Zachary Baumel, the son of Miriam and Yona Baumel, was born in Brooklyn, New York, November 17, 1960, the youngest of three children. His family made aliya in 1970, settling in Kiryat Motzkin. Zecharia attended the Midrashiat Noam High School in Pardes Chana. After graduation, he enrolled in the IDF Hesder program, dividing his time between religious studies at Yeshivat HarEtzion and military service in the Armored Corps.
When the 1st Lebanon War broke out in 1982, he had already been accepted at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he planned to study psychology, and Zecharia was called up to serve with his unit. In the Battle of Sultan Yacoub on June 11, 1982, his unit was attacked, and he and five of his comrades were declared missing in action. His family, and the nation, waited for almost 37 long years to learn of Zecharia’s fate. Finally, his remains were repatriated, and his 86-year-old mother, Miriam, his sister, Osna, and his brother, Shimon, were able to lay him to rest on Mt. Herzl. His father, Yona, did not live to see his son come home.