Elderly Holocaust survivors in Northeast Florida would get wrap-around health care and social services under a bill that’s set to be heard in a Florida House committee next Monday.
Rep. Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) is the bill’s sponsor. He told WJCT News he was made aware of the need during his trip to Israel in November.
"I visited Yad Vashem, which is the international Holocaust Museum in Israel and that visit helped spark me asking, 'Well, you know, do we have any survivors that live in my area and what can I do to help them?'"
According to Fischer, most of the 104 Holocaust survivors on the First Coast are in their mid-to-late 80s, while a few are in their 90s.
He said the $325,000 he’s asking for would go to help them remain independent by paying for essentials such as food, prescription drugs and transportation.
“You know, the project that we’re setting up here does two things: one, making sure the holocaust survivors are taken care of, but two, also making sure that no one forgets what happened.”
Fischer said getting his colleagues to approve the bill would open the door to federal funding and private donations that could bring the total for the Jewish Family and Community Services project to $1.1 million.
State Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring an identical measure in the Florida Senate.