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Bill would boost Holocaust survivors seeking aging services

JTA

August 3, 2011 | 10:43 am

From left: U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

From left: U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida sponsored a bill that would give Holocaust survivors preference in obtaining aging services.

The bill introduced Monday in the House of Representatives arose out of meetings that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, and Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, had with Holocaust survivors.

In lauding the measure, the Jewish Federations of North America said in a statement that it “strengthens agencies that support Holocaust survivors who wish to age in place rather than move into institutionalized care, which can often lead to retraumatization for these victims of terror and torture.”

JFNA, the Jewish Federation of Broward County, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service of Broward County and Jewish Community Services of South Florida had arranged the meetings between the congresswomen and the survivors.

“This bill adds Holocaust survivors to the list of groups that receive preference for services under the Older Americans Act and designates a person within the Administration on Aging to have responsibility for implementing services to Holocaust survivors,” JFNA said. “Additionally, the bill creates a grant program to increase and improve transportation services, which is one of the greatest needs among older adults.”

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