City Hall- The New York City Council this week voted to rename the Council’s Holocaust Survivors Initiative in honor of Nobel Laureate, humans rights activist, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. The Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative is a $2.5 million program established by the City Council to provide Holocaust survivors living at or below the federal poverty line with a wide range of services, including preventive health care, medical appointment transportation, case management support and home delivered meals to help maintain and improve their quality of life.
“As one of the world’s most prominent Holocaust survivors, Elie Wiesel channeled the pain of his experiences to speak out against genocide, champion for human rights and promote basic human dignity,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative will ensure New York City’s Holocaust survivors can live their lives out in dignity and is a fitting tribute to a man whose extraordinary grace in the face of inconceivable anguish is a testament to the endurance and triumph of the human spirit.”
New York City is home to 55,000 Holocaust survivors and more than half of those survivors live in poverty. Since launching the Survivors Initiative in Fiscal Year 2016, the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivors Initiative has provided thousands of Holocaust Survivors with much needed assistance.
“My father became a US citizen in New York after the war,” said Elie Wiesel’s son, Elisha Wiesel. “He made his home here for over sixty years, and this is where he raised his family. My father loved this country, and I know that he would be moved to know of the work the city is doing to ease the burden of his fellow survivors. My mother, my wife, my children and I are all grateful to the New York City Council for honoring his memory with this initiative.”
“Today, the City Council renames the Holocaust Survivors Initiative after a man who embodies strength, activism, and peace. Elie Wiesel inspired us all to fight for human rights and stand up against violence, oppression and racism. But most importantly, Elie Wiesel symbolizes human dignity, which expresses the purpose behind this initiative. We are renaming the Holocaust Survivors Initiative after Elie Wiesel because he was a survivor who spent his life giving back to others who suffered so greatly in their lifetime. He reminded us each day that we must never forget the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust. It is with great honor to rename the Holocaust Survivors Initiative the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivor Initiative,” stated Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.
“Elie Wiesel’s singular, courageous, eloquent voice helped force humanity to confront the brutality of the holocaust, and to embrace the victims who survived its horrors,” said Council Member Levine, Chair of the Jewish Caucus. “The Council’s Survivors Initiative is in a sense a direct result of Wiesel’s life work, and it is truly fitting that we will rename it in his honor.”