Evelyn De Wolfe recounted (Sept. 8) how in 1912 Lew Zuckerman rented a few rooms for eight days so that three men at the county's facility for the poor could celebrate Passover. Soon thereafter, she reports, he located a house for these men to live in permanently. That house became the first facility of what we now call the Jewish Homes for the Aging.
The thought struck me that even Zuckerman's legendary generosity and energy would be challenged by what he would probably have to face today if he wanted to replicate his singular act of charity:
--Call his lawyers to create a tax-free corporation and ask his accountants to set up books acceptable to the IRS.
--Apply to the county for registration as a charitable organization qualified to solicit funds and the state's Department of Health to be authorized to run a public facility for the aging.
--Get a zoning variance from the local planning authority.
--Contact his insurance agent to write a blanket policy to protect from any liability claims from every imaginable source.
--Visit with a platoon of elected and appointed officials to ensure that the inevitable public protests over impending change would not derail the project.