A group of 20 French mayors will visit Israel next week to commemorate Yom HaShoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day).
The mayors of the delegation all come from towns that have commemorated residents who have been designated as Righteous Among the Nations, an honor bestowed by the state of Israel to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
The visiting delegation was organized by the French Yad Vashem Committee and the France-Israel Foundation. On their visit to the Jewish state, the mayors will be welcomed and hosted by the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, and will meet with the descendants of Holocaust survivors and Righteous Among the Nations. They will also be able to meet with Israeli companies, including in the high-tech sector, that are interested in doing business in France.
“A few years ago a Jewish friend showed me a picture of a young woman holding a child. She was a Holocaust survivor, a former resident of my own town. We did not know her story and thus started digging and looking for details and for more stories like that. We contacted the French Yad Vashem Committee and began working together,” said the mayor of the central French town of Saint-Amand-Montrond, Thierry Vincon, who will be leading the delegation, the Jerusalem Post reported.
According to Jean-Pierre Gauzi, the French Yad Vashem committee’s secretary-general, 191 French communities have created memorials for residents who have been named Righteous Among the Nations.