Michael Lee Glassberg

Mar 22, 1949 - Aug 30, 2022

East Lawn East Sacramento
4300 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95819

Obituary

Mike was born in Brooklyn in March 1949, and he picked his sports teams accordingly. He never forgave the Dodgers for leaving but remained loyal to the Mets, the Jets and his beloved Knicks through more bad seasons than good.

If you asked him, though, he was formed in the fields of Gezer. He was proudest that he and a select cohort didn’t merely stay in ivory towers rhapsodizing about the dream of Socialism and Israel, but rather went and tried to build that reality.

He took those lessons of balancing a vision and mundane practicalities wherever he went. He used that talent to help build 3 factories as well as Netafim, Point Source and Irritec USA.

But mostly he was proud of his teams. If you were his person, you were his for life and he was yours. He liked smart competent people who would argue with him and appreciate his loyalty, sense of humor, and a good cup of coffee. The rest he could teach, and reveled in the teaching.

It is not surprising then, that when it became clear that he was really dying, Mike prioritized the people he loved. He was grateful to be in Sacramento near his grandson Orin, his daughter Zoey and son-in-law George, and that his partner Shifra was always with him. And he appreciated and savored every visit; whether by phone or in person, family or friends.

He died on Tuesday. Zoey, Jollie and Shifra were present. He is survived by his daughters Chava and Zoey, his grandson Orin, his son-in-law George and his partner Shifra. And so many friends.

Funeral Service ~ Friday September 2, 2022 at 2pm East Lawn East Sacramento Chapel.

Guestbook

  • Jennifer Picquette says:

    Dear Mike, you were such a great guy. I learned so much from you. It was very interesting and fun working with you and sharing those few years together with your friends and family. You will be greatly missed!

  • Mike Davidson says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that I was formed, informed, molded, and set on my path of life because of my time on kibbutz. And when I think of Gezer and whose hands shaped and molded me, it was you. Your analytic decision making was on a par with none except for the Jets? Knicks? Mike!!!

  • Sharon Bershtel says:

    Glassy- what a mensch! You impacted so many people’s lives, Michael, ours included. You are the one who convinced us to move to Gezer from Gesher Haziv. You didn’t even know how many people you impacted in your life, and you will be sorely missed by so many- especially your family. Hugs to all of you. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.

  • Jenny says:

    Mike your sense of humor and wit was such a treat to be around . You will be missed not only for your hi nor but for your embrace of life, your insight, your candor. Peace be with you my friend.

  • Hope Grossman says:

    Dearest Michael

    I will always feel your smile,your heart,your generosity and your friendship. I will always feel that it wasn’t long enough but grateful for the time we did have together. You are the definition of mensch. I will always miss you.

  • Tim Krupa says:

    Mike, you were such a gentle spirit and wise person. I feel fortunate and grateful to have met you. Thank you for taking time to be present, to share and listen with curiosity and without judgment. Sending love and hugs to your family and loved ones.

  • Roy Klass says:

    Dearest Mike and family,
    We got to know each other in the early nineties through mutual friends and work and we immediately bonded through our mutual passion for work and wine.
    I thought we were prepared for this but it is a lot more painful than i thought it would be. I know you are in a better place now and may you rest in peace. You will be sorely missed. We loved you.
    My deepest condolences to the family. RIP
    Love from Roy Klass, Israel.

  • Eliav Ashkenazy says:

    The excellent sense of humor, kindness and intelligent way of looking into things were impressive. Mike was a kind, polite and respectful person. His memory will stay with me forever. Please Rest In Peace.

  • Steve Lax says:

    Mike was my partner in first time parenthood and was a friend and mentor in shaping my adult self. You will be missed by many and alive in memories of us all

  • Lee Siegel says:

    Dearest Mike.
    A mensch, warm and caring to all. A friend who’s insight and ability to teach and mentor remain with me. Your memory is a blessing to all who knew you. You touched many people over your life time.

