145 Votes for Zane Buzby
Share Your Hero
Los Angeles, California
How is your Hero working to make the world a better place?
Zane Buzby is the founder of The Survivor Mitzvah Project, a non-profit charity that helps over 1000 Holocaust survivors in seven countries, monthly, with financial support for necessities of life. The agency's roots began in 2001, when Ms. Buzby visited Belarus, during a 10 day trip to visit and film the shtetls of her grandmother. During the visit she teamed up with Dr. Dovid Katz, director and founder of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, to bring food, money, medicine, and Yiddish newspapers to 8 elderly Jews. She continued to send them money, after returning to the U.S., and the list of 8 grew to 35. Two years later, Ms. Buzby teamed up with S. Chic Wolk, a Los Angeles philanthropist, who became involved as her project's biggest benefactor. Along with Sonia Kovitz, Ms. Buzby has created and organized a large computerized database of survivors and correspondance; translated into both English and Russian. During her humanitarian aid visits, Buzby has filmed the survivors' testimonies, as part of an archive to be used for historical and educational purposes. "I am proud of the fact that 100 percent of every donation, every single penny, goes into the hands of an elderly survivor," she has stated. She has stepped in to fill a desperately needed role and service that has not effectively been fulfilled by any other Jewish organization.
How has your Hero impacted your life and inspired you?
People who made a profound difference in improving the lives of others provided the impetus for me to enter the field of counseling and social work, over 30 years ago. Zane Buzby is such a person. She exemplifies how one person can make a huge impact in the lives of survivors of one of the most horrific and tragic events of history. Making a dent in bettering the lives of Holocaust survivors seems like an insurmountable task. Ms. Buzby has proven that one person; one compassionate, dynamic, and feisty Jewish woman, can accomplish this.