Three Jewish taxi fleet owners in London have donated two black cabs for a Polish charity to provide free rides to those who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
The innovative project aims to benefit the dwindling number of elderly Poles recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for their brave wartime efforts, with the taxi owners saying it is a debt of gratitude.
“These cabs are coming to the end of their life in London and can’t be used here anymore, but they’re perfectly good to use elsewhere,” said Farley Freedman, who got involved after a chance encounter on the streets of Edgware.
Freedman’s involvement came about through a chance encounter with a Jewish heritage campaigner on the streets of Edgware and he soon contacted friends Asher Moses and Howard Kott, who were also keen to help.
The encounter was with Jonny Daniels, whose millennial-led foundation ‘From The Depths’ works on Holocaust memory and memorial in Poland, who had identified that the Righteous were now ageing and struggling with things like shopping trips.
“It’s our way of helping them,” said Freedman this week. “These people were so good for us and this is us trying to be good for them. A lot of them are elderly now and struggle to get around so we hope it helps.”
Daniels had offered to buy the taxis but Freedman, Moses and Kott decided they wanted to donate them instead. The black cabs are now due to leave for Poland next month, after adverts donated by one of Moses’s companies have been fitted.
Daniels said: “As millennials we see things slightly differently from those before us. We understand that with survivors and their saviours passing at an ever increasing rate, we need to figure out how to ensure the generations after us connect with this painful and difficult history.”
He said paying tribute to the Righteous – “those few incredible non-Jews who risked all to save Jews during the Holocaust” – was important now more than ever.
“The most powerful aspect of my work is working with the Righteous,” he said. “The Holocaust showed us how evil people can be, but the Righteous show us that saving one life after 70 years has led to large wonderful prosperous families. They showed us that decency prevails. That’s the message I want to teach my children.”
The cabs are being media sponsored by Jewish News.
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