What does the Z stand for?
Lots of my friends call me “Z” (more call me “Eddie” which is not a great handle for a Judge). I sign most of my letters “Edward Z”
Most of my friends know that “the Z” stands for friendship, devotion to doing the right thing for my family, friends, and neighbors, and a commitment to the community.
Here’s the literal reality: The “Z.” in “Edward Z.” is for my grandfather, Zussman Kushner, an immigrant who came to this country from Eastern Europe in 1901 and worked in a grocery store until he had saved enough money to bring my grandmother and their children to America in 1903. They had 9 children and I grew up in a loving and extended family of aunts uncles and cousins (lots of them). My grandfather was a warm and loving man who died in 1940. My mother and two of her sisters all bore male children in 1943 (I was one of them, coming into this world on September 6, 1943 [a Labor Day]) and each of us got “Zussman” as our middle names. In Yiddish, “Zussman” means “sweet man” and I’ve tried to honor my grandfather and his name throughout my life.
That’s the story of the “Z”.