Esthel “Ethel” Ann Levi Krasney
Birth: July 16, 1911 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Death: March 6, 1993 in View Royal, Capitol Regional District, B.C.
Rabbi Victor Hillel Reinstein gave the following eulogy at her funeral:
Funeral: March 8, 1993
Yahrzeit: 13 Adar
In the Torah we are reading at this season about the desert sanctuary, the “miskan” the place of God’s dwelling, where our people would gather in times of need and celebration during our journey through the desert. It was a place of shelter and comfort. This is the image that emerges of Ethel Krasney from the words of those who knew and loved her. The rabbis of long ago taught that each person should raise up a sanctuary in their heart. Ethel’s heart and home were each such a sanctuary, a place of love and comfort. “She was a warm and loving and caring person, not only for me,” said David, but “for everyone, for all who came in contact with her, in the Jewish community and outside. She was just a wonderful person who got along with everyone.” Hers was a rare simple gift of love and openness. It was a gift that she was blessed with and which in turn blessed others.
In that spirit of heart, and home as sanctuary, in her early married years Ethel opened her home to service personnel, especially during the war years. So she helped to open the door of the small Jewish community if Victoria to it’s people.
It was to family that her heart and home offered the deepest sanctuary. to her niece Judy Poteshin she will be remembered as somebody very special, as a friend and confidant, as someone who was there to help out when hard times came. She was there in times of trouble. Softening the hard times with the joy of young ones, she had a warm and loving relationship with Judy’s children.
To her younger cousin, Carla Krane, Ethel was a loyal friend, a true confidant. Age was not a barrier, but an inspiration. “She was one of the only people I knew”, said Carla, “who could love unconditionally. She didn’t expect anything.” She loved life and wanted to live. She had a beautiful smile that revealed what at times was a dry wit and at other times a wonderful sense of humor. When she entered the Oak Bay Lodge, she quipped that “all the people were very old”. She didn’t see herself as an old person. She remained very alert and independent and proud. She knew how to live. In spite of numerous health problems, she never stopped living. All of this made her for Carla a wonderful, wonderful woman, about whom not enough can be said. You cared for her, Carla, and in giving of yourself received so much love in return. David and Danny, you were like her local grandchildren over the years. For Mark and Greg, David and Roz’s children, her grandchildren in Montreal, distance didn’t diminish the the love. For them there will always be the echoes of loving conversations, and memories of the visits and of the special times when she was able to be with them.
Ethel was born in Winnipeg, one of 4 children, born to John and Edith Levi. She married Jack Krasney right here in Victoria, according to their ketubah. Victoria truly became home. Theirs was a happy marriage in which they shared everything. They shared and did everything together, in life and in business, in hard time times and in good times. Theirs was a large circle of friends. They were very involved in the shul and together helped to give life to the small Jewish community.
Hadassah was Ethel’s passion. She was an ardent member. She was the moving force, the visionary behind taking the Hadassah Bazaar out of the shul. As her friend from the early years, Helen Alexandor, recalls, “She didn’t like the bazaar at the shul because there was not enough room.” Under her influence, the bazaar was moved to what was then the Serocco night club. There they could have that “big square table” on which to display the famous Hadassah baking and knitting and other wares. That move, inspired by the “incredibly hard worker”, as Aileen Barer describes her, was a great success and marked the beginning of Hadassah’s even greater successes. It should be noted that a Youth Aliya scholarship has already been pledged in memory of Ethel.
Ethel Krasney died o “Shabbat Zachor“, the Shabbat of Remembrance that comes before Purim. As we continue ton our journey may her memory continue to provide a sanctuary of love and comfort for all who knew and loved her. So may her memory be a blessing and an eternal light of love
Gravesite Details: Row B – Plot 21
Star of David on both sides of the top
פּ״נ (Here lies)
Hebrew Name: Yehuda b. Hirshel
1909 – 1975
Hebrew Name: Chana Aite b. Yonah
1911 – 1993
IN LOVING MEMORY
ת נ צ ב ה
abbreviation for Biblical quote: “May her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.”
John Levi (1889–1955)
Edith Steinman Levi (1893–1946)
Jack H. Krasney (1909–1975)
Clara Levi Naftolin (1915-1977)
Mary Levi Nozick (1919–2005)