#64 WIZO Women of Influence is Judy Feld Carr.
Nothing in Judy Feld Carr’s background would suggest that this Canadian woman would rescue more than 3500 Syrian Jews between 1975 and 2000. A mother to 3 children and wife to Ronald Feld, the family were swept up in the plight of Soviet Jewry but soon refocused on the Jews of Syria unable to leave. They organised a Syrian Support committee with a group of Toronto activists, raised funds and publicized the constant reality of extortion, imprisonment without trial and torture of many of the Jewish population. Covert and coded communication began as did the secret transfer of funds to support so many of the Jews in distress. She literally had to buy their way out with bribes to officials for visas, passports, air tickets and their eventual freedom. She also facilitated the smuggling out of rare Jewish religious artefacts, many of which are now housed in the Hebrew National Library.
In 2012, Judy Feld Carr was awarded The Presidential Award of Distinction to the State of Israel. She has also received numerous other awards, including the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest) and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.