Shalom my dear Jewish brothers and sisters: On May 9, you will have an opportunity to choose who will be mayor in the City of Passaic. Through this letter, I would like to tell you about one of the candidates, my brother Jose Sandoval.
I am related to Jose Sandoval through closer ties than blood. My family and I are related to Jose Sandoval through love and respect.
After the Second World War, my family fled our native France after being liberated from forced intensive labor in Stalag XVIII C in “Markt Pangau1.” We found refuge in the Dominican Republic in the Sandoval home. When no other Western country would accept Jewish refugees, the Dominican Republic saved the lives of thousands of Jews fleeing the rise of Nazi Germany. The operation is well documented in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC and is known as the Sosua Project.
I grew up with Jose as a brother and we lived together in one household. It was safe and pleasant and he and I learned much from each other’s culture and beliefs. He learned what it was like to be a Jew when Jews were hunted and without a country, and I learned of the kindness and generosity of the Sandoval family.
Although I still live in the Dominican Republic, and Jose moved to the United States to achieve the American dream, we are still extremely close. When Jose told me of his aspiration to become mayor of the City of Passaic, it came as no surprise to me. The same Sandoval spirit of civic duty and caring for humanity that Jose’s mother and father shared with me and my beloved parents, Oscar David and Marie Martha Emilien, sheltering us from the suffering, chaos and displacement of the Holocaust, is present in the heart of their son.
Jose not only desires to improve the quality of life in Passaic by bettering education, stabilizing taxes, bolstering local businesses and providing excellence in government, he also has a global concern for the very real dangers that threaten our safety, and that of Israel.
As his brother, as a Jew, and as a man who cares about the future of our world, I wholeheartedly support Jose Sandoval for mayor of the City of Passaic and I hope that you will, on May 9, as well.
1Prisoner of War Camp, Stalag XVIII C, “Markt Pangau,” by Michael Moosiechner, 2014
By Pierre E. David