Gift from Henry M. Zachs '56 to Build Trinity's Hillel Endowment

HARTFORD, Conn., May 14, 2009 – Trinity College Hillel has received a gift of $306,000 from former Trinity College Trustee Henry M. Zachs, who pledged to match, one-for-one, new and increased gifts received from parents, alumni, and friends directed toward building Hillel’s endowment.

“Increasing Hillel’s dedicated endowment,” said Zachs, “will allow programs to become self-sustaining, ensuring a vibrant Hillel well into the future.”

L-R:  Alan Mendelson ’69, Trinity College Hillel board chairman; Molly Goodwin ’09, Hillel student co-president; Henry M. Zachs ’56; Hillel Director Lisa Kassow. Photo: Rita Law

As an undergraduate student in the Class of 1956, Zachs pursued multiple activities at Trinity, including Hillel, the Democratic Club, and the Political Science Club, and served as managing editor of the year book, The Ivy.  As an alumni volunteer, Zachs’ involvement over the decades has continued to encompass a wide variety of projects and initiatives, among them serving as a Trinity Trustee and Class Agent.  In recent years, strengthening and supporting a vibrant Hillel at Trinity College have been a primary focus of his time and philanthropy.

Since opening in December 2001, the Zachs Hillel House has become a thriving center at Trinity for Jewish cultural and social events, lectures, religious services, and kosher meals. The $2.8 million facility was made possible largely through the generosity of Zachs and his wife, Judith. The 8,000 square-foot facility boasts a large multi-function space for prayer, lectures, and other gatherings, a complete kosher kitchen, a large dining room, a library, a recreational area, a living room, and several smaller meeting rooms. It is a welcoming and friendly place for all members of the Trinity community, regardless of religious affiliation.

Alan Mendelson, board chairman of Trinity College Hillel and a 1969 Trinity graduate, said, “Henry has always been an extraordinary supporter of Trinity Hillel and for him to continue to do so under the current economic environment is a tremendous credit to him and to Hillel.  Clearly, Henry knows first-hand what a wonderful program Hillel has become and how much value it provides to the entire Trinity community, especially its Jewish students.”

Zachs serves on the Trinity College Hillel board, as well as the boards of the University of Connecticut and University of Hartford Hillels.

A political science major while at Trinity, Zachs received his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  In 2006, Trinity awarded Zachs the Eigenbrodt Cup – the highest and most prestigious alumni award the College bestows – for his outstanding contributions and service. Zachs served as a Trinity Trustee from 1992 through 2001.

A resident of Farmington, Zachs has been a successful entrepreneur in several areas of communications, including paging, cellular, wireless cable, and the Internet. He is the president of Zafa Towers, LLC, and chief executive officer of Message Center Management.  From 1970 to 1995, he was chief executive officer of Message Center Beepers, which he founded.

Zachs’ community involvement has included serving as president of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, and as a director of the United Way.  Recently, Zachs has been named recipient of the Harold Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education Lay Leader Award for 2009 by the Hebrew High School of New England.  In 2008, the National Conference for Community and Justice awarded Zachs its Human Relations Award, recognizing high standards of responsible citizenship and leadership in promoting principles of tolerance and understanding within diverse communities.