Born in 1944 in Johannesburg, Cy was the child of Lithuanian immigrants who came to South Africa prior to the Second World War. In 1950, the family moved to Bulawayo, where Cy’s father, Daniel, built the Anglo African Glass factory with financing from his brother Max. Following Daniel’s death in November 1954, the family returned to Johannesburg.
On 26 March 1967, Cy married his wife, Rhona. Shortly after the Six-Day War, the couple made aliyah, relocating to Givat Chaim, a kibbutz near Hadera. Cy and Rhona stayed in Israel for six months, at which time they returned to South Africa, Cy finding work in insurance. The Charneys had three children, all of whom were born in South Africa.
As the political situation in South Africa began to deteriorate, the Charneys decided to immigrate to Canada. Cy arrived in London, but ended up settling in Toronto in mid-1980. Rhona and the children arrived three months later, during which time Cy found work with Loblaws. After one year, Cy sought different work opportunities with the Thorne, Stevenson, and Kellogg management consulting group. Since then, he started his own consulting business.
Cy and Rhona have two granddaughters and have belonged to Temple Kol Ami since 1993. Cy is semi-retired as is his wife.
Rhona has made a transition from psychotherapy to becoming an artist. The couple have a home in Florida to which they flee over the worst Canadian winter months.
First Canadian Home
Excerpt from Cy Charney’s memoirs, My Story, [200-?]. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, accession 2016-2/4.
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