Yad Vashem Honours Righteous Heroes
True Heroes Tribute Gala posthumously honours three Righteous Among the Nations.
On Tuesday, October 5, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem held its True Heroes Tribute Gala which honoured three Righteous Among the Nations. Nearly 1,000 guests attended the emotional ceremony which was held in Toronto.
This year’s honourees were three individuals originally from Holland and France: Cornelis and Heintje Roggeveen and Klaas and Boukje Feringa who saved Max Noach in Holland and Marie Françoise Borel who saved the Kaufman and the Kwiatek families in France.
The three were posthumously bestowed with the Righteous Among the Nations title for their exceptional heroism saving Jews from the threat of death during the Holocaust. The awards were accepted on behalf of the honourees by their living descendants, who today reside in Port Elgin, ON, Charlottetown, PEI, and Notre-Dame de Montauban, PQ.
The evening also reunited the families of the rescuers with the surviving individuals who were saved by the Righteous Among the Nations honourees.
During the pre-dinner reception, the Yad Vashem ‘Besa’ Exhibitionwas displayed for the first time in Canada. The exhibition features portraits and explanatory texts of 17 Muslim Righteous Among the Nations and their families from Albania.
The evening was attended by Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Miriam Ziv, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, Ambassador of Albania in Canada Besnik Konci, Ambassador of France in Canada François Delattre, Israel’s Consul General to Toronto Amir Gissin, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Toronto Hans Horbach Consul General of the United States in Toronto Kevin Johnson, and Israel's Consul to Montreal and Eastern Canada Avi Lev-Louis. Holocaust Survivors and members of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities were also in attendance.