Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | 12:01 a.m.
The Jewish Family Service Agency and Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada have partnered with a pair of local attorneys in an effort to heal the wounds of local Holocaust survivors.
In September, attorneys Alan Sklar and Audrey Levinson began providing free legal services to Holocaust survivors in Las Vegas who worked while living in German-controlled ghettos during World War II.
Through a nationwide program called the Justice Network that was founded in 2007, eligible Holocaust survivors can receive a one-time payment from the German government of approximately $3,100.
The program is geared toward survivors who worked in German-controlled ghettos, regardless of their age at the time. Survivors must still be alive in order to be eligible.
"We know of about 300 survivors living here in the Las Vegas Valley," said Danielle Pokroy, program manager of the Jewish Family Service Agency. "So far, the program has completed about 40 applications."
About one-fourth of those applicants have received their reparation with an average processing time of three months.
Some of Sklar's elder family members, including his maternal grandfather and mother, were Holocaust survivors.
"This is all very personal to me, and even 63 years after the end of war, still very raw," Sklar said. "I covet the opportunity to help Holocaust survivors in any way."
Pokroy said that although money will never make up for what the survivors experienced during World War II, reparations can help make life easier.
"Many survivors in southern Nevada need assistance with basic living needs," she said. "This can help with paying for food, rent or prescriptions."
The Jewish Family Service Agency was founded in 1977 and provides counseling, adoption and food services to Southern Nevada seniors, adults and children in need.
To learn more about the reparations program, call the Jewish Family Service Agency at 732-0304
Established in 1958, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada — formerly known as Clark County Legal Services — provides legal advice and representation for those who cannot afford to hire an attorney. For more information, visit www.lacsn.org.
Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].