Isaac Bashevis Singer’s only son dies at 85

Israel Zamir, Israeli journalist and author, to be buried Monday in Kibbutz Beit Alfa

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Journalist and author Israel Zamir (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Journalist and author Israel Zamir (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Israeli journalist and author Israel Zamir, the only son of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, died on Saturday at the age of 85.

Zamir will be buried in the kibbutz of Beit Alfa, his home for 77 years, on Monday at 2 p.m.

Zamir was born to the prolific Yiddish writer and Runia Shapira in Warsaw in 1929. When Zamir was five, Singer left the two and moved to New York. Three years later, Zamir and his mother immigrated to Israel via Russia, ultimately settling in Beit Alfa.

Zamir, an author of nine books as well as several translations of his father’s work, renewed contact with Singer in 1955.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (photo credit: MDC Archives / Wikipedia)
Isaac Bashevis Singer (photo credit: MDC Archives / Wikipedia)

In his book “Journey to My Father, Isaac Bashevis Singer,” Zamir recalled his first visit to New York to meet his estranged father, and Singer’s chilly response to his son’s writing. Zamir showed his father some of his writing, and he “glanced at it only a few seconds, then he gave it back to me with an angry expression: ‘Why don’t you translate my books instead of writing your own.'”

Despite the initial icy meeting, Zamir said that ultimately, “a deep friendship between us was created.”

Zamir worked at the Al-HaMishmar Hebrew daily, and later moved to Maariv. He is survived by four children and nine grandchildren.

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