Obit: Marion Bessin (d. 1981)

Adapted from the Canadian Jewish News, April 30, 1981

Marion Bessin, a well known community leader, died recently at the age of 60.

A native of New York, she graduated from the Jewish Tehological Seminary with a degree in Hebrew literature.

As a young woman, she worked for the US Mizrachi Organization in the 1930s and came to Montreal and Toronto to deliver some lectures and help establish the Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi Women’s Organization of Canada.

Hyman Bessin had offered to drive her from Union Station to her hosts in Toronto. The two were married in 1942 and settled in Ottawa, where Mrs. Bessin was a founder of the Ottawa Hebrew Day School and its chairman for several years. She also served on the Talmud Torah board and the board of Jewish education, helped found the Jewish Community Centre library, and was a member of the Va’ad Ha’Ir.

She and her husband worked closely with Dr. Pinchas Churgin to establish Bar Ilan University and its Canadian Friends organization. She also assisted in the massive renovation of the Shaare Tedec Hospital in Jerusalem. She was also associated with the Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University.

She was predeceased by her husband Hyman in 1978. She was survived by four children — Leya Aaronson, Moshe, Berl and Herschel — as well as six grandchildren in Toronto. ♦