||The J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation was created in 1954 and remains a living legacy to Zella and Jack Butler and their deep commitment to New York and the Jewish community.
In 1939 their only child, Barbara, was born with severe developmental disabilities.
As there were few options for people with disabilities at that time, Barbara
was cared for at the Devereux School in Philadelphia from the age of four until
she died in 1993. The Butlers ' first-hand knowledge of the challenges encountered
by individuals with disabilities and their families led to their lifelong commitment
to insuring that people with special needs had access to programs that would
enhance their lives. For years, Zella read to blind university students helping
them realize their academic dreams in spite of their disabilities. Zella often
said, “I have graduated from most of the colleges and universities in the New
York area by osmosis.” Jack was a man of humor and grace who had a special rapport
with young people, serving as their mentor and friend ; his devotion was unconditional.
Together they opened their home for Shabbat dinners and holiday celebrations.
Young and old, family and strangers became friends around their table.
Upon their deaths, the proceeds from their estates provided the resources to
build a network of programs and services that create life-enhancing opportunities
for individuals and families. Over the years, physically and mentally challenged
persons, children and families at risk, victims of abuse and neglect as well
as frail, elderly individuals have been the beneficiaries of their generosity.
The Foundation is committed to continuing their vision with diligence, compassion
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