World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah Goes Up in New York CityBy Hana Levi Julian and Uri Geller Museum: A look into the mind, life, legacy of Israel's most interesting personality (unfortunately regardless of the story the museum is only open by appointment) and Snowstorms, bears and Stars of David: Even in Alaska, a tiny Jewish community can make its voice heard and Katie Couric reveals that her mother was Jewish in new autobiography and The British Spy Who Saved Thousands Of Jews and Chanukah Day Three Today
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
(JTA) — I grew up Jewish in Alaska. The Jewish community in Anchorage, the city where I grew up, did things their own Jewish way. It was the only kind of Judaism that I knew.
For example, I used to think that everyone had their bar or bat mitzvah during the summer, because in Alaska, anyway, that was the best time to invite relatives.
Later, of course, I encountered many forms of Judaism. I have lived in Jerusalem. I have worshipped and worked at Jewish communities too small for a synagogue and congregations with over 1,500 families. All these experiences convinced me to become a rabbi. But I would have never predicted that, after ordination at Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in 2017, I would come back to my hometown as a rabbi.
I now officiate at b'nai mitzvah in the very sanctuary where I received mine. As a lover of nature and someone who has grown to appreciate Judaism in smaller cities and towns, I feel Alaska is a great place to be Jewish. While some may think it's distant and cold, I have always found it cozy and welcoming.
A small community of some 4,500 people, far from the large centers of Jewish life, might have been expected to let this go. Or perhaps grumble among ourselves and let "outsiders" object for us.
Instead, at a hearing on masks in September, one of my congregants, State Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar, read a letter I had written. "It was heart-wrenching for me when I noticed individuals were wearing yellow Stars of David, mimicking my Jewish ancestors who perished during the Holocaust," he read, quoting me. "For myself and most Jews, seeing the yellow Star of David on someone's chest elicits the same feeling as seeing a swastika on a flag or the SS insignia on a uniform. I believe it is a constitutional right to protest for your values. But I request that you do not use symbols that diminish the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust."
The mayor apologized the next day, thanks to the work of a confident Jewish community that showed him how hurtful his remarks were for Alaskan Jews.
Our confidence comes with deep roots. In 1900, a community of 60 Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah in Nome using a Torah brought by Sam Bayles, a Latvian immigrant who sought his fortune in the Alaska Gold Rush. The Bayles Torah stayed in Nome until after World War I, when it was moved slightly south (537 miles) to my congregation, Congregation Beth Sholom in Anchorage, where it remains today alongside other Torah scrolls with their own uniquely Alaskan histories.
Their stories are much the same as the story of how Jews came to Alaska. Whether through a pioneering spirit, a sense of amazement or a need to connect with tradition in the farthest North, Jews have been coming to Alaska since before it was even a state.
I often feel that Jews in the lower 48 consider Judaism in Alaska to be diminished due to its isolation and its limited population. We certainly have our own unique problems here. Starting Shabbat is a difficult venture when our sunsets are swinging from light most of the night to dark most of the day. Moose get in our sukkot, and snowstorms and bears have prevented us from coming or leaving shul.
However, I believe that Judaism is beautiful here. This is not a place where Judaism just survives, but a place where Judaism thrives. We have our own special Alaskan way of being Jewish.
For example, our community, which has 160 family members, has no formal mikveh, or ritual bath, and yet we are surrounded by mikveh possibilities. Every one of Alaska's 3 million lakes are pristine, and most of them are remote. Every summer I ready laminated mikveh prayer cards for Jewish Alaskans who wish to enjoy a mikveh experience against the incredible backdrop of rugged mountains and emerald green forests.
Most people's Jewish experience, I imagine, come from a connection to Jewish institutions, Jewish professionals and Jewish friends. My Jewish experiences seem always to be nestled among the splendor of God's creations.
The dispute over Holocaust analogies and its resolution was a great reminder that Jews in Alaska are a part of, not apart from, Alaska. We are not an isolated shtetl, but rather working members of the Alaskan community. There are several current Alaskan Jewish lawmakers, and we have been represented in state leadership all the way back to the framing of the Alaska Constitution. Prior to the current Anchorage mayor's hurtful comments, three of the city's previous mayors were Jewish.
