He was a stalwart man, very religious and a fine Jewish scholar. As a child, he became acquainted with the hardships and deprivations of the war, and the struggle of our people for survival. He was a passionate and ardent artist of the Jewish theme. He frequently said: “Our people are tenacious, they create because they are an active and vital people, physically inexhaustible and purposeful.”
Perhaps more than anyone else, Kleinman can be credited with being an artist of Jewish themes for his exactness in depicting national characteristics. His genuinely deep understanding, compassion, unwillingness to compromise, and love, accompanied his artistic quest to depict life’s reality. Consequesntly, many generations of Jews will be able to see, study, and understand their traditions and will be thankful. Through his creations, Kleinman helped others to share in a heritage of centuries.
Zalman Kleinman was a master of easel painting who brilliantly posessed its secrets and skills, as well as an illustrator who created a great number of drawing and water-colors that were published. He was also a good conversationalist. Every Chassid in Crown Heights knew him and saw him on the street every day. This tall and stately man with the long white beard was more like a Rabbi who knew about everything. People who met him would often ask questions and would always receive answers about many aspects of human existence.