Freiman Family

(20th century)
   Canadian Zionist leaders. Archibald Jacob (1880–1944). In the Emek Hefer, on the coastal plain between Tel Aviv and Haifa, the two adjoining villages of Beitan Aharon and Havatselet haSharon are named after A.J.Freiman and his wife Lilian, who led the Canadian Zionist movement for a generation.
   Freiman’s family came to Canada from Lithuania when he was a boy of thirteen. He became the head of the Ottawa Jewish Community and the founder of a large department store in that city. A lifelong Zionist, he was elected president of the Federation of Zionist Societies (later the Canadian Zionist Organization) in 1920 and held the position until his death. In 1927, Ussishkin visited Canada and told Freiman that the Emek Hefer tract, then mostly sand dunes and marsh, could be purchased if a million dollars were provided immediately - a staggering sum in those days. Freiman undertook that Canadian Jewry would buy the tract, a pledge honoured by the Zionist Organization of Canada.
   Lillian (1885–1940) was a daughter of Moses Bilsky, a Canadian Jewish pioneer. She headed Canadian Hadassah (WIZO) for twenty-one years from 1919. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her services to war veterans. In 1920–1 she organized the absorption into Canada of 150 orphans from Russian pogroms.
   Lawrence (b. 1909), their son, served as president of the Zionist Organization of Canada from 1958 to 1962. He played a leading part in Canadian cultural affairs in connexion with the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Canadian Festival of Arts, and the National Art Centre in Ottawa.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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