Jewish Women on the Map - Calgary, 1918 - Peretz Hirschbein meets Esther Shumiatcher
Esther Shumiatcher-Hirschbein was one of eleven siblings in a talented, energetic and adventurous Canadian immigrant family which left lasting marks on Canadian society in a variety of fields. Born in Gomel, Belarus, to Judah (d. 1923) and Chasia (d. 1955) Shumiatcher she emigrated to Calgary with her family in 1911. In Gomel, the family were tenant farmers, while in Calgary Judah taught Hebrew in the winter and worked as a farm laborer in the summer. All family members contributed to the family income in the years following immigration, holding jobs and assisting their mother, who took in boarders. After Shumiatcher’s high school graduation she worked in meat packing plants and as a waitress. In December 1918, while he was on a speaking tour which brought him to Calgary, she met and married Peretz Hirschbein (1880–1948), a leading playwright in New York’s Yiddish theater....