Lazar Behar

Elazar Behar
Elazar David Behar was born July 23, 1923 in Seattle, Washington and passed Sunday August 28, 2016 in his home, in Seattle.

Beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, WWII veteran. Elazar was the fifth of eleven children born to Buena Lea and Rev. David J. Behar. Though successful in business, the most important things in his life were family, synagogue and community. Elazar loved nothing more than to enjoy the company of family and friends at his home.

From the time he was a child at his father's side, he devoted countless hours to Congregation Ezra Bessaroth and to the needs of its members. In 1988 he was honored by the synagogue for a lifetime of service. He served as the Gabbai (Sexton) of the congregation for approximately 48 years, and as Gabbai Emeritus for the remaining years of his life.

He made significant contributions to the Sephardic Studies Collection of the University of Washington, providing interviews, photographs, papers and books to document and preserve the history of Seattle's Sephardic community - and did much more to perpetuate the Sephardic tradition.

Elazar was a man of many interests and many talents. He had a knack for design and carpentry. He collected and restored antique automobiles. He was an optimist - dedicated, determined and focused in all that he undertook to accomplish.

Surviving are Elazar's devoted wife Diane "Cookie" Behar, who enriched his life and took such good care of him in his final years; his children, Lea Hamlin (Larry), Diane Behar (Doreen), David Behar (Jamileh); step-children, Debbie Muscatel (Steve, of blessed memory), Wendi Portnoy (Louie), Shari Altchech (Jeff); grandchildren, Simon Hamlin, Joelle Alhadeff (Loren), Jordan Behar, Alex Behar; step-grandchildren, Samantha Searles (Trapper), Taylor Muscatel (Robyne), Mallory Portnoy, Kyle Portnoy, Zach Altchech, Joey Altchech; great-grandchildren, Sophia Alhadeff, Norah Alhadeff; and step-great-grandchild, Jaiden Searles; brothers, Isaac and Albert Behar; sister, Esther Schoenfeld; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Elazar was predeceased by his brothers: Jacob, Samuel and Salvo; and sisters, Donetta (Bensal), Rachelle (Arugeti), Alegra (Alhadeff), and Julia.