National Jewish Democratic Council Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris, along with all at the NJDC, extended their condolences today to Rep. Steve Israel (D-MD) following the death of his father, Howard Israel. Howard passed away at the age of 78. A strong family man who Rep. Israel often called a major influence on his life, Howard left a mark on all who had the fortune of knowing him.
May his memory be a blessing.
Matthew Chayes of Newsday described Howard as a “renaissance man” who was a strong supporter of his son’s life in public service. Chayes wrote:
The elder Israel, who worked and raised a family on Long Island, died at his Phoenix home on Friday of complications from lung cancer. He was 78.
Howard Israel was a renaissance man: amateur pilot, painter, guitarist, sailor, tennis player, photographer. His latest hobby: astronomy, his son said.
‘He wasn’t particularly political until after I entered public service - and then he became relentless about politics,’ Steve Israel said of what happened after he was first elected to a seat on the Huntington Town board in 1993. Israel (D-Dix Hills) added: ‘He was to the left of me.’
One of Howard Israel’s most treasured possessions was a handwritten get-well letter from President Barack Obama.
Howard Lee Israel was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to Charles and Betty Israel. A graduate of East New York Vocational High School, he moved to Flushing, Queens. After a stint in the Army, he married Madeline Kass in 1956. They moved to Levittown in 1960, and in 1968 to Wantagh.
My dad was the quintessential New Yorker. He had grown up in the city, did his service in the military and wanted to raise a family in the suburbs, Steve Israel said.
The elder Israel worked as a salesman for General Semiconductor Industries. In the 1980s, he became a manager at the company’s Tempe, Ariz., factory and later joined a direct-mail firm his wife founded. She survives him, as do two other children - Sharyn Younger, of Chandler, Ariz., and Richard Israel, of Los Angeles - and five grandchildren.
Click here to read the entire obituary.
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