Leonoff, Cyril E.

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Leonoff, Cyril E.

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  • Cyril Edel Leonoff

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Dates of existence

February 22, 1925 - April 7, 2016


Cyril Edel Leonoff was a founding director of the Jewish Historical Society of BC and serves on the board as Society historian, researching such topics as the Jewish community of BC and Jewish farm communities of western Canada, and publishing the results of this research.

Cyril Edel Leonoff was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1925. He is the grandson of Edel Brotman, a homesteader and rabbi of the Wapella, Saskatchewan farm colony, 1889-1906. Cyril has been a resident of three West Coast cities, New Westminster, Seattle and Vancouver.

A civil engineer by profession, Leonoff is also a graduate of the Public History Program at SFU. He has authored and edited a number of books and papers on engineering and historical topics.

In 1970-1974, Leonoff was the founding president of the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia. For his work, 'The Jewish Farmers of Western Canada', in 1985 he was awarded the Margaret McWilliams Medal of the Manitoba Historical Society. In 2007, he recieved the Distinguished Service Award of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies. He is currently the Historian Emeritus of the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia.

In May 1949 Cyril married Faye (nee Matlin) (December 30, 1927 - October 29, 2011) and they had three children: Blair (Betsy), daughters Anita (grandchildren Alysa and Cole) and Rosanne.


Winnipeg, Manitoba; Vancouver, British Columbia; New Westminster, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington

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Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia

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Last revised March 17, 2015




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