  • Saris and David miller says:

    Dear Mike.
    The memories we have and always will is your beautiful personality,your kindness , loyalty and your modesty
    David and saris miller

  • Robert Bank says:

    Robert Bank and Alan Cohen
    We send our deep condolences to Michael’s family and loved ones and huge love to Shifra, Emma and Coby and we wish we could be with you in person.

  • Bradley Burston says:

    Michael,

    I remember meeting you and wondering how someone as sharp and tough as nails also embodied and radiated and gave us so much sweetness.

    You saw futures beyond the rest of us. You saw pathways and solutions we couldn’t see right in front of us.

    Your memory is a blessing. Love and longing and heartbreak – these will not go away

  • Rafi and Laura Golan says:

    Dear Mike
    We will remember you as an innovative and pioneering spirit, for your intelligence and passion for work. After so many years the kibbutz work ethic remained apart of you. You always showed equal respect to all and with zero arrogance. Your extremely high demands on yourself were an inspiration for many people around you. All your talents and attributes have contributed and even changed the Drip Irrigation industry in California and the U.S.
    From a personal perspective, it was always great to just sit down together (regrettably these visits were not frequent, so a long phone call with a glass of wine had to suffice) for a conversation on a million and one topics from U.S./Israeli politics to the jazz scene in New Orleans.
    Above all, we will miss our friend.
    Shalom Chaver.

  • David Leichman says:

    Michael was a true mensch, yet he was so special as a leader for so many people who knew Michael from before Gezer, during Gezer and after leaving Gezer. The people who knew him always looked up to him and appreciated his intelligence and his friendship. We will miss him enormously and may he rest in peace with so many folks who knew him!

  • Fred says:

    Reflecting on all the many riches you gave me over the years – The Subdues, Pierre Ben-Susan, obscure Van Morrison. An appreciation for cold sesame noodles. A room anytime I was in town. Love for the inscrutable macho of Daschunds. A handful of guy noire authors. Forgiveness when I needed it. Business insights, patiently explained. You made a NY commute together something to look forward to, with a wit that gave me a twisted smile, to a full belly laugh. A connection to four radiant women – Debbie, Chava, Zoey, and Shifra. The ludicrous image of you folded into an MG mini. One of my favorite afternoons ever, playing hooky at Belmont Park. Yours is a Life Book with so many chapters, a table of contents would be simply useless; but what a great read. You are a great and forever friend, and I will be forever grateful.

  • Lynn Staley and Marty Linsky says:

    We loved Michael, loved what he and dear Shifra meant to each other and gave to each other, and will treasure the time we had together with them.

  • Anny Dobrejcer says:

    Michael you were the sweetest most gentle , kind soul. Your love for our Shifra had her moving miles away from the familiar to be with you in all parts of the world. Together you filled your lives with romance and imagination and travel in a partnership filled with possibility that was a joy to witness and made all of our hearts sing. A life cut too short. I shall always treasure having known you.
    With enduring love.

  • יגאל סתו says:

    מייק יקר, הייתה איש ישר אשר תוכו כברו. עבדנו יחד בתקופה שבה החברה עשתה את צעדיה הראשונים בשוק האמריקאי. תוך מסירות אין קץ ונאמנות חסרת פשרות למשימה שהוטלה עליך היית מרכיב חשוב בצעדים הראשונים שעשינו. היית איש רעים, נוח לבריות וידיד אמיתי. חבל רק שהמרחק שהפריד ביננו בשנים שעברו גרם לכך שלא נפגשנו לעיתים קרובות ולא המשכתי להנות מהקשר היפה שנוצר ביננו. נוח בשלום על משכבך.

  • Cindy Chazan says:

    Dearest Shifra,
    What to say when Michael is gone but the love continues forever. I never met him, but Michael made you glow for miles. It isn’t just any man who can earn your love, deep caring and commitment and I can’t begin to imagine your loss. I feel sad and helpless that I am not near you. I know you made Michael’s life so much better, especially these last months. He was so damn lucky to have your love. I wish you strength, comfort and my love in the days to come and always, Cindy

  • I wish I had known him.
    What a mensch.

