The White House has officially appointed a special envoy to support Holocaust survivors, weeks after the US announced its intent to do so.

Vice President Joe Biden shared news of the creation of the post last month, and now Aviva Sufian has been tapped to hold the title.


Sufian is currently a staff member at the Health Department’s Administration for Community Living. Her new role as special envoy for US Holocaust survivor services will also fall under the governorship of the Health Department.

“Her work as Special Envoy will focus on those survivors currently living in poverty, as well as those who may not be receiving services for which they are currently eligible,” read a statement.

The White House said 25 percent of America’s 150,000 Holocaust survivors live under the poverty level. Sufian has also previously served with the New York City Department for the Aging.

Jewish groups reacted with accolades following the Friday announcement.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ms. Sufian as we launch this new effort to provide Holocaust survivors the support they need to live in dignity,” said Michael Siegal, chairman of the Jewish Federations’ Board of Trustees.

Also Friday, JFNA said it would launch a new program to “assess and communicate the needs of the Holocaust survivor programs.”