Holocaust Survivors Justice Network
The Ghetto Work Payment Program was created by executive order of Germany’s chancellor to compensate Holocaust survivors for “voluntary labor” in German-controlled ghettos during World War Two. Survivors are eligible for one-time payment of 2,000 euros. Bet Tzedek-The House of Justice, a respected Los Angeles public interest law firm and a leader in reparations, began conducting free clinics to assist Holocaust survivors, most in their 80s and 90s, with the complex claims-filing process.
With assistance of a major Los Angeles law firm, Bet Tzedek established the Holocaust Survivors Justice Network (HSJN) and took the program nationwide. Within six months, HSJN mobilized over 130 major law firms, corporate legal departments and social-service agencies in 30 cities. HSJN is the first-ever national Holocaust reparations effort for survivors, some 25 percent of whom live below the poverty line.
FolFry developed a national media relations outreach strategy with story angles, timing and target media list which was distributed to 250-plus top-tier print and electronic outlets, as well as legal and social-justice trade press. We also:
- Branded the campaign with a HSJN logo used by participating law firms to increase awareness of HSJN and burnish their own reputations.
- Developed key messages and other documents and media trained Bet Tzedek Los Angeles HSJN staff.
- Created a template news release for partner law firms across the country that encouraged them to conduct their own local media campaigns.
- In the first 18 months, HSJN expanded from a pilot effort in Los Angeles to 30 cities.
- Some 3,600 volunteers contributed more than 45,000 hours in time.
- Volunteers met with 5,000 survivors and filed 3,000 claims, representing a potential $8 million in reparations.
More than 30 stories about HSJN appeared, including a USA Today profile:
"Germany Offers Compensation for Forced Work”.
To view news coverage, visit www.holocaustsurvivorsprobono.org/