About Simon and Ethel Flegg


Simon Flegg, after graduating from the University of Heidelberg at the age of 21, entered the family tobacco business and became a successful businessman. In 1938, he escaped Germany because of Nazi tyranny and went to Canada. He established himself initially in the building business, later on setting up a vocational school for modern industry, which became one of the best in Canada

Together with his wife, Ethel, he became a steadfast supporter of the cultural and educational life in the Jewish community.

Simon Flegg was a man of extraordinary intelligence and strength of spirit. Towards the end of his life, he repeatedly expressed the view that those who have taken from life must give to life. This he accomplished by giving generously to worthy causes in Canada and in Israel. In his last will, he bequeathed a munificent contribution to the Hebrew University, which was a reflection of the intellectual scope of his life and of his love for Israel and the Jewish people.

This gift was, in his words, intended to “promote excellent research in all disciplines of academic activity with a special emphasis on the preservation of Jewish heritage and culture.” He believed that his contribution would have “a very important vitalizing effect on the academic, cultural and spiritual life of Israel and of Jerusalem.”

Ethel Flegg was a quiet, sensitive person who exemplified the finest attributes of a Jewish wife. Although she and Simon had no children, Ethel felt a strong kinship to Emunah (Mothers of Israel) and was an ardent supporter of the organization. Her friends and family recognized that Ethel, in her own quiet way, epitomized strength, dignity and a deep commitment to Jewish value.


Simon FleggEthel Flegg