AmeriCorp VISTA Member: Holocaust Survivor Services VISTA Project Assistant

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Job location
3250 Wilshire Blvd., 13FL
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Bet Tzedek
Street address: 
3250 Wilshire Blvd, 13FL
Los Angeles
Job type: 
Position Description: 

Tagline: Help Bet Tzedek Legal Services build capacity to serve Holocaust survivors with reparations, government benefits appeals, and other elder law matters by helping train and support volunteer attorneys and social workers.
Description: For 40 years, Bet Tzedek Legal Services has provided high-quality, free legal services to our community’s most vulnerable residents, including survivors of the Holocaust. Through our Holocaust Survivors Justice Network (HSJN), law firms and social service agencies throughout the United States provide pro bono assistance to survivors, based on trainings and advice provided by Bet Tzedek.

The number of Holocaust survivors living in poverty is staggering and disheartening. Receipt of Holocaust reparations can help provide some level of economic stability for survivors. However, applying for these reparations programs can be a daunting, difficult, and, in many cases, confusing process for survivors and their family members. Due to the high rates of poverty, many survivors must also rely on US government-funded benefits to meet their basic needs. Eligibility standards for these programs are complex and benefits are often wrongfully denied, reduced, or terminated, requiring legal assistance to appeal such matters. Further, survivors are aging and require assistance with other elder law issues, such as the need for assistance with drafting a will or an advance health care directive, or securing protection from elder abuse. During this one year project, the VISTA member will help increase Bet Tzedek’s capacity to address these issues by working with staff to implement a plan to train volunteer attorneys and social workers on how to assist survivors with reparations, government benefits, and elder law issues. In addition, the member will help continue to develop and maintain HSJN’s website as a volunteer tool to facilitate this work. While the program implementation and evaluation will initiate in Los Angeles County, the ultimate goal is to increase the capacity of volunteer attorneys and social workers across the country to assist with these issues through our HSJN.

The project runs from November, 2016 to November, 2017. The position is based in Los Angeles, California. A one year commitment is required. The position is a full-time position.

Salary: $15,996 annual living allowance. Please note: As a result in changes in policy, the AmeriCorps VISTA members are now permitted to work at another job during off hours. Further information regarding this policy change can be found at the following location:

Benefits: Benefits provided through the AmeriCorp VISTA program include: Relocation Allowance, Rental Subsidy, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Orientation, Training, Reimbursement for work-related travel. For additional details regarding AmeriCorps VISTA benefits, please visit

Equal Opportunity Employer: Bet Tzedek Legal Services hires staff without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, or disability.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Under the supervision of a Bet Tzedek staff attorney, the VISTA member will:
• Continue to expand Bet Tzedek’s HSJN beyond its current capacity by developing training materials and organizing and facilitating trainings in Los Angeles and across the country for volunteer attorneys and social workers related to appeals of wrongful denial, reduction, or termination of US government benefits received by survivors.
• Continue to expand Bet Tzedek’s HSJN beyond its current capacity by developing training materials and organizing and facilitating trainings in Los Angeles and across the country for volunteer attorneys and social workers related to assisting Holocaust survivors with elder law matters.
• Continue to develop, Bet Tzedek’s HSJN website, to maintain and expand Bet Tzedek’s capacity to support the network in relation to government benefits, elder law, and reparations advocacy.
• Maintain a registry of attorneys and social works trained on the above noted issues.
• Design and implement a needs assessment tool to better understand community needs in relation to government benefits, reparations, and elder law issues on an ongoing basis.


General Qualifications:
• B.A. or B.S. degree;
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
• Computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office and good working knowledge of database and internet tools;
• Excels at managing time of self and others; and
• Ability to work cooperatively, take initiative, and manage multiple projects at once.

Preferred, but not required
• J.D. with a license to practice in California (or pending bar results) preferred, but motivated college or law school graduates with excellent credentials will also be considered.
• Experience working with low-income seniors or Holocaust survivors;
• Experience with public benefits and/or elder law advocacy.
• Experience writing/editing educational materials or training manuals, in a legal or non-legal setting.
• Experience working in a legal office.

Personal Skills: In addition to the above qualifications and skills, an individual must demonstrate an understanding and have personal expression of, and a commitment to, Bet Tzedek’s Core Values, which are:
• Leadership – Seeks to lead through excellence in work product, and in relationships with colleagues and others; strives for open communication with all and seeks to show leadership through collaboration;
• Community – Deep understanding that integrity and respect are the only ways to truly reach people; continually explores ways to unite colleagues in the pursuit of social justice;
• Innovation – Demonstrates courage in action by being honest and open no matter what the topic; shows creativity of thought and is curious about new and challenging ways to further our mission.

To apply: 

Email letter of interest and resume to Diego Cartagena, Associate Vice President of Pro Bono, (323) 549-5839, [email protected]

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$15,996 annual living allowance. AmeriCorps VISTA members are also permitted to work at another job during off hours