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Bennett, Archie


BENNETT, ARCHIE (Aaron Baehr ; 1891–1980), Canadian community leader. Bennett was born in Malech in the Brest-Litovsk district of Belorussia and was taken to Canada as a child. He was raised in Kingston, Ontario, where he became co-owner of a large real estate and building firm. In the summer of 1912 Bennett served as editor of the Canadian Jewish Times in Montreal. He began writing in Yiddish in that same year for the Keneder Adler. At this time in Montreal he became part of the circle of young intellectuals around Reuben *Brainin and wrote for the latter's short-lived Der Veg in 1914. In 1914 he settled in Toronto. In 1919 he was a delegate to the first Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal, where he delivered a paper on nationality minority rights. In 1922 Bennett reorganized the structure of the Zionist movement in Ontario and instituted the province's first Keren Hayesod campaign. Bennett, in that same year, began writing for the Canadian Jewish Review, then published in Toronto. He helped establish the Menorah Society at the University of Toronto and from 1922 to 1924 was a faculty adviser to the Jewish students. In 1933–34 he led in the reorganization of the Canadian Jewish Congress and in the World War ii years was president of its central region, Ontario, active in refugee aid, war efforts, and community relations. Writing for the Jewish press was Bennett's lifelong avocation. In 1914 he began writing editorials for the Canadian Jewish Chronicle which absorbed the Canadian Jewish Times. During the 1930s and until the early 1940s he wrote regular columns for the Canadian Jewish Review; and from the mid-1940s in the Jewish Standard.

[Ben G. Kayfetz]

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