Mildred Zanditon was born in Boston on October 15, 1916. She grew up in Brookline and attended Simmons College, graduating in 1938. Zanditon worked in human services, advocating for institutionalized teens and adults and writing grants to secure housing for patients. She died in 2003.
Zanditon recalls watching her mother make challah on various occasions but couldn’t seem to remember how to make it until her daughter showed her, years after her mother passed. She tells Rovner that her daughter takes after her own mother’s ability, as well as “that kind of fast-moving skill.” In the 1970s, Zanditon worked as an advocate for institutionalized teens and adults who needed housing beyond hospitalization. She describes the process of applying for grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Housing and Urban Development department and subsequently finding and renting houses and apartments with the funding. Zanditon talks about the first time she showed a patient to a room of their own and how rewarding it felt. She talks about the founding of Vinfen in 1977, a nonprofit human services organization based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Finally, she discusses her daughters' work and how she feels she passed on the values of tzedakah and Tikkun Olam to them.