Remembering David Zackon

We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of David Zackon, our loyal member, leader and friend. David passed away March 13, 2016 at Massachusetts General Hospital from complications of flu and pneumonia.

A lifelong peace supporter, David was the convener of our Palestine/Israel working group and an active member of our Legislative/Political committee.  He also participated in several allied organizations, including the North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice, the New England Network for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace. We will miss him greatly.  A celebration of David’s life was held May 15, 2016; read more information here.

Donations in David’s memory will be used to create a David Zackon Fellowship for Justice in Palestine-Israel, supporting the work of interns and/or young organizers who are continuing David’s work to bring a just Palestine-Israel policy into the legislative and political arena.  Mail a check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “David Zackon Fellowship” on the memo line.  Or donate online using the link next to this paragraph.  All donations are tax-deductible.

Read the Boston Globe obituary notice.   A short photo essay below shows some of David’s work with Peace Action.  

The following article was published in the Summer 2016 Massachusetts Peace Action newsletter:

David Zackon, a lifelong peace activist and leader of MAPA, died on Sunday, March 13, 2016. He was 57 years old. He was the convener of our Palestine/Israel working group and active in the Legislative/Political committee. He was a close student of Congress and the Massachusetts legislature.

The shocking news of David’s death was followed by countless heartfelt emails from friends and colleagues who were fortunate enough to know him. Here are just a few of those beautiful words:

Nancy Murray, former ACLU education director, wrote, “When David turned his penetrating mind to how to bring about positive change in the legislature it seemed that change was within our grasp. He was such a committed, competent and compassionate person whose loss will be felt for a very long time.”

Author and activist Alice Rothschild wrote, “I second the enormous shock and loss.  A reminder to celebrate each other and stay focused on the work to be done, the best way to honor his memory.”

At any peace event, David’s presence could not be missed. He was an inspiring teacher and a powerful role model. His energetic devotion and contributions to the our struggle for justice has made the world a better place. David knew how to connect with people. His warm friendly smile and his wry humor were a joy to be around. When we posed for pictures at a small rally, he would say, “Try to look numerous.”

When he was asked how the article he was assigned to write was going, he would say, “It is a bit Davidy, I should work on it more.” So he did. Then he usually came up with a stunning piece of work. 

Donations in David’s memory will create a David Zackon Fellowship for Justice in Palestine-Israel, supporting the work of interns and young organizers who are continuing David’s work to bring a just Palestine-Israel policy into the legislative and political arena. Mail a check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “David Zackon Fellowship” on the memo line. All donations are tax-deductible.

        – Massoudeh Edmond, Arlington

David at a meeting of Peace Action's Massachusetts' 4th congressional district group in summer 2014 as it met to respond to the attack on Gaza.  Maryellen Kurkulos photo

David at a meeting of Peace Action’s Massachusetts’ 4th congressional district group in summer 2014 as it met to respond to the attack on Gaza. Susan Davidoff, Nancy Arthur, Maureen Hearn, Carol Coakley, Mark Solomon, Louise Bruyn, and Linda Davis are pictured. Maryellen Kurkulos photo

David Zackon with MAPA’s Susan Massad at a rally in support of Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine, January 2014. Pat Westwater-Jong photo

David Zackon with  Peace Action members Shelagh Foreman, Claire Gosselin, and Susan Mirsky at the Peace and Planet march for nuclear disarmament,  April 2015, New York City

David Zackon with Peace Action members Shelagh Foreman, Claire Gosselin, and Susan Mirsky at the Peace and Planet march for nuclear disarmament, April 2015, New York City

David Zackon joins NENJP in sending a message to Democratic presidential candidates, Manchester, NH, February 2016.  Pat Westwater-Jong photo

David Zackon joins NENJP in sending a message to presidential candidates outside their debate, Manchester, NH, February 2016. Pat Westwater-Jong photo

David facilitated the "A New Day: Organizing to Change U.S. Policy in Israel-Palestine" conference, Harvard, Nov 2015.   Pat Westwater-Jong photo

David moderated a discussion at the “A New Day: Organizing to Change U.S. Policy in Israel-Palestine” conference, Harvard, Nov 2015. Pat Westwater-Jong photo

David at A New Day

David at A New Day

Walk for a New Spring, March 2015: Outside Salem City Hall before meeting with Mayor Kim Driscoll.   lysa leland photo

Walk for a New Spring, March 2015: Outside Salem City Hall before meeting with Mayor Kim Driscoll.
Lysa Leland photo

Crossing the Salem (Peace) Bridge with Walk for a New Spring coordinator Tim Bullock. Lysa Leland photo

Crossing the Salem (Peace) Bridge with Walk for a New Spring coordinator Tim Bullock. Lysa Leland photo

David with Susan Mirsky at Peace & Planet.  Sylvia Gilman photo

David with Susan Mirsky at Peace & Planet. Sylvia Gilman photo

Boston Remembers Hiroshima & Nagasaki, August 2015.  Sylvia Gilman photo

Boston Remembers Hiroshima & Nagasaki, First Church in Boston, August 2015.  David Bonner, Thea Paneth, Gary Goldstein and Elaine Scarry are behind David.  Sylvia Gilman photo

Boston Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Copley Square, August 2015. Sylvia Gilman photo

Boston Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Copley Square, August 2015. Sylvia Gilman photo