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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                      SHERRY ZIMMERMAN FRANK

INTERVIEWER:                 ANN HOFFMAN SCHOENBERG

LOCATION:                       ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                                FIRST INTERVIEW: April 21, 1993

                                          SECOND INTERVIEW: June 16, 1993

                                          THIRD INTERVIEW: April 27, 1994

Transcript (PDF)

Biography

Sherry Zimmerman Frank, the daughter of Esther Horowitz Zimmerman and Jack Haynes Zimmerman, was born in Atlanta in 1942 and grew up in the Morningside area. Her father died when Sherry was 11 years old leaving her mother to raise Sherry and her brother Neil as a widow.

Sherry met Leonard Frank when they were both at Grady High School and went on to marry him after college. They had four children: Jacqueline, Laura, Jacob, and Andrew. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and lived in New Jersey and Tennessee while married to Leonard. After they divorced, Sherry returned to the Atlanta area with her four children and began to work within the Jewish community.

She was President of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a leader for the Atlanta Black/Jewish Coalition, served on the board of Ahavath Achim (AA), and was Vice President of the Epstein School. She also served as Executive Director for the Southeast Region of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for 25 years.

In addition to her dedication to the Jewish community, Sherry has been involved with the civil rights movement, social justice causes, and interfaith relations. She was active in political campaigns for local, state, and national elections and had a strong connection to Senator John Lewis. She has dedicated much of her life to combatting all forms of discrimination, preserving Jewish history, building support for Israel, and fighting for equality for all.

In 2019, Sherry Zimmerman Frank received the “Salute to Greatness Award” from The King Center. Her book, "A Passion to Serve: Memoirs of a Jewish Activist", was also published in 2019.

Scope

Sherry describes her early years in the Atlanta Jewish community growing up as a member of Ahavath Achim (AA) synagogue, and as an active member of B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG). She talks about her marriage and divorce and raising four children as a single mother. And she shares stories of her experiences with a wide range of people both within and outside of her Jewish community.

She recalls projects and events associated with her work in organizations like NCJW, the Atlanta Black/Jewish Coalition, and the AJC. She also shares her experiences as a community activist working with people like John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, and Johnnetta Cole. And she describes her involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement, the civil rights movement, UNESCO, working with young people, and supporting Israel.

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