We welcome the opportunity to join Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and member of our community in noting the incredible generosity of Elliot Katzman and Donna Frangiamone Katzman who have made a substantial donation to the local health care organization.
The Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home — which just celebrated its 100th anniversary — has been renamed The Katzman Center for Living in honor of Elliot and Donna, who were Chelsea High School classmates and went on to graduate from Salem State University (where Elliot now holds the esteemed honor of being a member of the school’s Board of Trustees).
About all we can say about the Katzmans’ noble philanthropic gesture is, “Wow!”
But it doesn’t surprise us, because Elliot and Donna have never forgotten their Chelsea roots, even as Elliot has built some of New England’s most successful technology companies in his role as a general partner at Commonwealth Capital Ventures.
As the Katzmans celebrate their upcoming 40th wedding anniversary, we look back with fond memories of Elliot and Donna growing up in Chelsea and setting the foundation for the amazing success they have enjoyed in life. Elliot grew up in the housing projects at the corner of Willow Street and Central Avenue before moving to Bellingham Street. For years he attended Camp Robie, the sports camp at the Chelsea YMCA directed by long-time schoolteacher Bill Sartorelli. He competed in track at CHS and in the Chelsea Pony League as a standout centerfielder for Coach James “Bear” Burke’s Pirates team.
Elliot certainly acquired a stellar work ethic from his now 88-year-old father, Myer Katzman, a lifelong Chelsea resident who worked at Sea-Lect Foods in Chelsea for more than 50 years. He also worked evenings in other jobs, helping to provide for his family and planning for his children’s future.
Elliot and Donna have seen first-hand the outstanding care that Chelsea Jewish Lifecare has provided to various members of their respective families. “I really can’t say enough good things about the work they do there,” said Elliot. “The staff genuinely loves my dad. They have affection and caring.”
In a humble manner that stands true to his many philanthropic endeavors, Elliot deflected the spotlight of his well-publicized generosity to Barry Berman, the highly-regarded CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “As a guy who has been around entrepreneurs my whole career — and an entrepreneur creates a very special product with limited resources — Barry is the best definition of a great entrepreneur. And his son, Adam Berman, is a very smart, good person who is going to carry that tradition forward. We felt comfortable donating, knowing that the philanthropy would be put to good, long-term use. There are amazing people on the whole staff.”
With this most generous act of kindness and generosity, Elliot and Donna Katzman have set a positive example not only for their children and grandchildren, but for all the people of Chelsea.
There is a Hebrew word, “Mitzvah,” that basically means “a good deed, an act of human kindness.” We know we join with many members of our community in thanking Elliot and Donna Katzman for their mitzvah that will help Chelsea Jewish Lifecare continue as the outstanding health care center that it has become under the leadership of Barry Berman.