Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Israel Isaac Kahanovitch (1872-1945)


Born at Wolpa Grodna, Poland on 8 October 1872, son of Joshua Kahanovitch and Chana Minces Goldin, he was educated at Grodno Yeshiva College and Slabodka Shovno College. He served as Rabbi at Suvaeki, Poland from 1900 to 1905 then emigrated to America in the latter year. He was Rabbi at Scranton, Pennsylvania from 1905 to 1906. He was called to Winnipeg in 1906, becoming Chief Rabbi by agreement of all the Synagogues which then existed. He held lectures in both Shaarey Zedek Synagogue and House of Jacob and preached. He organized slaughter houses, Kosher killing, under the management of a committee of which M. Finklestein was Chairman. He also organized Hebrew classes on the corner of Dufferin and Charles Streets. He started the United Charity, the Chairman of which was L. Abramovitch.

In April 1909 a small building was bought for a Hebrew School on the corner of Aikins and Dufferin Streets. In 1912, he organized the Jewish Community under the management of R. S. Robinson to build the Hebrew School on the corner of Charles and Flora Streets. The Jewish Orphanage and Old Folks Home were soon founded. Before the coming of Rabbi Kahanovitch to Winnipeg, Rabbi Berman was the Resident Rabbi of the Jewish faith, 1900 to 1903. From that time to the coming of Rabbi Kahanovitch, the Jewish people of this city were without a Rabbi.

On 5 July 1896, he married Miss R. Kleiman. They had three sons (Dr. M. E., Fred, Harry) and five daughters (Mrs. S. Wohlgelernter, Mrs. N. Helman, Goldie, Nellie, Esther).

He died at his Winnipeg residence, 281 Flora Avenue, on 22 June 1945.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Agricultural College / Asper Jewish Community Campus (Tuxedo Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Hebrew Free School / German Society Building (121 Charles Street, Winnipeg)


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Israel Kahanovitch, Dean of Rabbis, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 June 1945. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 February 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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