We love this place, and we support it in every way we can.
Katie Couric reveals that her mother was Jewish in new autobiography
Katie Couric attends the "Turning Tables: Cooking, Serving, and Surviving In A Global Pandemic" premiere during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Brookfield Place in New York City on June 18, 2021. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)ADVERTISEMENT
(JTA) — Katie Couric reveals in her new autobiography that her mother was Jewish, contrasting her mother's upbringing with that of her father, who was apparently proud of his Confederate ancestors.
Couric delves into the revelation in "Going There," published this week, which she also discussed Thursday in a long interview with Rebecca Traister, a Jewish feminist journalist, in New York magazine. Even well into her own adulthood, the former NBC "Today Show" and "CBS Evening News" anchor did not discuss her mother's Jewishness.
She recalls, as an adult, discovering her late mother, Elinor, weeping after some friends made antisemitic remarks, but not explaining that she was wounded because she was Jewish.
Katie Couric's first realization that she came from a Jewish background was when she was 10 years old and spotted a menorah in her mother's brother's house. The first thing that ran through her head was the song by the Jewish satirist Tom Lehrer: "Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics, and the Catholics hate the Protestants… and everybody hates the Jews."
Her mother and her grandparents seemed ambivalent about being Jewish; she discovers a letter from her mother's father to his daughter urging her to mix with non-Jews. Her mother winces when Couric, as a TV personality, adopts the word "Oy."
Couric theorizes in her interview with Traister that her mother was seeking to avoid the antisemitism she must have encountered growing up, and also to protect the reputation of her father, a newsman and publicist. The family lived in the South, and Couric's father, who was descended from Confederate soldiers, was obsessed with the Confederacy. Her late husband, Jay Monahan, was also an aficionado of the Confederacy and was proud of Couric's Confederate roots.
The book has also earned publicity for its revelation that Couric in 2016 repressed parts of an interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Jewish liberal Supreme Court justice. In the interview, Ginsburg spoke derisively of Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who protested racism in America by taking a knee during the national anthem.
World's Largest Chanukah Menorah Goes Up in New York City
It was only enough to keep the flame lit for one day: but miraculously, the flame burned for eight days, until a new batch of pure oil could be obtained.
It is for this reason that Jews around the world celebrate the eight-day holiday with foods cooked in oil.
Designed by world renown artist Yaacov Agam, the New York City menorah has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest.
The design was inspired by a hand-drawn sketch of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, made by Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, known as the Rambam (Maimonides) — a Sephardic Jewish Torah sage and philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential men of the Middle Ages. Born in Cordoba, the Rambam was a preeminent astronomer as well as a renown physician who served as the personal physician of Saladin.
The 36-feet-tall menorah and the nightly Chanukah events held next to it, sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, have been a New York City tradition for nearly half a decade.
The city's annual Chanukah Menorah Parade took place Sunday evening (Nov. 28), with people driving their vehicles in a convoy, all topped with glowing Chanukah menorahs, in accordance with the call of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to publicize the miracle of Chanukah.
The parade began at 6 pm Sunday, the Chabad-Lubavitch Mitzvah Tank Organization announced.
Old Jaffa and outstide the Uri Geller Museum
Uri Geller Museum: A look into the mind, life, legacy of Israel's most interesting personality
Like the man himself, the museum is truly a one-of-a-kind spectacle, featuring a diverse and amazing collection of items on display that need to be seen to be believed.
URI GELLER stands beside his 1976 Cadillac covered
in over 2,000 bent spoons and other cutlery, many of which he claims
once belonged to famous figures.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Nestled away among some of the oldest and most historic
buildings in Jaffa, near the entrance of the old port, is the Uri
Geller Museum, a museum unlike any other, boasting a unique and varied collection, and standing as a testament to the mind, life and legacy of one of Israel's most famous and interesting personalities.The museum is owned and operated by Uri Geller, an Israeli psychic, mystifier and entertainer, whose 50-year career has seen him become famous all over the world.Like the man himself, the museum is truly a one-of-a-kind spectacle, featuring a diverse and amazing collection of items on display that need to be seen to be believed
That alone would make this museum worth visiting, but it is Geller's
enthusiasm-filled guided tours and the showcase of the life story of such a unique individual that cement it as an absolute must-see. It may seem hard to believe that someone born to a relatively poor life in Tel Aviv would become the man he is today, and Geller does have his critics, but his reputation has withstood the test of time and has seen him rub shoulders with a wide variety of famous figures over the years. He rose to prominence in the 1970s, having impressed then-prime minister Golda Meir with his seemingly supernatural abilities, which were then certified by the CIA after he was subjected to testing.
