Zack’s Clothing Store

Street Address : 271 Princess St

Isaac Zacks came to Kingston from Lithuania on the recommendation of his brother-in-law Joseph Abramson (Joseph Abramsky’s cousin) in 1897, and by 1903 had set up shop here as a men’s clothier. Isaac in turn brought his brother Akivah from Russia circa 1900. Akivah was a peddler who gradually bought up small rental properties. He and his wife Dora lived on Ordnance Street.

Samuel Zacks was Akivah’s youngest son; he attended Queen’s University and went on to graduate from Harvard. A millionaire by the age of 23, he lost it all before the Crash of 1929—then regained his wealth soon afterwards. Sam went on to become Chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress Refugee Committee and the president of the Zionist Organization of Canada between 1943 and 1949. He married Ayala Fleg, a remarkable woman who had won the Croix de Guerre for her work with the French Resistance. A member of the “Sonneborn Institute” (named after U.S. Haganah leader Rudolf Sonneborn), Sam and his colleagues provided the Haganah (Jewish militia) in Palestine with arms and money during the Israeli war of independence in 1948.

A personal acquaintance of David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, Sam Zacks owned a property in Jerusalem near the Ben-Gurion home in that city.

Like Alfred Bader, Sam Zacks was a patron of the arts. He donated a valuable collection of modern Canadian art to the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery in the 1960s.

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