We Remember

From Sharon Attal

Dear Ted:

After you were born to your parents, they surely broke the mold.  You definitely were one of a kind.  I loved all the stories you told me about your parents, the guy at the furniture store who told your parents to just get married and stop worrying about saving up enough money to buy the furniture, your special car that your Father bought for you and how all the girls loved that green convertible car.

What I remember as being so extra special about you is the fact that you always had a twinkle in your eyes and you could always make people laugh.  It never failed that when I was having a bad day, you had the uncanny ability to send along a funny video or email that would perk up my spirit.  You would make me laugh so much that soon I was having a “good day”.  How special is that?  I always would ask you, “Ted, where are you finding all this funny stuff?”  Your reply was, “My buddies around the world are sending them to me!”  I am sure your buddies are sure missing you now as well as the rest of us.  So far, we have no more funny videos or emails – that is because you are gone now.

I always appreciated your brilliance, your ability to be so creative, your wanting to give so freely of your positivity about life to everyone, your zest for life and the vibrancy that you brought to your work and everyone and to touch the hearts of all that knew you.  It is unfortunate that you passed away so soon.  I am sure missing your presence at Helen Doron.  You really livened up the workplace for me and others.

I always remember that every day when I asked you how you were, you always had that special sparkle in your eyes and you would say to me, “Gorgeous!”  I never heard anyone respond like that before in my life.   What a unique response is that!

I could never understand how someone would still want to be working so hard at your age.  You were involved in every aspect of making Helen Doron and its mission a success for all the children, teachers, and franchisees of the world.   However, it was Helen’s wisdom to know that this was precisely what was keeping you going.

Your voice is truly memorable and that will continue on in all the recordings and films you made.  I will always remember when you were singing in the lobby that song that you wanted to enter into a world competition for tenors.  You just kept achieving and striving to be the best you could be up to the very end.

You always had such a zest for life – it reminds me of the famous line, “That life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death.”  One thing for sure Ted is you were never starving to death – literally and figuratively.  Further, I never met anyone who had done so many different kinds of things in life and loved every endeavor you became involved with.  You truly were a “Jack of All Trades” and a “Master of All.”

I will also always remember your love for “Fish and Chips”.  I remember your saying to me one day at lunch that you must have a talk with Galina to have chips tomorrow and sure enough we did have chips the next day.  You also loved the food of Rafael after Galina retired but you also told me that you sure enjoyed that “all you can eat” restaurant outside of London when you went there.

I remember the time I caught you feeding the dogs in the kitchen.  And I said to you, “I caught you Ted.”  And you said to me, “We are all just playing catch as you were tossing the dogs some biscuits.” 

My husband said, “What a remarkable guy Ted must have been to have been willing to live in Israel and so many other places around the world.”  As your son said, “It is not easy to be an immigrant and to fit into a culture that can be so foreign.”  However, you fit in perfectly and even managed to enjoy life here.  Daniel said, “He is just like all us wandering Jews.”  You are the kind of guy that made life happy wherever you would go.  I think it is most fitting that you are still here in the Land of Israel.

I especially loved the story that Benaya Doron wrote about you and was read by Helen.  This is the story that was told about being in the restaurant in Austria.  Daniel and I had so many laughs from that one when I told him what Benaya had written and remembered.  I can just see you now asking the owner and waiter of that restaurant if there was a pizza joint around so you could order a pizza while you were waiting for your meal and then telling everyone after being thrown out of the restaurant that they should not expect to have soup and salad at the pizza place because they already had that. 

I appreciated your sharing all your lovely photographs that you were taking from Hararit and around the world with me.  I think if you had been given more time you might have become another Ansel Adams.  Ansel Adams only became famous after his retirement.  You, on the other hand, never retired.  I can’t imagine what photographs you might have been taking if you were involved with that full time. 

I especially remember so vividly the photograph you showed me that you took from Hararit looking down on the valley of Carmiel below from your home.  You captured the light of heaven in that photograph so spectacularly that it is truly a gem and a beauty that is pressed into my mind’s eye and memory.  I also loved your recent photograph of Big Ben that you took when you came back from your trip to your son’s wedding.  I asked you how on earth did you possibly take that photograph Ted?  It looks like you must have been in an airplane to capture such a massive complex so perfectly.  I also took a copy of the fruit arrangement you did to remind me to eat fruit.  These were some of your last photographs that you took and I am happy to have a copy of those to remember you.

As for your son and daughter, I always enjoyed hearing what they were doing and how proud you were of them.  You also loved your son’s new wife and were very proud that he married her.  You said to me when you came back from the wedding, “She is a great gal.  He did very well to marry her.   She is a school teacher.”  So as you can see, the love of education and children runs in the family.  How perfect it is that you were associated with Helen Doron.

Ted, we all miss you but you will live on in our memories and our hearts forever.  Thanks again for all the laughs and good times.


Sharon Attal - Head Office Legal Department