URI GELLER stands by a wall of posters, flyers and headlines documenting the many highlights of his career. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)"As a result of Geller's success in this experimental period, we consider that he has demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner," Geller proudly declared, citing the CIA report in question. Many over the years have doubted Geller's claims of extraordinary abilities, but none can dispute that his life and career have been anything but mundane. He is a man of many talents, having been a paratrooper in the Six Day War, where he was wounded on French Hill; a model and entertainer; a singer, even recording and releasing six albums; an author who has published over 14 books; and a talented artist, even boasting at having the surrealist luminary Salvador Dali as a mentor.And all this and more are on full display at the museum, which, like Geller himself, is anything but ordinary.
ENTRANCE TO the Uri Geller Museum in Jaffa. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The museum is situated in Old Jaffa in an old Ottoman-era building that once served as a soap factory. It isn't the only museum in the area; in fact, it is directly abutting the Ilana Goor Museum. But this museum is no simple gallery. In fact, it is quite unlike any other museum in the world.No space is left untouched, as walls, tables, displays and pedestals are lined with a wide assortment of items and mementos from Geller's long and storied career. These range from a crystal sphere that belonged to Tsar Nicholas II and a statue that belonged to Mahatma Gandhi, to items he obtained directly, such as a jacket signed by Michael Jackson and boxing gloves that belonged to Muhammad Ali. He even boasts a small gold nugget he obtained one day from John Lennon, who had sworn that aliens tried to talk to him. This was far from Geller's first encounter with alleged evidence of extraterrestrial life. When he was just a boy living in Tel Aviv, he had an alien encounter, he claims. And years later, he had another one – but this time it involved NASA and Nazis.This story is one Geller enthusiastically recounts in his museum, which is available for group tours guided by the man himself and is available in multiple languages. Despite being close to 75 years old, Geller glides around the room with the enthusiasm of a man still in his prime, recounting his own life story and the stories of every item in the museum with the natural smoothness and charisma of an expert showman.
THE MUSEUM displays include paintings, signed memorabilia and a wide assortment of interesting artifacts. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Geller and his best friend and brother-in-law, Shipi Shtrang, had gone together alongside astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and met with Dr. Wernher von Braun, a Nazi scientist dubbed "the father of rockets," who had been brought to the US via Operation Paperclip. There, Geller claims, he was shown a strange piece of metal that he said "breathed," and which von Braun said was from a UFO.After that, they were taken down to an unmarked building on the site and led down three flights of stairs. After putting on protective lab equipment similar to what is used in Antarctica, they went inside a special refrigerated room."Now, who can tell me what I saw inside there?" Geller asked the group, which was made up of pilots from the 101st Squadron, the first fighter pilot unit in the IDF. "Say it out loud.""An alien?" one guest asked."Who said that?" Geller asked."I did," the guest replied."He said it, not me!" Geller instantly replied. "You all heard that!"Many of the stories of the various items on display are told by Geller himself, or further elaborated by videos played in the center of the room on a huge video wall. The items include paintings, signed memorabilia and incredible artifacts.
