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2014 report from ujw croatia

Union of Jewish women in Croatia is umbrella organization with
Affiliates from Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka- town in which major Jewish communities existed. In smaller communities  (Dubrovnik, Čakovec,  Slavonski Brod, Koprivnica,  Virovitica  and  Daruvar)  Jewish   play important role in  life of these tiny communities
 
Organization of Jewish women in Zagreb is the oldest organization in Jewish community (established in year 1887), which worked even during the World War II.  by saving children, send package to  camps, provide food, medicine etc.
 
Women  help to reestablish Jewish life after the Holocaust   and  to preserve Jewish heritage during the time of communism and secularization of society.
 
The question is what changes  are in status of  Jewish women  in Community  after the   return to  Jewish religion and tradition in post-communistic countries. Maybe is sometimes  step back ?
 
Activities of Jewish women  are different  in big  community (Zagreb) and in  small communities  in which  women still have traditional  role in humanitarian work and community life.
 
In Zagreb, women organization during the time must  change their priority. Now distributed  social support ( Claims conference)  and paid social  worker  take many  of activities from women’s traditional  work,   but voluntaries network which we establish  for  visiting  disables and ill members , give  more humanitarian  approach. 
 
Today Jewish women have cultural, educational and research activities  and organize  lectures, gatherings, recreation, workshops ,  symposia, seminars, training, keeping memory about Holocaust.
  
  • Organization of  exhibition about Holocaust in Croatia
  • Organization of exhibition about Jewish books  and journal
  • Database for Holocaust victims in Croatia ( 20.000 names) available on internet
  • Database for Holocaust survivors ( in work)
  • Archive about Jews in Croatia ( available also on internet)
  • Help  survivors in their rights for compensation,  restitution  and support from Claims conference for CEEF pension, Hardship fund etc.
  • Collecting documentation, memories, photos. from Holocaust survivors
  • Cooperation with  Jewish communities  (10) in Croatia                                 
  • Cooperation with social worker, made surveys
  • Participation  in World organization   ( Dr. Švob is vice-president) and in European organization of  Holocaust survivors ( Dr. Švob is secretary),
  • Participation  with lecture on Symposium about  Holocaust
  • Publish books, articles (  4 books about Jews in Croatia and Holocaust)
  • Cooperation with research and documentation center CENDO in research omn Jewish women ( dr. Švob is director of CENDO,  and member of Community council.
  • Organization of  computer workshop for elderly ( with professional teacher, computer and other equipment,  Internet cafe,  
  • organization of recreation for survivors ( in community) with professional
  • Organization of gathering (7 days) with cultural and recreational program for Holocaust survivors (mostly women) every winter in Opatija on the Adriatic coast.  
The most vulnerable part of Jewish population are old women with high mortality rate and worsening health status. They are mostly widowed, live alone,  with low income and depend on Claims Conference social and humanitarian funds and support.
 
Now  start new  situation:  their income ( low pension)  can not cover high price of Jewish old age home. This old age home  has no any support   from government ( as other old age homes have) or from JDC and  Claims  Conference organization.  There  is nonsense that social funds  for survivors from the Claims Conference are only  for  person  who stays in her own home - if she moves to an old age home because she is too ill to stay alone, she will lose all support.  
 
We believe that similar situation can happen in other East Europe and maybe  they can use our experiences.