GALLAGHER, ICHEIC JOIN UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI TO LAUNCH PILOT PROJECT FOR STUDENTS AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today joined University of Miami President Donna Shalala in launching a national pilot project linking students with Holocaust survivors to facilitate a deeper understanding and learning of the historical significance of the Holocaust.
“I understand from the students involved in this project that long-lasting friendships have already been built,” said Gallagher. “In the words of one student, ‘If not for this opportunity, I don’t know how else I might have been able to come across this set of circumstances and experience.’ This is exactly what we envisioned when we created this project.”
The new program consists of three components: academic courses on the Holocaust, weekly visits with Holocaust survivors and training on how to help meet the needs of elderly survivors. The visits are coordinated by the Jewish Community Services of South Florida.
Students must participate for at least one year and are encouraged to continue for up to three years. There are 20 students participating in the program.
The University of Miami is a pilot for the national program that is being contemplated in other cities that have a willing university and a significant population of Holocaust survivors. Florida is the state with the third largest number of Holocaust survivors, after New York and California.
The pilot project is funded by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC), on which Gallagher serves, in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc.
ICHEIC, which has committed $300,000 to do the pilot program, was created to provide Holocaust victims and their heirs an avenue to pursue a claim with insurance companies that held insurance policies during the Holocaust era.