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Baruch Dayan HaEmet | Leonard Kaplan
To our Ramah Darom Community,
It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the passing of our founder and friend, Leonard Kaplan. A
tireless philanthropist and Ramah Darom supporter, Leonard devoted his life to making the world a better place. He passed away on Sunday, April 12, in Florida at the age of 86.
Leonard Kaplan and his wife, Tobee, with children at Ramah Darom.
A Korean War veteran, Leonard grew the small soap business his father founded into a prosperous chemical company and, together with his wife, Tobee, gave generously to countless charitable organizations. In Greensboro, North Carolina alone, Leonard helped lay the foundation for a women’s shelter, an arts center, the Jewish Federation building, the Moses Cone Hospital’s cardiac program, UNC’s Hillel and dozens of other Jewish and secular initiatives.Leonard wanted nothing more than to put his good fortune toward helping others. He created the Alliance for Global Good, an effort to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of non-profits focused on solving global crises, as well as Wealth & Giving, an educational program designed to inspire the largest wealth holders in the country to be more generous. In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary in recognition of the tremendous impact he has had on the Jewish community.
Leonard’s generosity and leadership were critical to Ramah Darom’s creation – no camper, staff member, program participant or leader has been untouched by Leonard’s contributions to our community. He was committed, thoughtful, modest, and – above all else – a loyal ally and supporter. His legacy is manifested in the thousands of people who come to Ramah Darom each year, and in their mark on the world. He had a profound impact on our Ramah Darom family.
The funeral was held on Wednesday, April 15, at Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro, North Carolina, followed by burial at the Greensboro Hebrew Cemetery. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife, Tobee; his children, Lyn, Randall and Scott; his grandchildren, Elizabeth, Robert, Jennifer, Brandon, Catherine, Ben, Blake, Sara, Elon, Sophia, Aubrey and Henry; and his great-grandson, Brandon, during this most difficult time. Leonard was predeceased by his daughter, Lori.
We grieve together with them, and hope you will join with us in offering those words of prayer to them:
Hamakom yenakhem etkhem b’tokh sh’ar avelei tziyon virushalayim.
May the Lord comfort and sustain you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet – May Leonard’s memory always be for a blessing.
Chief Executive Officer