It is with deep sadness that we share the news of our beloved and esteemed board member Sandy Leeder's passing on Friday, February 4, 2022 in Tzfat, Israel. Sandy served on Kulanu's board for many years and was a strong supporter of the Jewish people worldwide. His love and spirit will live on in all those he touched. We welcome you to learn more about Sandy's incredible life on this memorial page.

Sandy Leeder

Sandy Leeder

May his memory serve as a blessing.

Sandy Leeder (Jan 24, 1943 – Feb 4, 2022) was the Kulanu coordinator for the Lemba and Kulanu’s treasurer for many years. He lived in Tzfat, Israel, and retired from 30 years in the real estate development business where he specialized in tax and partnership accounting. He had a BA in Mathematics from Harpur College, SUNY, and had an MBA in finance from Columbia University. During his US Peace Corps service from 1967 to 1969, Sandy lived with the Hausa and Fulani people in Niger, where he worked as an agricultural extension agent for a peanut cooperative. In 1983 he participated in a secret American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) operation that smuggled Ethiopian Beta Israel refugees out of Sudan to Israel. Thereafter he served on the Board of the AAEJ until it ceased in 1992 after Operation Solomon. He was a board member of the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education for 8 years. Sandy has visited various Jewish communities in Africa, including the Lemba in South Africa and Zimbabwe, Beta Israel and Beta Avraham in Ethiopia, and Igbo Jews in Nigeria.

To donate to Kulanu in Sandy's memory, please visit Thanks!

KULANU ONLINE SPEAKER SERIES: The Backstory of Ethiopian Operation Moses: Witness Accounts

Sandy Leeder, Kulanu Board Member, tells a tale of escape, with two Ethiopian participants — Tesfey Aderajew, a translator, who accompanied Sandy across the Sudan and Dvora Zina-Zer, a child during the rescue. (Recorded November 5, 2020.)

KULANU MAGAZINE: Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Leeder

Kulanu’s vice president Bonita Nathan Sussman interviewed Sandy Leeder, who has been an esteemed member of the Kulanu board of directors and treasurer for several years, in honor of his 78th birthday. (Published summer 2021.)

Sandy while visiting with the Lemba community in Zimbabwe, 2012

Passover in Mapakomhere, Zimbabwe Some Highlights

Sandy shares his impressions of his trip to Zimbabwe in April of 2012 for Passover in a journal entry form with photos of the experience. In great detail, he explains daily life in Zimbabwe and how the Lemba community celebrate the holiday. (Written 2012.)

Jews of Nigeria

Video by Sandy Leader of the Jews of the Kodesh L'Hashem Nigerian Hebrew Communities, including members from many Igbo congregations. (Recorded 2006.)

Cote d'Ivoire Conversions

Video recorded by Sandy Leeder of the Kulanu sponsored Orthodox Bet Din held in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire, December 2017, wherein 43 Ivoiriens were converted to Judaism. Afterwards, some couples remarried Jewishly under the Chupa. (Recorded 2017.)

The Lemba Jews of Zimbabwe | 92Y Talks

Sandy Leeder introduces Modreck Maeresera of the Lemba Jewish community of Zimbabwe's premiere in the US at 92nd Street Y. Learn about the historic community experiencing a "Jewish renaissance" after generations of relative isolation. (Recorded 2014.)