The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) Board of Trustees and staff mourn the passing of Roman Kent, the Foundation’s president, who passed away Friday, May 21, 2021, at his home in Manhattan at the age of 96.
Roman Kent, a Holocaust survivor, a survivor of the Lodz ghetto; and the Auschwitz, Mertzbachtal, Dornau, and Flossenburg concentration camps, and the death march, devoted his life to ensuring that both aged and needy non-Jews, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, and Holocaust survivors themselves, were cared for in their later years. There are thousands of men and women whose lives have been made better because of Roman, yet they have no idea who he was: for he was a humble man. Roman served on the board of the JFR for more than twenty-five (25) years.
Roman will be missed by many; none more so than the Righteous Gentiles whose deeds during the Holocaust he championed for years. He also served as the Treasurer of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany and was appointed by President Obama to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. “Roman was a man of compassion, principle, and caring. Roman’s kindness and generosity will be missed,” said JFR Chairman Harvey Schulweis.
Roman never sought credit for his good deeds; he never boasted to others of his generosity and his work on their behalf. He had a keen sense of the responsibility we have to our fellow man, our responsibility as Americans, as Jews, and simply as human beings in a world that can be harsh, cruel, and intolerant of our differences.
As a Holocaust survivor, Roman was dedicated and committed to the continuity of the Jewish people, the survival of Israel, and to passing on the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust. Roman spent countless hours lecturing to students, teachers, and adults across the United States making sure that the Holocaust was not forgotten.
This Jewish teenager, who survived the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and camps in Germany, who lost most of his family, came to the United States with his brother, as orphans, and created a new life. A life of substance and meaning, a life dedicated to his beloved wife of blessed memory, Hannah, his children, grandchildren, and countless others. May Roman’s memory be a blessing.
Click here to read the obituary published by The New York Times on Roman. Please note, Roman’s age is incorrect in The New York Times obituary.
View the JFR’s award-winning documentary on Roman’s story by clicking here.