Vade Bolton, ‘Volunteers for israel’ head, dies at 72


Vade Bolton, president of the board of Volunteers for Israel died Dec. 26, 2011, at 72 after complications from knee surgery.


Volunteers for Israel connects Americans to Israel by partnering with military and civilian organizations that enable volunteers to work side-by-side with Israelis. The program began in1982, during the first war with Lebanon, when civilian replacements were needed for thousands of reservists called to duty just as Israel’s harvest season began. In the last 30 years, more than 30,000 Americans have volunteered to help at IDF bases and nursing homes.

Volunteers for Israel works with Israel-based Sar-El. which has brought in more than 125,000 volunteers, more than 7,000 of whom have since made aliyah.

In his hometown of Reston, Va., Bolton was “a key volunteer in the community for more than three decades.”

Bolton’s community contributions included service on the Board of Directors of Reston Interfaith for nearly 10 years as a representative of Congregation Beth Emeth and chairman of the Board of Reston Interfaith from 2006-2008. He worked at the front desk of a community shelter for the homeless and with hypothermia prevention efforts in suburban Virginia.

Reston Interfaith CEO Kerrie Wilson said Bolton “was a tireless advocate for housing and the care for people who are homeless and the most vulnerable in our community.”

Bolton held degrees from Murray State University and the University of Kentucky and retired from the National Education Association 10 years ago.

(Note: This item is “late in that Vade Bolton died more than a month ago, but the Eulogizer begs your indulgence. The Eulogizer’s first trip to Israel, in 1990 was through Volunteers for Israel, and I would put my name in that group of 7,000 Sar-El alumni who have made aliyah.)

The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at

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