RHONJ: Siggy Flicker, Dr. Mordecai Paldiel & the French Cleric

Bravo TV has outdone itself in casting Siggy Flicker in the Housewives of New Jersey.  Siggy provides a dimension unparalleled in other Housewife franchise. So meet the family behind Siggy Flicker. . .

Siggy is the daughter of none other than Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, a professor, author, a leading expert on rescue during the Holocaust, and the former Director of Israel’s Holocaust authority – the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem.  See curriculum vitae for Dr Paldiel.

Siggy’s father, Mordecai, was born in Belgium.  In 1940, Mordecai’s family fled to France to escape the German occupation. In 1943, as Italy surrendered to the Allies and the Germans replaced the Italians in patrolling the area, Mordecai’s family realized they could not remain in France. Mordecai’s mother sought out the assistance of a French cleric who she learned protested the anti-Semitic actions of the Germans.  The French Cleric agreed to help the family flee to Switzerland.

Within days, under cover of a moonless night, the Cleric’s guide escorted six year old Mordecai, his parents, grandmother and five siblings to the border, where the guide cut the double barbed wire fence for them to slip into Switzerland.  As the family advanced into the Swiss territory, they were picked up by Swiss border guards. Mordecai vowed to one day thank the French Cleric.

For 25 years Mordecai Paldiel searched for the French Cleric who risked his life to save not only Mordecai’s family but countless other Jewish families. Aside from his self imposed commitment to find the cleric, Mordecai Paldiel was of the firm belief that “the final word regarding the Holocaust should not be left to the perpetrators but to the rescuers.”

Thus the work of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem: The Department was established for the State of Israel to publicly acknowledge non Jews who risked their lives to save Jews.  Honorees are a collection from different walks of life, from bricklayers and farmers, to diplomats and religious leaders, all sharing in the commitment to help others despite the risk to themselves.

Mordecai Paldiel served as the Director to the Department for 24 years. As the Keynote Speaker before the United Nations, Mordecai Paldiel emphasized the importance of acknowledging the rescuers:

“We have an obligation to pass on to future generations not merely the legacy of the horrors of the Holocaust, but also the story of the Righteous. The lessons of these deeds can arouse the spark of goodness in others that is an innate part of humanity. Such goodness may start with a small act, then, as shown by many rescuers, expand and grow to helping more than one person over greater lengths of time.

One need not be a saint with a halo to do such a saintly deed. Most of those on Yad Vashem’s list were persons who went about their regular business and when suddenly challenged to help fleeing Jewish person found themselves suddenly transformed into rescuers.” Speech by Mordecai Paldiel as Keynote Speaker before the United Nations. Full Speech Here

On September 19, 1989, Yad Vashem recognized the French Cleric who saved six year old Mordecai and his family 46 years earlier:

Abbé Simon Gallay was honored as Righteous Among the Nations

Mordecai’s daughter, Siggy Flicker is an author, and relationship expert – a success in her own right. Her latest book is entitled Write Your Own Fairy Tale.  See more on Siggy Flicker. However, her pedigree is an inspiration that transcends the franchise.

We look forward to Siggy Flicker on the Housewives of New Jersey.

5 thoughts on “RHONJ: Siggy Flicker, Dr. Mordecai Paldiel & the French Cleric

  1. Don’t watch show, BUT DEFINITELY WILL BE NOW!!! Met siggy recently and she’s an amazing lovely positive beautiful woman. She can inspire many and that’s what we need to see on TV. Best of luck

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