Monday, March 30, 2020

Members of the Yonkers City Council honor Holocaust survivor Betty Migdol (front), with her daughter June Hirsh and her rabbi, Chabad of Yonkers Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz, at the Yonkers City Hall ceremony. (Credit: Robert Kalfus)

Yonkers City Council members Shanae Williams and Corazon Pineda-Isaac see Holocaust survivor Betty Migdol congratulated and honored by Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader. (Credit: Robert Kalfus)

The Yonkers City Council marked Holocaust International Remembrance Day by honoring Holocaust survivor Betty Migdol, a Yonkers resident since 1970. Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader and the Yonkers City Council members honored Betty with proclamations and a standing ovation, as Betty’s daughter June Hirsch accompanied her in the Council’s fourth-floor chamber.

Betty Migdol was born December 19, 1927, the third of six children, to a very religious and poor family in Ruscova, Romania, a small town in the Carpathian Mountains. In 1944, when she was 16, the Hungarians who had moved into her town rounded up all the Jews and sent them first to a ghetto and then on transport trains to the Auschwitz death camp. After six months at Auschwitz, she was sent to a slave labor camp. When the war ended in 1945, she fled from the Russian soldiers and was able to make her way home to Ruscova.

In 1947 she was able to begin a new life in New York. A few weeks later she met Harry Migdol and they married in 1949. The couple moved to Yonkers in 1970.  She now has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

Betty has long been a member and supporter of Chabad of Yonkers. Every year during the holiday of Shavuot Betty sponsors a beautiful Kiddush luncheon in loving memory of her dear family members who perished in the Holocaust. 

Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz, rabbi of the Greyston Jewish Center Chabad of Yonkers, said “We have learned so much from Betty and continue to learn from her strong and deep respect for Judaism. As Betty continues to be a proud, strong Jew, we want to give this opportunity to every Jew, no matter their level of observance, that they too can be victorious over the Holocaust and enjoy a vibrant, living Judaism.”

By Robert Kalfus

 Robert Kalfus, a veteran news photographer, can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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