How did Harriet Bograd die? Champion of Jews in Africa Cause of death explained

How did Harriet Bograd die? Champion of Jews in Africa Cause of death explained

Harriet Bograd, Champion of Jews in Africa died at age 79. Let us see more details about who is Harriet Bograd and her cause of death in detail.

Harriet Bograd Cause of death

Bograd died on September 17 in a Manhattan hospital. She was 79. Her daughter Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin said the cause was complications of heart surgery.
When Ms. Bograd received a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer in 1997 with a bleak prognosis, it made her only more determined to use her remaining time for the Hebrew concept of Tikkun Olam — “repairing the world” — and for her work with Kulanu.

Who is Harriet Bograd?

Harriet Mary Bograd was born on April 6, 1943, into a Conservative Jewish home in Paterson, N.J. Her father, Samuel Bograd, owned an upscale furniture emporium with an uncle.

Harriet Bograd attended a primary school in Uganda with a Jewish theme that was open to Christians and Muslims in 2011. She served as the organization’s president for a number of years. Kulanu helps Jewish communities in regions where even the majority of American Jews are unaware that Jews exist.

She graduated from Yale Law School in 1966, one of 11 women in her graduating class. She chose not to work for a law firm, but rather for a nonprofit in New Haven, Connecticut, that assisted the poor in obtaining access to healthcare and taught locals how to speak up for themselves and their neighbors.

She helped start a daycare center in New Haven, joined with other parents and teachers in a drive to improve local public schools, and campaigned for the government to approach drug addiction as a crisis of health and poverty rather than a crime.

Kulanu’s president, Harriet Bograd, describes herself as a “professional volunteer” with extensive experience in NGOs.

What is Kulanu?

Kulanu is an organization primarily interested in supporting isolated, emerging, and returning Jewish communities in their spiritual and ethnic Jewish journeys, but occasionally makes exceptions and delivers more broad support, when appropriate, to a specific community’s circumstance.

Kulanu is undeniably an organization focused on Jewish growth. The fact, however, that many of its founders and members have backgrounds in global human rights and development and come to Kulanu out of a sense of shared humanity, implies that humanitarian relief is a part of its DNA, though not its primary mission. As Kulanu evolves, whether its mission will broaden or focus remains to be seen, and likely depends on the next generation of Kulanu leadership.

Harriet Bograd Carrier Journey

In the summer of 2001, Harriet Bograd decided to visit her daughter Margie, who had taken a summer job in a remote village in Ghana. When Ms. Bograd and her husband, Ken Klein, arrived in the village of Sefwi Wiawso, they realized that there were twenty families living there who identified as Jews despite the fact that Israeli and other religious authorities did not.

In the week that she was there, Ms. Bograd, whose husband referred to her as “one of life’s great fanatics,” transformed her fascination with the locals into a useful project that has grown into a significant source of cash for the neighborhood. She gave craftsmen instructions on how to create covers for the braided challahs that observant Jews bless and eat at Sabbath and holiday meals using the vibrant kente cloth that is sold in the neighborhood market. A trained lawyer, she set the community up as an incorporated business that sold the challah covers across the United States for $36 apiece. Thousands have been purchased.


After that trip, Ms. Bograd worked for the nonprofit Kulanu, which aids “isolated, emerging, or returning” Jewish communities in 33 nations, including Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Indonesia, Pakistan, Guatemala, the Philippines, and more. Even the majority of American Jews are unaware that there are Jews in these places. These are people who have observed some basic Jewish commandments for many generations, such as Sabbath rest and the prohibition of certain foods, but who may have had vague notions about their community’s Jewish roots.

The Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions, which began in the late 15th century and dispersed thousands of Jews in distant lands where many practiced their religion in secret, as well as century-old conversions by communal leaders more drawn to the teachings of the Old Testament than those of Christian missionaries, are some of the sources they use to trace their Jewish roots. According to Mollie Levine, the deputy director of Kulanu, “It gave her such joy that these Jewish people felt they were connected to the broader Jewish world and felt they belonged.”

She was also involved in New York for Jewish issues. She joined forces with other parents and educators to start the Heschel School, a Jewish day school in Manhattan that presently has roughly a thousand pupils enrolled, in the early 1980s.

She was also well-known for her friendly welcomes to newcomers at the West End Synagogue, a Reconstructionist synagogue, which worshippers affectionately referred to as “Bograding.”


It is with deep sadness that we share the news of our beloved and esteemed President Harriet Bograd’s passing on Saturday, September 17, 2022, in New York City.

Harriet tirelessly led Kulanu for 20 years and was a loving presence in communities around the globe for decades.

Her knowledge of our partner Jewish communities, technology skills, and brilliance was unparalleled. She was an “Aishet Chayil,” a righteous woman, who was known for her acts of kindness and for embracing Jewish diversity and values.

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