The Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia has always paid special attention to its members exposed to health, financial, or other risk. In order to be successful in this, the Federation established the Social Service to coordinate the activities of such services within individual communities.
Social workers in individual Jewish communities continually monitor the situation on the ground, through regular visits to members, monitoring their health and social status, identifying their individual needs, and recommending the type of service that is appropriate. In this manner, all the relevant data are accumulated, which enables the Social Service of the Federation to deal with these issues in the most efficient way.
The social work of the community, briefly, consists of:
- health care and home care for members Holocaust survivors;
- payment for fuel, repairs of home appliances, or winter clothes for members Holocaust survivors with insufficient monthly incomes;
- providing continuous or one-off assistance to other community members exposed to risks (vouchers for food, partial compensation for health care or medication bills, assistance for new-born children, etc.):
- distribution of humanitarian aid in form of clothes, shoes, or personal hygiene products provided by foreign donors;
- providing sight glasses for community members, received through cooperation with dr Harry Heber from London.
The above activities are implemented successfully thanks to the contributions from the Claims Conference, the WJR (World Jewish Relief), and the AJDC-a (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee).
The Claims Conference is an organization providing and managing funds for compensation of Jews. Within the grant for social and health-care services, it funds projects under contracts with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia.
The Claims funds are intended exclusively for members Holocaust survivors, and they are utilized for health care and home care.
The health care project consists of compensation for a portion of bills resulting from health care services, procurement of medication, and home care.
A portion of the program refers to compensation of paid health-care services and it covers: laboratory tests, diagnostics, specialist medical examinations, dentist and orthopedic services and aids, surgical treatment, and costs of rehabilitation and prevention (providing vaccines and blood sugar measuring tapes).
The above costs are compensated after approval by the Commission for the community health care project, consisting of: a representative of Holocaust survivors, two physicians and a pharmacist, and refunds are approved according to the rules of procedure and price list that is currently in effect.
During the year 2008, the funds from this grant were extended to 178 members: 101 member for health care services and 124 for medications.
The home care project covers 50 community members, of whom five from the „A“ group (bed-ridden) and 45 members from „B“ group (those who can move only with difficulty of partially).
WJR – the World Jewish Relief Organization – provides funds for food vouchers distributed to socially vulnerable community members.
In the first half of 2008, a total of 292 vouchers were distributed to 140 most vulnerable families.
The Rochlin Fund – approved vouchers for food for children up to the age of 18 from low income families. This kind of assistance has been provided to 65 children from all Jewish communities.
- In partnership with the AJDC, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia has been providing social assistance to elderly community members (over the age of 65) with income lower than the required so-called „consumers’ basket”. During 2008, this kind of assistance was provided to 24 community members.