Mrs. Jacqueline Goldman is truly a remarkable woman.
Born in Paris, at age 9 she traveled to her paternal hometown of Krakow, Poland, for Yom Kippur. Her eyes sparkled as she recalled that time, she saw for the first time Shabbat candles being lit and went with her beloved Grandfather to the synagogue,=. She stood there in awe at the prayers and watched as tears fell from his eyes on to his prayer book. This image was etched into her soul.
Exactly a year later WW2 had broken out. She was in France and on Yom Kippur, her grandfather wanted to go to Synagogue. He saw a German guard had shut the doors. Broken-hearted he tried to enter and was brutally murdered on the spot by the German. When Jacqueline’s grandmother standing close by tried to help her husband, she too was shot on the spot.
Jacqueline’s father was rounded up and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He miraculously survived and was eventually liberated from Dachau after a forced death March towards the end of the war.
Mrs. Goldman was saved by being sent to a convent, where she hid as a non-Jewish girl. She externally lived the life of a Christian child, but internally could only see her grandfather’s tears on his prayer book and stayed strong and firm in her Jewish faith.
After the war’s end, she married and came to America, where she was able to build a successful life.
Just a few decades after the end of the Holocaust, she was in Jerusalem, meeting with her friend Mayor Teddy Kolleck. He needed help to transform the plaza of the Western Wall and Mrs. Goldman, with her husband Nathan, stepped up and donated all the money needed.
She became a great supporter of the Jewish State, always feeling “so Jewish and so Israeli,” she became close to Yitzhak & Leah Rabin, naming her eldest daughter Leah in her honor. Along with Golda Meir she raised many millions in bonds, to help rebuild Israel. She also massively supported Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance service, helping to save countless lives.
I had the honor to visit her in Florida along with her son, friends, and Rabbis, and write a letter in our Survivor Torah.