This chapter, “Tani”, tries to perform the impossible. A few of Tani’s writings are included. This short biography is written by Tani’s family. We ask forgiveness for any items that we may have not included. We ask that those reading through these pages share their own memories about Tani with us.
Thanks to one and all,
Maggie, Jerry and family
Tani, Netanel Isaac, was born on November 20th, כ”ה חשוון – 1984 in the Hadassah Hospital of Jerusalem, Israel. He was welcomed into the world by his parents, Maggie and Jerry who were both 37 at the time, and by his sisters and brothers-Dvorah, then 14; Micah then 10; Yael then 7 and Avichai who was 4.
Blonde-haired and blued eyed Tani followed his brother Avichai in appearance and temperment. His first “gan” or nursery school was with Mazal Bracha across the street from the family home on Emile Zola Street when he was all of two years old. Later he went to pre-kindergarten “Gan Ruti” with Shali Kleinhouse, Avi Shapiro, Shmuel Koren and Ruti Weisz who were to remain his life-long friends. “Gan Hassida” found Tani with many of the same friends, but also included Netanel Hollander who joined the group at the age of 5.
“Dugma” school for boys was their choice for primary school. Tani is seen here in the school play and together with some of his good friends from school: Sruli Zimmering, , Avishai Farchi, Matti Sriki, Elad Sirkis, Shay Malka, Noam Melchior and Meir Rossman. Tani also studied to play the flute with a new immigrant concert flautist, Dimitri. Here Tani had his first taste of performing before an audience. Dimitri’s recitals were a must for all his pupils, and what Tani lacked in skill he made up for in personality.
Tani along with many friends joined the Masuot Scouts Troop while in the 4th grade. Tani admired the older counselors who taught him so much. He especially loved the many friends he made in his beloved “Gdud Yuval” and the many summer, Succot, Pesach scouts’ camps he attended.. Tani represented the religious scouts at an all-city forum in the summer of 2001.
Upon graduation from the “Dugma” primary school, Tani and friends attended the Himmelfarb Junior High school, where he made many more friends. He joined the “Elitzur” all-city basketball team together with his friends Netanel Hollander and Yair Fink. Tani continued to play for the Elitzur team throughout the following 5 years.
Hartman High School was the obvious choice for Secondary school, as it is located just a 5 minute walk from the Goodman home. More importantly, Tani’s older brothers had learned in the Hartman framework, and had succeeded in acquiring an excellent religious and academic education. It wasn’t easy to be accepted, as it was the first choice of many of Tani’s age group. However looking back, we find ourselves thanking G-d that Tzvi Yannai, Hartman’s principal, gave Tani the chance to prove himself scholastically.
Tani flourished here with the guidance, love and understanding of his teachers. In fact, all those who make Hartman the unique school it is played a part in Tani’s education. Tani not only played basketball for Elitzur, he played for the Hartman team, as well as the Masuot Scouts’ basketball team . The Hartman team got to the Jerusalem city finals in the year 1999, Tani’s 9 th grade year.
The “Masuot” scouts won the all city scouts championship during Tani’s 9th, 10th and 11th grades. The last championship, played in December of 2001, Tani’s 12th grade year, was lost, however while Tani was attending a Bronfman seminar in the United States. While in the 10th grade Tani became an admired older counselor of “Gdud Eitan” (See “Gdud Eitan” in Photo Album). These scouts today continue Tani’s tradition of service in the “MaraTani– Chain of Giving” project.
Tani became a very serious student during the 11th grade. With the help of his brother Micah, Tani became a student in the Machon Meir Yeshiva after school hours learning Jewish philosophy and religion. Tani was named Hartman Student of the Year at the end of the 11th grade.
During 12th grade Tani joined an additional scouts troop as “outside counselor” for the Yehuda Scouts Troop in Kfar Adumim. Tani traveled to this small community weekly and loved his role as counselor there.. In the winter of 11th grade, Tani was chosen to join the Bronfman Youth Fellowship Program of 2001.
Called “Amitei Bronfman” in Israel, this project chooses a small number of pre-12th graders on the basis of character, intellectual interests, special talents and leadership qualities. These young Jewish leaders from all over Israel, the United States and Canada are given stimulating workshops, lectures, seminars and trips around Israel and the US. This program encourages communication among young people from diverse backgrounds about the major issues confronting the Jewish people today. Tani’s life was enhanced through his unique experiences within this program, and enriched by the deep friendships he made within the group both in Israel and North America.
In September 2001, Tani and his Hartman Senior class went to Poland to witness the destroyed Jewish Communities of Europe and the concentration camps. This visit was a significant event in Tani’s life and his diary is included here (Hebrew only), As well as the video of this visit.
Upon returning from a winter seminar of the Bronfman Fellows in New York and Washington DC, Tani joined his classmates for the yearly 12 grade trip to the Negev of Israel.
The class then began exploring options for pre-army learning frameworks in various locations. Tani spent the last week of January, 2002, in the Otniel Yeshiva in the Hebron Hills. That Tuesday, he traveled to the Yeshiva of Maale Gilboa in the north of Israel where he stayed over Shabbat. That Saturday evening he was caught in the electric gate of the entrance to the community, and mortally injured. He was taken to the HaEmek hospital of Afula, Israel, where he spent 5 days fighting for his life. He was joined by his many dearest friends who came to be with him and his family. The doctors pronounced him brain dead on Thursday, February 7th, 2002. Tani’s family decided immediately to donate his organs for transplant–today 4 individuals are alive and another two have the gift of sight thanks to this decision. Tani’s strength today is reflected in the many projects and events undertaken by his friends and family.
The legacy of Tani lives on. Some of these may be found in the Projects of this website.
The deeply moving work of Tani’s older siblings to keep Tani’s memory alive are felt by all. Dvorah, with her beautiful voice, leads the memorial services yearly at Tanis grave. Micah, gave his yearly lectures for Tani’s memorial at the Hartman Institute for many years as well as dedicating many of his writings including his book on the Kuzari “The Kings Dream”. Yael, dedicated her writings and evenings to Tani both in Halifax, Canada and Jerusalem. Avichai dedicated his MA writings and the famous Tani Run for thousands of participants.
Thomas Attig writes of “Loving in Absence” (2002). Tani’s physical absence has not diminished the constant love we feel for him. This love is reinforced by a tremendous faith in G-d that some day we will all be one again. This is the faith that Tani lived each day. Tani’s light shines on, and will forever.
“Hello Fellows, in the next few lines I’m gonna write u about myself.
I live in the center of the Holy City – Jerusalem, which I love with all my heart. My parents came to Jerusalem in 1970 from the states, my dad from Springfield, Mass. And my mother is from Oklahoma City. My mom was born to a Roman Catholic family and converted after she met my dad.
I see myself as a total Israeli, I am a religious person and I observe the mitzvot with great honor and love. One of the goals in my life is to be an honest “Zadik” meaning—to love the creations and through my personal example to bring them closer to the Torah, through love and not through fear. I’m usually a smiling happy kid who likes to play basketball, learn and hike. I am in the scouts, the religious scouts, in Jerusalem, and this takes up a lot of my time.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in the summer, I hope we’re going to have a great time and I hope we’ll have the chance to learn from each other and share special moments together.
In conclusion, tcnvj;kp;/ml.hxdrwasfxdvbmbjo
See ya, Tani”