Memorable Manitobans: Benjamin “Ben” Sheps (c1880-1964)
Businessman, community activist.
Born at Chernov, Russia around 1880, he came to Canada in 1904 and lived at Montreal for three years until moving to Winnipeg in 1907. He went into the real estate and insurance business, founding Sheps Agencies Limited, and served as its President until his death. The firm was responsible for the construction of several apartment blocks around Winnipeg in the late 1920s. He was also General Manager of the Sterling Investments Limited.
In 1907, he married Rose Yaffe (1889-1944) and they had four sons: Phillip Sheps (1908-?), Jacob Barry “Jack” Sheps (1910-1973), Samuel Barry “Sam” Sheps (1913-1944), and Morley M. Sheps (1918-2002). He organized the Yiddish Theatre soon after his arrival in Winnipeg and was one of the founders of the I. L. Peretz School, serving twice as its President. He was a founding member of the Canadian Jewish Congress and was honorary Vice President and Chairman of the Western Region. He was a member of the Zionist Organization of Canada, Rosh Pina Synagogue, Hebrew Sick Benefit Association, B'nai B'rith Lodge, Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Manitoba Real Estate Board, and Canadian Council for Christians and Jews.
He died at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on 30 September 1964 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Sheps Agencies now manages 12 city apartments,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 August 1930, page 28.
Obituary [Mrs. Ben Sheps], Winnipeg Tribune, 9 May 1944, page 33.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 1964, page 51.
Obituary [Jack B. Sheps], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 October 1973, page 35.
Obituary [Morely M. Sheps], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 April 2002.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 November 2022