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Montreal, Canada - Hard Work And Schooling Pave The Way To Success, Says Self-Made Canadian Charedi Billionaire

Published on: September 8, 2016 01:34 PM
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Arutz Sheva exclusive interview, Hershey Friedman (R)Arutz Sheva exclusive interview, Hershey Friedman (R)

Montreal, Canada - An Orthodox Canadian billionaire well known for his philanthropic efforts and his Israeli real estate projects credits hard work and education for his financial successes.

In an Arutz Sheva exclusive interview, Hershey Friedman of Montreal spoke of his humble beginnings and difficult circumstances brought on when his father was in a serious car accident when he was just ten years old.

“I wasn’t handed over a silver spoon on a golden platter,” said Friedman.  “I worked for what I have today.”

Because of his father’s years long hospitalization, his mother was forced to take over the family business while also running a household and raising three sons.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Friedman left Montreal at age 13 to attend Yeshiva Ner Israel in Baltimore, moving on to Monsey’s Yeshiva Bais Shraga two years later before returning home.  By age 17, Friedman was working in the family business while his two older brothers stayed in yeshiva, but Friedman’s interest in business had begun years earlier.

“I was more business oriented even as a little child and I was always somehow or other making money,” said Friedman.

Freidman recalled selling pencils as a youngster and as he got older, he frequented construction sites in order to buy lunches for the workmen who would reward him with tips.  Later in the day Friedman would return to the same site, picking up deposit bottles and turning them in for cash.

“I was like a little businessman even as a little kid and growing up,” remarked Friedman.

As soon as he graduated high school, Friedman reinvigorated the family business, buying new equipment and moving to a new location. He attended college at night, taking classes in commercial law and accounting.  Within four and a half years, the business had grown so much that Friedman was working two eight hour shifts a day.

While the move to a 16 hour workday forced Friedman to drop out of college just six months shy of receiving his degree, he noted the importance of a proper schooling. 

“I got the base of my education,” said Friedman “It was really worth it.”

Friedman moved into the plastics, printing and flexible packing business approximately ten years later, taking a company on the verge of bankruptcy and putting it back on solid financial footing.  Over the few years he earned a reputation as a turnaround specialist, buying more than two dozen more companies, some in the packaging business, others in unrelated areas and enjoying significant financial returns.

Friedman made headlines when he bought the troubled Agriprocessors meat plant in Postville, Iowa in 2009 as reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2c1ZvWk). Under Friedman’s direction, the facility was renamed Agri Star and now uses the government’s E-Verify system to ensure the legality of all workers at the plant, as reported by JTA. 

Friedman said that he spent “millions and millions” to upgrade the plant, which places a premium on quality, making little profit on the product in order to keep prices affordable.

In recent years Friedman has invested heavily in Israeli residential real estate, noting that as his own children went to yeshivos in Israel and spent time there as young marrieds, he too, began spending more time in Israel and started investing in small projects.

“I started…putting my heart into Israel and started to do some developments,” said Friedman. “I felt it was the right thing.”

Azorim, Friedman’s real estate company, builds luxury buildings marketed to Jews living overseas. While many Israelis describe dwellings owned by those living outside Israel as “dark apartments” because they are unused much of the time, Friedman disputed that notion, saying that the apartments are inhabited frequently by their owners and their married children who may be living in Israel for extended periods of time.

Friedman noted that while the Israeli government has called for more affordable housing for Israelis, it undermines its own efforts by selling land to the highest bidder at public auction, a process that can double or triple the price of land.

“When the government tries to regulate what you can sell a house for and then the land goes up for public auction, it doesn’t work,” observed Friedman.


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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:08 PM Yossi Says:

“I worked for what I have today.” Not ONE mention of HaKadosh Barukh Hu in this entire article. Kochi v"otzem Yadi asah li es hachayil hazeh"

2

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:15 PM sane Says:

Many people are well educated and work hard but struggle to make ends meet. Ultimately, you need Seyatta DeShmaya too.

3

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:15 PM Adopt A Job Says:

Ok now we need the askanim work on charedim in Israel. Its time to promote work in Israel. If we truly want to alleviate poverty get charedim to work. Show them the way. Encourage charedim to go to college and help them find real secular jobs as accountants, lawyer, health professionals and tech specialists. The time is now ripe. Due to Lapid's law there is a clause that anyone over 24 prior to 2017, is free to work with no army service. While most of the law has been repealed, that clause remains in tact. Now charedim can finally work with no army service. Now that the army hurdle is cleared we need askanim like Heshy to help clear a few more hurdles.

