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Memorable Manitobans: Bessie Portigal Buchwald (1901-1989)

Community activist.

Born in Russia and coming to Canada at the age of five, she was a lifelong Zionist and active in many community organizations. She was the first Manitoba Regional Vice-President of Hadassah-WIZO and a founding member with her husband of the Winnipeg chapter of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University. She was also a chairperson for the sale of State of Israel Bonds, a member of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Welfare Fund, a member of the National Council for Jewish Women and of the Zaarey Zedek Sisterhood. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded her its ‘Torch of Learning’ award for lifelong service in 1980. She died at Winnipeg on 15 June 1989.

Mother of Harold Buchwald.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, Monday, 19 June 1989, page 31.

We thank Grace Jacobs for providing additional information used here.

This profile was prepared by Kris Keen.

Page revised: 27 June 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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