Sarah Dudeck

My Story...

In 1908 my grandfather, Jacob Portnoy, immigrated to Canada from Kiever, Gebernia in Russia and settled in Winnipeg. Seventeen years later, in 1925, he sent for my family to join him here. This included my parents, Chaim and Pessie, my three brothers, Dave, Joe and Leonard, my sister Lil (Duboff) and myself. I was seven years old at the time.

I was raised in an orthodox home. My father `davened' at home every morning and at shul every evening. Although our various houses on Manitoba, Pritchard and Selkirk Avenue were never very large, there was always room for the entire family to gather together for Yom Tovim and other celebrations. I also accompanied my parents to synagogue during the holidays.

I went to school at William Whyte, Isaac Newton and St. John's High and, until the age of 15, also attended evening classes at the Peretz School. One of the highlights of that experience for me was singing in Cantor Brownstone's choir. After high school I went to work in the office of the family business, Perth's Cleaners. At the time it was one of the few places where Jewish women could find work. Over the years I also worked in sales at various dress shops and at Eaton's department store. I am a long time member of the Queen Esther chapter of Hadassah and of B'nai Brith, and was active in the Peretz School Muterfarein. I am also a board member of the Stay Young Group at the Rady Centre, and am once again getting much pleasure from singing with its choir

In 1937, I was introduced to Morris Dudeck (deceased 1981) who, unknown to me, had been living just around the corner from me. We were married in 1939 and happily lived in the North End, moving from Pritchard Avenue to Anderson and then to Bannerman, and then finally realizing our dream by building a home on Kimwood Bay in Garden City. We were blessed with four children, Lynne Spigelman, Fraydel Yamron (Ian), Joel (Sharon Simkin), and Ian (Marilyn Lenoff). We now have six wonderful grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. It is rewarding for me that our children are all actively involved in community organizations and are continuing to uphold the family values of compassion, tzedakah and the pursuit of knowledge.

I hope that they, and their children and grandchildren , will continue to maintain these and other Jewish traditions and celebrate the Jewish holidays. I also hope that they will always respect and appreciate all people regardless of race or color and help the needy both here and abroad. I am concerned that the Winnipeg Jewish population has been decreasing in numbers. But I am also encouraged by the success of community projects, such as the building of the Campus, and the involvement of so many young people who seem committed to the further development and growth of our community.