Bazil Freedman (b. 1942)

Bazil Freedman was born in Cape Town, South Africa on February 6, 1942 to Michael and Bessie Freedman. He grew up in a religious household in the suburbs of Cape Town, attending private schools and afternoon cheder. Bazil’s father died when he was 11 years old and his mother remarried when he was 18. He received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town. He married his first wife, Lucille, while in school. Bazil was offered residency with Yale in Newtown, Connecticut, but had to decline it when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. He stayed in South Africa while she was ill and did a residency in psychiatry there.

In 1973, Bazil, Lucille and the their two small children, Michael and Georgia moved to the United States. They bought an old van and drove across the country to Berkeley, California, where they lived for several years among the hippies while Bazil took the exams to become credentialed as a doctor in the United States. After Bazil and Lucille separated, he moved to southern Oregon and did odd jobs. Eventually, he moved up to Eugene and married his second wife Meira. The couple raised Meira’s son Avi, and had two more, Rebekah and Zoë. His older two children came up from California and all five children were raised in Eugene, where Bazil practiced psychiatry.

He was active in Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, serving for several years as the synagogue’s president and having close, personal relationships with the rabbis there. Three of the children were b’nai mitzvahed there.