Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harry E. Wilder (1881-1948)

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Harry E. Wilder
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Zionist leader.

Born in Romania in 1881, son of Emanuil and Rachel Vilder, brother of Joe Wilder, he was educated in Bucharest and came to Canada in 1903. He was Managing Editor of the Israelite Press for nearly 20 years. He served as first secretary of the Jewish Orphanage and Children’s Aid of Western Canada, and in 1934 became its Superintendent. He also helped found the Winnipeg Hebrew Free School.

He was chairman of the western division of the Jewish Congress Committee, secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Authors’ Association and past President of the Winnipeg Typothetae. He belonged to the Employing Printers Association, the Winnipeg Press Club (serving as its President in 1933), and was a member of the executive of the Canadian Club. He was also active in the B’nai B’rith Lodge. He was Winnipeg President of the Zionist Organization of Canada and at his death was its honorary Canadian Vice-President.

He and wife Sylvia Gunsberg (1887-1957) had four children: Melchior Edmund “Ed” Wilder (1909-1985), Miriam Wilder (1914-1999, wife of Rolf Landshoff), Emanuel “Mani” Wilder (1917-2007), and Seemah Wilder (1924-?, wife of TV actor and writer Bill Idelson).

He died at his Winnipeg home, 123 Matheson Avenue, on 24 September 1948 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.


Birth registration [M. E. Wilder], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Zionist leader, welfare worker and journalist, H. E. Wilder dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1948. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 53]

“Many at funeral of H. E. Wilder,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1948, page 6.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Harry Wilder (Vilder), Geni.

We thank Harriet Lehrbaum for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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