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Memorable Manitobans: Ralph Hamovich (1916-2008)

Community activist.

Born in Winnipeg on 21 February 1916, he graduated from St. John’s High School. While there he developed a passion for Zionism, becoming active in Young Judea and eventually became one of the youngest members of the Zionist Council as President of Jewish National Fund. At the age of 29 he became Executive Director of the Mid-West region of the Zionist Organization of Canada and began a lifelong career in community service. He inaugurated and organized the first twelve Negev Dinners (now Negev Galas) and organized the early Israel Bond drives in Winnipeg. In 1967 he was appointed regional executive director of the Canadian Zionist Federation and that year conducted an Israel emergency campaign during the Six Day War. In 1970 he became campaign director of Combined Jewish Appeal, a position he held until 1982 and continued in a consulting capacity for an additional ten years.

His community endeavours included being president of Young Judea; founder, past president, and life member of Brandeis Lodge; secretary of the Maple Leaf Curling Club for 18 years as well as a past president, and honorary life member; honorary life member of the Manitoba Curling Association; a board member of Glendale Country club; a board member of the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. He was honoured by various organizations for his professional and community service including a Shem Tov award from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. In 1985 the Ralph Hamovich Lounge was dedicated in his honour at Winnipeg House, a seniors residence in Yaffo Dalet, Israel.

He died in Winnipeg on 24 February 2008.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 2008.

“Manitobans’ Legacy a Better Province,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 2009, page B2.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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