Yiddishist Fred Weinberg Dies

By Chana Pollack

Published November 14, 2003, issue of November 14, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Fred Weinberg, the Toronto pediatrician, Judaica collector and Yiddishist, died Thursday after a lengthy illness. He was 84.

Born in Ostrovtse (Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski), Poland, in 1919, he immigrated to Canada in 1924. As a Jewish community cultural activist, Weinberg was a published writer and noted lecturer in several fields including museology, medical history and Judaic ritual. His diverse publications include a catalogue of Judaica accompanying the Koffler Gallery exhibit on Jewish holiday ritual objects and over 50 articles in both English and Yiddish for the Canadian Jewish News. Weinberg also served as president of the largest Jewish congregation in North America, Beth Tzedek of Toronto, where he served from 1973 to 1977. There he organized Beth Tzedek’s Helene and Rubin Dennis Jewish Museum. In addition to donating his own collection to the museum, he was instrumental in arranging for the acquisition of the Cecil Roth Collection. This culminated with Roth’s visit to Weinberg in Toronto to supervise and acknowledge the transition of the acclaimed Judaica collection. Weinberg later served as consultant to the docent training during the “Precious Legacy” exhibition of Czech Judaica at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1985.

From 1942 to 1945 Weinberg served in the Canadian army, where he was in charge of the repatriation of prisoners of war. At the end of the war, upon completing his military service, he was accepted as the first Jewish chief medical resident to the noted physician Alan Brown. In his medical practice, Weinberg developed a rich and comprehensive understanding of children with Attention Deficit Disorder. As associate medical director of the child development clinic at Toronto’s leading children’s hospital, Sick Children’s Hospital, his fluency in Yiddish enabled him to extend his practice to include the ultra-Orthodox among his young patients.

Weinberg is survived by his wife, sons, daughters, five grandchildren and three siblings.






Find us on Facebook!
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.