Harry Nemetz: On Abrasha Wosk's Role in Purchasing a Jewish Chapel in Vancouver

Posted by jyuhasz

Harry Nemetz
Rights - JMABC
Nemetz, Harry
Vancouver, BC
Plottel, Charna
Thursday, June 25, 1987
Digital audio recording #: 19.87-02
CP:         Harry, at one time you told me that your sister Chava’s husband, Abrasha Wosk, was instrumental in starting the first Jewish burial chapel. Tell me about that would you?
HN:        No.
CP:         He had something to do with it didn’t he?
HN:        No, my brother-in-law, Abrasha Wosk was the first one to buy an old store on Broadway East to make a Jewish chapel. Before that we had to…depend on the Christian chapel at 11th and Granville.
CP:         Oh yes.
HN:        I forgot the name of it. We had a lot of difficulties and sometimes we couldn’t get the chapel in Vancouver, and we had to go to Westminster to perform, to get our services.
CP:         Oh, I remember that, my aunt was buried from Roselawn, I think it was, in New Westminster. So?
HN:        So, due to that, so he went to bought the building on Broadway and we used it for some time until a chance came. A Christian chapel was available on Broadway, which was not to be sold, they wouldn’t sell it to a Christian.
CP:         This was Broadway and Alma, was it?
HN:        Broadway and Alma. So, Abrasha bought it at a bargain price at $25,000. He paid his own deposit on it and then he called on the community to complete the deal.
CP:         He took it upon himself to buy it knowing that there was a need for it and hoping that the community would...
HN:        Well, the chapel was worth at least $100,000.
CP:         Really, yeah.
HN:        Beautiful chapel. He could have made a profit, he was offered a profit but he refused it. He says he’s working for the community and that was his contribution.

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