Last summer, at renowned Manhattan steakhouse Mike’s Bistro, Dr. Joseph Frager convened a special dinner honoring Jerry Wartski, a Holocaust survivor. Mr. Wartski, born in Lodz, Poland, nearly lost his life on account of being Jewish following the German occupation of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust. Mr. Wartski survived the both Lodz Ghetto and the infamous extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Following the defeat of the Axis, Jerry emigrated to the United States in 1949.
Dr. Frager, an acclaimed and highly respected advocate for the sovereignty, safety and security of Israel, remarked “What inspires us the most about Jerry is that he is a proud Jew who loves Israel and the Jewish people. What Jerry has witnessed in his life from a childhood in Lodz confronting anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the miracle of the creation of the [modern] State of Israel is remarkable. If you would take a moment to reflect you would be blown away what Jerry first-hand witnessed. That history has the A-mighty’s fingerprints on it. The very fact that Jews are around today and our culture is flourishing is thanks to these miracles and the faith and belief of people such as Jerry Wartski.”
Several days later, Jerry contacted me and asked that I gather a few friends to discuss an idea that would inspire the Jewish community the world over while at the same time be a blessing for Israel. Jerry confided in me that the Covid pandemic should open the eyes to the world how feeble and dependent the world is on G-d. During those terrible war years, who would ever have imagined being able to hop a short flight and arrive in the Promised Land?
Dr. Frager further commented that Mr. Wartski felt that the IHF should represent a post-Holocaust generation that values and appreciates the reestablishment of Israel. Such is in line with Mr. Wartski’s life work, that is a dovotion to commemorating the victims of the Shoah and reminding the world of the uniqueness and importance of the Holocaust. Jerry feels strongly about fostering new generations of Jews who are proud of their heritage.
Joining in that night’s dinner of inspiration was American television host Pete Hegseth of Fox News, Mr. Kenneth Abramowitz, Mr. Kalman Sporn, and Mr. Jay & Mrs. Hillary Terline.
Pictured in order:
- Jerry showing the number that was tattooed on his arm by the beastly Nazis at Auschwitz
- television personality Pete Hegseth with Jerry Wartski