Jerry Rappaport’s lifelong body of work as a political activist, real estate developer and philanthropist is a testament to his fierce insistence on the betterment of Boston and the Commonwealth.
It’s an unyielding vision, one that has spanned nine decades since he founded the Harvard University Law School Forum in 1946, in an effort to keep fellow students from losing touch with current affairs. In the time since, Mr. Rappaport has reshaped political movements and skylines on his way to becoming one of the most influential figures in the city’s storied history.
His role in John Hynes’ improbable and successful 1949 mayoral campaign, his creation of the New Boston Committee, his development of the Charles River Park as part of the West End Project, his founding of the New Boston Fund and his legendary philanthropic efforts are part of a resume that is almost unfathomable in its scope and longevity. The Harvard Law School Forum today is as healthy as it was those 50-plus years ago, as is the Rappaport momentum that has been building for the better part of a century.
That momentum is positioned to only grow through the like-minded passions fostered and fueled by the Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation. With a stated goal of catalyzing new generations of collaborative leaders in the fields of public policy, medicine and the arts, the Foundation – and the many hundreds who have and will benefit from it – are poised to fulfill the Rappaport promise for generations.