Cafe Europa

In Uruguay, Fundacion Tzedaka in Montevideo is the social welfare partner of the Claims Conference. The agency provides social services for Nazi victims that include socialization programs and an emergency assistance program for medications, medical care, food and housing-related assistance. In 2009, Tzedaka, with the support of the Claims Conference, established a program for Nazi victims living at home, which includes purchasing medical equipment and accessories.

Tzedaka holds four Café Europa events every year. Out of a Nazi victim population of 300, approximately 140 attend each event. It is truly a highlight of the year for them. Many survivors only feel genuinely comfortable among others who have shared the same experiences and instinctively understand each other. Days in advance of each program, Tzedaka will receive telephone calls from attendees eagerly anticipating the afternoon. They dress in their best clothes and use it as an opportunity to have their hair styled.

At this Café Europa, elderly attendees participated in a dance performance by students from a local Jewish school. Such experiences nourish the soul and are as important to the survivors’ well-being as any of the other services provided. Café Europa immeasurably adds to their quality of life and in many cases gives them emotional strength to keep going.