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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Encino

Exhibit Honors World War II Hero

May 12, 2000|STEPHANIE STASSEL

A photo exhibit on Varian Fry, an American who saved 2,000 Jews from the Nazis, will open Monday at Valley Beth Shalom.

The 20 photos, some 9 feet tall, depict Fry's work with the Emergency Rescue Committee, an underground organization that helped refugees escape France by crossing the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain. Among Fry's "clients" were painter Marc Chagall, novelist Franz Werfel and sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.

"It's quite riveting," said Elaine Gill, the synagogue's religion vice president, who made arrangements for the traveling exhibit with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. After leaving the Valley, the exhibit goes next to Atlanta.

The exhibit coincides with an annual Shabbat dinner hosted by the synagogue to honor people who helped Jews escape the Holocaust. This year, rescue efforts by the Spanish will be highlighted at a May 19 dinner and Shabbat service. Two members of Fry's committee and two people who escaped through the Pyrenees are expected to attend.

"Assignment: Rescue, The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee" will be on display from Monday through May 22 in the lobby of Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.

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