Thursday, Apr 11, 2024

Mr. Zev Wolfson z”l

The untimely and tragic passing of Zev Wolfson of blessed memory, has provided those who knew him well with an opportunity to reflect and better understand the remarkable person we knew and admired. Mr. Wolfson was proficient and particularly expert at remaining hidden from view, yet was purposely visible to those he enlisted in his worldwide army of those who could join in his mission. If you were a doer, who could play a role in his grand scheme of growing and strengthening the Jewish people, then you were someone he wanted to know. Once a real member of his team, you were subject to his ongoing consistent mantra and refrain to do more, better and bigger. He was rarely satisfied and never comfortable with the status quo. Signing up to be a part of his enterprise always came with a heavy price, to produce and expand, forever increasing the dreams and the results he envisioned.

In the Zev Wolfson worldview, there was always a new frontier, a better method and much more to accomplish. He had little time for small talk, yet he was deeply interested in every detail of what you could offer as his spiritual partner. He had a keen eye for talent and was willing to invest in the commodity he most believed in; people who could make a difference in our world. Geography and distance were never a barrier, wherever there were Jews who could benefit, he was ready to invest. Each decision Mr. Wolfson came with a timetable and a search for partners, he wanted to plant the seeds which ultimately could flourish without him. He had no pride of authorship, no need for accolades, only an insatiable drive to build and conquer more spiritual territory for the Jewish people to traverse.


Ascending the elevator to his office on the 29th floor of One State Street Plaza was always an adventure. You never quite knew which great Jew would be in his office or in which direction he would lead you. We once brought a large group of Michigan students to thank him for all he had done for them. Although he was thrilled to hear of their progress, his attention span was limited to the celebration of their achievements and not to receiving the accolades for his generosity and munificence.


He and his wonderful wife Nechama (may she live and be well) inculcated in their family a single minded focus of expanding the opportunity of a life of Torah and mitzvos to all Jews everywhere.


Although the loss to his family and Klal Yisroel is unfathomable, thankfully Zev Wolfson bequeathed to his children and grandchildren a drive and ambition to carry on his life’s work almost without interruption. As the history of this remarkable family continues to unfold, it seems to me this seamless transition to the next generation maybe his greatest success.


Yehi zichro boruch.



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