Zafi was born on February 26, 1948 to Eliouh and Shula Weitzer in Haifa, Israel, later relocating to Tel-Aviv. Growing up she was a proud older sister to Moshe and Dalia, as well as loving cousin and niece to many beloved relatives. As a teenager she discovered a love for parties and creating a space for people to experience joy and celebration which became a driving force throughout the rest of her life.
After finishing high school she traveled to Chicago to attend Mundelein College which she graduated in 1972. She went on to be known as a beloved teacher, journalist, radio presenter, newspaper publisher and event planner.
In 1966, Zafi met Israel Ben-Joseph, and they wed in 1968, going on to have 2 children, Eirit and Ron.
Becoming a mother was one of Zafrira’s greatest sources of pride. She was extremely devoted to her family and continuously supported them in every way possible.When her husband was offered an opportunity to work in Melbourne Australia, Zafi fully embraced the adventure, picked up everything, and flew halfway around the world with 2 small children in tow. In Australia, Zafi expressed her passions for providing a place for Jewish children to learn more about their heritage and culture by creating a Hebrew school that continued to thrive for many years after she left. Not only was she raising two young children while she was teaching at the Hebrew School, she also spent much of her time in Melbourne writing articles for established Israeli newspapers, as well as fostering a tight knit community of Israeli expats.
Zafi’s love of people, Jewish culture, and live events continued to blossom when the family made the decision to return to the Chicagoland area in 1989. Even though 20 years had passed since she lived in the United State, Zafrira instantly reconnected with all of her old college friends and very quickly positioned herself as the chief party planner for the extensive Israeli community that resided in Chicago. In that time Zafi was also extremely involved in helping grow and expand a popular Israeli women’s book club that one of her closest friends Ophira Ben Arieh had started. Together they worked to grow the membership to involve more women, feature many of Israel’s top writers, and produce highly attended lectures led by Israeli filmmakers, actors, authors, and artists.
Above all Zafi was always focused on making those around her comfortable and happy. She had a gift for knowing what would bring people joy and how to get a smile on their faces. Whether it was ordering their favorite treat, sending them flowers, or planning a special event for friends and family, Zafi always wanted those around her to feel loved and cherished.
Zafi is survived by Israel, Eirit, her son-in-law Alon, Ron, and her sister Dalia.