Zalman was born in Zikhron Yaakov in 15.5.1928, to parents born in the Land of Israel, the grandchild and great-grandchild of pioneers who founded Zikhron Yaakov, Hadera, Atlit and the Kinneret settlement.
His father, Immanuel, was a farmer, Hagana member and active Lehi supporter. His mother, Malka, worked for fifty years in Beit Aaronson. She was a woman of great faith. She wrote many diaries, which were donated to the Israel Archives. She had close ties to the heads of the Yishuv and its rabbis. She was notable for her generosity. She made sure that Aaronson’s buildings could be used by Lehi for training and maneuvers. Zalman was a member of the Maccabi, and already at age thirteen, he joined the Hagana. He studied in high school, in the English College in Haifa, and he completed his studies in 1947.
He joined Lehi in 1946, to distribute Lehi posters on the students’ benches. He took a firearms course, from which he was drawn to be the Brenist in the great attack on Abu Kabir. He also attacked the Arab bus from Caesarea, which led the Arabs to flee the village. He was also the Brenist in the attack on Kfar Knir, which threatened Givat Ada. He disarmed the town of Jisr az-Zarqa, leading to its surrender. Among other responsibilities, he was in charge of Lehi in Zikhron Yaakov, and he also was involved in training.
In May 1948, he enlisted as a platoon commander, together with all of his fellow Lehi members, to the 8th Brigade, and as a high school graduate, he was sent to the mortar commanders’ course, becoming a mortar platoon commander in Battalion 82. In the War of Independence, he took part in Operation Danny, capturing the Lod Airport and the villages around Beit Naballah. In Operation Horeb, he participated in the capture of Iraq al-Menashiya, the liberation of the Negev and the capture of Beersheba. He also participated in Operation Ayin, the capture of Auja el-Hafir (Nitzana) and Abu Agila. Zalman was chosen by the battalion commander Shaul Yafeh to represent Battalion 82 in the brigade jeep in the first parade. In his reserve duty, he served in the Sinai War as a deputy company commander in the capture of the Gaza Strip. In the Six-Day War, he was the commander of the guard between Jatt and Baqa. In the Yom Kippur War, he served as company commander in Nablus. He finished his reserve duty at age 54 with the rank of major.
Zalman has a farm in Zikhron. He married Edna Abramowitz, a native of the town. They have four children and numerous grandchildren. He contributed a great deal to the community by volunteering. He was, for ten years, a member of the winemakers’ council, director of Maccabee Zikhron for eight years (winning the cup and the Israeli championship in table tennis). He was also a central committee member of Maccabee, serving as director of the national table tennis division. He also served for eight years as the director of the bridge club and for four years as the branch head for the emergency economic council during the Gulf War.
He ran the local branch of the Likud Party and served as a member of its central committee.