We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mel Zuckerman z’l, pillar of our Tucson Jewish community and visionary philanthropist. Mel passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 18 at age 94 surrounded by his loving family.
As dedicated leaders in our Jewish community, Mel Zuckerman and his devoted wife Enid have been significant benefactors of the Federation (Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona) and many of Tucson’s Jewish community organizations, most notably Congregation Anshei Israel, Tucson Hebrew Academy and the Tucson Jewish Community Center, where their passion for health and the Jewish community intersected when they funded the J’s Wellness Center. The Zuckermans were among the first to make a legacy plan for their giving by signing the Jewish Community Foundation Endowment Book of Life.
According to former Federation CEO Stuart Mellan, “Mel was one of a handful of key individuals whose passionate generosity had a transformative impact on the building of Tucson’s Jewish community. A lead donor to the Federation campaign and to virtually all of its agency partners, Mel embraced the opportunity to give, and did so with a full heart. I was blessed to meet with Mel quite often throughout my twenty-five year tenure– and in every instance, I was inspired by his kindness, the sparkle in his eye when he was speaking about business or family or community accomplishments, and the way he was fully present when he asked to be informed about the successes and challenges for our Jewish community. Emblematic of his visionary nature– he was committed to a better world for the generations to follow. Mel lived a remarkable life– a life which enhanced our community immeasurably.”
Interim CEO of Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona Emily Richman shared, “We were truly blessed to have had such an outstanding role model, inspirational visionary, and deeply committed leader as part of our community. Mel’s good works are a legacy that will continue to shape Tucson and our Jewish community for years to come.”
May his memory be a blessing for all those who knew and loved him.
There will be a public memorial on Monday, April 17 at 4:30 pm at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building.