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South African animal rights activist dies at 92

After devoting much of her 92 years to saving the lives of helpless animals, South African immigrant and longtime Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals chairwoman Hilda Friedstein died on Wednesday.

Friedstein had served as the head of Tel Aviv's Israel SPCA flagship site for 35 years, beginning in 1970. During her tenure there as well as both before and after as a volunteer, Friedstein worked tirelessly to raise public awareness about animal suffering and was a pioneer in defending the rights of Israel's animals, according to the SPCA.
Friedstein was born in South Africa in 1920 to a family that had emigrated from Lithuania at the beginning of the 19th century.

As a young girl, she quickly developed social awareness and sensitivity for the downtrodden, and became a vegetarian at the age of 9. In 1942, she came to Israel with her husband Kalman, where they were among the founders of Kibbutz Shoval.

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