Florida budget cuts could impact Holocaust survivors

Posted at 5:36 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 18:56:46-04

South Florida's Jewish community is concerned about budget cuts proposed in Tallahassee.

After living through the Holocaust, South Florida resident Samuel Ron is still able to live independently, but not every survivor can.

That's why he helps to give back by working at Jewish Family Services in Boca Raton, which gives hundreds of survivors in home health care.


“They need some help in their houses.  They cannot do it by themselves,” said Ron.

But there's concern that that program is in jeopardy

“We've been getting this funding for over 20 years, and all of a sudden it's just gone from the budget,” said JFS President Danielle Hartman.

A budget proposal from the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee would cut $20 million from various programs around the state.

About $92,000 would be cut from the JFS Holocaust Survivors Program.

“It does provide over 5,000 hours of care a year,” said Hartman.

Without that care, Hartman says survivors may be forced out of their homes and into nursing homes, which could prove to be harmful.

“Some of the traumas affecting them during the Holocaust actually come back. So, something as simple as taking a shower for a Holocaust survivor is not a positive experience in a nursing home,” said Hartman.

Having lived through the darkest chapters of history, Ron is hoping for brighter days ahead for his fellow survivors.

“An unbelievable tragedy is going to happen if they don't give us this money. It's a matter of life and death for some of these survivors,” said Ron.

JWS said they have not been given a reason why the program was targeted for cuts.  WPTV contacted the office of the senator who proposed the cuts but have not been given a response regarding the matter.