Memorable Manitobans: Falek Zolf (1898-1961)
Educator, writer, lecturer.
Born in Poland in 1898, he enrolled at yeshivah from 1909-1914 when he took factory work in Yaroslavl, Russia, initially as a means to avoid military service. He later enlisted voluntarily with the Russian Army, during which he was held prisoner by the German Army until 1918. With the end of the war, he returned to Zastavia but with the Bolshevik Revolution underway, he left for Poland in 1920. There he helped the Jewish rebuilding and became a teacher. By this time, he and wife Freda Rachel Zolf (c1896-1968) had two daughters and a son.
He fled anti-semitism and immigrated to Canada in 1926 where he settled in the North End of Winnipeg. His family joined him in 1927 with another son, Larry Zolf, being born here. He taught for another 34 years as teacher and later Principal of the Peretz Folk School. The author of three books, Oyf fremder erd [On foreign soil] (1945, re-published 2000), Di letsÂ·te fun a dor: heymishe geshÂ·talÂ·tn [Last of a generation] (1952), and Undzer Â·kulÂ·tur hemshekh : eseyen [Our eternal culture: essays] (1956), he was a noted figure in Western Canadian Jewish culture and a regular contributor of works and essays to the Jewish Press in Winnipeg, as well as Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), and New York (New York).
He died at Rochester, Minnesota on 9 April 1961 with burial in the B’nay Abraham Cemetery.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 1961, page 30.
Obituary [Freda Rachel Zolf], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 August 1968, page 16.
Falek Zolf fonds, biographical sketch, ArchivesCanada.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Gordon Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 9 April 2022