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.
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.