Ze'ev Friedman was born June 10, 1944 in Prokopevsk, Siberia, of the former USSR. He was a bantamweight division weightlifter. Ze’ev made aliyah to Israel in 1960 from Poland with his family. He served as a soldier in the Six Day War. Ze'ev was a gymnast before changing to weightlifting. He worked as a physical education teacher in a Haifa suburb. He was a member of Hapoel Kiryat Haim and was the Israeli roosterweight division weightlifting champion for seven years. In 1969, Ze'ev won seventh place in the world championships in Poland, and in 1971, he won third place in the Asian Weightlifting championships in Manila. Ze'ev finished twelfth in the 1972 Olympic Games, breaking three Israeli records.