The Eulogizer: founder of pro-Israel group, Holocaust survivor from Belarus


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Eulogizer is a new column (soon-to-be blog) that highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Learn about their achievements, honor their memories and celebrate Jewish lives well lived with The Eulogizer. Write to the Eulogizer at Read previous columns here.

Americans for a Safe Israel founder

Herbert Zweibon, founder and president of Americans for a Safe Israel, died Jan. 19 at 84.

Zweibon was a supporter of Jewish communities in the West Bank and a “territorially defensible Israel.” His career as an outspoken defender of a Jabotinsky-style “Greater Israel” won him praise from settler groups and others. Hebron community spokesman David Wilder called Zweibon “a righteous man” and “a true giant of pro-Israel activism in America.”

Zweibon was “an ideological disciple” of the Revisionist-Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky and a pioneer of outreach to evangelical Christians for support of Israel.

In an essay he completed shortly before his death, Zweibon wrote: “Israel must stop going along with the damaging diplomatic game it has been playing since Oslo. It needs a spine, a strategy, a willingness to assert and confront the truth that there is no peace process — and to act accordingly, to implement its legitimate rights to its historic land.”

Zweibon ran the Z & R Management Corp. in New York City.

Former Red Army soldier, Holocaust survivor

Kusha Kriger, who went through the Holocaust as a Soviet Red Army soldier and remained in his homeland of Belarus until 1980, died Dec. 20 in Canada at 86. He had moved to Canada to be reunited with his long-lost brothers.

While Kriger was with the Red Army, his parents and most of his siblings and other relatives were murdered in the Minsk ghetto in Belarus, said his granddaughter, the writer Shlomit Kriger. In 2010, Shlomit Kriger dedicated a book she edited, "Marking Humanity: Stories, Poems, & Essays by Holocaust Survivors," to her grandfather.

Shlomit Kriger said her grandfather told few stories of the war, but she recalled this one:

“He had been wandering through a small village and came across the home of a religious man. The man invited him into his home and said, ‘I can tell that you are a Jew.’ He then served my grandfather soup and other foods. Before my grandfather left, the man cut off a tzitzit from his tallit and told him to keep it on him at all times, but to not show it to anyone so as to not endanger his own life. My grandfather, whose parents had a synagogue inside their home, did as he was told. As he continued to fight in the war, he came close to getting seriously hurt many times, even once when a bullet passed through his backpack. But he survived. He only discovered that his relatives had been murdered after returning to his home.”

Kriger learned in 1956 that two of his brothers were alive in Canada, and he and his wife, Basya, and one of his three children moved there in 1980.

Funerals online

The New York Times reported Monday on the latest Internet-era phenomenon: funerals viewed online. The article said hundreds of U.S. funeral homes are now offering such features because of the distances that separate families and friends of those who have died. The article also mentions the large online audience — nearly 30,000 — who viewed Debbie Friedman’s funeral online in real time and then “on demand” in the following days.

“We intended to watch a few minutes, but ended up watching almost the whole thing,” the Times quoted Rabbi Noa Kushner of San Anselmo, Calif., as saying. “I was so moved.”

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