  • Debra Pell says:

    I only met you once Michael but the strength of your character shone through like warm loving light. Seeing how happy and loved Shifra was in your presence made me understand instantly what a special human being you were. I know many people whose lives you touched and they all felt the deep impact of your humanity. We wish only that there would be many more years —a life cut off way too soon. Thank you for everything you gave to those who loved you most. Missing your footstep on this earth.
    Debra

  • Bill Novak says:

    I never met Michael, but reading these comments made me wish I had known him. He was obviously a special person who was gone too soon. May his memory be for a blessing.

  • Hannah, Prosper's Daughter says:

    איזה מייק הוא היה. השאיר אחריו אין גדול ומצד שני כל כך הרבה זכרונות נעימים. כל זמן שהיינו איתו היה חגיגה של חכמה , מצב רוח , זמן טוב. זכינו שהיה חלק מחיינו . חבר אתה חסר.

  • Denise and Marty says:

    Mike, Our lives have been forever changed by having you as a friend and mentor. You are deeply missed. Until we meet again.

  • Shimon Schwartz says:

    Mike you be missed.Will always remember the argument we had over which one of us would be ambassador of Brooklyn to the United States. loved you

  • Shimon Schwartz says:

    And will misa you.

  • nissen chackowicz says:

    Dear Chava, Zoey, Shifra and Debbie,

    Michael enriched the lives of so many and will be missed by us but never forgotten. Hopefully, your cherished memories will help sustain you at this difficult time.
    My sincere condolences,
    Nissen

  • Gina Gomez says:

    Mike always spoke his opinion and listened, when he wanted.
    He saw the greatness of a person and did what he could to help.
    You were a great mentor and will be missed.

  • Ron Wischkin says:

    I only lived on Gezer a few short years. Our backgrounds were lightyears apart, we shared few common interests, sports being the least. What drew us together was his work ethic. He worked tirelessly for Gezer and for the common good of the community. He was his own task master, an entrepreneurial socialist. He worked in the field, I worked in construction so our paths rearly crossed, except those few times we fund ourselves together in the tractor garage sharing coffee and cookies. We became friends taking a break from work over a game of bridge. God do I miss those days. After I left Gezer, with time and miles we drifted apart. But any time we reconnected, nothing had change. But now it has, I will miss him with all my heart.

  • אורי לוי says:

    מייק חז”ל

  • Debi Strochlic says:

    Mike was such a huge part of creating the community of Gezer in the early years. He was a voice of reason- I always respected and listened to what he said, there was no ego involved. He was friendly and kind! A few years ago, he stopped by Eugene, OR and we got together. It was a delightful visit, so many years had passed, but it felt so comfortable to see him again. He always had a gentle and easy going way. Such a sad loss for us all!

  • Naureen says:

    Dearest Chava, my family sends their condolences. We are also sending you all the love and support. I didn’t meet your dad many times but from all accounts, he was amazing and I am sure he will be missed. I hope you get comfort from all the great memories you made together.

  • Berel Lutsky says:

    Mike was a good friend, excellent work colleague and fellow chaver kibbutz, and more recently a good mentor as I unexpectedly became responsible for a large manufacturing company. He unselfishly advised, and was a helpful, responsive sounding board. I as everyone else here will miss him.

  • Les and Gail Kaplan says:

    Mike was the head of Habonim Camp Naaleh while I was in charge of the waterfront. It’s a miracle that no campers were lost. At least none that we heard of.

  • Marty Salowitz says:

    Junior G. I will never stop giggling about Spaced Bird that day at Belmont. Your home in Flatbush was my second home during Bklyn College years and your parents were my second parents. I never could beat you shooting pool, but I tried my best. You always took life as it came, never an excuse. Luv ya.

  • David Kornbluh says:

    Mike was assigned as my kibbutz family when I arrived at Gezer. He opened his home and welcomed me and truly was my big brother my years at Gezer and beyond.

