In honor of Israel’s 70th year, we asked our alumni in Israel to share their aliyah story. Read Tzvi (Howard) Zusman (’60) story below. Click here to return to the whole page of olim who submitted responses.
After nourishing a love for Israel from my parents with the aid of Bnei Akivah and Moshava, and after completing my degree as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, I planned on making Aliya after a few years experince in a practice.
In the summer of ’73, during which I came to Israel for my father’s Yahrzeit, having intended on temporarily returning to the U. S. after the Chagim, the Yom Kippur Was broke out, and like others, I volunteered to help wherever I could. which mainly included delivering bread for the Angel company and helping out in Kfar Etzion.
On מוצאי שמחת תורה, Avinoam, my brother-in-law from Kfar Etzion, who, with his group, a few days after crossing the Suez Canal In Eric Sharon’s famous bridge head, was killed during an Epyptian night sniper attack. During Shiva, my sister, Sandy, said to me: “Maybe now you’ll stay?”
I stayed in Kfar Etzion, working in the fields, factory, accounting and other jobs according to their needs and the day after Pesach, ’74, during the war of attrition with Syria, I went to the Golan Heights to Moshav Nov, where help was desperately needed as they were being shelled every day.
After the cease-fire with Syria, I decided to return to Kfar Etzion for Klitah but decided that I would first go to Keshet, the new settlement opposite Kuneitra, to help out for one week.
After almost 44 years, the week still hasn’t ended!
I met my wife in Keshet. (Her mother’s cousin, Sy Leader, studied in the academy when I graduated). Our wedding was the first wedding in Keshet’s permanent location in the central Golan.
Hashem blessed me with nine children, seven of whom married here in Israel, a son who after high school, went to the Eli pre army yeshiva and went into the army two weeks before Pesach to the Paratroopers, and has been excepted to an elite combat group.
Our baby is a 17 year old girl with Down Syndrome, the love of our family who adds much happiness to all who know her.
Am Yisroel Chai.