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Edna Jacobs (née Frankel) was born on 20 March 1904 in Toronto. Her parents, Sigmund and Paula Frankel, were early immigrants from Germany. Edna attended Havergal from kindergarten through high school. She studied general arts for two years at the University of Toronto. She married Arthur Jacobs, the son of Rabbi Solomon Jacobs, in 1936. Together, they had one daughter, Patsy, and a baby who died during infancy. Edna was involved with the Girls Club and the Junior Council of Jewish Women.