UK-funded social clubs where nearly a thousand Israeli Holocaust survivors enjoy social activities and services are planning to expand in the new year.
In 2013, there were 14 so-called “Britain clubs” functioning as a lifeline for the country’s dwindling survivor community. This is expected to increase by at least seven this year.
The project receives funding from the British Jewish community and is supervised by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors and the Ministry of Social Services.
British ambassador Matthew Gould, many of whose family were Holocaust victims, said that his involvement with the project had been personal.
“We believe that after the Holocaust, you the survivors have the right to live in comfort and dignity,” he said, speaking in Hebrew to Holocaust survivors at the launch of the Haifa club in November.
Of the 200,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, one in four live below the poverty line, according to a report by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel released earlier this year. And trauma psychologists say that the survivors must also contend with severe loneliness and isolation.