Olmert inaugurates Holocaust survivors’ help line

A new center and telephone help line aimed at providing Holocaust survivors with information about their social welfare rights and financial benefits was officially inaugurated on Thursday morning by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The initiative was approved by the cabinet more than a year ago.

Despite what Olmert called the “first real attempt by an Israeli government to improve the living conditions of Holocaust survivors in the last 60 years,” survivor advocacy groups greeted the center’s creation with caution, saying only time will tell if it accomplishes its goals.

An estimated third of the 250,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel live below the poverty line, with many forced to chose between food and medicine.