Israel Koplowitz passed away on July 12, 2017. A Holocaust survivor, Israel was born in Biejun, Poland in 1926. During the war, he lived in the Lodz Ghetto before his transfer to the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp and then to the Mauthausen labour camp. Israel relied on his strength, wisdom and perseverance to survive the horrors of the war. Following his liberation, he joined the Palmach – the underground Jewish army during the period of the British Mandate in Israel – and bravely fought to re-establish the Jewish State of Israel. He served as a soldier in the Haganah until he moved with his family to New York in 1957, where the family resided until permanently moving to Toronto in 1968.

Israel was and remains an inspiration to his entire family, to which he was devoted, particularly his wife of 54 years, Sara Koplowitz, who passed away in 2007. Israel was the last remaining member of his family of eight children, five of whom perished in the Holocaust. He enjoyed close relationships with his mother-in-law, “Savta” Rifka, sisters, Bluma and Rachel, his sister-in-law, Fay, and his cousins, the Biderman, Scheinwexler, Schwalberg, Luskin, Freund and Shavit families. Israel is lovingly remembered by his children, Sol and Gaila, Marc and Joy, and Shirley and Michael; by his grandchildren, Jordan, Sean, Jonah and Danya, Aaron and Marlee, Bailey and Yoni, Dara and Adir, Jake, Dylan, Jackie, and Amanda; and by his great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Leo and Ellie.

Memorial donations can be made to The Association for the Soldiers of Israel