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On the Eve of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Government Increases Holocaust Survivors’ Benefits

On the eve of Yom HaShoah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet on Tuesday adopted the recommendation of the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen affairs Leah Nass and Knesset Finance committee Chairman Moshe Gafni, and decided to increase the budget for the basket of services for Holocaust survivors, setting it at NIS 225 million for 2012.

The Cabinet also decided that more than 8,500 Holocaust survivors will receive a NIS 580 supplement to their monthly support payments (which are currently between NIS 2,000-7,000) thanks to the NIS 50 million increase in support payments for needy Holocaust survivors.

At the start of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Today’s decision adds to the many actions we have taken in recent years on behalf of holocaust survivors. We want to remember those who perished, the six million brothers and sisters, and heed the lessons of the Holocaust in order to ensure the future of our people.”

According to Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen Affairs Nass, there are some 200,000 Holocaust survivors currently living in Israel, 70,000 of whom lived in concentration camps and ghettos. “In recent years, we have succeeded in reaching 120,000 survivors, helping them utilize their rights and receive the Government assistance to which they are entitled.”

Finance Minister Steinitz noted that the budget for the Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority, headed by Ofra Ross, currently stands at NIS 2.9 billion, up from NIS 1.5 billion in 2005, and added that the Rights Authority is currently dealing with almost 90,000 Holocaust survivors, up from some 51,000 in 2005.

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