GELLER IS SEEN with his artistic mentor, Salvador Dali, in a video montage about his life. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)These include a jersey belonging to Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, several sculptures by Salvador Dali, a copy of a Leonardo da Vinci painting and a rock crystal sphere that belonged to Leonardo given to Geller by Dali, an ancient crystal skull given to him by former Mexican president Jose Lopez Portillo, a Make America Great Again hat signed by former US president Donald Trump and the artwork for Michael Jackson's last album, Invincible, which was designed by Geller himself.Also on display is a massively enlarged issue of the Marvel comic book Daredevil. This issue, Daredevil No. 133, was released in 1976 and was written by Marv Wolfmann, and showcased the titular superhero team up with Geller to fight the psychic super-villain Mind-Wave. Geller actually has several authentic copies of this issue, and they can be bought signed on the museum's online store (www.urigeller.museum) for $200. It is one of the few items the museum currently offers for sale. Also for sale are Geller's original artwork; and guns, specifically a collection of limited edition bronze pistols with the barrels bent, with the word "PEACE" written in English, Hebrew and Arabic carved on the gun, though these guns are currently priced at $6,000 each.THE MOST notable of the personal artworks on display are the spoons, with the type of cutlery being one that has defined Geller's career due to his being famous for "spoon bending," or allegedly using psychic abilities to bend spoons. In fact, Geller has popularized spoon bending to such an extent that it has now become symbolic of psychic abilities as a whole.The most prominent spoon is actually outside the museum, a massive 16-meter steel tablespoon that has since been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest spoon in the world. But it is far from the only spoon, with several more displayed inside the museum itself.
GELLER POSES by the Geller Effect, a 1976 Cadillac covered in over 2,000 bent spoons, forks, and other cutlery. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)The most eye-catching display of spoons inside the museum can be seen adorning a car, a customized 1976 Cadillac. This piece, titled the Geller Effect, consists of around 2,000 spoons, forks and other cutlery affixed meticulously all over the car, some of which belonged to Geller personally, and around 1,000 donated by British, Arab, Israeli and Indian schoolchildren.Geller also claims that many of the spoons belonged to famous individuals, with the list including luminaries such as former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, magician Harry Houdini, Egypt's King Farouk, the UK's Princess Diana, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, PLO leader Yasser Arafat, psychology pioneer Sigmund Freud (from whom Geller claims he descends),
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, rock musician Sting, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, England's King George III. There is also a spoon he claims dates back thousands of years. The Cadillac was exhibited in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for an entire year.What is perhaps the most unusual of the items on display is a model Libyan airplane that came from another surprising source: Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.Geller recounts his meeting with the now deceased world leader with a mix of wistfulness and incredulity."In 2009, Gaddafi wanted to come to New York and speak at the UN, but he couldn't get a room at any hotel," he said. "He tried setting up an encampment in Central Park, but that didn't work out. He then set up a large Bedouin-style tent on Donald Trump's property in Bedford, New York."Geller's voice drops, and his next sentence comes out in an excited whisper. "In short, I met him. Gaddafi came at me wearing a brown keffiyeh. And he shouted: 'You are from Israel! I will send you something, so you can remind all your people what you did to us!'"Months later, the plane arrived. What did it mean? By Geller's guess, it referenced an incident in 1973, which he recounts in excited detail – fitting for the guests, who were all retired fighter pilots. The incident in question was the downing of Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, which was shot down by the IAF on February 21, 1973, after it illegally flew into Israeli territory in the Sinai while en route to Cairo.BY GELLER'S own estimation, the most valuable piece in his collection is an artwork by Andy Warhol. However, some of the most incredible pieces in the museum aren't kept up for display.
MERCHANDISE AND books about Geller have been made throughout his career – with some displayed at the museum. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Downstairs, in the lower levels of the museum, lie rooms with several glass cases filled with a variety of artifacts and mementos."Nobody ever comes down here," Geller told the Magazine as he walked down the stairs. "You're the first to see it all."The items stored in this area include a shirt worn by former prime minister David Ben-Gurion, the binoculars that belonged to former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, a basketball signed by NBA legend Kobe Bryant, a cap signed by Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton, Gary Cooper's script holder and penknife, Sigmund Freud's pipe, a gift from IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, and items related to Geller's famous lawsuit against Nintendo over the Pokémon Kadabra, whose likeness was taken from him, though Geller dropped the lawsuit after 20 years.So much of this collection comes from Geller having met so many famous and influential people in his career, something by his own admission he strived for."I was on an ego trip; I was shameless," he said. "I wanted to rub shoulders with famous people."And his success is evident."I'm a natural-born showman and PR man. I have no managers or spokespeople. I know how to go with the flow and appeal to tabloids, governments and scientists," he explained. "I can rock the boat and be successful with it. I'm nice. I'm open and down to earth. I'm Israeli, I'm a Sabra [native-born Israeli] and I have chutzpah."And with a career spanning five decades and feats famous throughout the world, no one can deny – believe in him or not – that Geller never fails to stay relevant, even, or perhaps especially, when he is controversial."Oscar Wilde said it best," he said, quoting a line from The Picture of Dorian Gray: "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."Indeed, in 2021 alone, Geller – by his own count – had made front-page headlines eight times. They included his claiming to utilize his powers to dislodge the Ever Given after it had gotten stuck in the Suez Canal; using his psychic abilities in an effort to help England in the Euro 2020 games; disclosing details about his alien encounters with NASA; and, most recently at the time of writing, accusing aliens of being behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp going down for over six hours.WHAT WAS perhaps most striking about the museum in retrospect was the details surrounding the museum itself.Geller launched the museum with an investment of $6 million, and it is set to be the subject of a documentary, filming for which should begin in December. It was originally set to open earlier, but was delayed by COVID-19.This new museum was devised to house the many items he has accrued throughout his career and his time hopping between the US, Israel and the UK.But Geller is also well aware of his age. Though he possesses the energy and youthful exuberance of a man decades younger, he is still almost 75.
