant.

“It allows us to expand and enhance our services for Holocaust survivors,” she said, adding that Jewish Family Service also encompasses person-centered, trauma-informed care.

The facility has an understanding of how trauma may impact somebody’s perceptions and daily functioning. JFS is “really attentive” to what could be a trigger of a negative reaction “and how trauma generally impacts their life and functioning,” Gaydayenko said. She said some Holocaust survivors feel isolated, and it is important to teach them to use technology.

Lewin said that survivors are taught about video chat services, how to send email, how to use Google and more.

“We are at this point using iPads and volunteers — so we have that connection,” she said.

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