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Supporting Holocaust Causes for Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project

Countless organizations, both Jewish and not, are dedicated to Holocaust education and supporting survivors.

More than 70 years after the end of World War II, the Holocaust remains a central feature of modern Jewish identity. Countless organizations, both Jewish and not, include Holocaust education and support for the dwindling numbers of survivors — many of them living in poverty — as part of their mission. Below are a few that a worthy of support.

The Blue Card
The Blue Card is an American charity that provides direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors in addition to other services, including in-home care and emotional support. Two-thirds of those it serves cannot leave home without assistance and many others live alone on limited funds. The group helps nearly 3,000 survivor households in 35 states.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Opened in 1993, this museum on the National Mall in Washington is the official United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust. Tens of millions of visitors, including nearly 100 heads of states, have visited its galleries. The museum website, available in 16 languages, is among the leading online resources for Holocaust education. The museum also offers a wide range of additional programming, including traveling exhibitions, resources for teachers, Holocaust commemorations, and public education about other genocides.

USC Shoah Foundation
Established in 1994 by the filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the foundation’s main work is the preservation of Holocaust memory through the recorded testimonies of survivors. Housed at the University of Southern California, the foundation currently houses 55,000 video testimonies and 115,000 hours of footage, all of it indexed and coded to the minute to make it easily searchable. The foundation also includes a center for genocide research and an educational arm that draws on the power of the filmed testimonies.

Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care
The umbrella group of North American Jewish federations launched this center in 2015 to assist the estimated 100,00 American Holocaust survivors, many of whom live in poverty or are at risk of social isolation and depression. The center supports health and wellness programs for survivors, home-delivered meals and socialization programs, among others.

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Founded in 1983 to promote cooperation between Christians and Jews, the IFCJ operates a range of programs, including support for elderly Holocaust survivors in Europe and Israel. Many of these survivors live in poverty and isolation and the organization helps with food packages, medicines and heat during the winter.

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