by Karen Alberg Grossman

MR is saddened to report the passing of Isaac Zelcer, a generous, caring man who, after years learning the tie business in NYC, built a successful neckwear/furnishings business based in Miami. He was 88 and described in his Miami Herald obituary as “a shining light in the eyes of all who knew him.” I agree with this assessment 100 percent. His booth at MAGIC in Las Vegas was always among my favorite stops, not just to view beautiful neckwear (and gorgeous guys modeling Papi boxer briefs) but also for so many meaningful conversations with Isaac, his lovely wife Loly, Alan, Ruth and Robin, often more about life than business.

Born in Havana Cuba in 1935, Isaac (at age 25) and Loly moved to New York with their three young children to start a new life. From the official obit: “Through his humility, persistence and intelligence, Isaac found success in the neckwear business. Upon moving to Miami in 1980, Isaac fulfilled his dream of starting and growing his own company, Isaco International, designer and manufacturer of men’s ties and furnishings.”

But business was just one of his passions. Isaac adored spending time with his family and relished bringing everyone together for holidays and celebrations. He was dedicated to serving the community he loved, so became the first Cuban president of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He also served on the boards of Florida International University, Mount Sinai Medical Center, American Jewish Joint Distribution Company and Temple Menorah. He was honored with the Toqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy engraved with the words “one who made a difference.”

Isaac is survived by his cherished wife Loly, his adoring children Alan Zelcer (Ruth), Elena Zelcer Feldenkreis (Oscar), Robin Zelcer Alman (Richard), nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, his brother Sergio Zelcer (Rosita), and brother-in-law Bernardo Shaftal (Perla).

For those so inclined, donations in memory of Isaac Zelcer can be made to Temple Menorah,

Rest in peace Isaac Zelcer; thank you for making a difference.


  1. Isaac was a fabulous man and I am glad I got know him
    Sending my deepest condolences to the entire Zelcer family 🙏🙏🙏

  2. I had the privilege of knowing Isaac personally. He was a “Mentsch” and together with his loving wife Loly built a beautiful family and business. I was saddened to hear about his passing. I was always very happy to seeing and talking to him. Our families knew each other in the “old” country (Cuba) .He will be sorely missed not only by his family but also by all who knew him! May he rest in peace and may his memory be for a blessing!

  3. Was enormous privilege to work with Issac, supplying silk piece goods from my mill in Italy with his meticulous taste level demanding the best, and proving to us what best is. Isaac is the epitome of what the word Gentleman stands for. Always soft spoken and extremely kind. My heartfelt condolences, love and hugs go to Loly, Alan, Ruth and Robin. Have not seen in many years, but a genuine beautiful family one cannot forget.

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