A group of "rescuers" living in Israel -- known to the rest of the world as "righteous gentiles" -- will also gather to celebrate the Jewish New Year, albeit after the holiday, on October 4. The 'Atzum' organization has organized the gathering, an annual event, to enable the rescuers, many of whom are now elderly, to socialize with each other and with their "adoptive Israeli grandchildren" says Atzum founding executive director, Rabbi Levi Lauer.
The NGO, which focuses its efforts on promoting social activism, will hold the gathering at Jerusalem's Nagish Cafe, run entirely by disabled individuals. The restaurant was founded by Esther Greenwald, -- herself honored by Yad Vashem as one of Israel's Righteous Among the Nations.
“Our group's continued support sends a clear message to the rescuers that their heroism and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed and that they will never be forgotten,” Lauer added.
Among those who are invited to the celebration, and who today lives in Israel is Jaroslawa Lewicka (Levitsky). Together with her grandfather Aleksander and her mother Katarzyna, she courageously helped the Jews in Zloczow, Ukraine from 1941 to 1944.
Lewicka acted as a young courier and helped supply food and medicine to Jews until the town's Jewish community was liquidated in 1943.
Among the handful of survivors were two Jewish girls whom Lewicka and her family helped shelter and care for until July 1944, when the area was liberated. Her family also cared for a group of 25 Jews hiding in a nearby basement, two kilometers away, despite the clear risk to themselves.