Bronfman family

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The Bronfman family is a Canadian-American Jewish family.[1] It owes its initial fame to Samuel Bronfman (1889–1971), who made a fortune in the alcoholic distilled beverage business during American prohibition through the family's Seagram Company.[2]

The family is of Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish ancestry; "they were originally tobacco farmers from Bessarabia".[3] According to The New York Times staff reporter Nathaniel Popper, the Bronfman family is "perhaps the single largest force in the Jewish charitable world."[4][5]

Family tree[edit]

Some of the family members include:

  • Abraham BRONFMAN
    • Ekiel BRONFMAN Born: 16 Nov 1855, Russia. Married: 1880. Died: 24 Dec 1919. Married to Mindel ELMAN. (Born: 25 May 1863. Died: 11 Nov 1918.)
      • Abe BRONFMAN Born: 15 Nov 1882, Russia. Married: 1905. Died: 1968. Married to Sophie RASMINSKY. (Died: 1967.)
        • Zelia BRONFMAN
        • Rona BRONFMAN
        • Mildred BRONFMAN
        • Beatrice BRONFMAN
        • Ruth BRONFMAN
      • Harry BRONFMAN Born: 20 Mar 1885, Russia. Married: 1905. Died: 1963. Married to Ann GALLAMAN. (Died: 1970.)
        • Allan BRONFMAN Born: 1906. Married: 1931. Died: 1944. Married to Freda BESNER
          • Mitchell BRONFMAN
          • Marion BRONFMAN
          • Beverly BRONFMAN
        • Gerald BRONFMAN
        • Rona Retta BRONFMAN
      • Laura BRONFMAN Born: 1 Jan 1887, Russia. Married: 1911. Died: 1976. Married to Barnett AARON.
      • Samuel Miles BRONFMAN Sr. Born: 1 Mar 1889, On board ship / born in Soroki, Bessarabia. Married: 20 Jun 1922, Winnipeg, Man. Died: 10 Jul 1971, Montreal, Que. Married to Spouse: Saidye ROSNER BRONFMAN. (Born: 20 Dec 1896, Plum Coulee, Man. Died: 6 Jul 1995, Montreal, Que.)
      • Jennie BRONFMAN Born: 3 Feb 1891, Manitoba, Canada.
      • Bess BRONFMAN Born: 2 Mar 1893, Manitoba, Canada. Died: 1980. Married to Harry Louis DRUXERMAN (Born: 1887. Married: 1916. Died: 1940.) Married to Harry SOFORENKO. (Married: 1954. Died: 1964.)
        • Alvin DRUXERMAN
        • Jacquelyn Blanche DRUXERMAN
      • Allan BRONFMAN Born: 2 Jan 1896, Manitoba, Canada. Married: 28 Jun 1922, Ottawa, Ont. Died: 26 Mar 1980, Montreal, Que. Married to Lucy BILSKY.
      • Rose BRONFMAN Born: 3 Feb 1898, Manitoba, Canada. Married: 24 Jun 1922, Winnipeg, Man. Died: 31 May 1988. Married to Maxwell RADY (Born: 24 Nov 1899. Died: 3 Mar 1964.)

Works or publications[edit]

Bronfman Family[edit]

  • Faith, Nicholas. The Bronfmans: The Rise and Fall of the House of Seagram. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-312-33219-8[6]
  • Gittins, Susan. Behind Closed Doors: The Rise and Fall of Canada's Edper Bronfman and Reichmann Empires. Scarborough, Ont: Prentice Hall Canada, 1995. ISBN 978-0-131-82189-7[7]
  • MacLeod, Roderick, and Eric John Abrahamson. Spirited Commitment The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, 1952-2007. Montréal: Published for the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Foundation by McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-773-58333-7
  • Marrus, Michael R. Samuel Bronfman: The Life and Times of Seagram's Mr. Sam. Hanover: Published by University Press of New England [for] Brandeis University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-585-26546-9
  • Newman, Peter Charles. Bronfman Dynasty: The Rothschilds of the New World. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1978. ISBN 978-0-771-06758-7
  • Whisky man inside the dynasty of Samuel Bronfman. Kelowna, B.C.: distributed by FilmWest Associates: 1996. (video)
    • Video abstract: "Documents the rise to success of the Bronfman Family, who came to Canada as poor immigrants and became rich and powerful through selling (through Prohibition) and distilling whisky (Seagram Company). Family members recall the tough and determined character of Samuel who strove for social acceptance and respectability while alienating many of his family."[8]

