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Bernard Wolf Dead at 96

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Bernard Wolf, a prominent merchant and civic leader who successfully challenged racial covenants in Canada, has died in London, Ontario at the age of 96. He had been the first president of the Jewish Community Council in London and a member of the national board of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University.

Born Pinchas Baer in the Ukraine, he came to Canada with his parents early in the century and built up a prosperous retail business. He came to national prominence in 1948 when he brought legal action against an anti-Jewish racial covenant on property he wanted to buy in the resort area of Grand Bend, Ontario.

When the covenant was upheld by a lower court, Wolf appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court which voided the covenant in what entered Canadian law as the Noble and Wolf vs. Beach O’Pines case. The court barred clauses in land or property deeds which state that the property may not be sold or rented or in any way used by persons of a given race or religion.

Although not religious, Wolf was active in many Jewish causes. He was a strong supporter of Jewish culture and of the Workmen’s Circle when it had a branch in London.

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