|Born||May 11, 1868|
|Died||August 17, 1937(aged 69)|
|Known for||co-founder of the Canadian Jewish Times|
|Children||Nathan Bernard Cohen|
Horace Rives Cohen
Lawrence Zebulun Cohen
Sylvia Lillian Cohen
Lyon Cohen (1868–1937) was a Polish-born Canadian businessman and a philanthropist. He was the grandfather of singer/poet Leonard Cohen.
Cohen was born in Budwitcher, Poland, to a Jewish family on May 11, 1868. He immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1871. He was educated at the McGill Model School and the Catholic Commercial Academy in Montreal. In 1888, he entered the firm of Lee & Cohen in Montreal; later became partner with his father in the firm of L. Cohen & Son; in 1895, he established W. R. Cuthbert & Co; in 1900, he organized the Canadian Improvement Co., a dredging contractor; in 1906, he founded The Freedman Co. in Montreal; and in May 1919, he organized and became President of Canadian Export Clothiers, Ltd. The Freedman Company went on to become one of Montreal’s largest clothing companies.
In 1897, Cohen co-founded with Samuel William Jacobs, the Canadian Jewish Times, the first English language Jewish newspaper in Canada. The newspaper promoted the Canadianization of recent East European Jewish immigrants and encouraged their acceptance of Canadian customs as Cohen felt that the old world customs of immigrant Jews were one of the main causes of anti-Semitism. In 1914, the paper was purchased by Hirsch Wolofsky, owner of the Yiddish language Keneder Adler, who transformed it into the Canadian Jewish Chronicle.
He died on August 17, 1937, at the age of 69.
Cohen was elected the first president of the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1919 and organized the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Canada. Cohen was also a leader of the Young Men’s Hebrew Benevolent Society (later the Baron de Hirsch Institute) and the United Talmud Torahs, a Jewish day school in Montreal. He also served as president of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim and president of the Jewish Colonization Association in Canada.
Cohen married Rachel Friedman of Montreal on February 17, 1891. She was the founder and President of Jewish Endeavour Sewing School. They had three sons and one daughter:
My – my mother was from Lithuania which was a part of Poland and my great-grandfather came over from Poland to Canada.
| President of the Canadian Jewish Congress
Samuel William Jacobs