SURVIVOR MITZVAH PROJECT

Who saves a life, saves the world entire.

Los Angeles, CA   |  www.survivormitzvah.org

Mission

The Survivor Mitzvah Project is the only organization providing direct, continuous financial aid to elderly and forgotten Jewish Holocaust Survivors scattered throughout Eastern Europe who are sick, impoverished, isolated, and in urgent need of help. They struggle to survive, lacking the means to buy the basic necessities of life: food, medicine, heat, shelter. Most live alone in harsh conditions. SMP brings help quickly and directly to ensure they may live out their last years with support, comfort, and dignity. SMP's goal is that no Holocaust Survivor who has experienced the darkest days of human history ever be hungry, cold or neglected again. SMP also maintains the largest Holocaust Educational Archive focusing on the Holocaust in the East (500 hours of video, 20,000 documents.)

Notes from the nonprofit

We are proud that 100% of donations for Holocaust Survivors go directly into the hands of a Holocaust Survivor in desperate need. Our Board of Directors and other generous individuals actively support our efforts by covering modest overhead expenses, allowing our mission to have the most impact. The Survivor Mitzvah Project has been recognized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and Jerusalem and has received the following awards: CNN HERO AWARD, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE'S DEBORAH AWARD, KCET LOCAL HERO AWARD, THE INTERNATIONAL MENSCH FOUNDATION AWARD, and names a KCET HERO AT HOME. As of December 2021, The Survivor Mitzvah Project is on Great Nonprofits 2021 Top-Rated List and have received the 2021 TOP RATED badge.

Ruling year info

2008

Principal Officer

Zane Buzby

Main address

2658 Griffith Park Bl, Suite 299

Los Angeles, CA 90039 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4630389

NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Jewish (X30)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

EAP - Holocaust Survivors Emergency Aid Program

We provide direct financial aid to elderly Holocaust Survivors in remote areas of Eastern Europe and Baltics. They are in desperate need of food, medicine, suitable shelter, and some loving kindness.

Population(s) Served
Extremely poor people
Victims of conflict and war
Seniors

Where we work

Awards

ADL DEBORAH AWARD 2017

ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE

CNN HERO AWARD 2014

CNN HEROES

LOCAL HERO AWARD 2011

KCET

MENSCH INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION AWARD 2017

MENSCH INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION

HERO AT HOME 2014

KTLA

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The Survivor Mitzvah Project helps elderly Holocaust survivors in desperate need of food, medicine, heat, caregivers & shelter. Most live alone in harsh conditions: 64% cannot afford food, 75% cannot pay for doctors/medications, 58% need heat, 49% need caregivers. (This need is growing as survivors age; their medical needs become multiple and more complex.) Most are sole survivors of their families murdered by the Nazis, many are the last Jews in their village, some are survivors of the killing fields, some fought at the Front or as Partisans in the forests. All are elderly and in dire need of help.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email, Continuous direct correspondence, Home visits, Photo & video recording,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To develop aid allocation plans and learning tools for volunteers, to monitor survivors' health, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The pandemic is the greatest challenge for Holocaust survivors, causing large-scale suffering among them. We collected feedback from survivors to determine the most urgent issues: with international borders closed and rising prices leaving them without the means to meet basic needs, many had to stop taking lifesaving medications to afford food and heat. SMP stepped in to relieve the pain and suffering. To speed up aid delivery and answer urgent pleas for help, we hired new volunteer agents and caregivers in the hardest hit regions who delivered financial aid door to door helping survivors buy food, medicine, PPE and hire caregivers. We received hundreds of letters of thanks for delivering lifesaving aid despite any obstacles. Elena in Moldova wrote, “This happens only in fairy tales”.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Media,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Receiving and actively listening to continuous feedback from Holocaust survivors we serve has always been a cornerstone of SMP’s decision making. We strive to make sure that they age with dignity in the safety of their own homes, and finally have a chance to contribute to the wider society by having their stories told. This cannot be achieved without giving the survivors a right to make their own decisions and control their own destinies. Based on this feedback, we opted for providing direct financial aid instead of restricted food/medication cards. Consequently, we witness the remarkable improvements in Holocaust survivors’ physical & emotional health. Many of them have reported that, aside from improved health, they began believing in a more tolerant, compassionate, and hopeful future.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

SURVIVOR MITZVAH PROJECT
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SURVIVOR MITZVAH PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 03/25/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Richard Nathan

No Affiliation

Term: 2020 - 2021

Chic Wolk

Richard Nathan

Phil Joffe

Conan Berkeley

Jules Freeman

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

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Sexual orientation

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Disability

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