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Restitution Services for holocaust survivors

The Holocaust Survivor Services Restitution program at JF&CS is available to Holocaust survivors and their immediate families seeking restitution, compensation and pension funds, through contacting JF&CS’ Survivor Services line at 416-638-7800, ext. 6207. 

The GTA is home to an aging population of Holocaust Survivors. While much of the Survivor population living in the GTA receives some form of Restitution funding from Germany or Poland, some Survivors are still not aware of their entitlement to these benefits; or unfortunately, access fewer benefits than they are entitled. 

Receiving Restitution payment(s) can improve the quality of life for the Survivor but also grant them the official status of “Jewish Nazi Victim” (JNV). With this status, Survivors are able to access specific community services and supports aimed at their needs, such as homecare, rental assistance and emergency financial assistance.  As a community, it is our responsibility to ensure Survivors live the rest of their lives in dignity. Accessing restitution can be a key part of that dignity.

Restitution Assistance for Survivors through the JF&CS Restitution program includes:

  • Documentation: interviewing clients, documenting stories of persecution, and providing support through a trauma-informed lens to those who feel overwhelmed recalling their persecution history.

  • Application: screening clients’ eligibility for Restitution and other Holocaust Survivor services, assisting with the application process and follow up with relevant bodies until the client receives funding. Assistance is also provided for a widowed spouse of a Survivor who may be eligible for a payment based on successor status.

  • Appeal: assisting Survivors in appealing a negative response in specific circumstances to support Survivors in receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.

  • Explanation: helping clients navigate through correspondence from Germany and Poland, including the “identity verification” process.

  • Advocacy: corresponding with the Claims Conference, German and Polish restitution and pension institutions on behalf of clients.

  • Referrals and short term case management: clients are provided with information about benefits and services available to Survivors and may be referred to different agencies/programs in the community based upon their eligibility or needs.

  • Language accessibility: services are provided in the preferred language of the Survivor, as available, including in English, Hebrew and Russian.

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