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Rabbi Zally Lazarus

Number “5” in His Family, But, Number 1 in Caring Hearts

By Brother Steve Levine

Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa with 10 brothers and 1 sister, created enough confusion for everyone that Zally and his siblings were often called by their birth order number instead of their given names.  Those siblings are now scattered all over the world (Australia, Israel, South Africa and the U.S.)

Zally’s dad, Rabbi Shlomo Lazarus was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and his mom, Yona, was born and raised in South Africa. His parents were not born into religious families, but individually became Torah observant later in life, before marrying and settling in Cape Town, South Africa in the early 1980’s.

Cape Town has a very small Jewish Community (unlike nearby Johannesburg) and Zally attended a small Jewish Day School. How small was it? When he started out in First Grade he (initially) was the only student in his class, and by the 8th grade Zally was one of 5 in the class! The school did not offer many activities, but, Zally did find a way to participate in a lot of sports and learned to play the piano, but after his Bar mitzvah he stopped his lessons and never went back to it.

Rabbi Zally did continue his education and attended Yeshiva in New York, Israel and Argentina.

Oddly enough, his first paying job was not as a Rabbi, but, working in a California winery at age 22.

Zally met his lovely wife, Esti (Gavin) in New York in 2011. She was living and working in Houston at the time and traveled to New York City to meet Zally. It must have been a great meeting, as they were engaged 10 days after they first met and were married 8 weeks later!

Zally shared that he never intended to be a “Pulpit” Rabbi, but rather community work, and is honored to be doing that through his involvement and support to the special needs community. He currently teaches at the Torah Day School and is Associate Director of The Friendship Circle.

Esti and Zally have three children, currently 7, 6 and 4 years old (Chassie, Shaindel and Benjy).

As passionate as he is for supporting the special needs community, he is equally supportive of our Hebrew Order of David Lodge. What Zally appreciates most about the lodge is our ability to be there for each other and the brethren are there for you.

We at Hebrew Order of David are very pleased to have Zally’s caring heart as part of the lodge.

Article by Steve Levine (HOD Galil)

(c) 2020 Hebrew Order of David

Lodge Tikvah, Houston, TX

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