Ari Zenilman Z'L - A Lion of Israel
On September 29, Erev Sukkot, Ari and Chava welcomed their third child. Since Sukkot celebrates water through the Simchat Beit Hashoeva, they named their daughter Maayan. On the following Shabbat, Ari said goodbye to his wife and three children, grabbed his gear and joined his reserve army unit in the south.
Ari was 14 and going into his first year of high school when he made aliya with his family in 2005. After high school, he spent 6 years studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush) and serving in the army. He then studied at Hebrew University, earning his BS in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). While earning his degree, he worked as a Research and Policy Analyst at the Kohelet Policy Forum. After graduating, he worked for the Central Bureau of Statistics, and started working at Mobileye as an Algorithm Data Analyst in September 2021.
It was truly amazing how Ari managed to fit his life into 24 hour days. Working as a data scientist at Mobileye, spending time with the children, studying for his MS in data science and sharing household chores, he always made time for Torah learning, and kept up with current events. He also enjoyed reading and was rarely without his Kindle or his Gemara – or both – in case he had some spare time.
Ari’s unit was first in Kissufim, then in Kibbutz Re’im, Kfar Azza, and later in Nachal Oz. Early Friday morning, December 1, Ari called his family to say that he was handing in his cell phone. What he did not need to say was that he was going into Gaza. That was the last time his family spoke to him. Ari was killed in battle in Khan Yunis on December 10, leaving behind Chava, their 3 young children (5, almost 3, and 10 weeks), and devastated family and friends.
This fund is to provide for the ongoing needs of Ari’s family, now and in the future. May his memory be a blessing
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