Hands belong to a third-generation survivor.
Born June 20, 1938 | Paris, France
Died November 16, 2018 | Los Angeles, United States
Travelling was Jack’s passion and he endeavoured to visit just about every country on Earth. Wherever he landed, he made sure to find a synagogue so he could attend Saturday morning services.
Jack was one of six children born to Zysman and Dynah Groner. Prior to World War II, they were unable to immigrate to Canada. Jack’s aunt had married a French Jew, so the Groners opted to join them in Paris in 1935. When the Nazis occupied Northern France, Jack’s brother Albert was rounded up, sent to the Pithivier transit camp and then to Auschwitz, where he was murdered in 1942. A kindly French concierge helped to hide the rest of the family. For a while, Jack was hidden on a farm, but he and his parents spent most of the war sheltered in a Catholic convent in Vic-sur-Cere.
Following liberation, the Groner family returned to Paris. Approved for immigration to the United States, they planned to live in California, where cousins had previously settled. However, Jack contracted tuberculosis and convalesced in a sanitarium in Leysin, Switzerland for six months. Meanwhile, the Jewish quota for the United States was filled, so the Groners immigrated to Canada instead, reuniting with Dynah’s siblings in Calgary. A leader in the Jewish community, Jack served as president of the Shaarey Tzedec Synagogue (1985–1986) and brought his expertise as a commercial real estate developer to building and raising funds for a new synagogue when Shaarey Tzedec and Beth Israel merged to become Beth Tzedec Congregation. Jack, who served as the contractor during construction, felt it was important for the Calgary Jewish community to have a beautiful house of worship. In 1997, after he sold his business, Jack and his wife Jean lived in Monaco for 12 years and then moved to California, where their daughters Shelley and Stacey had previously settled. Jack was the proud grandfather of four.
Copyright © 2023 Here to Tell - All Rights Reserved
An Initiative of Calgary Jewish Federation