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Murray Goldman

  • Familia
  • August 24, 1920 - June 10, 2013

Murray Goldman was born in Opatow, Poland August 24, 1920 and moved to Montreal when he was three years old. By 13, Murray had quit school to contribute to family income and by 16 he was a shy salesman with the Fuller Brush Company. Soon Murray was attracted to fashion - and began his fashion career by sweeping floors and selling shirts and ties at Cortly's Menswear. At 21, Murray was recruited into the army stationed in Comox, BC where he became a member of the Canadian Army Boxing Team. On leaving the army, Murray moved to Vancouver, got a job at the Hudson Bay Company and in 1944 he married local girl, Shirley Lapides. Murray and Shirley had two children: David and Penny.

Murray Goldman turned the store that carried his name into the store that carried his personality and in doing so he discovered that the best way to sell suits was to sell himself. Murray then embarked on a marketing campaign that is today the stuff of local legend by writing, narrating, voicing, appearing and directing his own print, radio and TV commercials. He was a 1-man marketing show - with a very funny brand of totally off-the-wall humor. Through his flamboyant marketing and gimmicks Murray opened more stores with a young men's department called The Ivy Room. Murray became sought-after personality and MC of many fund raising 'roasts'. He wrote a famous daily "tidbits" column in the now defunct Vancouver News Herald, and ended them with the mysterious words...."good evening Mrs. Johnson". In time, Murray had a half hour Sunday morning comedy show on CKNW. He was so well liked that in 1964 he was voted Vancouver's most popular radio personality, on the strength of his commercials alone!

Behind the scenes, Murray was committed to his family and his Orthodox Jewish faith. He was president of the Schara Tzedeck Synagogue Men's Club, a founding member of today's Jewish Community Centre, a fifty-year member of B'nai B'rith, and a long time board member of the Louis Briar Home for Jewish seniors. Dedicated to community service, Murray was and a member of Variety Club International for over fifty years and while awards were not his motivation, he accumulated a list of awards that go on longer than his tape measure:
1971 - Businessman of the Year - Vancouver Junior Chamber of Commerce
1972 - Man of the Year by Big Brothers
1974 - Man of the Year by Canadian Council of Christians and Jews
1982 - Big Brothers created the 'Murray Goldman Award' given annually to the person or organization showing exemplary support towards Big Brothers.
1986 - Vancouver Centennial Award by the Governor-General of Canada
1988 - Presidents Advisory Board of the Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
1989 - Honorary Chairman, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
1990 - National Presidents Award; Big Brothers of Canada
2000 - Order of British Columbia
2003 - Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Schiffer, Fred

  • Persona
  • April 1, 1917-November 6, 1999

Fred Siegfried Schiffer was born in Vienna, Austria, April 1, 1917, the son of Arthur Schiffer and Theresa Grohslicht , and the older brother of Kathe and Lizzie, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. A Law student at the University of Vienna until 1938, he reached England as a refugee shortly before war broke out. In England he met his wife Olive, whom he married in 1942, and began his distinguished career as a photographer.

Olive and Fred had two children, Jennifer and Roger. In 1948 he set off with his wife and two small children to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There he became a respected artistic and commercial photographer. A nude photograph of Frances Taylor submitted to an American magazine contest won Schiffer a trip to North America, where he embraced the ambiance of Vancouver. In 1958, when political unrest in Argentina became unbearable, the Schiffer family moved to Vancouver.

Schiffer opened his studio on Seymour Street where he quickly became Vancouver’s top portrait photographer. He won numerous awards for his photos. A famous 1967 shot of journalist Jack Webster taking a drag on a smoke was selected for the International Exposition of Photography in Portland, Oregon. Two years earlier, all six of the photos he submitted to Britain's Royal Photographic Society were selected for its annual exhibition. In 1971, he was hired as the photographer for the marriage of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to Margaret Sinclair.

Fred Schiffer was a member of the Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Master Photographer, Life Member of Cameracraftsmen of America, and recipient of many honours. Self-taught, he believed in formal training for photographers, and was instrumental in setting up the first diploma program in Western Canada at Langara College. He had an impeccable eye and a gift for revealing portraiture. A meticulous, intelligent and quick-witted lover of words. Latin scholar. Irresistible jokester. Committed Rotarian and unlikely but free-wheeling RV'er. A kind and deeply honourable man. In 1994 he suffered the loss of his son Roger, age 50.

Fred Schiffer passed away November 6, 1999 at the age of 82 years. His wife Olive passed away June 4, 2004 in Toronto.

