Father of Avram Grant dies
MEIR GRANAT, father of former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, has died at the age of 82 after suffering complications following surgery.
The Holocaust survivor’s health deteriorated after an operation to remove a kidney stone. He died at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv and had been unconscious for eight weeks.
Mr Grant and other family members were at Mr Granat’s bedside when he died on Saturday night. He was buried on Sunday.
In an interview with the JC in January last year, Mr Granat recalled how in 1941, at the age of 13, he had fled Poland with his Chasidic family.
During their exile in far north Russia, he was forced to dig graves for his parents and five brothers and sisters as each, in turn, died of cold or starvation. Only he and one brother survived.
He said: “Guards dropped us off in a forest and said ‘build a home or die’. We were so far north that in the summer there was no darkness, and in the winter, no light. When do you pray Mincha when there is no sunset? When do you pray Shacharit when there is no sunrise? I wish that had been our only problem.
“When I buried my father, I cut off my peyot [sidecurls] and removed my kippah. I had lost my religious faith before his death. To survive, you must look forward in hope, never back.”
Now back at Portsmouth as director of football, Avram Grant was sitting shivah in Israel this week and will miss tomorrow’s game at Hull City.
He received messages of condolence from Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and former Premier Tony Blair.