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NEWS FROM WASHINGTON

Shelley Rood

AJFCA Washington Director

                        Wednesday, May 29, 2013  

Responding to Urgent needs of Survivors of the Holocaust (RUSH) Act
The RUSH Act to support Holocaust survivors and kosher meals under the Older Americans Act was introduced on May 21st and its provisions were included in the Older Americans Act reauthorization bill.  An article appeared in the JTA. Please read this action alert and ask your members of Congress to cosponsor. A sample letter is included in the link. This is a top priority for AJFCA member agencies.
Older Americans Act (OAA)
The Senate introduced an Older Americans Act reauthorization bill (S. 1028), which included provisions of the RUSH Act. We urge Senators to cosponsor the Older Americans Act and urge Congress to move the bill forward in a bipartisan manner. We understand that many OAA funded services, such as transportation and home-delivered and congregate meals, are important to your agency. If your agency receives contracts with your local Department of Aging for these services or others under the OAA, please contact Shelley and let her know about it. If you have received notifications of cuts to services because of sequestration, please let us know.
Farm Bill/SNAP
The Senate began debate on the Farm Bill  (S. 954) which included a $4.1 billion cut to SNAP. The Gillibrand amendment, which would have restored that money, failed in the Senate. We expect the Senate to continue debating the Farm Bill and its amendments next week after Congress returns from recess. The House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill (H. R. 1947) is expected to go to the House floor in mid-June. The House version contains a $20 billion cut to SNAP. AJFCA signed on to this letter expressing our support for the SNAP, WIC, and TEFAP programs in the FY 2014 Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill. 
Claims Conference Announces New Agreement for Home Care
In case you missed it, please read this announcement from the Claims Conference. They concluded their recent negotiation with Germany and agreed on a funding amount of $1billion for home care from 2014-2017. We will keep everyone informed with information as it develops. 
Young Philanthropists Take Up Plight of US Holocaust Survivors
The Survivor Initiative, a volunteer project for young adults, raises funds and responds to survivors' urgent needs - hopefully soon with the help of new US legislation
The numbers shocked Rachel Cohen Gerrol. Nearly 200 Holocaust survivors were living at or near the poverty level in the Washington, DC, area - one of the wealthiest regions in the nation - forced to decide whether to buy food, fill a prescription or pay transportation to get to a doctor's appointment.

"I was outraged," she says. Outraged "not at the Jewish community, but because I didn't know this before." She figured other young adults would be outraged as well - and, like her, would want to help ease the burden of those survivors.