JFS Receives Unprecedented Grants to Support Rochester's Survivor Community $255K State and Foundation Funding Ensures Holocaust Survivors

Have Access to Critical Aging Supports

$255K State and Foundation Funding Ensures Holocaust Survivors Have Access to Critical Aging Supports


Rochester, NY (March 2, 2023) - Today Jewish Family Services (JFS) was joined by community partners, state elected officials, and members of the Survivor community to announce it has received grants totaling $255,000 to support critical services for Rochester’s Holocaust Survivors. The grants were awarded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors, and New York State through funding secured by Senators Samra Brouk and Jeremy Cooney as part of the Holocaust Survivors Initiative announced last year by Governor Kathy Hochul. Together, these represent the largest collective gift ever made to support the direct service needs of Holocaust Survivors served by JFS.


This funding provides increased access to emergency and quality-of-life support for a unique population in our community; there are nearly 100 known Holocaust Survivors living in the Greater Rochester area, all of whom are aging and need access to the best care possible. Three total grants were awarded including:

      A grant of $35,000 from KAVOD SHEF, in partnership with Seed the Dream Foundation, matched by The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester for a total of $70,000, to support Survivors’ emergency needs covering dental, vision, medical, home essentials, transportation, emergency homecare, rent, home repair, utilities, and food as a secondary resource.

      A three-year grant of $55,000 per year to fund a care management position from The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

      $20,000, to be administered by New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), that will be used to increase access to health care related services for those who suffered in the Holocaust. Additional funds from New York’s Holocaust Survivors Initiative were also awarded directly to The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.


"Today marks a significant moment in the history of JFS and our commitment to serving the Holocaust Survivor community in Rochester,” said Deb Rosen, President & CEO of JFS. “The support and partnership of The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, the KAVOD SHEF Initiative, and New York State enables us to provide critical services and support to those who have suffered so much and are now focused on living the best life possible as they age and face new challenges."


JFS runs multiple programs to support Rochester’s aging community including care management and consultation, expanded in-home services for the elderly, individual and group therapy that support mental health and wellness, and JFS Connects joining seniors with new friends in our community. JFS also partners with Ellison Park Apartments to manage Rochester’s NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) that uses an innovative model for aging in place offering seniors an affordable housing option with on-site social services.


“NORC residents, including approximately 40 Holocaust Survivors, maintain their independence and enhance their quality of life by actively participating in their community and availing themselves to services provided by a JFS social worker that are free of charge to eligible residents.” said Dee Schwartz, Chief Program Officer for Aging at JFS. “This generous funding will, in part, support the NORC’s program and maximize the overall health of our community.”


If you are a Holocaust Survivor or family member of a survivor and need information on available support, please reach out to the JFS Helpline at (585) 461-0114 or [email protected] If you know Survivors in other communities that might need emergency support, KAVOD SHEF operates a national phone hotline (720-295-8484) that connects Survivors with their local agencies to access care.




About JFS

Jewish Family Services of Rochester, Inc. (JFS) has served Rochester for over 100 years. JFS strengthens all individuals, families and communities by providing comprehensive social services that are built upon the time honored Jewish traditions of dignity, kindness, and tikkun olam, improving the world. Our services include working with the elderly, supporting parents and families, providing mental health counseling, and serving the community through a food pantry, clothing cupboard, and free school supplies store. For more information, visit www.jfsrochester.org.


About The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester works to build a strong Jewish future in

Rochester, Israel and worldwide through philanthropy, engagement, education and

advocacy. Learn more by visiting the Jewish Federation’s website at



About KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors

KAVOD-Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors is an organization that is making a massive impact for Holocaust Survivors living near or in poverty in the US. KAVOD was created in the fall of 2015 when the founders, John and Amy Israel Pregulman, learned that 1/3 of the up to 80,000 Survivors living in the US struggle with basic needs when they encounter an unexpected expense. There is little awareness surrounding this enormous unmet need. This really is our last chance to help our Survivors—those who are still with us—to live out their lives in dignity. You can learn more at https://kavodensuringdignity.com/kavod-shef-initiative/



The New York State Office for the Aging's (NYSOFA's) home and community-based programs provide older adults with access to a well-planned, coordinated package of in-home and other supportive services designed to support and supplement informal care. NYSOFA's overall goal is to improve access to, and availability of, appropriate and cost-effective non-medical support services for older individuals to maximize their ability to age in their community and avoid higher levels of care and publicly financed care. 

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