• Ayelet Galena, Bill Mardo and Jack Zarrow

    February 15th, 2012 | Section: Local News, National News

    By Alan D. Abbey

    Jewish Telegraphic Agency

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently.

    Ayelet Galena, 2, plight moved thousands

    Ayelet Galena, the 2-year-old who suffered from a rare bone disease and whose plight became known to thousands through blog posts and community activities in New York and elsewhere, died Jan. 31.

    Galena’s parents, Seth and Hindy Poupko Galena, worked through their own emotions and raised funds and awareness about Ayelet’s illness on a blog.

    Gabrielle Birkner of the Forward wrote: “Many of the thousands of those mourning Ayelet today knew her only through the Tumblr blog where her parents chronicled, with remarkable compassion, eloquence and humor, the toddler’s courageous fight.

    “As the months passed, and Ayelet’s condition grew worse, the images provided an unflinching look at the little girl’s reality: There were myriad tubes and machines connected to Ayelet’s swollen body and bald head (which was always lovingly covered with a floral hat or headband).”

    Bill Mardo, 89, sportswriter who pushed for integrating baseball

    Bill Mardo, a longtime sportswriter for The Daily Worker and one of the leading voices for integrating baseball in the 1940s, died Jan. 20 at 89.

    Mardo’s efforts, along with other Jewish colleagues at the newspaper, wrote columns and articles over a course of years that many have credited with creating the moral case for opening Major League Baseball to African Americans. In the new book “Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball,” Temple University’s Rebecca Alpert wrote that Mardo initiated the campaign to convince Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey to integrate the team.

    After Jackie Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first black player, he and Mardo became friends.

    Mardo was born William Bloom in Manhattan and grew up in foster families in Brooklyn. His interest in left-wing politics began when he read The Daily Worker as a teenager and then joined the Communist Party. He changed his name to Mardo as a tribute to his sisters Marion and Doris. Mardo joined The Daily Worker in 1942.

    Jack Zarrow, 86, Oklahoma oil exec and philanthropist

    Jack Zarrow, a Tulsa, Okla., oil and gas supply company CEO and philanthropist whose foundation supported education, mental health and Jewish charities, died Feb. 2 at 86.

    Zarrow was on the boards of the University of Tulsa and Gilcrease Museum. The foundation established professorships at the Mayo Clinic, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, and donates to Jewish causes in the United States and Israel, including the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and the Tulsa Jewish Retirement & Health Care Center.

    “Jack was a quiet, unassuming guy who for all his success was very receptive and approachable and who always honored his roots,” said David Bernstein, past executive director of the Tulsa Jewish Federation. “The Jewish community takes a lot of pride in the fact that Jack was an active member and represented us so well to the total community.”

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