End of a Generous Life: Mr. Izzy Herzog z”l


izzy-herzogHundreds of people from across Melbourne’s Jewish community paid tribute to philanthropist and Adass Israel stalwart Izzy Herzog, who passed away on Monday, aged 76.

Born in Verball, Slovakia, Herzog survived the Holocaust in hiding; his mother, Chaya, perished in Auschwitz. Together with his father Menachem and brothers, he arrived in Australia in 1949.

The Herzogs settled in Carlton. And it was already in those Carlton days that the young Izzy Herzog began to display the charitable traits that would be his hallmark in later years.

“From the time Izzy Herzog arrived in Melbourne with his family following World War II, he was an integral and vital part of the Adass community,” Adass Israel president Benjamin Koppel said this week.

Many Jewish immigrants recall the assistance he provided them; aged 14 he would ride his bike around Carlton on erev Shabbos delivering food and other goods to people in need.

In 1962, Izzy established First Auto Wholesalers a company now managed by his sons, which specialises in prestige vehicles. Even his business interests became a part of his philanthropic and communal work – many a chosson and kallah had their first travels together in a car made available by his company in exchange for a charitable donation.

In more recent years, Herzog, a successful businessman, was a major supporter of the Adass Israel, Yeshivah and Kollel Beis HaTalmud communities.

“He was respected and beloved by all for his extraordinary heart of gold and his legendary tzedakah and chesed to all. His door and heart were always open to all – not only in the Adass and wider Jewish community – but also in the Australian business world,” Koppel said.

He served two two-year terms as president of Melbourne’s Adass Israel congregation, as well as 25 years as president of its Chevra Kadisha.

Beyond the Orthodox community, many a backpacker seen in the street was surprised to be stopped by Herzog, asked how he was faring, and given a small amount of money to help him on his way.

In 2001, he was named a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the community.

His four children follow in their father’s footsteps: Reuven had intensive involvement with the Hatzolah medical service, Yossi is on the board of the Adass Israel community, Vicki, a psychologist, has been honoured by the Australian Government for her contribution to the community, while Ilana is involved with the Yeshivah Centre.
Izzy is survived by his wife Mary and four children.

“With his outstanding integrity and graciousness he created a kiddush Hashem wherever he was.

“His sad passing has brought to an end an era in our community and the loss is irreplaceable,” Koppel said.

{The Australian Jewish News}

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Izzy was not just a man who “nobody had something negative to say about him”, only “a man who nobody didnt have something good to say about him”.
    May he be a Meilitz Yosher for gantz klal Yisroel.

  2. The Herzog family bichlal are outstanding yden. His oldest brother R’Lazer has many talmidim from early years in Australia, and decades in Mt Kisco. Another brother, Shrageh, is a pillar in the community of Stamford Hill – particularly Lubavitch. His younger brother Chatzkel (Henry) is a baal chessed and strong supporter of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah Center.
    Interesting snippet: On the six (6) week ship voyage from the aftermath of war-torn Europe, there were two (2) families who ate potatoes only: The Herzog’s and the Bobker’s (of Sydney) [as per Joe Bobker, prominent author and LA-NY real-estate developer currently living in 5 Towns.]

  3. Mr Herzog will be missed by every single person in Melbourne – not just Adass. He helped so many people in some form or another, whether by advice or money – whether they were rich or poor, and did not discriminate between upper class or lower class, Jew or non-Jew. I went to menachem-aveil and some of his non-Jewish business acquaintances were there too; they were so sad – they said they’d lost a friend. And they were right. Everyone felt like they had been his friend, he just made you feel that way. We are all terribly saddened by this; it’s the worst news we’ve had this year.

  4. Izzys shloshim was last night

    the adass yirole kehilah is still crying over this loss

    hashem does every thing for our good

    the peshvorsker rebbe said that izzy was a goan in chessed