Ahead of the upcoming Christmas holiday season, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) has sent $515,000 to 156 Righteous Gentiles, rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust living in 14 different countries.

The foundation provides monthly financial awards to these aged and needy Righteous Gentiles, helping to repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish people for their heroism. Since its founding, the JFR has provided more than $42 million to an estimated 2,500 rescuers in more than 34 countries.

The funds include $125,000 in monthly cash awards (for the period of September to December) and an additional $2,500 for each of the 156 Righteous Gentiles the JFR supports. The added funds are earmarked towards purchasing food and other necessary items, such as medications and home heating fuel during the holiday season.

This marks one of the largest holiday disbursements the JFR has sent in its more than 30-year history.

In total, nearly $294,000 was distributed to rescuers in Poland, nearly $60,000 to those in Ukraine and some $56,000 to rescuers in Lithuania.

Other countries that received funds include Albania ($6,600), Australia ($3,300), Belarus ($19,800), Germany ($6,600), Greece (3,300), Hungary ($29,700), Romania ($3,300) Russia ($16,500), Slovakia ($3,300) and the United States ($6,800).

Xhemal V., with notification of funds. Credit: Courtesy.

“Each of these Righteous Gentiles is a hero who, when faced with adversity, risked their lives and those of their families to save their Jewish neighbors, friends and strangers, from the Nazis and their collaborators,” said JFR executive vice president Stanlee Stahl.

“As the holidays approach, we wanted to make the season special for them, especially during this difficult and challenging time, when many of these rescuers are facing hardship and isolation due to COVID-19,” said Stahl. “This financial assistance is just one of the many ways we can repay our boundless gratitude for all that they did in risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.”

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