JERUSALEM, Israel – In November, a group of Israeli students from the AMIT Yeshiva High School in Ashdod flew to Poland to honor the life and death of the Catholic priest Father Gregor Pawlowski.
Pawlowski was born to an orthodox Jewish family in Poland in 1933, just years before Hitler rose to power. Originally named Jacob Zvi Hersch Griner, he watched as the Nazis tore his family apart during the Holocaust. His father disappeared at a Nazi labor camp, his brother fled to Russia, and his mother and two sisters were murdered.
Miraculously, Pawlowski escaped and found refuge from the Nazis at a Catholic orphanage, where he changed his name to hide his Jewish identity. He became a follower of Christ, grew in the Catholic faith and eventually joined the priesthood.
In 1970, he moved to Israel where he served the Polish and Hebrew speaking communities and shared the gospel until his death.
“My place is here, among the Jewish people. I sensed a call to come and serve Christians living in my country,” he was quoted as saying.
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