ZION, Dr. and Rabbi Martin J. “Poppy” died on January 5, 2017 at 96 years old in Palm Beach, FL. Loving husband of Jane for 73 years, devoted father of Barbara Zion-Green and the late Charles (Chuck) Zion, tragically lost on 9/11; adored grandfather of Rachel (husband John), Michael (wife Susan) and Zachary (wife Emily); cherished great-grandfather of Alexandra, Jaclyn, Jacob, Charlotte and Kyle. A true visionary, he dedicated his life to the rabbinate, and to building a foundation for the future of Reform Judaism. He began his career at Temple Beth-El, Great Neck, NY; served as Rabbi at Temple Emanuel, Davenport Iowa (1952-1963); and held the position of Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel City of New York for nearly 30 years (1963-1991), where he led the congregation through the structural and spiritual development of its first and prominent current home at 112 East 75th Street in New York City. An inspiring educator, compelling preacher and compassionate counselor, he demonstrated the deepest commitment to his congregation throughout his career. In his own words: “The satisfaction I cherish as I look back over my rabbinical service is from broken hearts that may have been healed, from minds broadened and enlightened, from faith implanted in somebody’s soul, and from fellowship that I may have been able to spread in the communities I have served and beyond.” He lived his life to humanity’s highest ideals, with exemplary determination to excel, unfaltering love for his family, and with awe and adoration for his beloved Jane.
He will be forever loved, honored, and deeply missed by our four generations and beyond. May his memory be a blessing, and an inspiration to work towards a better world, full of compassion, tolerance, love and peace.
Private Services. Donations in his memory may be made to Temple Israel City of New York