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Jacob A. Baltzan was born in Leova, Bessarabia in 1873. After serving with the Russian Army, Mr. Baltzan immigrated to New York. His wife, Nina (Gershcovitz) and daughters Katie and Tosha joined him later in America. Dissatisfied with New York City, Mr. Baltzan moved the family to a Jewish pioneer colony near Lipton, Saskatchewan. Due to poor crops at the colony, the Baltzan's moved to Govan, Saskatchewan until finally settling in Edmonton. Once in Edmonton, Jacob Baltzan became actively involved in the city's burgeoning Jewish community, helping to establish the burial society Chevra Kadisha in 1913, and was a major force in the founding of Edmonton's Talmud Torah Day School, the first Hebrew Day School in Canada. Nina Baltzan was the founder of the Talmud Torah Mother's Auxiliary, was one of the founders of the Edmonton Section of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Ladies Chevra Kadisha. The Baltzan's had one son Hy, born in Edmonton in 1913. Through his activities in various Jewish organizations, Hy Baltzan would become one of the most prominent members of the Edmonton Jewish community. Hy Baltzan was president of B'nai Brith Lodge 732 and the Jewish Community Council, national and regional vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Founding president of the Jewish Senior Citizen's Drop-in Centre, chairman of the Community Council Archives, and served on the executive of several other community organizations. Hy Baltzan was Negev Dinner honouree in 1976. Hy Baltzan and his wife Celia had three daughters, Mrs. Jaclyn Schulman, Mrs. Gail Schloss, and Nina Baltzan.
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Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta