The Foundation began by supporting eight rescuers in the late 1980s. In 2021, the JFR distributed approximately $900,000 in direct support of Righteous Gentiles. The number of rescuers receiving monthly financial support from the Foundation grew over the years to a high of 1,850 in 2003.
Rescuers receive awards in U.S. dollars three times during the year. The calculation of the award is based on a monthly stipend, with each award covering a period of four months. Rescuers use the funds to cover the costs of food, home heating fuel, medical care, medication, and emergency needs. The JFR also awards a small grant, upon request, to help defray funeral expenses. Depending on availability of funds, the Foundation also provides one-time grants for the purchase of food during the Christmas holiday season to rescuers living in Poland and other Eastern European countries.
The Foundation remains committed to supporting these rescuers throughout the remainder of their lives. Over the past twenty-nine years, the Foundation has awarded more than $42 million to these aging heroes.
The JFR currently provides monthly financial assistance to aged and needy rescuers living in the countries listed below.