The year 2023 has not been kind to the Rogow-Kalmanowitz families.
Just nine months ago, tragically and prematurely, we lost our Brother and uncle, Stan. Itz’s affliction started with an inexplicable light stutter which grew into full blown aphasia and ultimately his passing a few short months ago. Now, as though our personal grief was not enough we are facing a national grief in the throws of a war of survival .
Itz was the epitome of the South African born Jew of his time. Groomed for leadership in his formative years through his membership, in a strongly Zionist youth movement, Habonim, he naturally rose in rank and responsibility till the peak of his volunteer career on being elected Chairman of the SA Zionist Federation.
There was never any doubt as to his ultimate goal of Aliya which he Marj and family realised in the early 80’s
Difficult as those first years were, for integration into Israel was not always a walk in the park, as many of us here know only too well, Itz became an active member of SAZF in Israel, TELFED till his ultimate election to the position of Chairman. Even after his mysterious contracting of a stutter, some 6 years or so ago, which later developed into aphasia, undeterred Itz persisted as an active member of TELFED Board and insisted on contributing his services for the benefit of the SA born community in Israel.
Old fashioned Zionism was an integral part of his DNA as in the 90’s Marj and he agreed to to a 3 year stint of shlichut in Toronto, Canada.
On a somewhat lighter, yet accurately proven, note. In a discussion, in which we were once engaged, I prefaced my remark “With all due respect”. Itz immediately held up a hand to stop me in mid-sentence and said: “Now comes the insult”. Over the years I have found it to be a given. When ever anyone says “With all due respect” it is inevitably followed by a put-down.
Itz has lived a full and rewarding life having achieved much, if not all, of his goals and aspirations with the support and encouragement of his ever devoted wife Marj and children Debbie Shifra and David.
I would be sorely remiss if I did not take a moment and make special mention of my sister Marj who for the past 4 or 5 years has unwaveringly stood by her beloved husband as she witnessed his slow but steady deterioration to dementia and worse.
She was faced with indescribable challenges all of which she overcame with dogged determination and the support and backing of her children Debbie Shifra and David and their respective spouses Jonnie, Shlomi and Odea.
My Dear Brother in Law may you rest assured with the knowledge that all that was humanly possible was done that
you may “Rest in Peace.”
– Ian Rogow