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Eliezer Silver     $35.00
Eliezer Silver
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Pivotal founder, organiser and president of Agudath Israel of America. Rabbi Silver convened an emergency meeting in November 1939 in New York City, where the Vaad Hatzalah (Rescue Committee), was formed, with Rabbi Silver as president. Rabbi Silver spearheaded its efforts in rescuing as many European Torah scholars as possible from Nazi Europe. Rabbi Silver launched a fund-raising drive that raised more than $5 million, and also capitalised on an exemption to US immigration quotas allowing entry to ministers or religious students. At his direction, synagogues in Cincinnati and across the country sent contracts to rabbis, thereby securing 2,000 emergency visas that were telegraphed to Eastern Europe. With the increasingly desperate race against time, the Vaad, under Rabbi Silver turned to all channels, whether legal or not [1] , to save as many lives as possible by bringing Jews to the US, Canada and Palestine. Sympathetic foreign diplomats provided fake visas for perilous immigration routes; counterfeiters were paid to produce phony passports. During WWII, a Vaad representative in Switzerland even negotiated with the SS, offering to ransom concentration camp prisoners for cash and tractors - talks that freed hundreds from Bergen-Belsen and other death camps. In October 1943, as the scale of Nazi atrocities was becoming shockingly clearer, Rabbi Silver helped organise and lead a mass rally of more than 400 rabbis in Washington to press for more decisive action by the US government to save European Jews. The rally was organized by Hillel Kook's "Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe". On the steps of the Capitol, Vice President Henry A. Wallace heard Rabbi Silver's plea to deliver European Jews from extermination. The public reaction to President Roosevelt's snub (where he avoided meeting the rabbis) helped build pressure to form the War Refugee Board, which rescued tens of thousands of Jews. Rabbi Silver's ceaseless lobbying of the White House, the Vatican, the Kremlin and neutral governments on behalf of Europe's Jews directly saved at least 10,000 lives and helped spare tens of thousands more. After the war, when the full extent of the Nazi atrocities came to light, a stunned but focused Rabbi Silver began planning for reconstruction. In 1946, he distributed relief funds and helped expedite visas to Jews in eight European nations - wearing, with government permission, a US Army uniform for extra protection in areas where anti-Semitism was still rife. When donations were insufficient, Rabbi Silver often spent his own money to meet refugees' needs. In the post-war years, when Rabbi Silver helped many Jews escape the Communist countries of Europe behind the Iron Curtain, he personally guaranteed countless loans - many of which he had to repay himself. Rabbi Silver died penniless in 1968. He was interred at Washington Cemetery (Knesseth Israel) in Cincinnati. He had been Rabbi of the Kneseth Israel Congregation in Cincinnati for nearly 40 years. He authored the Seforim Anfe Erez. Our Eliezer Silver signed check image is cosigned by famous rabbi Israel Rosenberg.


Eliezer Silver    
     
 


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