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7 records – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 1; File 2
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
1
File
2
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1919-1922
Physical Description
136 architectural drawings : pencil, some hand col., watercolour, on linen weave and tracing paper ; 100 x 90 cm or smaller
Admin History/Bio
The Henry Street Beth Jacob Synagogue was founded by Toronto’s Polish-Jewish Community, as the successor of an older, smaller synagogue on Elm Street. It was the first synagogue in Toronto that was designed by a Jewish architect, Benjamin Brown. Located at 23 and 23 ½ Henry Street, the synagogue was dedicated in 1922, at a cost of $156,000, and could accommodate up to eight hundred worshippers. It was built in Romanesque style and was notable for its stained glass windows and retractable roof that was used on Sukkoth. It also contained a vaulted ceiling capped by a large dome and four smaller ones. The building was eventually sold and converted into a church. It is the current site of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of Beth Jacob Synagogue. Contained within are basement, floor, stairwell and roof plans, load plans, sections, and elevation drawings. Also included are detailing of windows, the Ark, entrances and other structures and objects.
Notes
Most of the drawings are stored in four rolls, the remainder are encased in five sheets of Melinex. Due to the fragility of these drawings, the medium, extent and sizes of them are based on the descriptions compiled by Steve Speisman. It is recommended that a conservator examine these drawings.
Name Access
Beth Jacob Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical