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Political & Spiritual Resistance, Russia to France
November 19, 2018 , 6:30 pm
Harriet Jackson will discuss the relief, rescue, and resistance activities of Rabbi Zalman Schneerson and the Association des Israélites pratiquants (AIP) in Vichy France, 1940-1944. The rabbi’s prior experience in clandestine activities and spiritual resistance in Soviet Russia served as a training ground, she believes, for the later resistance work he undertook in Vichy. Schneerson and his family were able to shelter, feed, and educate more than eighty children during the war, save at least fifty-three children from deportation, and help smuggle at least thirty-five children to Switzerland. Strengthened by his faith and love of the children whom he was protecting in Vichy France, the rabbi was fearless against his political enemies and remained strictly observant while protecting the lives of himself, his family, his staff and children under his care. That Schneerson and his family survived and rescued Jewish refugees in Vichy France, a regime that willingly deported nearly half of its foreign Jewish population to death camps, demonstrates that he and his wife Sara were not novices in clandestine work and operated within a larger Resistance network. Indeed, their staunch resistance to Vichy antisemitism was largely a legacy of Hasidic resistance to antisemitism under Stalinist rule.
Jackson will be joined by Hadassa [nee Schneerson] Carlebach who will discuss her experiences during the war which led her to become a public speaker on the Holocaust, and Professor Mordechai Paldiel (Yeshiva University) who will offer observations about Jackson’s talk, and discuss his own experience in France during the war, his work as a writer, professor, his work at Yad Vashem, and his latest book on Jews saving Jews.
Light refreshments will be served following the program.