Assya Osnat (Karolik) Zisman

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OBITUARY ASSYA OSNAT ZISMAN (nee KAROLIK) Peacefully, on Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at the age of eighty-four. Cherished wife of the late Stephan Shlomo (Sioma) Zisman for fifty-eighty years. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Alex, Raziel and Jeanne, Liza and Jimmy Kaufman. Cherished "Oma" of Josh Zisman; Liam Zisman; Alfee and Jesse Kaufman. Beloved sister-in-law of Moshe and Malka Zisman, Lya and the late Yasha Zisman, the late Mara and the late Gelu Stroe. Loving aunt of Ilana, Etty, Aliza, Gabby, Brigitte, Ricky, Micky, Noah, Anthony, Tammi, Abby, Lea and Izy. Assya was born in Akkerman (Cetatea Alba), Bessarabia (then Romania), on August 14, 1924, the only child of Hanan (Huna) Karolik and Liza Perlin, respectively a prosperous businessman and a biochemist. At the age of fifteen, on the eve of World War II, she was presciently sent by her parents to Palestine, the first of several major events in Assya's life. She arrived as a youth oleh (immigrant) at the Ben Shemen Agricultural School and adjusted with gusto to her new surroundings. Following the outbreak of WWII, she volunteered to serve the Allied cause and joined Montgomery's 8th Army in Egypt as a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). She witnessed much of the drama of those tumultuous years and was also instrumental in helping her parents escape from Nazi-occupied Romania. After WWII, she worked as a physical education teacher in Israel, and met Sioma shortly after the end of Israel's War of Independence. In the early 1950s, the family moved to Ecuador and then Peru, where Sioma pursued business interests while Assya was active with her own entrepreneurial pursuits, mostly in the fashion business, while raising her family and leading an active social life. She was a delightful hostess and a talented raconteur, whose joie de vivre was greatly appreciated by her many friends. In 1971, the family moved to Canada, a country they grew to love deeply; first to Toronto and later on to Montreal, to be closer to her daughter and her family. Assya, always modest about her many accomplishments, quietly helped many throughout her life and applied her abilities, which included multi-lingual skills, to many causes such as working with the late Genya Intrator helping Soviet Jewry in the 1970s. Funeral service from Paperman & Sons, 3888 Jean Talon W., on Sunday, February 1, at 12 noon. Burial at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery, Mt. Royal Blvd. Shiva at Liza's home through Sunday evening. Services at 5:45 p.m. In lieu of gifts or flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the "Osnat Zisman Memorial Fund" c/o Canadian Hadassah Wizo, (514) 933-8461. She will be fondly remembered by all those whose lives she touched.
Published in Montreal Gazette on Jan. 31, 2009
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