Amongst his many achievements, Ted Friedlander was for over 50 years, the CEO of leading clothing retailer, Hallensteins.
A successful businessman and a respected member of Dunedin's public sector earned him an OBE and a place in New Zealand's Business Hall of Fame. A tireless campaigner and advocate for Dunedin's development as a tourist destination proud of its significant heritage, Ted's contribution to the wider Dunedin community in recent years has been to support the pubically owned (bequeathed to the City of Dunedin by Dorothy Theomin in 1966) Olveston House, and direct his significant energies in helping to create the scenic and historically significant Taieri Gorge Railway which runs from Dunedin Railway Station up into the spectacular Tairei Gorge with it's one hundred year old tunnels and wrought iron railway bridges.
Freidlander was born in 1922 in Auckland. His father was a farmer and during the depression Ted was sent to Dunedin to live with his grandmother. He remembers these times as "a good life" and recalls living an observant and Kosher Jewish lifestyle. In his early years at school in Dunedin, he recounts having his Bar Mitzvah in 1935 and that "being Jewish certainly made him feel in the minority".
Ted's ongoing contribution to the Dunedin Jewish community from its early days and to the present has included over 50 years of service as Secretary of the Dunedin Jewish Community and made him, in both his own and in the eyes of the congregation, "the patriach" of the small but active Jewish community in the New Zealand's most southern city. In a recent interview with Ted, JoM's Project Manager Keren Cook discussed the significant changes and challenges that have faced the community over so many years, including the adaptations that the Jewish community have undergone in order to survive and function as an organisational entity with a voice. Ted Friedlander is the last surviving member of the early Jewish Dunedin Community.
Image above header: Photograph of Ted Friedlander reproduced here for JoM with the permission of Ted Friedlander. Photography by Keren Cook © JoM 2013