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Jewish Foundation for the Righteous mourns passing of longtime chairman

Harvey Schulweis expanded its focus from supporting Righteous Gentiles to educating teachers about the deeds of rescuers.

Harvey Shulweis. Credit: Courtesy.
Harvey Shulweis. Credit: Courtesy.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) mourns the passing of its longtime chairman, Harvey Schulweis, who died on March 18.

During his 31 years leading the foundation, Schulweis is credited with expanding the organization’s services from providing much-needed financial support to Righteous Gentiles, who saved Jews during the Holocaust, to building an expansive Holocaust-educational program that trains middle- and high school teachers in the history of the Holocaust and the important lessons their students can learn from the deeds of the rescuers.

Schulweis assumed the role of JFR chairman in 1992 at the behest of his cousin, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, who respected his business and Jewish communal expertise. During his tenure, the JFR raised and distributed more than $45 million to Righteous Gentiles around the world and trained thousands of educators.

Schulweis served in various leadership positions for UJA-Federation of New York, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the 14th Street Y and other Jewish communal organizations.

“Harvey cared deeply about the Jewish people and had a very clear vision of the role the JFR could play in educating future generations about the Holocaust, antisemitism, and the heroism of the Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. His efforts assured that Righteous Gentiles are able to live out their remaining years with dignity through monthly financial awards and that their legacies live on through the educators who teach about their heroism,” said JFR executive vice president Stanlee Stahl.

“He transformed the JFR from an idea into a well-respected and effective organization that helped Righteous Gentiles every day and supported teachers in their efforts to teach the Holocaust,” she continued. “Harvey Schulweis made a difference in this world and he took to heart the responsibility of tikkun olam. We will miss him dearly.”

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