The US has appointed a special envoy to support Holocaust survivors, Vice President Joe Biden announced this week.

Biden made the comment during an address Tuesday at the centennial celebration for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

“This will make the government more responsive to a Hungarian survivor in the Bronx who needs a wheelchair or the elderly woman with memories of the Warsaw Ghetto who needs a ride to the doctor,” Biden said at the Washington event.

The envoy will be part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and will be served by a partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to bring in volunteers to further survivor support.

“Today our country took a major step forward toward addressing the needs of many Holocaust survivors,” said Michael Siegal, who heads the JFNA Board of Trustees.

“As Jewish Federations continue to raise needed funds to support social service programs for Holocaust survivors, we will use the momentum from the vice president’s announcement to draw extra attention to this cause,” added Jerry Silverman, the president and CEO of Jewish Federations.

“Enabling Holocaust survivors to age in place is vital for health, comfort and security, and brings dignity to this vulnerable population.”

There are an estimated 120,000 Shoah survivors living in the US, with 25 percent living below the poverty line.

Comment