Zev Traum was born on November 14, 1949 to Bluma and Moshe. He studied at the Achuza Elementary School in Haifa until he was eight years old when he emigrated to New York City with his family. In New York he attended Yeshivat Akiva, Yeshivat Colombus and Lehman College.
In 1968 he returned to Israel and spent time at moshav Shitufi Todfat, where he made contact with the Nachal garin. The next year, 1969, Zev came on aliya and joined the garin after his induction into the IDF. After completing his required service, he settled at Yodfat, where he and his wife Brenda, who was originally from Baltimore, raised their family of 4 children and where Zev was responsible for flower export.
On November 13, 1989, while Zev was on reserve duty in the Gaza Strip, his jeep was ambushed and he was seriously injured. He died 2 days later from his wounds and was buried at Yodfat.