Ex-Cleveland federation leader dies

NEW YORK — Henry Zucker, a longtime leader in Cleveland's Jewish community, has died at the age of 88.

"Henry Zucker was one of the giants of Jewish communal service, not only of his day, but forever," Stephen Hoffman, executive vice president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, said in an interview.

Zucker, who died on July 23, led the federation for nearly 30 years and remained active in Jewish communal affairs even after retiring as federation executive vice president in 1976.

Born on March 11, 1910, in Cleveland, Zucker graduated from Western Reserve University — where he spent his senior year as an untrained caseworker at what is now the Jewish Family Services Association.

After getting his master's degree, he joined the Cuyahoga County Relief Administration, where he rose to the position of assistant to the chief executive. He then spent 10 years at the Welfare Federation of Cleveland.

Zucker joined the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland as associate director in 1946 and two years later was named to the top professional position in the agency.

He also served as a consultant for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, helping to revive Jewish communal life in 10 European countries after World War II.