Masha Leon, Forward society columnist for 30 years, dies at 86


(JTA) — Masha Leon, the society columnist first for the Yiddish Forverts and then for the Daily Forward for nearly 30 years, has died.

Leon, a Holocaust survivor whose weekly column “On the Go” covered Jewish events and charity galas, died Tuesday. She was 86.

In February, she joined the staff of the Jewish news magazine Tablet after leaving the Forward at the end of 2016.

Leon, a native of Poland, and her mother were hidden by a Catholic woman in Warsaw during World War II. Her father, the journalist Matvey Bernstein, was arrested and imprisoned for his anti-communist sympathies.

Leon and her mother later escaped to Lithuania, where they were issued transit visas to Japan — among the 6,000 written by Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara. After World War II they immigrated to the United States.

In 2011, Poland honored Leon with the Knight’s Cross Order of Merit, an honor granted to Polish citizens who live abroad for great service to the country. Leon was honored for helping to further the understanding of Polish-Jewish lives, history and culture through her writing.

She is survived by three daughters.

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