We have the seen the recent articles that raise questions about the operations at the Claims Conference.
As representatives of the four largest organizations caring for Holocaust survivors in New York City, we feel compelled to comment that nowhere in any of the articles has there been recognition of the tremendous benefits that the Claims Conference has provided to tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors worldwide.
The Claims Conference has negotiated for compensation programs that provide payments to individual survivors. Equally important, they have also obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for supportive services that are critical in assisting the frailest and neediest Holocaust survivors. These services, such as homecare, medical care, food, and a range of other aid make their lives easier and more comfortable than would be the case otherwise and have often been literally life preserving for many. They enable the survivors to live at home, with the independence and dignity they so richly deserve.
Those who suffered so much deserve the best care possible. Without the Claims Conference, there would not be a coordinated, world-wide network of services, and the Holocaust survivors’ lives would be that much more precarious.
The Claims Conference should be acknowledged for all that they have made possible.
Rabbi Avi Fishof, CEO, Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization/Guardians of the Sick
Rabbi Moshe Wiener, executive director, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island
Stuart C. Kaplan, CEO, Selfhelp Community Services
Rabbi David Niederman, president & executive director United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn