Joseph Abramsky  ‎(I0203)‎
Joseph Abramsky

Gender: MaleMale

Birth: 23 November 1857 21 18 Belorussia
Death: 23 November 1927 ‎(Age 70)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Personal Facts and Details

Joseph and his first wife Chaia had Ida; Edith; Moses Mordechai; Katherine and Harry:

1.Ida ‎(1882)‎ married Moses ‎(Mo)‎ Breslin and moved to Toronto. They had two daughters, Evelyn and Jeanette
‎(i)‎ Evelyn became a doctor and married Dr David Bidney, and they had Martin and Rena. Martin married Katherine Combellick.
‎(ii)‎Jeanette did not marry.
Ida was the complete opposite of Edith, every day she would come by when Mort ‎(age 5 or 6)‎ was staying with Edith to pick him up and take him out for a good time - which included lunch and touring around the town

2.Edith ‎(1884)‎ married Hillel Wineberg, who had been born in England. They lived in Toronto where they owned a raincoat manufacturing firm with brother in law Mo Breslin. During the depression they had to dispose of the building which is now in a prime area and worth millions of dollars! He was considered a man of letters who stopped everything at 4pm for tea....

She was somewhat of a "frugal" housewife who kept their home very cold to economise on fuel, and whose chicken soup, Mort said, was watery to say the least! He also said he can still recall the taste of her porridge.....

On retirement they moved to a farmhouse in Picton. He died in 1956, she died in 1975. According to the gravestone, she was born in 1881 which doesn't tally with my earlier figures. There were no children.

3.Moses Mordechai ‎(1888)‎ was a jovial good natured man. Initially in partnership with his brothers at Abramsky's. he sold his share and opened a shop selling menswear while administering his real estate holdings.
A staunch Zionist he spoke at many early meetings, many of them national.
He served on the synagogue board for years and was its president 1932-4.
In the early twenties, he met Frances Rubin who had been born in Poland but spent some time in England, in Montreal, marrying her there in 1922 before settling in Kingston, where they continued their joint interest in Zionism, hoping eventually to settle in Israel. They didn't succeed in this, but they did sponsor a 'settlement' there. She was president of the sisterhood of Beth Israel.

They had:
1.Gittel, born 1924 who died two and a half years later in 1926 and

2. Vivien, born 1929, also a Zionist, who attended Havergal College in Toronto, went to visit her mother's family in England and met Cyril Black, a Scottish doctor whom she married in Scotland while he was a captain in the army not more than four months after meeting him! After his father's death, he took control of the family electronics conglomerate. Cyril died and Vivien still lives in Glasgow.
They have
‎(i)‎Michael, joint managing director of the family business who is married to Norma Spence, a lawyer and TV interviewer and they have a son,Gideon;
‎(ii)‎Angela, a nurse, who married David White has three children: Daniel, Olivia and Zachary;
‎(iii)‎Marsha first married Joseph Jesner and had Ari ‎(a law student who I met in 1999)‎, Gabrielle, Jared and Yonaton. The family spent a year's sabbatical in Israel. She divorced Joseph to marry Jeffrey Gladstone who already had three children:
Darren, born March 6 1973;
Paul born March 8th 1976, and
Heidi born October 22nd 1979 - all in Glasgow.
‎(iv)‎Valerie holds a masters in education, is an excellent athlete and now works in public relations in London.

4.Katherine -sometimes nicknamed The Gibson Girl because of her looks, was according to Mort, one of the sweetest ladies who ever lived. She suffered from epilepsy. She married lawyer Alexander Gould and they moved to Boston but came to Kingston to visit every summer. They had:
‎(ii)‎Arlene and
‎(iii)‎Irving ‎(Sonny)‎.

Her husband died March 15th 1943 whereupon she lived with Harry who continued to look after her financially.

5.Harry was the only one born in Canada. Although the family was affluent, he worked as a telegraph boy while still a student. He gained additional buiness experience working in Detroit and later as a travelling salesman in the New England states. At some stage he joined the US Navy - he was working in the Boston area - without a green card - and when called up could hardly say he was not an American citizen!
In 1922 he entered his father's business, in partnership with his brother Moses and half-brother Samuel. Together they expanded the store to include a furniture division.

On one of his frequent trips to Montreal, he met Ethel, who was working in her father's office. She attended McGill University where she studied piano and theory. iIn 1926 they married in Montreal, spending their week-long honeymoon visiting furniture shows!

They settled in Kingston and moved into the family home at 200 Queen Street with the Joseph and Moses Abramsky families. In 1932, they, together with their children Mortimer and Joseph, moved to 80 Barrie Street where their daughter Bernice was born. They also owned a farm on the lake in Picton.

One of their main interests was students and they were involved at the beginning of the Kingston Hillel Foundation and its Hillel House. They were committed to Queen's University generally and gave awards in Physiology, Commerce, Hebrew and Mechanical Engineering, also establishing a loan fund to help needy students. Their benefaction made possible not only the erection of Abramsky Hall on Arch Street but the development of the Physiology department. In May 1981, he was recognised by the Queen's Council for Distinguished Service to Queen's.

The Abramsky Charitable Foundation supported hundreds of charities, including day-care centres, social services, houses of worship, educational institutions and health facilities.

In Israel there are dozens of major scholarships in the Abramsky name, as well as the settlement of Ilot, of which Harry was one of the original founders. He was closely connected with Beth Israel Synagogue in Kingston.

They assisted Dayan Abramsky with his important works "The Tractate" snd helped him financially to finish his writings and eventually publish them. After he died, a complete set of his works was sent to Harry and his family which they donated to their synagogue library.

Ethel, or Ettie, as she was known, served as president of both Auxiliary ‎(the synagogue ladies' committee)‎ and Hadassah- WIZO, being co-chairman of the first bazaar, chairman of the knitting table, served on the committee for furnishing the new synagogue in 1960 and on countless other organisations.

Harry died in 1988, Ethel in August 1995. I had been in touch with her but never met her.

They had three children:
Mort; Joe and Bernice.

‎(i)‎ Mort was born on November 3rd 1927, he left school in 1947 and joined the family business early. In 1950 he visited Europe and Israel, fostering a love of the country following his early interest in the international Young Judea movement. His wife Shirley ‎(nee Borden or Bartnovsky)‎ was born in 1935 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, raised in a tradiional Jewish home yet brought up in a small mining town. Her father had been born in Bialystock or Svislok, going to school in Volkovisk. An ardent member of the high school debating team, she too was active in Young Judea and other Zionist organisations. In 1955 she graduated BA from McGill University, remaining in Montreal where she was introduced by her cousin to Mort. They married in 1956, making their home in Kingston.

He has served as President of Beth Israel synagogue, ‎(1979 and 1980)‎ as well as B'nai Brith and Jewish Community Council. He has chaired Israel Bonds and UIA campaigns, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew and Bar Ilan Universities, as well as ORT. And that is apart from his interest in the non-Jewish world, where he has worked for St.John's Ambulance, YMCA building fund and the Grand Theatre, as well as the Rotary movement.

Shirley has worked for and been president of the Queen Esther Chapter of Hadassah WIZO. She was one of the first women to lead the women's division of UIA, and was the first female trustee to be elected to the Beth Israel Board. She too is involved in non-Jewish activities, in particular Kingston's General Hospital ‎(where there is a plaque denoting the interest of Mort's parents)‎ being president of the Hospital Auxiliary from 1988 to 1990. She still organises the Family Service Centre.

Again like their parents they have been involved in student life, and have worked more recently to help integrate Russian immigrants into Kingston life.

Mort tried to visit an uncle ‎(now think he was a cousin)‎ Eliezer Abrami who lived in Rehovot in 1950. He was in his 80's. He had been ill and was restored to health by his nurse Manya whom he married. They were on their honeymoon when Mort visited. He owned a very large orange grove and had a life lease on the land as he had left it in his will to the Weitzmann Institute.

Shirley and Mort have three children:
Jay; Karen and Leonard.

Jay studied business administration at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. While still at school in Toronto he met Toby Mahler who graduated BA at Toronto University and they were married in 1979. Three years later they moved to Kingston where Jay entered the family business.

He served on the executive of B'nai Brith and is a founding member of a Rotary club. She is an active member of Hadassah ‎(being its new president in August 2000)‎ and Ladies'Auxiliary. They have three children, Mathew ‎(1983)‎, Shira Jane ‎(1985)‎ and Hailey ‎(1991)‎.

Karen attended Dalhousie University, graduating BA in 1981. While a camp counsellor in Nova Scotia, she met medical student Howard Conter and they were married before he qualified in Toronto in 1982. They have a son Adam ‎(1983)‎ and a daughter Jenna Temma Rose ‎(1986)‎, called after her aunt who was murdered by an escaped convict in Toronto. Karen and Howard live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they are very active in the community.

Leonard graduated B.Sc B.Admin from Boston University in 1984, attending LSE in London as part of his degree course. He lives in Toronto where he is a partner in a commercial real estate company.
He married Marcy and they have four daughters, Bonnie ‎(1989)‎, Hillary ‎(1992)‎. Talia ‎(1996)‎ and
Jillian ‎(2000)‎.

2.Joseph, a gifted musician, graduated from Queen's and attended Juillard School of Music, then receiving a law degree from Dalhousie University. He married Betty Rae Koven, a graduate in physiotherapy from McGil

They live in Toronto and had three sons.

Michael and David both graduated from MIT and both performed at Carnegie Hall with MIT's Symphony Orchestra. Daniel, is a talented cellist and actor. Michael married and has two daughters.

3 Bernice met Ted Zubata while attending Toronto University. They had three daughters:
Sharon married to Joseph Mimran, owner of Alfred Sung ‎(?)‎ lives in Toronto with their three children;
Adrienne married Brent, lives and works in Toronto and has two daughters and
Elaine who married Hershie Wineberg, also lives in Toronto with their three children.

Bernice is now divorced.
Joseph and his second wife Geisha had Samuel ‎(1900)‎ and Anna ‎(1902)‎.

‎(I)‎ Samuel was born 1900. At the time of his birth, his father was financially successful and a socially prominent citizen of Kingston with acceptance by the gentile community, apparently a relatively unique experience for an immigrant family in those days.

After graduating from Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute and attending Queen's University, Sam entered the family business of Joseph Abramsky and Sons Ltd. When Joseph retired, he together with his half brothers Moses and Harry took control making Abramsky's a booming department store.

Through relatives in Boston, he met Eleanor Meltzer, recently graduated from Radcliffe. Fashionable and a trendsetter, her parties at their home on Willingdon Avenue were legendary . She became a member of Junior Hadassah and together with others arranged many socials at the synagogue for servicemen ationed in Kingston during the war. She and Sam loved horses, he trained them for the Royal Military College!

Sam enlisted in the PWOR working up from private to captain in the Officers' Reserve Army. He was the first Jewish member to be invited to join the Officers' Mess at Vimy. He was interested and supported the Canadian Indians and was made an honorary brother in Deseronto! As if to fit the bill even more, he loved hunting. In fact he died at an early age in a hunting accident.

Eleanor remarried William Warwick and moved to Florida.

Samuel and Eleanor had one child, Marilyn.

Marilyn joined Young Judaea. She attended McMaster University where she met Bert Raphael, from Hamilton who had been called , in his youth, the best Jewish basketball player in Canada. They married and settled in Toronto.

Marilyn works as a fashion consultant three days a week, teaches English in an adult illiteracy class and is a member of the Group of thirty-five for Soviet Jewry. She has been vice-president of the Reena Foundation.qv

Bert is a lawyer, a Queen's Counsel . He is chairman of Lawyers and Jurists for Soviet Jewry and President of the Advocates Society. He also is involved with the Reena Foundation.

Of their children, Sheree presently lives in a Reena group home in Toronto having spent 12 years in an institution in Orillia. Reena means "joy" and is a non-sectarian organisation founded on Jewish precepts. She is able to live independently with three other women and work in a sheltered environment.

Mark is majoring in Sociology at York University, following which he hopes to practice law. He is a disc jockey and works as a security guard for the Toronto Blue Jays in his spare time!

Lisa studies political science at York. During the summer she works at the Forest Valley Day Camp.

‎(2)‎Anna, born 1902, married Israel Stone and also moved to Boston where he worked for the Eli Drug Company. They had two children:
‎(i)‎ Judy, born 1934 ‎(died 1973)‎ who married Martin Cooperstein and had
Lisa ‎(1961)‎, ‎(she married James and had two children)‎; Howard ‎(1963)‎‎(married Erenia and had two
children)‎ and Carole ‎(1964)‎ ‎(married David and had two children; and
(ii)‎ Lawrence born 1941 who became an orthodontist. He married Joan and
had Marcie ‎(1965)‎ and Jill ‎(1968)‎ she married Gary and they have a daughter.
Anna died June 23rd 1970 in Boston Mass.

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Family with Parents
Chaim Heshel ‎(Zvi)‎ Abramsky ‎(I0007)‎
Birth about 1836 46 Est Dashkovtze
Death before 1881 ‎(Age 45)‎ Russia
3 years
Tovah Pessah Belastosky ‎(I0200)‎
Birth about 1839 Est Dashkovtze
Death after 1907 ‎(Age 68)‎ Russia/Poland
Joseph Abramsky ‎(I0203)‎
Birth 23 November 1857 21 18 Belorussia
Death 23 November 1927 ‎(Age 70)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3 years
Nahum Abramsky aka Abrahams ‎(I0677)‎
Birth 15 July 1860 24 21 Liskove/Lyskow - Grodna
Death 17 January 1928 ‎(Age 67)‎ Liverpool
18 months
Shlomo Abramsky ‎(Abramitzky)‎ ‎(I0694)‎
Birth about 1862 26 23 Volpa
Death 1942 ‎(Age 80)‎ Volpa
21 years
William Moses Abramsky ‎(I0206)‎
Birth about 1883 47 44 Belorussia
Death 10 February 1965 ‎(Age 82)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
-14 years
Margalit ‎(unknown)‎ Goleh Abramsky ‎(I0202)‎
Birth about 1869 33 30
Death 1945 ‎(Age 76)‎ Moshav Yarkona, Israel
5 years
Elizabeth ‎(LeahLeica)‎ Abramsky@N.N. ‎(I0602)‎
Birth 1874 38 35
Death 5 October 1945 ‎(Age 71)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
1 year
Alex Abramsky ‎(I0205)‎
Birth 1875 39 36 Bellorussia
Death 17 November 1947 ‎(Age 72)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
10 years
David Abramsky ‎(A)‎ ‎(I0207)‎
Birth 20 December 1884 48 45 Belorussia
Death 15 July 1947 ‎(Age 62)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Family with Chaia Novack‎(1)‎
Joseph Abramsky ‎(I0203)‎
Birth 23 November 1857 21 18 Belorussia
Death 23 November 1927 ‎(Age 70)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
13 months
Chaia Novack‎(1)‎ ‎(I0208)‎
Birth 1859 Est Krinki
Death 30 September 1897 ‎(Age 38)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Marriage: about 1885
-3 years
Ida Abramsky ‎(I0603)‎
Birth 1882 24 23 Bellorussia
Death 1 August 1950 ‎(Age 68)‎ Toronto
2 years
Edith Abramsky ‎(I0604)‎
Birth 1884 26 25 Belorussia
Death 1 May 1975 ‎(Age 91)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3 years
Moses Mordechai Abramsky ‎(I0209)‎
Birth 26 October 1886 28 27 Belarussia
Death 13 February 1962 ‎(Age 75)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
7 years
Katherine Abramsky ‎(I0605)‎
Birth 18 December 1893 36 34 Volpe, Belarussia
Death 3 November 1981 ‎(Age 87)‎ Boston, Mass.
4 years
Harry Abramsky ‎(I0210)‎
Birth 29 September 1897 39 38 Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Death 18 February 1988 ‎(Age 90)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Family with Geisha ‎(Gussie)‎ Abramson ‎(2)‎
Joseph Abramsky ‎(I0203)‎
Birth 23 November 1857 21 18 Belorussia
Death 23 November 1927 ‎(Age 70)‎ Kingston, Ontario, Canada
14 years
Geisha ‎(Gussie)‎ Abramson ‎(2)‎ ‎(I0229)‎
Birth 1872 Grodna Gobernia
Death 19 August 1956 ‎(Age 84)‎ Kingston, Ontario

Marriage: 1898 -- Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3 years
Samuel Abramsky ‎(1)‎ ‎(I0213)‎
Birth 18 December 1900 43 28 Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Death 4 November 1951 ‎(Age 50)‎ Oompah, Ontario, Canada
16 months
ANNETTE Abramsky ‎(I0212)‎
Birth 16 April 1902 44 30 KINGSTON ONTARIO CANADA
Death 23 June 1970 ‎(Age 68)‎ MEDFORD MASS USA