Rabbi Joy Levitt, of Roslyn. New York, elected by acclamation as the seventh president of the Recontructionist Rabbinical Association, became the first woman to be elected president of a national rabbinical organization.
In the same election. Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, in 1974, became First Vice-President of the Association. She and her husband, Rabbi Dennis C. Sasso, spiritual leaders of Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, became the first rabbinical couple in Judaism in 1974.
Annette Strauss, a member of the Dallas City Council for 15 years, has become the first Jewish woman to be elected mayor of a Texas city.
Strauss, 63, who was sworn in as Dallas mayor on May 4, 1987, is the second Jewish woman to become mayor of a major U.S. city, the first being Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco.
Three Sisters Pay Tribute to the Gentiles Who Saved Them
Three Jewish sisters, Miriam Oginski, Sarah Weiner, and Zahava Burack, paid tribute to a Polish couple, Jozef and Stephania Macugowski, who hid them and their parents under the floorboards of their house for two and a half years at great risk to themselves. The risk became especially severe when Germans made the house their headquarters, but Macugowski continued to sneak food and water to the family crouched in terror under the floorboards beneath their feet.
Brought to New York 40 years later to receive Yad Vashem’s “Righteous Among the Nations” designation, the couple, who speak no English, indicated through interpreters that they saved the Jews simply because “it was the right thing to do.”
Polish Woman Was a “Righteous Gentile” at Age Ten
Telling a similar story is Righteous Gentile Julia Lubois Tuargzik, who still lives in the same town of Budzisz, Poland, where her parents hid nine Jews for 26 months behind a false wooden wall in a space that measured four by six feet. Brought to the United States for a three-month visit by Bernice Lerman Feit and her brother, Solomon Leon Lerman, members of the saved Jewish family, Tuargzik recounted her story to the Center for Holocaust Studies in Brooklyn.
Tuargzik, who was only 10 years old at the time, was the eldest and the only one of the three children of Franciszek and Moria Lubois to be told about he hidden Jews. Sworn to secrecy, she helped to bring food to them. “Franciszek Lubois was more than special—he was a saint,” says Bernice Lerman. “He and his wife knew the Germans would make good their threat to torture and kill any Poles harboring runaway Jews.”
But Julia remembers clearly understanding her father’s simple rationale. “He felt,” she explained in Polish, “that everyone had a right to live.”