Leonard P. Zakim


Leonard P. Zakim

Leonard P. "Lenny" Zakim (1953 - December 2, 1999) was an American religious and civil rights leader in Boston. Zakim died in 1999 after a 5-year battle with bone-marrow cancer.

Civil Rights Advocacy

Lenny Zakim began working for the Anti-Defamation League in 1979, and became the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in 1983 at age 29. He served as regional director until his death.

He was also one of the founders of The Team Harmony Foundation, which works to inspire young people to avoid bigotry, racism, and anti-semitism, and which holds an annual convention which has had over 40,000 participants. Lenny Zakim and the Rev. Charles Stith founded an annual Black-Jewish Seder in Boston which inspired many interfaith Seders with Catholic, Protestant and Jewish participants in Boston and nationally.

Political Participation

Lenny Zakim served as a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and was active in the Gubernatorial and Presidential election campaigns of Michael S. Dukakis. He was a close advisor to Steven Grossman when Grossman was Chairman of, first, the Massachusetts and, then, the National Democratic Party.

Honors

For bringing together Catholics and Jews in Boston, he was honored with The Knighthood of St. Gregory from Pope John Paul II. He also received an honorary degree in humane letters from Brandeis University and numerous other awards for leadership in human rights.

Because he was known to "build bridges" between Boston's racial and ethnic communities, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge was named in his honor.

External links

* [http://www.thelennyzakimfund.org The Lenny Zakim Fund web site]
* [http://www.learntoquestion.com/vclass/seevak/groups/2000/sites/zakim/MainDirect/framesets/menu.html Lenny Zakim 1953-1999]
* [http://www.leonardpzakimbunkerhillbridge.org The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge web site]
* [http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/spring01/loeb.html American Bar Association identifies Zakim as "Human Rights Hero"]


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