Charles Bronfman[edit]

Edgar Bronfman, Sr.[edit]

Saidye Bronfman[edit]

  • Bronfman, Saidye. My Sam: A Memoir. Erin, Ont: Porcupine's Quill, 1982. Privately printed. One thousand copies have been printed. Written by his wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman.

Phyllis Lambert[edit]

  • Lambert, Phyllis, and Barry Bergdoll. Building Seagram. New Haven, Connecticut ; London, England : Yale University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0-300-16767-2
    • Book abstract: "The Seagram building rises over New York's Park Avenue, seeming to float above the street with perfect lines of bronze and glass. Considered one of the greatest icons of twentieth-century architecture, the building was commissioned by Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram. Bronfman's daughter Phyllis Lambert was twenty-seven years old when she took over the search for an architect and chose Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), a pioneering modern master of what he termed "skin and bones" architecture. Mies, who designed the elegant, deceptively simple thirty-eight story tower along with Philip Johnson (1906-2005), emphasized the beauty of structure and fine materials, and set the building back from the avenue, creating an urban oasis with the building's plaza. Through her choice, Lambert established her role as a leading architectural patron and singlehandedly changed the face of American urban architecture. Building Seagram is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies. Lambert makes use of previously unpublished personal archives, company correspondence, and photographs to tell an insider's view of the debates, resolutions, and unknown dramas of the building's construction, as well as its crucial role in the history of modern art and architectural culture."[9]

See also[edit]


In 1994, the Bronfman family in collaboration with McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, supported the establishment of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), a nonpartisan Canadian research institute.[11]:3


  1. ^ Curtis, Christopher G. "Bronfman Family". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  2. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Seagram Company Ltd.". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  3. ^ Weiss, Steven I. (March 11, 2014). "For Centuries, Jews Ruled Poland's Liquor Trade. Why Was That Legacy Forgotten?". Tablet. Retrieved April 10, 2016. Even the Bronfmans, the world's most famous liquor magnates, couldn't tie their successes in booze to the legacy of Polish Jewry's tavern-keeping: They were originally tobacco farmers from Bessarabia.
  4. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (April 15, 2005). "Keeping Alive a Philanthropic Family Tradition". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  5. ^ Kandell, Jonathan (22 December 2013). "Edgar M. Bronfman, Who Brought Elegance and Expansion to Seagram, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  6. ^ Prial, Frank J. (June 25, 2006). "'The Bronfmans' by Nicholas Faith: Whiskey Chasers". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  7. ^ Corelli, Adam (February 14, 1993). "Legacy of a bootlegger: Canada's giant Edper conglomerate, created by the outcast cousins of the Bronfman drinks dynasty, is in trouble and may be slipping into unfamiliar hands". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  8. ^ Whisky man : inside the dynasty of Samuel Bronfman. WorldCat. OCLC. OCLC 496911520.
  9. ^ Building Seagram. WorldCat. OCLC. OCLC 813392773.
  10. ^ Desjardins, Sylvain-Jacques (March 25, 2004). "Seagram Building reborn as Martlet House". McGill Reporter. 36 (2003–2004). Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  11. ^ Who pays for Canada? Taxes and Fairness (PDF). 2018 Annual Conference of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC). Montreal, Quebec. February 23, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2018.

External links[edit]