Ziggy's epitaph reads:
"מי האיש החפץ חיים אוהב ימים לראות טוב"
"Who is the man who desireth life and lovest days that he may see good therein?"
(Psalms 34:13).

Ziggy loved life, he loved people - and people loved him. An ardent Zionist, he made aliyah from the United States in 1970 with his wife Naomi and their three young children; their fourth was born in Israel.

Ziggy was a man of many facets who touched so many people's lives. He taught math for many years at the American International School, Kfar Shmaryahu. In his letter of appreciation, Forrest Broman, superintendent, described him as "...a legend… the quintessential AIS teacher.” His pupils praised him as "… my favorite teacher."
"He had a way of making math funny and interesting so we could understand it."
"A lot of kids went into his class hating math and came out loving it."
"He touched our lives in ways a teacher never knows."

Ziggy's name will always be associated with his great love and talent - folk-dancing. Trained at Wingate, he taught adults, children - whoever was “willing to move”. Tributes to his performances come from all over: UNESCO, AACI, International Women's Club, Kfar Blum, Beit Berl, Haaretz Museum.

The late Dr. Esther Lucas wrote on behalf of the International Schools Association:
"At the 1980 conference in Tanzania one of the delegates who had been in Israel had taped your folk dance music, and participants were dancing Israeli dances in the middle of Africa."

He was a great sports fan; he loved tennis, baseball and running and he played in basketball teams in the U.S. and Israel. He enjoyed singing, acting, reading, movies, and archaeology.

He was a soldier in the American and Israeli armies.

Ziggy's love of prayer expressed itself as a Baal Tefillah, both in his own synagogue and in many others in Israel and abroad. Torat Haim Synagogue thanked him for his "…important contribution to the High Holyday services.  Your efforts helped to make the services more meaningful for all of us." Cyril Solk, ex-president, praised his "…successful social leadership, for his complete entertainment programs for Chanukah parties and other celebrations." He enthusiastically trained boys and girls for their bar/batmitzvahs with patience and affection, encouraging them to continue their activities in the synagogue.

Ziggy never refused an offer to volunteer his talents to benefit the community. For ESRA  he tutored students for their Bagrut; adopted Russian immigrant families; helped organize functions such as ESRA College closing ceremony, singles evenings, and he taught folk dancing.

Merle Guttmann wrote: "…You're fantastic. When you appear on the scene with your tape and folk dances, with your charm and relaxed warm personality – everything goes."

Gratitude for his voluntary services include letters of thanks from: AIS - PTA games night, Israel Cancer Society – Variety Night, English Teachers Association of Israel (ETAI) - Summer Conference, Elder Hostel  - evening of Israeli and international folk dances and games.

Above all, Ziggy was a loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, to which his eulogies, sent to Naomi, so aptly testify:
"I loved your husband, he was funny, genuine, kind and sincere."
"Your husband was one of the best. He was adored by many and imprinted in minds that he shaped."
"He was a special man who left his mark on so many."
"He lived his life to the full surrounded by his wife and family whom he truly adored."
"He was the model of everything a good man should be."

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Deanna and Peter Drew
Ziggy was all that the article said and so much more. We were so fortunate, as his cousins, to have him in our lives for all these years, never enough years. His smile and his love of life and people and family are with us always. Thank you Ziggy for showing us the way. With love, Peter and Deanna
Elisheva Jan
I am his very proud niece!! Well done
Dina Grossman
Ziggy was also the best Uncle ever.His spirit will remain forever inprinted in my heart!
Thanks Judy, it's beautiful
Yaron Steinbuch
Mr. Sobel was my geometry and algebra II teacher at WBAIS in 1975-1977. Not only was he the best teacher I ever had, he was a wonderful, kind and funny person who always smiled and cared deeply about everyone he came across. He was also a really good basketball player whom I could not defend!
Caros F
Sad news about Mr Sobel. My favorite teacher at WBAIS 1990-1992. Wonderful person it was a blessing to have him as a teacher during those difficult times.

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About the author

Judy Fisher

Judy Fisher came to live in Israel from England in 1964. From 1981-1996 she worked as the secretary of ESRA in the Herzliya office. Today she volunteers in ESRA as an English Tutor, a Magazine Dist...

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