Friday, April 30, 201092YTribeca
Thanks to all who joined us for Shabbat as we welcomed guest speaker Masha Leon - a Holocaust survivor and columnist for The Forward.
Masha Leon was born in Warsaw, Poland, where she survived the bombing of the city, hunger and disease. She fled Warsaw with her mother and they survived a Nazi firing squad and being shot at by the Russians on the way to Soviet-occupied Poland.
Her father was a journalist and political activist in pre-war Poland and was arrested in 1940 by the NKVD in Vilna (where he shared a prison cell with Menachem Begin). Ms. Leon describes her survival as a series of "miracles," culminating in a visa issued by Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, whose 2,139 Visas saved 6,000 Jews.
She is a graduate of CUNY(City College-Hunter-Queens College) with a degree in Yiddish Studies, majors in English and French, and has been honored by Workmen's Circle, Hadassah and the Israel Cancer Research Fund for her media accomplishments. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Working Woman, Guideposts, and Ladies Home Journal.
Masha writes a weekly column for The Forward, called "On-The-Go," which appears in both the paper and the online version. The column covers New York's and America's Jewish communities' social, political and organizational events as well as New York's benefit arenas including theatre, dance, film, music, etc.
Masha and her husband Joseph (who died in August 2008 after a long illness) have three daughters and five grandchildren.