Though his life has been filled with extravagance and excitement, seeing sights that most people could never dream of, he doesn't know how much longer he has left in this world.And this is arguably summed up with a final video he showed near the end of the tour. The video is a photo montage featuring Geller's humble beginnings and rise to international super-stardom, with photos showing him alongside the many famous figures he has met throughout his career.All of this is set to Geller himself singing a cover of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," a song that emphasizes a man facing "the final curtain" and reflecting on how he's "lived a life that's full" and "much more than this, I did it my way."But an Uri Geller Museum would not be complete without his signature feat: spoon bending. And, indeed, at the end of the tour, he did exactly that, snapping the front of the spoon off as it went flying behind him before then bending the handle back as he discussed the times he did this feat in the past."But wait, I have one more spoon to bend," Geller concluded, showing off the spoon tattoo that stretches from his bicep to his forearm past the elbow. He raised his arm and bent it backward, bending the spoon tattoo.
"One, two, three." ■The
Uri Geller Museum is located on 7 Mazal Arieh Street in Jaffa and is open for groups of 20-40 people at NIS 50 per person. Reservations mustbe made in advance. For more information, visit the website at urigellermuseum.comThe writer was a guest of the museum.
Editor's note. from Yehuda Lave. The website for the museum does not post this information. It says the museum is open all the time. So the gang (Yakoov, Serel, Miriam and Yehuda)--pictures below and they wouldn't let us in no matter how much we pleaded.
So we went next door to the Elana Goor museum which was fabuilous.
Frank Foley lived a quiet life in a small English town after World War II. His neighbors had no idea that this short, unassuming man was a hero who led a dangerous double life in Nazi Germany. He had been head of Britain's intelligence service and saved thousands of Jewish lives.
Based in Berlin in the 1930s, his official job was passport control officer for the British. In actuality, he was the head of the Berlin office of MI6, Britain's secret intelligence service.
As a spy, Major Foley had a dramatic career. He organized the operation that saved Norway's gold reserves from the Nazis and persuaded leading German scientists not to pass on essential data about atomic research to the Nazi leadership. He also convinced scores of German spies to become double agents.
A life-long devout Catholic, Foley was greatly moved by the Nazi persecution of Jews, and assisted thousands to escape from Germany.
Following Kristallnacht in 1938, he wrote in a confidential report to London: "The Nazi party has not departed from its original intentions and its ultimate aim remains the disappearance of the Jews from Germany."
Though immigration rules still remained strict at that time of economic depression, many Jews realized the danger and tried to flee from the Nazi threat.
Defying the unrelenting policy of his own Foreign Office, Foley issued 10,000 visas for British Mandate Palestine. Without diplomatic immunity in Berlin, he ran a serious risk of being discovered by the Nazis. Despite the great personal danger to himself and his family, he continued to forge visas and passport documents for Jews attempting to flee Germany and Austria. He entered concentration camps to secure the release of Jewish prisoners. It is believed that he saved about 10,000 lives.
