Bio: Zane Buzby Founder, The Survivor Mitzvah Project Producer/Director/Writer/Humanitarian Zane Buzby is a CNN Hero and recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Deborah Award for her humanitarian work helping Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe and recording their experiences. She is also a television comedy director and producer, having directed over 200 episodes of network television. In 2001, during a break from directing sitcoms, Zane founded the award-winning Survivor Mitzvah Project [SMP], which provides direct, continuous aid and loving kindness to impoverished Holocaust survivors in 9 countries in Eastern Europe. These survivors forgotten by the world are in desperate need of food, medicine, heat, and shelter. Zane believes that if people join in this grass roots effort, we can write a more hopeful final chapter to the Holocaust one of kindness, love and compassion. A native New Yorker, Zane Buzby graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hofstra University with dual degrees in Performance and Dramatic Literature. She began her show business career as an assistant film editor at The Beatles' Apple Films, where she worked closely with George Harrison and Bob Dylan on "The Concert for Bangladesh", and Director Alejandro Jodorowsky on the English language versions of "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain." A classically trained actor, Zane first made her mark as a comedy performer in the cult classic, "Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke", eliciting praise from critics as staggering as Pauline Kael, and in "Americathon, Oh God", Rob Reiner's "This Is Spinal Tap" and Jerry Lewis' "Cracking Up." Under the guidance of "Cheers" co-creator/director James Burrows, Zane studied multi-camera comedy directing and went on to a successful directing career, becoming one of a select few female directors working in film and television. Zane has directed over 200 episodes of network television for CBS, ABC, NBC, HBO, FOX, Columbia, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney, Comedy Central and Paramount, including the hit comedies "The Golden Girls", "Newhart", "Blossom", and "Married… with Children", etc., and comedy concert "Women of the Night" for HBO. Mentored by legendary film and television producer Edgar J. Scherick, Zane became his producing partner on several network television pilots and series including pilots for Joy Behar and comedian Adam Ferrara. Zane’s life took a dramatic turn during a “roots” trip to Eastern Europe to find the birthplaces of her grandparents. Along the back roads and remote villages of Lithuania and Belarus, she discovered elderly Holocaust survivors who were ill, alone, and living in abject poverty. Compelled to help these forgotten heroes, she tapped into her experience as a director/producer and founded The Survivor Mitzvah Project, a non-profit 501c3 organization now providing thousands of elderly Holocaust survivors with lifesaving emergency aid, and a human connection that gives them renewed hope, dignity, and a sense of family. Zane’s continues to utilize her directing and storytelling skills in her philanthropic work, producing, writing, and directing, "The Last Survivors – Echoes from the Holocaust", a nationally aired television special starring Ed Asner, Frances Fisher, Elliott Gould, Valerie Harper and Lainie Kazan, highlighting the work of The Survivor Mitzvah Project. She has also created several short films shot in Eastern Europe and the Baltics about the work of The Survivor Mitzvah Project. Zane films the Holocaust survivors she visits on her humanitarian aid expeditions to Eastern Europe, and this never-before-recorded Holocaust testimony and places of historical interest, are added to The Survivor Mitzvah Project’s Holocaust Educational Archive, a unique repository of over 500 hours of video and thousands of pages of documents and photographs, all focusing on the “Other Holocaust”, the lesser-known, “Holocaust in the East.” Rich in history and Holocaust testimony, The Survivor Mitzvah Project's Holocaust Educational Archive contributes to a meaningful modern-day dialogue on justice, tolerance for cultural differences, and an appreciation of human commonality, while standing as an important reminder to confront evil wherever it takes hold. For her humanitarian work and her educational contribution to Holocaust studies, Zane has been recognized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, was named a CNN HERO. She has also received the ADL/Anti-Defamation League's Deborah Award for leadership, KCET's Local Hero Award, The Mensch International Foundation Award, and was named a Hero at Home by KCET. Along with the archive, Zane and her team have developed a learning APP to engage young people studying the Holocaust. Using social media and gamification, the APP can be programmed to teach any subject, engaging students with a learning experience in sync with the digital age, To ensure that no survivor who has experienced the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry, cold, or neglected again, Zane continues to seek out more Holocaust survivors who are in critical need and bring them into The Survivor Mitzvah Project's Emergency Aid Program so that they, too, may begin their journey of comfort, care, and dignity. Zane’s love of history also prompted her to create The Lower East Side Restoration Project, which focuses on objects brought to the New World during the Great immigration and provides history about the immigrant metalsmiths from Russia and Ukraine, who populated New York’s Lower East Side during the last century. With her abundant passion and dedication, Zane has one foot in comedy and the other planted in the Holocaust and considers the creation of The Survivor Mitzvah Project and The Survivor Mitzvah Project's Holocaust Educational Archive to be her greatest life achievements. 800-905-6160 and (213) 622-5050
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