JF&CS and Peachtree Hearing Give the Gift of Hearing to Holocaust Survivors
ATLANTA, GA (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
Eighteen Atlanta Holocaust survivors received free top-of-the-line hearing aids beginning on August 23rd, thanks to a partnership between Peachtree Hearing, a Marietta-based private audiology practice and Jewish Family Career Services of Atlanta.
Dr. Melissa Wikoff, the Director of Audiology at Peachtree Hearing worked with Amy Neuman, JF&CS’ Holocaust Survivor services program manager to develop the Hearing for Holocaust Survivors program. Neuman and her team helped identify survivors who met the qualifications of the program and had hearing loss. She then referred the survivors to Wikoff for evaluations and impressions.
“Two years ago, I heard about a hearing aid program for Holocaust Survivors in Maryland and I wanted to start a similar program in Atlanta. Wikoff went to the University of Maryland and saw an article in an alumni magazine about the same initiative, so when she approached me about it, I was thrilled to get started,” said Neuman. Working together, they were able to secure a generous donation of high-end Starkey hearing aids from the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The donation of eighteen hearing aids, plus lifetime care and services for the survivors from Peachtree Hearing came to more than $120,000 worth of technology and services.
“The ability to hear is crucial to well-being and is instrumental for social interaction and communication in general. We are so grateful to Dr. Wikoff for spearheading this initiative and devoting her time and efforts to provide free hearing aid services to all of the survivors involved in the program. A big thank you also to the Starkey Foundation for generously donating brand new top quality hearing aids,” said Rick Aranson, JF&CS’ Chief Executive Officer.
Herschel Greenblatt, one of the Holocaust survivors who received a pair of the hearing aids, often speaks about his life during the Holocaust at schools and at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. After the initial fitting, Greenblatt will be under the care of Dr. Wikoff for any ongoing hearing care that is required. “It’s a wonderful thing they are doing. You don’t realize how much you are missing hearing. Now, I will be able to hear students more clearly when they ask questions about my experience,” said Greenblatt.
When asked about her motivation to start the initiative Dr. Wikoff explained, “making a difference in our community is a part of our mission at Peachtree Hearing. I wanted to find a way to remember and honor the survivors here in Atlanta. The sound we hear connects us to the people we love. For a population that lost so much, helping them hear the voices of friends and family is so important. JF&CS’ program for Holocaust Survivor Services has been an inspiration to us and it has been incredible to work together to make a difference!”
Dr. Wikoff’s husband Josh, who also works at Peachtree Hearing, described his experience with the initiative.
“Today was truly wonderful. To give the gift of hearing to anyone is an amazing feeling and it feels especially good to help this deserving population of survivors. Everybody involved has been so wonderful and giving, the recipients were all so appreciative, as well. It’s been a rewarding and emotional day,” he said.
JF&CS Holocaust Survivor Services provides support and social opportunities for Atlanta Holocaust Survivors. It is part of Aviv older adults services which offers proactive services for older adults and their families including geriatric care management, counseling, a friendly visitor program and transportation.