Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust (ISRAH)


The Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust, a nonprofit corporation (ISRAH), is an educational organization formed for the purpose of conducting research, disseminating information, promoting awareness of, and honoring groups and individuals for the rescue of Jews and other victims of the Nazis and their collaborators, 1933-1945.

ISRAH is an umbrella organization for the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project and the Jewish Rescuers Project.

The story of rescue in the Holocaust is not well known.

The principal aim and objectives of the Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust is to demonstrate that both groups and individuals were able to successfully impede the genocidal policies of the Nazis and their helpers.

ISRAH’s goal is to recognize and honor heroic men and women in order to encourage others to emulate the acts of these courageous individuals.

ISRAH documents the stories of diplomats, political leaders, state institutions, religious groups, rescue and relief organizations, and other organizations and individuals who were actively involved in rescuing or assisting people persecuted by the Nazis.

Primary activities of the Organization include: producing books; writing scholarly articles; curating traveling exhibits; preparing educational curricula, websites and film documentaries; and organizing public programs.

It will research, document and nominate individuals for the title of Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.

ISRAH will also establish its own system to recognize and honor individuals for their altruistic behavior during the period of the Holocaust by issuing commemorative medals, certificates, plaques, etc.

ISRAH will create and maintain a searchable database on rescue and altruism on this website.  This will include lists of individuals and groups who were involved in rescue and relief activities during the War.  ISRAH will work with scholars and share information and databases.

The Organization will promote awareness of rescue and altruism in the Holocaust to European governments whose citizens participated in rescue.  It will encourage other organizations to establish their own systems to recognize altruistic individuals.

In cases where individuals were punished for their altruistic activities during the Holocaust, the Organization will encourage these institutions and governments to rehabilitate the reputations of these rescuers.

The Organization works with the families of the rescuers honored in the exhibit and educational material.  The Organization also works with individuals who were rescued during the period of the Holocaust, and their families and descendants.  The Organization coordinates with the governments of the rescuers, particularly in the case of diplomatic and other state-sponsored rescuers.  ISRAH will collect photographs, documents, oral histories and other materials relating to rescue and altruism in the Holocaust, and will share these materials with other institutions and researchers.