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Special Past Events (Sisterhood Archives)

2023 Garden of the Righteous Honoree: José Ignacio Burbano, Grandfather of Past Sisterhood President Betty Adler

On April 18, 2023, Adas Israel Congregation inducted José Ignacio Burbano into the synagogue’s Garden of the Righteous, which honors non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Burbano was the grandfather of Betty Adler, a long-time Adas Israel member and a Sisterhood past president. With help from others, including her cousin Mariamelia from Equador, Betty eloquently told her grandfather’s story. 

José Ignacio Burbano (1890-1973), an Ecuadorian diplomat, was a man whose actions spoke of him as a humanist. During his mission as Consul of Ecuador in Bremen, Germany, from 1937 to 1940, Burbano worked diligently to save the lives of Jews, breaking the rules and challenging Ecuador’s anti-immigration policies. Putting his career and life at risk, he stood up to the Ecuadorian authorities, granting more than 200 visas to Jewish families and saving the lives of many German Jews whose lives were in extreme danger from the Nazi regime. Burbano courageously continued saving Jewish families until he was relieved of his duties and relocated to the Ecuadorian consulate in Houston, Texas.

Many years after Burbano’s actions in Bremen, his eldest daughter married Federico Adler, an Austrian Jew who had found refuge in Quito, Ecuador. Betty is their daughter. Thus – bringing Burbano’s heroic actions full circle – by saving Jewish families, Burbano unknowingly also saved his own future son-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Sisterhood’s members are so pleased that our former President Betty Adler was able to celebrate this well-deserved family honor. Please click here for a link to Betty Adler's speech.

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784