Fa­ther of Avram Grant dies

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

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.

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