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Alpert, Patricia Joy
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Patricia Joy Alpert (1931-2001) was an internationally-acclaimed artist, a teacher, and a dynamic community leader, most notably serving as National President of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO from 1996 to 1999. Pat was born in Toronto in 1931 to parents Oscar and Gertrude Pattenick. Oscar Pattenick, the son of Benjamin Pattenick and Pauline Goldenberg, was born in 1892 in Galicia and immigrated to Canada with his brother as a young man. The brothers ran a retail clothing business that expanded to several locations around Ontario, including Toronto and Bowmanville. Oscar married Gertrude Breslin (1896-1988) in 1917. She was one of 14 children of Hyman Breslin and Sarah Pearl Papernick and had been raised in Toronto. Together the couple raised three children: Bernard (Boon), and twin girls Patricia and Pearl.
Pat and her sister showed artistic talent from an early age. After graduating from Oakwood Collegiate high school, Pat enrolled at the University of Miami and graduated with a B.A. in Art History in 1956. She started her career as a designer and display artist at Simpson’s department store, doing freelance artwork and volunteering at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Pat married Herbert S. Alpert in 1958 and they had two daughters, Lisa and Nancy. Pat went back to school at Toronto Teacher's College and then taught kindergarten for eleven years for the North York Board of Education. She also earned a Supervisor's Art Certificate and taught art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, North York Public Library, and Associated Hebrew Schools. Her artistic career took off in the 1970s, when her drawings were exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around North America. She typically drew human figures using ink.
Pat Alpert’s volunteer work began soon after her marriage, when she joined Toronto's Carmel chapter of Hadassah as a way to make new friends. In 1983, she became president of Toronto Hadassah-WIZO, serving until 1985. She continued with Toronto Hadassah as vice-president and corresponding secretary. Pat was deeply committed to Jewish life and to the State of Israel. Choosing Hadassah as the focus of her passion, she left her professional career in the 1990s to become a full-time volunteer. She served as chair of the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO Foundation, Vice-president of National Hadassah, National President from 1996 to 1999 and president of Toronto Jewish National Fund from 1992 to 1994. Pat also held positions for Israel Bonds, Jewish Women’s Federation, B’nai Brith League for Human Rights, the Holocaust Centre of Toronto, Baycrest Women’s Auxiliary and Board of Governors, and Reena Foundation. Pat Alpert died on October 4, 2001, at the age of 70.