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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Students Hear from Righteous Gentile

Mrs. Zaks and a group of Seniors
Several Senior and Junior classes were privileged to meet and speak with Mrs. Czezvana Zaks, an 86- year old Polish Catholic woman who has been recognized as one of the חסידי אומות העולם by Yad Vashem and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Mrs. Wielgus, Jewish History chairperson, arranged for Mrs. Zaks to visit the Yeshivah. During the Holocaust, Mrs. Zaks' family sheltered 14 Jews who hid for nearly two years in their apartment. 

Students first watched a riveting subtitled video in which Mrs. Zaks described how and why her family succeeded in hiding these Jews and the dangers they faced in doing so. At one point, the Jews' hideout was nearly discovered, but Mrs. Zaks, then a teenager of 16, managed to send away those searching for them. 
Students then had a question and answer session with Mrs Zaks. Katarzyna Kulinska, an educator from the new Jewish Museum in Warsaw, served as Mrs. Zaks' interpreter.

The sessions with Mrs. Zaks were moving and inspiring. In senior Joy Feinberg's words, "We felt honored and privileged to meet you and we know the world is a better place because of brave people like you."
Mrs. Wielgus, Mrs. Zaks, and Ms. Kulinska