statc J£w$ Got Mon€¥: décembre 2013

dimanche 15 décembre 2013

Jewish Center in Brazil Caters to Community Poor

Chabad opens new center for Ten Yad social services program, to serve over 8,000 poor in one of Brazil's largest cities.

A new Jewish Center opened Sunday in São Paulo, Brazil, sponsored by the social services arm of global outreach group Chabad.
The inauguration, which was timed to be close to the Hanukkah holiday, was attended by several dignitaries, including São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, Jewish community representatives and leading rabbis.
The multi-million dollar center was dedicated in memory of philanthropist Joseph Safra's mother, Esther. The center is part of the "Ten Yad" (lit. "lend a hand" in Hebrew) program, which provides food and social servicesfor São Paulo’s poor.
According to The Rio Times, almost 16.7 million Brazilians live below the national poverty line. In São Paulo, this includes roughly 8,000 Jews.
Ten Yad has provided food for the poor since 1992 through soup kitchens, "meals on wheels" programs for the elderly and disabled, and food collection and distribution programs. In addition, recent expansions have allowed for more intensive social service programs, including aid for the homeless, scholarships, and support systems for orphans and prisoners. 
Rabbi Dovid Weitman, a Chabad representative in São Paulo and chief rabbi of the Sephardic community center there, said the new center was prompted by the desire to ensure that those suffering from poverty “should not live on the margins of society, but should be empowered to participate socially, and to celebrate their own family life-cycle events in dignity, with pride.”
Rabbi Weitman told Chabad representatives that the center's $4.5 million budget is entirely funded by private philanthropists. The center measures six stories high and is open 24 hours per day to provide food, social services, and event catering for the impoverished. It also inludes an ophtalmic clinic, a reading library, and an auditorium.
“This is a truly happening place, where adults and children can hang out in a  constructive environment, make use of the well-equipped game rooms, watch films, enjoy the library, all in  a lively, inviting setting,” said Mrs. Fany Waiswohl, coordinator of the volunteer services. Some 300 volunteers work at the center, in tandem with a team of social workers 
In his remarks at the elaborate Chanukah celebration/dedication, Mr. Safra paid tribute to his mother and her legacy of caring for the needy in Lebanon. “I have seen how Ten Yad started, and how it has developed and grown inspired by the values of Judaism, and I am proud to be part of its expansion," he stated. 

Biden: White House to help Holocaust survivors

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Vice President Joe Biden said the White House will work with the Jewish community to help Holocaust survivors living in poverty.

Speaking at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Centennial on Tuesday, Biden said the White House will appoint a special envoy at the Department of Health and Human Services to act as a liaison for survivors and the nonprofit community organizations that serve them.

A partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to increase the number of volunteers helping Holocaust survivors will be established, Biden said. Also, the White House will explore public-private partnerships to increase funding for organizations that work with Holocaust survivors.

“Today our country took a major step forward toward addressing the needs of many Holocaust survivors,” said Michael Siegal, chair of The Jewish Federations of North America board of trustees.

According to JFNA, there are about 120,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, of which about 25 percent live below the poverty line.

“As Jewish Federations continue to raise needed funds to support social service programs for Holocaust survivors, we will use the momentum from the vice president’s announcement to draw extra attention to this cause,” said Jerry Silverman, the president and CEO of Jewish Federations.  “Enabling Holocaust survivors to age in place is vital for health, comfort and security, and brings dignity to this vulnerable population.”