(Haaretz) A Canadian businessman is being dubbed the “Jewish Schindler” after paying for the release of Yazidi and Christian slaves held by Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Steve Maman has rescued 128  girls and women through the organisation he founded, Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI).

CYCI uses intermediaries to negotiate with Islamic State captors and pays between $1000 – $3000 for the release of each slave. According to the organization’s website, girls and women are then returned to their families or sent to a Kurdish refugee camp in northern Syria.

Islamic State is estimated to have taken 2,700 women and girls captive, torturing them and using them as sex slaves. Amnesty International claims Yazidi and Christian girls as young as 12 are being held.

Montreal-based Maman says his Jewish tradition motivated him to take action and establish CYCI in January this year.

“The Talmud says one who saves a life saves a world. It doesn’t say one who saves a Jewish life, it doesn’t say one who saves a Christian life, it talks about a life,” he told Canada’s CBC Radio.

Read the full story at Haaretz