Frank Foley's wife, Kay, reported: "Jews trying to find a way out of Germany queued in the hundreds outside the British consulate, clinging to the hope that they would get a passport or a visa. Day after day we saw them standing along the corridors, down the steps and across the large courtyard, waiting their turn to fill in the forms that might lead to freedom. In the end, that queue grew to be a mile long. Some were hysterical. Many wept. All were desperate. With them came a flood of cables and letters from other parts of the country, all pleading for visas and begging for help. For them, Frank's yes or no really meant the difference between a new life and the concentration camps. But there were many difficulties. How could so many people be interviewed before their turn came for that dreaded knock on the door…
"Frank worked from 7 am to 10 pm without a break. He would handle as many applications himself as he could manage and would walk among his staff of examiners to see where he could assist them, or give advice and words of comfort to those who waited."
Wim Van Leer, also involved in helping Jews to escape from Nazi Germany, noted that "the winter of 1938 was a harsh one and elderly men and women waited from six in the morning, queuing up in the snow and biting wind. Captain Foley saw to it that a uniformed commissionaire trundled a tea-urn on a trolley along the line of frozen misery…"
Miriam Posner, a Jewish girl of sixteen, traveled from East Prussia to beg for a visa to Palestine, although she did not meet Britain's stiff conditions for entry. She maintained: "Foley saved my life. We heard that there was this man Foley who was kind to the Jews. My mother begged him. He just paced up and down a little and then asked for my passport and put the visa stamp on it. He did not ask any questions." She added, "He was small and quiet. You would never suspect he was a spy."
The Frank Foley memorial plaque in Stourbridge
Ze'ev Padan's father was interned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp when Foley rescued him. Ze'ev too was saved by Foley's defiance of authority.
By the time of the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom in November 1938, Foley and his wife had undertaken something even more dangerous: sheltering Jews overnight in their apartment. Among their "guests" was Leo Baeck, chairman of the Association of German Rabbis.
In September 1939, when the war began, Foley returned to England. However he left behind a thick stack of pre-approved visas with instructions that they should be distributed to those fleeing the Nazis.
After the war, Frank Foley and his wife Kay retired to the small town of Stourbridge. He lived quietly, enjoying his garden and chatting with the local children. Since he rarely mentioned his wartime experiences, the neighbors had no idea that a hero lived in their midst.
He died in 1958 at the age of 74. Three years after his death, Mrs. Foley finally revealed his brave exploits.
British journalist Michael Smith brought Foley's unknown story to light in his book Foley, the Spy who saved 10,000 Jews, published in 1999:
"Foley clearly ranked alongside the likes of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg and yet his name was virtually unknown. I set out to find out the truth about Foley. One of my first stops was Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Center, where I asked if Foley had ever been considered for the honor of Righteous Among Nations, the accolade accorded to any gentile who helped save even one Jew from the Holocaust."
Although officials at Yad Vashem had heard of Foley, they claimed there was no evidence to support his case. However, a document in its archives written by Hubert Pollack, a Jewish aid worker, who had worked alongside Foley in Berlin, described how Foley had saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis.
This was the first of many testimonies by prominent Jews who had known Foley. The most dramatic came during the 1961 trial in Israel of Adolf Eichmann. One of the chief prosecution witnesses, Benno Cohn, former chairman of the Zionist Organization of Germany, paid tribute to Foley.
Benno Cohen, Chairman of Zionist Organization of Germany
"There was one man who stood out above all others like a beacon," said Cohn. "Captain Foley, Passport Officer in the British Consulate in the Tiergarten in Berlin, a man who in my opinion was one of the greatest among the nations of the world. It was possible to bring a great number of people to Israel through the help of this most wonderful person. He rescued thousands of Jews from the jaws of death."
Hubert Pollack, a Zionist agent, pointed out that Foley was also aware of the secret Zionist organization Mossad LeAliyah Bet which smuggled Jews into British-controlled Palestine. However, Foley had not reported it, as required, to his superiors.
Thanks to the Holocaust Educational Trust, the evidence Michael Smith collected was given to Yad Vashem. After officials interviewed the living witnesses he found in researching the book, they finally awarded Foley the title of Righteous Among the Nations in 1999 and a tree was planted for him in Jerusalem.
There is also a plaque in Foley's honor in the British Embassy in Berlin and another in the town of Stourbridge. An 8-foot high stone statue in his birthplace of Highbridge also provides a permanent tribute to this quiet hero.