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How the Jewish Community in Ottawa helped Win the Second World War: Feb. 18, 2021 Ottawa Jewish Historical Society Lecture

February 18, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

From the 500 local Jewish men and women who served in a Canadian military uniform in the Second World War, to the legions of Hadassah and Pioneer Women who volunteered doing war work on the home front, the contribution of Ottawa’s small wartime Jewish community to winning the war is a record to be proud of.

Author and historian Ellin Bessner brings these untold stories to the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society for its February 2021 meeting.  Bessner is the author of “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and WWII”. She is also the granddaughter of one of Ottawa’s founding Jewish families, Mr. Justice Abraham H. Lieff, and Mrs. Sadie Lieff.  At least four of her relatives from Ottawa served in the war.

Poster for History talk
Courtesy Ottawa Jewish Historical Society.

In this public talk via Zoom, Bessner will tell you about the fighting side, including those heroes who won bravery medals, and those who didn’t come back. And you’ll also hear about the massive knitting and sewing campaigns done behind the scenes by Hadassah and Pioneer Women, the fundraising by the synagogues, especially one incredible story of the donation of 12 mobile soup kitchens (see photo below) to feed British firefighters and bombed-out residents of England during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

BONUS: With the special participation of WWII Canadian Jewish hero, RCN veteran Alex Polowin, 96.

To register, please email the OJHSoc directly.

newspaper photo
Members of Ottawa’s Jewish Community donate ‘substantial’ funds to the people of Britain for 12 soup kitchens, in 1940. Photo courtesy Canadian Jewish Archives, Montreal.
Please support your local authors during this time of COVID. Books (paperback or ebooks) are available for purchase through all major booksellers such as Chapters, Indigo, Amazon. 
Feel free to sign up for Ellin’s interesting monthly newsletter here.



Teri Laikin Levine
613-798-9818 Ext 264
View Organizer Website


Copyright © Ellin Bessner