The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous provides financial support to more than 600 non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust and preserves their legacy through a national education program.
During the Holocaust there were thousands of non-Jews who refused to be passive in the face of the evil they witnessed, rescuing Jews, at risk to their own lives and often to the lives of their families. In 1986, Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis established The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) to fulfill the traditional Jewish commitment to hakarat hatov, the searching out and recognition of goodness. To this end, the JFR is committed to assisting those Righteous Gentiles who are in need. They are often reluctant to ask for help; they acted without expecting reward then or now. However, as Rabbi Schulweis realized, it is our duty to honor and support them.
The JFR started out funding eight rescuers, and that number quickly grew, reaching 1,800. Now, as the rescuers age and pass on, the number of rescuers receiving our support is declining; however, we continue to receive new applications on behalf of recently recognized rescuers. Currently, the JFR supports aged and needy rescuers in 20 countries. The JFR is committed to spending $1.7 million each year in support of aged and Righteous Gentiles.
In addition to providing needed financial assistance to rescuers each month, the Foundation preserves the memory and legacy of the rescuers through its national Holocaust teacher education program. The goal of the program is to educate middle and high school teachers about the history of the Holocaust and to provide them with the resources to integrate this knowledge into their classrooms.
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