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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Jewish Immigration

Norbert Berkowitz

Norbert Berkowitz was born to Jewish parents in Berlin, Germany, in 1923. In 1939, he escaped to England, where he completed a PhD in Chemistry. He came to Canada in 1952 and was a professor in the Department of Mineral, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Alberta from 1979 to 1988. Before coming to the university, he did research with the Alberta Research Council. Berkowitz is best known for his innovative research with coal, helping to make the transportation of coal by pipeline successful. Berkowitz also worked to develop a process of in-situ mining, where, by pumping steam into an unmined coal seam, the coal could be converted into a heat-efficient gas. Berkowitz served as the Vice-Chairman of the Energy Resources Conservation Board of Alberta and was elected to the Order of Canada in 1984. In 2001, Berkowitz died in a traffic accident.

Dr. David Lander

Dr. David Lander was a Russian Jew who fled to Canada in 1924 to escape the rampant persecution of Jewish people. He studied medicine at the University of Alberta and then became a general practitioner in the Turner Valley area. He began to investigate alcoholism, something that had previously not been considered a medical problem. He approached the problem using a combination of physical and mental procedures. When illness forced him to retire from his Turner Valley practice, he moved to the Palliser Hotel in Calgary and continued his work, seeing patients, counselling alcoholics, and giving lectures. Lander felt that every doctor should have what he called the three Hs: Humanity, Humility, and Humour. It was this mindset that gave Lander his interest in the care of seniors. He felt that they too deserved to be treated with respect. Lander received many honours, among them receiving the Sir Frederick Haultain Award for distinguished service from the Alberta government and being chosen as one of the One Hundred Albertan Physicians of the Century. He was also named Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his humanitarian and compassionate medical work.

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