Monday, July 5, 2021

Yitz Aptowitzer

We have received word that Yitz Apowitzer of Betar Canada has passed away.

Yitz was a leader of Betar Montreal, a stalwart of regular Betar activities in Canada and attended Camp.

Barak Koffler sent this picture of him.

Barak adds:

He came to Camp Betar from Betar Montreal in the mid-1960s.


He worked with the Yarden group for at least one summer, maybe more.


Yitz moved to western Canada a little later in life and took over a western-style (“cowboy”) hat manufacturing plant which he ran for many years. 


Some of those hats were made for and worn by several U.S. Presidents. His hats were sold all over the world, and to foreign tourists who visited western Canada.


He eventually sold that business and moved to Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and two children. They lived in Thornhill, at the north end of the city.


Some years ago, he became a teacher at a Jewish religious school and as far as I know was still teaching there.  


Yitz was always very jovial and the life of the party.  He could be counted on to tell an endless stream of jokes and funny stories, many from personal experience, including family stories and travel stories.


We attended dinners at his place and he attended a get-together at our home, with several of the old chevrei from Toronto Betar and other friends.   Lots of jokes from Yitz – he was the life of the party!


We will all miss him and his outgoing personality very much.

Here in Montreal in the summer of 1970, showing Yitz Aptowitzer with Harriet and Chaim Fishgrund.



1 comment:

Adam Aptowitzer said...

Yisrael, thank you for posting this. My father actually had three children (me, and my two sisters). Shortly after moving to Calgary he took the reins of a company called Smithbilt and became a minor local celebrity in Calgary as the supplier of cowboy hats (and other hats) to (among others) movie stars filming in Canada (there were quite a few), visiting dignitaries (including the Queen of England and other royalty, the G7 leaders, and the Pope), and the 1988 Winter Olympics where the white cowboy hat was the symbol of the Games.

Besides that he was the President of the largest shul in town, the President of the local B'nai Brith chapter, the shofar blower and Gabbai. He was well known and had a reputation as a warm, and funny mench.

If anyone is interested in hearing some great stories about my father feel free to be in touch.

Adam Aptowitzer (just Google me).