Novek, Ralph, 1917-1989

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Novek, Ralph, 1917-1989

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        Ralph Novek was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Montreal on April 10, 1917. His father, Joseph Novek, left Poland in 1905 after being warned by the Russian officers that used Joseph’s father’s tailor shop that Joseph and his brother, Israel, were to be arrested because of their socialist Bundist activity. Joseph traveled first to England and arrived in Montreal in 1906. Joseph married his cousin Helen Finestone in 1916.
        Ralph Novek married Shulamith Litman in 1939. The couple supported themselves through Shulamith’s dress designing and Ralph’s writing jobs. In 1945, Ralph Novek founded the Burns Advertising Company with Arthur Burns, running the business until his retirement. In addition to advertising, Ralph Novek also wrote radio plays for the CBC and contributed articles on theatre and progressive themes to various journals.
        Ralph Novek also translated into English, Benjamin Sack’s History of the Jews in Canada. Novek was related to Sack through his marriage.


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