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Einihovici, Avrum (Tim) (1895–1988)

by Laura Raiter

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

Avrum (Tim) Einihovici (1895-1988), medical practitioner and Esperantist, was born on 6 March 1895 at Balti, Bessarabia, Russia, son of Ghers (Hirsch) Einihovici, merchant, and his wife Mirlia (Miriam), née Langman. Avrum received a traditional Jewish education until the age of 11 before attending a state primary school for two years. He matriculated in 1916 from a Jewish high school where he developed an interest in Yiddish theatre. In 1916-17 he served briefly in the Russian Army.

Subjected to persecution, Einihovici’s parents escaped to Romania; he joined them in 1920 and enrolled in the faculty of medicine at the University of Jasi. After anti-Semitic riots at the university, he moved to Italy in 1922 and graduated (1924) in medicine from the University of Pavia. He worked as a general practitioner in a rural town before studying at Milan to become an ear, nose and throat surgeon. In time he became a consultant to opera singers at La Scala. On 22 July 1934 at Milan he married with Jewish rites Idyss Kleyman, a clerk from Warsaw.

Legislation in 1938 revoked Italian citizenship granted to Jewish persons after 1 January 1919, and in January 1939 Einihovici and his family travelled to Palestine. Unable to practise his profession, he migrated to Australia, arriving at Fremantle on 8 August 1939. His sponsor was Cyrus Caldera, a Perth doctor who had been his professor at the University of Pavia. Registered next month, he entered into general practice at Corrigin. He acted as interpreter for the local council and for Italian prisoners of war who were working on farms in the area. On 26 January 1949 he became an Australian citizen.

Einihovici moved to Perth after the war and resumed his career as an ear, nose and throat surgeon. An ardent supporter of Esperanto, which he valued as a promoter of world peace, he was awarded (1950) the diploma of the British Esperanto Association and later, the upper diploma of the Australian association. He was very active in the Esperanto League of Western Australia, and until 1987 regularly attended annual world congresses. Known as `Tim’, he was a member, freeman and dais president (1957) of Western Australian Rostrum, an adjudicator for the Western Australian Debating League and president in the early 1960s of the Dante Alighieri Society. He was founding president (1947-72) of the Perth section of Friends of the Hebrew University. Keen to maintain a creative Jewish arts group in Perth, he produced many Yiddish plays. He was associated with the local Bahá’í community, the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Moral Rearmament movement, Amnesty International and the Freemasons. People appreciated him for his gentle and encouraging manner and sound common sense.

Five ft 5 ins (165 cm) tall and of light build, Einihovici enjoyed sports—soccer and skiing in his youth, and later tennis, golf, swimming and bowls—and attributed his longevity to healthy food and physical fitness. Survived by his wife and their daughter, he died on 7 March 1988 at his Floreat home and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery. In 1990-92 the Perth Friends of the Hebrew University raised money for a scholarship named in his honour.

Select Bibliography

  • Australian Esperantist, Mar-Apr 1988, p 137
  • Dante Society’s News, no 3, 1988, p 2
  • Maccabean, 1 Apr 1988, p 10
  • W.A. Rostrum Informer, July 1988, p 1
  • series PP302/1, item WA17052 (National Archives of Australia)
  • personal knowledge.

Citation details

Laura Raiter, 'Einihovici, Avrum (Tim) (1895–1988)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/einihovici-avrum-tim-12456/text22403, published in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 23 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

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