1)The askanim should encourage the rosh hakolles to allow their guys to work. 2) set up free or affordable kosher college programs like aguda does in the USA. 3) sit down with the government , knesset and business leaders and tackle anti-charedi discrimination in the work place.
4) Help charedi men get high meaningful paying college jobs that will enable them to earn a living.
5) Sit down with kenesst legislators to undo the crazy Israeli progressive socialist tax systems that discriminates against middle income workers.

4

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:22 PM Anonymous Says:

How does this help our kids in new square who are forbidden to learn English, science, math or other secular subjects? Most can't even read street signs.

5

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:28 PM benny Says:

i have done it all what hershey friedman did but hashem wanted me to NOT be so matzliach with Dollars, i b"h have healthy children all making parnassah and i b"h can feed my family with health hopefully till 120.
Hashem byrych es avruhom bakoyl..being rich has nothing to do with being smart or expierenced. Hashem sends it your way.
I believe hashem sent it to the right sheliach Hershey friedman , he is a ish chesed and great bal tzedukeh. May hashem give him many more years of Asheeres and Hatzlocho .

6

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

“I worked for what I have today.” Not ONE mention of HaKadosh Barukh Hu in this entire article. Kochi v"otzem Yadi asah li es hachayil hazeh"

Yes, but that doesn't mean he isn't aware that HKB"H is the ultimate reason for his success or didn't say it. It only means that they printed the part of the interview that they wanted to print.

7

 Sep 08, 2016 at 02:44 PM bennyt Says:

Marbeh nechasim, marbeh da'agah! I'm not even a bit envious Baruch Hashem and I'm sure that I sleep a lot more peacefully at night than he does.

8

 Sep 08, 2016 at 03:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

“I worked for what I have today.” Not ONE mention of HaKadosh Barukh Hu in this entire article. Kochi v"otzem Yadi asah li es hachayil hazeh"

Oh how right you are !!! He should be asked how he treats Rabbaim in the yeshiva where he is a major decision maker !!!

9

 Sep 08, 2016 at 04:21 PM Erlich Says:

Every year, the monthly magazine Canadian Business lists the top 100 wealthiest Canadians. This year 23 Jews made it to the list, while Mr. Friedman is nowhere on the list. Among the 23 were Yidden who were not billionaires.

10

 Sep 08, 2016 at 04:25 PM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

How does this help our kids in new square who are forbidden to learn English, science, math or other secular subjects? Most can't even read street signs.

do you see them starving to death, nope you see them enjoying the summer months outside while you work at a computer and have a frustrating commute and pay 1/3 of what you earn to Obama.

11

 Sep 08, 2016 at 04:31 PM MarkTwain2 Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

“I worked for what I have today.” Not ONE mention of HaKadosh Barukh Hu in this entire article. Kochi v"otzem Yadi asah li es hachayil hazeh"

Obviously, he is just countering the loud voice of today- magea-li, it's coming to me and I needn't work. For his message to be strong and productive he can't bifurcate it into multiple messages, especially ones heard over and over again in our circles.

12

 Sep 08, 2016 at 05:39 PM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #10  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

do you see them starving to death, nope you see them enjoying the summer months outside while you work at a computer and have a frustrating commute and pay 1/3 of what you earn to Obama.

Welfare is great isn't it?

13

 Sep 08, 2016 at 05:38 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #7  
bennyt Says:

Marbeh nechasim, marbeh da'agah! I'm not even a bit envious Baruch Hashem and I'm sure that I sleep a lot more peacefully at night than he does.

what makes you think hershey friedman dosent sleep as good as you do.?
you probably wouldnt mind this marbeh nechasim but hashem didnt sent it your way. Hershey is a hard working man and he enjoys doing what hashem sent his way. Dont YOU worry about herseys Dageh because he can handle it very well and all his Tzedukehs and masim toyvim helps him to bypass all those dagehs.
Hershey Chazak Veamatz. You are a BONUS for Klal Yisroel.!!!!!!

14

 Sep 08, 2016 at 05:51 PM boobi Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

How does this help our kids in new square who are forbidden to learn English, science, math or other secular subjects? Most can't even read street signs.

