Jean Entine, devoted Center for Constitutional Rights board member and chair of its Development Committee, died on May 17, 2022, from complications of hypertension and cerebral amyloid angiopathy She was 79 years old.
As a Southern Jew from Memphis, Tennessee, Jean spent a lifetime committed to many social justice movements. This put her at odds with many who shared her Southern roots. Her Judaism also made her an outsider among privileged whites in Memphis. Early experiences with antisemitism seemed to have cemented her commitment to justice and opposition to oppression. She used her privilege and wealth to make a difference, individually and institutionally. She was the former executive director of the Boston Women’s Fund and Women for Economic Justice, a program officer for The Boston Foundation, and a consultant to a host of organizations. Jean was a woman who walked the talk.
A memorial is in the works for her. An informal Zoom memorial is scheduled for July 7th, 5:00 Pacific and 8:00 Eastern.
I have known Jean for over 30 years. I worked with her in the women’s movement, progressive philanthropy, and with Jews who showed up for Palestinian rights.
At CCR, I served with her on the Fundraising committee. She was committed to diversity in a very authentic way, including fundraising. She saw fundraising and financial contributions as part of organizing. Jean believed in diversity in organizing and philanthropy. She was instrumental in establishing the Boston Women’s Fund’s 2,000 Club, which sought to encourage hundreds of small donors to pledge $100 a year for five years. Seeking out smaller donors made sense to Jean, who believed the success of the Fund required its efforts to make the Fund “wealthy in dollars and…in participants.”
Jean contributed to CCR and gave in a way to encourage others to give-for example, with a board matching gift. Jean’s generosity extended beyond her time on the Board, and she continued left, giving to CCR even after leaving the Board.
Angela Davis, co-chair of the CCR capital campaign, wrote of Jean: “Whenever I think of the dedicated people who never give up on the dream of radical justice for people - in this country, Palestine, and throughout the world - Jean Entine looms large. She taught us how to define our lives in terms of robust commitments to justice for people we would probably never know as individuals. At the same time, she always insisted on appreciating the joy and beauty of this world and the one to come.”
I am honored to have known her, call her a friend, share laughter and debates, hugs, disagreements, and to have raised money for social justice with Jean. I am so grateful to her for her service to justice through CCR. She was a mensch.
Marjorie Fine is a Center for Constitutional Rights board member and fundraising chair