Rotary Club’s top honour for Harewood couple

A Harewood couple have been given the Rotary Club’s highest honour after more than a decade of service.

Monday, 1st June 2020, 4:21 pm
Arek Hersh 91 with his wife Jean 86 from Harewood who have received the Paul Harris Felloowship, the Rotary Clubs highest award, they were members at Leeds Elmet branch of the Rotary Club at Bardsey.

Holocaust survivor Arek Hersh, 91, and his wife, Jean, 86, were handed the Paul Harris Fellowship from the Leeds Elmete Rotary Club for their contribution to building a “better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world”.

Mr Hersh’s daughter, Michelle Tamam, and granddaughter, Avital Tamam, presented the pair with certificates. The couple, who have been confined to their Harewood home during the coronavirus pandemic, had no idea about the award.

Michelle Tamam said: “He was shocked and surprised. It was so very, very gorgeous.”

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Mr Hersh said: “I’m very honoured about it - it was unexpected.”

And Mrs Hersh added: “I think it’s very, very kind of them. Both my husband and I are highly honoured.

“We’ve been in the house, like people of our age, for three months,” she added. “It made our morning a joyful occasion.”

Mrs Hersh said it was her husband who had been involved with the Rotary Club.

But its president, Dr Ken Garrett, said: “Jean is Arek’s right arm and contributes a huge amount to his work.”

Mr Hersh was born in Poland but came to England as a boy in 1945 when World Jewish Relief rescued child Holocaust survivors by bringing them to the UK.