Day after day we sit at our desk and write checks for our programs — all of whom do outstanding, creative and important work on behalf of people too often forgotten.
But today, as I read a mid-term report on our grant for ATZUM, an Israeli organization founded by the dynamic Rabbi Levi Lauer, I sensed a different, more significant meaning to the funds we were about to disburse. Among the several programs ATZUM sponsors is a tiny effort that provides for the needs of the remaining Righteous Among the Nations, those who risked their own lives during the Shoah to rescue Jews from certain death. At one time there were more than 100 individuals who made Israel their home after the war. Today, 12 elderly men and women, all infirm, live simple modest lives, often alone with no family or friends, and dependent upon National Insurance which provides for their basic needs. For everything else there is ATZUM’s support which comes in the form of volunteers and financial aid for needs not covered by National Insurance which could include housing, medical needs, legal aid and more.
Upon finishing the report I could not help but think about some of the rescuer’s stories and how, with little thought of their own safety and well-being, they helped save the lives of total strangers whose only fault was that they were Jews. It was indeed Holy money for a Holy cause as I wrote the Good People Fund check to cover some of the program’s expenses.