Founder of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO designed the first Remembrance Day poppies
Lillian Freiman (née Bilsky) was a philanthropist, community leader, and prominent Zionist. She is best known as the “Poppy Lady,” for designing and creating the first Remembrance Day poppies in 1921. She also founded the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO and was the national president of the Zionist women’s organization from 1919 until her death in 1940.
Freiman was the daughter of Moses Bilsky, Ottawa’s first Jewish settler, and his wife Pauline. She was born in 1885 while the family lived briefly in Mattawa, Ontario. She lived most of her life in Ottawa and, at age 18, married Archibald J. Freiman, who would found A.J. Freiman Limited, a department store at 73 Rideau Street in Ottawa. The couple had three children, Dorothy, Lawrence and Queene Esther, and an adopted daughter, Gladys, a Jewish war orphan from Ukraine. [Read more…]