The British ambassador to Israel has embarked on a "deeply personal" campaign to raise £2 million from British Jews to help Holocaust survivors. Ambassador Matthew Gould launched the appeal to mark Yom HaShoah, alongside the outgoing Israeli ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor.
Ten per cent of the money raised will go to Jewish Care to help British Holocaust survivors, with the rest going to set up eight new centres for Holocaust survivors living in Israel, providing social activities and transport for nearly 1,000 Holocaust survivors. Eight existing clubs will be renovated with extra capacity added. Mr Gould said: "It's something very close to me. I knew even before I went to Israel that I wanted to do something to help Holocaust survivors. My grandfather lost many members of his family in the
"Before we went to Israel, my wife Celia, and I thought it was important to go to Auschwitz, and we were really affected by it. Shortly after we arrived here, we read that many Holocaust survivors in Israel were not getting the care they need and I found it very upsetting. We want every community, every synagogue to help us reach the target of £2 million."
He added: "The Israeli government, the Claims Conference and the German government rightly provide much of the money for medical needs and social care. But one of the biggest hardships faced is loneliness and that's where we can help. Many survivors just do not have friends or family or anywhere to go for company with people who understand."
The centres will be run by the state and the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors. Already £1m has been raised in donations to the appeal, which is being co-ordinated by the UJIA.
Donations should be made through www.Holocaustsurvivorsappeal.org