Today the Obama Administration announced that Aviva Sufian will serve as the first Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement:
"I welcome the announcement of Aviva Sufian as the first Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services. In her current role as the director of Regional Operations in the Administration for Community Living at the Department of Health and Human Services, Aviva has built on her strong track record of working tirelessly on behalf of older Americans, their families and caregivers.
"In this new role, Aviva will have the opportunity to advocate for the specific needs of Holocaust survivors here in America who are more than twice as likely as the rest of the elderly population to be living at or below the federal poverty line. South Florida is home to the second largest Holocaust survivor population in the country, which is why ensuring that survivors receive the services they need has been a top legislative and personal priority for me throughout my public service. This is why I introduced the RUSH Act along with my South Florida colleagues, which would enable Holocaust survivors to live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years.
"As a nation that upholds the values of freedom, liberty, and justice, we have a moral obligation to acknowledge the plight and uphold the dignity of Holocaust survivors to ensure their well-being. Our children's generation will be the last to know survivors and hear their stories first hand. We must do all we can to acknowledge their struggles and honor their lives by improving their access to transportation to get them where they need to go, improve their home-care options so that they can have the peace of mind of aging in place and avoid an institutional setting which could be uniquely painful for Holocaust survivors. I am pleased that the Obama Administration is taking bold steps to address the unique needs of our Holocaust survivors, and look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration on these efforts."