Inside the initiative to help impoverished Holocaust survivors live out their days in comfort

On average, one in three Holocaust survivors live in poverty worldwide. (Photo by Burim/Wikimedia Commons)

Pinchas Gutter has been one of Canada’s most active Holocaust survivors. He’s spent years educating Canadians about the genocide and what life was like for European Jews during the Second World War. But these days, he’s also on a different mission: raising awareness about the 1,200 poor Holocaust survivors living in the Toronto area who are, he says, in need of up to $12 million just to live out their final years in dignity and comfort.

There are approximately 10,000 survivors living in Canada; according to global statistics, about one in three lives in poverty. Despite receiving financial aid from the Claims Conference and other organizations, the survivors continue to struggle day to day.

Gutter now leads a committee for Jewish Family and Child Service that’s dedicated to helping these survivors with emergency health needs, such as walkers, false teeth and hearing aids—all things Ontario’s health care plan doesn’t cover. He joins the show with Dori Ekstein, vice-president of the JF&CS committee, to discuss the initiative to raise funds through a gala later this spring.

What we talked about:

Originally published in the Canadian Jewish News. Listen to the podcast here.