It helps by pointing out what happens when someone as you asks so a dumb question,it wakes then up by studyng hard not to be as assinine like you with their question di shoite

15

 Sep 08, 2016 at 05:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

do you see them starving to death, nope you see them enjoying the summer months outside while you work at a computer and have a frustrating commute and pay 1/3 of what you earn to Obama.

You are the best example so far of someone who does not have an education di shoite

16

 Sep 08, 2016 at 07:50 PM Benny Says:

Apikorsus,
We don't make a living,
We take a living.
Anyone who says that his hard work made him rich is apekoires,
It's all Hashem, nothing besides him!
We need to do ishtadlus, have zchus avos and mazal to make parnosa.
Look at Maharsho last Blat in Kidushin.

17

 Sep 08, 2016 at 11:46 PM stamm Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Yes, but that doesn't mean he isn't aware that HKB"H is the ultimate reason for his success or didn't say it. It only means that they printed the part of the interview that they wanted to print.

just gonna say the same. we dont know which parts they took out

18

 Sep 09, 2016 at 12:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

You are the best example so far of someone who does not have an education di shoite

Have you ever written a reply without your trademark" DE SHOITE"? I don't recall u ever did. .
Watch your language, you unmannered human!

19

 Sep 09, 2016 at 12:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

You are the best example so far of someone who does not have an education di shoite

De shoite?
Just wondering why you became anonymous boobi?

20

 Sep 09, 2016 at 07:59 AM Anonymous Says:

We in Beit Shemsh don't have a hospital! There is a lot of good Mr. Friedman could do for Israel, instead of complaining the government regulates him too much. I'm sure he supports different institutions, but perhaps he could do more. Women in BS have to travel to Jerusalem to give birth, and more than a few give birth en route. Stroke and heart attack victims? How many need to die before someone helps? We need a hospital...the iriya won't help, they are too busy cleaning up the mess made by the fanatics when they decide to demonstrate and go on the rampage.

21

 Sep 09, 2016 at 08:32 AM alterknaker Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

How does this help our kids in new square who are forbidden to learn English, science, math or other secular subjects? Most can't even read street signs.

I have news for you, there are plenty of rich yungeleit in Skver thats (according to you) without an education, על אפך ועל חמתך

22

 Sep 09, 2016 at 08:52 AM Heeb Says:

Reply to #3  
Adopt A Job Says:

Ok now we need the askanim work on charedim in Israel. Its time to promote work in Israel. If we truly want to alleviate poverty get charedim to work. Show them the way. Encourage charedim to go to college and help them find real secular jobs as accountants, lawyer, health professionals and tech specialists. The time is now ripe. Due to Lapid's law there is a clause that anyone over 24 prior to 2017, is free to work with no army service. While most of the law has been repealed, that clause remains in tact. Now charedim can finally work with no army service. Now that the army hurdle is cleared we need askanim like Heshy to help clear a few more hurdles.

1)The askanim should encourage the rosh hakolles to allow their guys to work. 2) set up free or affordable kosher college programs like aguda does in the USA. 3) sit down with the government , knesset and business leaders and tackle anti-charedi discrimination in the work place.
4) Help charedi men get high meaningful paying college jobs that will enable them to earn a living.
5) Sit down with kenesst legislators to undo the crazy Israeli progressive socialist tax systems that discriminates against middle income workers.

Good luck!!!! Oh, what lofty goals you wish for, and what high ambitions you have!! Work in the israeli charedi community is tantamount to porn, and will never get a hechsher.

23

 Sep 09, 2016 at 11:14 AM Adopt A Job Says:

Reply to #22  
Heeb Says:

Good luck!!!! Oh, what lofty goals you wish for, and what high ambitions you have!! Work in the israeli charedi community is tantamount to porn, and will never get a hechsher.

Me and you can't get charedim in EY to work. But the American askanim can. Der vos hut der meah hut der deah. The askanim need to get together and tell the rabbonim and rosh yeshivas enough is enough we need to fight poverty. We need to start adopting jobs not just kollelim. And if you rosh yeshivas and rabbonim want money from us, endorse our program. Of course we will gladly do it in the most kosher way as possible. But the latitude has to change. Our askainim can cahnge the conversation and make work not trief. We can't but askanim can

24

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