Soskin (family)

  • Familia
  • 1889-

Morris Soskin (son of Abraham Soskin and Annie Hankin) was born on November 21, 22, or 23 1889 or 1890 in England. He passed away November 11, 1940 in Vancouver, BC and he is buried in the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery.

Rose Soskin (née Hyams; daughter of Amalia Lichtenstein and Mayer Hyams) was born on April 5, 1896 in Montreal. She passed away April 24, 1987, in Vancouver, BC and she is buried in the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery.

At the end of 1920 or the beginning of 1921, Morris Soskin went to Montreal to attend a Zionist meeting. At this event he met Rose Hyams and a love-affair for the ages began. Only a few days later in Montreal Morris proposed to Rose, which she happily accepted. However, Morris had to return to Vancouver, so they decided that they would continue a courtship by writing letters. With little money, they agreed that the only gifts they would buy for each other would be books, so they often mailed books to each other as well. Rose often signs her letters Rosana, and Morris sometimes addresses his letters to Rosana.

Their plan was to remain engaged until Morris was financially ready to be married. However, due to the stress of the situation and Rose suffering from a bought of depression, they didn't wait as long as they had originally planned and they were married in Montreal July 21, 1921. Soon after the wedding, they moved to Vancouver. Rose went through another period of depression and separation anxiety, which Morris helped see her through.

When Morris first moved to Canada, he lived in Montreal where he helped found the Young Men's Hebrew Association. In ca. 1915, Morris came to Vancouver. He was a founder and the first president of the Jewish Community chest, a past president of the Zionist organization, and a past dictator of the Loyal Order of Moose Vancouver lodge. Morris had a very successful law practice. For a short time he had a partner, Soskin and Levin, but for the most part he worked independently as Morris Soskin.

Rose was a homemaker and was very involved with volunteer work. Rose was one of the original members of what was then called the Daughters of Zion, which later became Hadassah-WIZO. Rose became involved with Hadassah in 1917 as their secretary in Montreal, and continued to volunteer with Hadassah throughout her life in Vancouver. She was first involved with the Lillian Freiman Chapter, and later the Weizmann Chapter. Rose was also actively involved with the National Council of Jewish Women when she moved to Vancouver.

Morris and Rose had two children, both born in Vancouver: Theodore Samuel Soskin (March 7, 1926 - October 13, 1985) and Helen Coleman (née Soskin) (June 10, 1929 - ). In ca. 1950, Helen married Robert (Bob) Coleman (ca. May 29, 1923 - May 31, 2015). Bob Coleman together with his brother Sid Coleman ran Dependable Furniture (name changed to Flexsteel Furniture in 1953), a furniture manufacturing business that they sold in 1973. Helen and Bob had three children: Morris, Bruce, and Jonathan.

Sadly, Morris died when he was only 50 years old, leaving Rose to raise their two children. For a few years, Rose's three brothers helped support her financially, until she told them that she could support herself. Rose took what little savings she had and began investing. She turned out to be a natural businesswoman, and did very well for herself and was able to support herself and her two children on her own.

Congregation Schara Tzedeck

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1907-

Congregation Schara Tzedeck, a Modern Orthodox Synagogue, is the oldest and largest Orthodox Synagogue in Vancouver. It has been in existence since 1907, when it was known by the name of Benei Yehuda. The first services were held in a small rented home, at 14 West Cordova Street. In 1910 the ‘Sons of Israel’ purchased property at Pender Street and Heatley Avenue, and by 1911 a Synagogue was built large enough to hold 200 worshipers. The congregation was renamed “Schara Tzedeck”, upon being legally incorporated on June 14, 1917. In 1921 the new synagogue opened at Heatley and Pender and it was used until the end of 1947. This building had a capacity of 600.

On September 13, 1945, the site of the present Synagogue was purchased. Building was started in 1947 and completed by the end of September of that year. The Synagogue was officially opened on January 25, 1948. At that time it was the most modern and largest Synagogue west of Montreal. The Synagogue was designed to be a house of prayer (Bait Tefila), House of Learning (Beit Midrash), and House of Meeting (Beit Knesset). The oak Aron Kodesh which presently is seen on entering the main sanctuary was built originally in about 1921 for the Synagogue at Heatley and Pender.

On October 2, 1957 the Congregation acquired the property immediately to the north of the Synagogue. The purpose was to accommodate offices, classrooms, a large auditorium, and other facilities. Construction began in the early part of 1963 and it was completed for the High Holidays of the same year.

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