Join Us in Celebrating Israel A. Levy's 100th birthday 

By Hratch J. Karakachian, CPA, JD, MBT

My dear friend, our colleague and AAA-CPA emeritus member, Israel A. Levy, celebrated his 100th birthday on September 9, 2023. In honor of this momentous occasion, members were invited to recognize his lifelong contributions and dedication to his country, his family, his community and our profession.

For those interested in learning more about Israel Levy, below is a short biography written by his son, Daniel Levy. The biography provides a glimpse into his achievements, experiences, and the influence he has had on the legal and accounting profession.


Israel Aaron "Izzy" Levy was born on Sept. 9, 1923, in fast-growing Los Angeles. His Jewish immigrant parents, Max and Rebecca Levy, had arrived in Southern California from the town of Pinsk in the former Russian Empire, settling in L.A.'s Boyle Heights enclave, east of downtown. That's where Izzy grew up and attended Malabar Elementary, Hollenbeck Junior High and Theodore Roosevelt High School, an easy-going lad whose pals were likewise children of immigrants, hailing from a veritable stew of racial and ethnic backgrounds - kids with Serbian, Armenian, Mexican, Japanese and African-American roots, to name a few. 

 Young Izzy reveled in this rich mix of languages, cultures and mutual respect. A fan of cowboy movies and pickup football after school, he thrived amid a close-knit group of neighborhood chums, retaining lifelong friends who met in the streets and parks of Boyle Heights in the age of radios and streetcars. It was a storied era, producing more than a few stalwart Angelenos who put their stamp on civic life. The end of that multiethnic idyll would coincide with Izzy's high school graduation, with Imperial Japan's December attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the U.S. into World War II. 

In October 1942, aged 19, Izzy volunteered for military service amid peaking hostilities in Europe and the Pacific - the final outcome in each war zone by no means assured. He was assigned initially to the U.S. Army Air Corps, and ultimately to the Army's 13th Armored Division, composed mostly of young men from California who were intended to mount a decisive invasion of Nazi Germany. Trained as a radio operator, Izzy's tank battalion landed in Le Havre, France, in January 1945, and saw heavy combat in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns in the months prior to Germany's unconditional surrender in May 1945. 

Victory in Europe meant the 13th Armored would return stateside and redeploy for a planned invasion of Japanese home islands. Fortunately, Izzy and his mates were spared that fate after the U.S. atomic bombs in August 1945 resulted in Japan's total capitulation, emphatically ending the biggest and bloodiest war in history. Having done his part in the Allied efforts to beat fascism, Sgt. Izzy Levy, aged 23, was honorably discharged after three years and two months of Army service. 

Back in Los Angeles and eager to resume normal life, Izzy enrolled at UCLA on the GI Bill, and within four years had earned undergraduate accounting (1948) and Master of Business Administration degrees (1950). He entered the workaday world precisely at mid-century, with Los Angeles surging more than threefold in population since 1920 to become the nation's fourth-largest city. Keeping pace, the young CPA soon partnered with a UCLA friend to establish Levy and Silverman, a Methuselah-like accountancy firm that only concluded earlier this year in January 2023 with Izzy's retirement. 

Concurrent with his CPA work since 1970, when he obtained a J.D. degree from San Fernando Valley College of Law and joined the California Bar Association, Izzy built a legal practice specializing in trust law and estate planning that's now similarly shuttered by retirement with a well-earned reputation for spotless integrity. He also taught accounting as an adjunct lecturer at UCLA and Cal State Northridge, with some 2,400 students introduced to the discipline via Izzy's morning classes from the early 1970s to early 1990s. He also served a term as president of the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, and as general counsel for Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge, where the Levy family have been members for a half-century. 

Beyond Izzy's professional achievements, and perhaps viewed by intimates with even greater admiration, was his 1963 marriage to the former Nadine Soo-Hoo, 85, herself an L.A. native who was born and raised in the city's Chinatown. Izzy and Nadine's pioneering interracial union recently celebrated 60 years of matrimony and an enduringly unique household melding of Jewish and Chinese cultures. Three children - Daniel (1965), Judy (1967) and Jonathan (1969) - had the good fortune to grow up in their parents' North Hills home, in the San Fernando Valley, with the extended Levy family now also boasting four grandchildren - Jillian (1991), Jessica (1994), Isaac (2008) and Ori (2011). All these proud Levy progenies have truly benefited from Izzy and Nadine's wise teachings and immense generosity. 

We take enormous pleasure in recognizing the centenary of the selfless and altruistic Israel Aaron Levy, a fine and indefatigable man who has never tired of sharing his estimable knowledge in the service and well-being of others, and who has led by the example of his own sterling conduct, with constancy and copious goodwill. We Wish a Happy 100th Birthday Along with Many Returns to Our Beloved Father, Friend and Colleague, a Genuine Community Treasure and Hero Among Us. 

by Daniel H. Levy