  • Avi Asner says:

    During the ceremony, I remembered hearing music as I went home. I entered Michael and Debbie’s house and before I could say anything. Michael said. ” Avi, I don’t care if it is Billy Joel, this is great music.” It turned out to be Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits

  • Deborah Blayney says:

    I met Mike 7 years ago when I joined Irritec. What a great mentor and teacher, although I didn’t speak “Mike” when I first met him. The first time he said “what about that whatchamacallit?” made me laugh. He would come by at lunch, nearly every day, and say “come on, let’s go!” The stories were always amazing, and the company the best. We’ll miss so many things about him, his thirst for knowledge, his interest in everything, his passion for problem solving, his straight-faced teasing, and his genuine caring for others.

  • Jane Bockman says:

    Michael was a friend, a neighbour, a fellow Gezerite, a source of laughter and sanity when it was needed.
    I regret that we began a dialogue online many years after leaving Gezer (no one really leaves), but I thought there was endless time ahead and then there wasn’t.
    I am sad. I miss the Michael I knew and the Michael I didn’t know.
    His memory will live on for many.

  • Shimon Waldfogel says:

    I first got to know Mike as part of Garin Aleph on Kibbutz Afikim. I believe we shared a room for a while on the second floor of the volunteer residence. Since our kibbutz days, we had very little contact until a few years ago Shifra, Vivian and Mike visited Janis and I. Our relationship was rekindled and grew to become a special part of our lives. I loved Mike. One day we spent an amazing day in New York City, Mike was my guide to the best Dim Sum and other culinary delights. We walked for miles reminiscing about our life on kibbutz, discussing our life journeys, our hopes. I shared with him a powerful image of him from the early days. He was laying on the grass outside the Moadon (Clubhouse) in his work clothes. He was lifting Chava, who was an infant, over his head. Both were giggling. I remember him saying, “this is what it’s all about”.

    Janis and I visited Mike and Shifra in Sacramento a few months ago. As it turned out it was Orin’s birthday, we were invited to the party at Zoie and George’s home. Mike was delighted, a proud grandfather. Debbie and Zoey drove up from Fresno. I had not seen them for decades. There was a moment when I saw him interacting with Chava. There they are the same smiling giggling pair. I learned from him to appreciate that this is really what it’s all about.

    Thanks Mike.

  • Mark Hewitt says:

    Rest In Peace my friend.

  • Nancy Berlow says:

    I sat with Mike on va’adat chaverim on the kibbutz for many years. He was a true mentor; a special person with a keen eye on how to provide support and navigate the intricacies and nuances of community. His memory will truly be a blessing.

  • Jan Martin Bang says:

    Glassberg remembered

    As I write this, a few days after hearing of Glassberg’s death and funeral, the harvest is in full swing here in Southern Norway, the lanes full of tractors pulling home loads of corn, the fields full of harvesters. This is my strongest memory of Glassberg, after I took over the cow feeding business on Gezer in the mid 1980’s.

    When we moved to Gezer the business had just been started, and I began working there straight away. Within a couple of years Glassberg announced his departure, and I was asked to take over running it after him. He became my mentor, teaching me all the aspects of running it, making cow food and introducing me to clients, neighbours, business colleagues and friends. Glassberg was my introduction to Israel.

    He was the perfect teacher, commanding, forceful, but always good natured and playful. I have a strong memory of one rain filled Shabbat, when a truck bringing cow food got stuck trying a short cut up to the dairy farm. He and I spent the whole day working on getting this enormous truck pulled out, with multiple tractors and hours in the pouring rain. Of course, it was important, but he made it as if we were two lads, playing in the mud. We got it out!

    After he left Gezer in the mid 80’s we never managed to get together until three years ago, when we spent some days with him in California. Nearly 40 years apart felt like yesterday, and we reconnected. I just hope he appreciated how big a success Gezer is, and how much he contributed to it.

    Fare well and thank you, Glassberg, your memory lives on fondly with me.

    Jan Martin Bang, Norway

  • Tzivia Schwartz Getzug says:

    Shifra – I never had the pleasure of meeting Mike, but I heard in your voice how happy you made each other. I’m so, so sorry for you and for Mike’s family. May his love and memory comfort and bless you always.
    Tzivia

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