WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sunday is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a day to reflect on one of the most horrific times in history. More than six million Jews and millions of others lost their lives during the Holocaust. Thousands of survivors still live with their memories. Currently, more than 12,000 of them live in Palm Beach County and thanks to new money to help them, they’re finding comfort as they age.
Miriam Lowy points to the picture of her father she found in a book about the Holocaust.
"I'm looking at the pictures and I say, 'my God, that's my father,' " she said.
Miriam was a young girl living in Hungary when she lost her father and her mother during the Holocaust.
"I was 11 years old,” she said. “I had a three-year-old brother. They took my father away. He was 36 years old."
Her mother later escaped, but for a time Miriam lived a hard life as the only one taking care of her brother.
"I was in a ghetto,” she said. “I was on the streets."
Miriam's journey out of Hungary took her to a kibbutz in Israel, where she met her husband, then it was on to Toronto Canada in 1953 and finally to the United States; however, she will never forget how the Holocaust shattered her family.
"My father... that's a very hard point for me because he was 36 years old,” she explained. “When my son was 36, I looked at him and said, 'oh my God.' My father was that young and for no reason? Just because you were a Jew?"
Today, at 78, Miriam is able to stay in her home, thanks to Emma Jenkins, a home-health worker paid for through the Alpert Jewish Family and Children's Service. The agency recently received $877,000 to help Holocaust survivors with home health care in Northern Palm Beach County. The money is from the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany and is distributed every year to compensate survivors for their sufferings.
"What we try to do is keep them in their homes as long as possible to make it easier for them,” said Caren Copening, the chief development officer for the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, “and then they don't have to face being uprooted again."
It is a comfort to a woman who once lost her home that she is able to stay in the one she has now.
"It's a big help,” said Miriam. “Without it, I really wouldn't be able to exist right now. It's a very, very big help."
If you are a Holocaust survivor in need of help or to learn more about the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Palm Beach County, call (561) 684-1991 or go to www.JFCSonline.com .
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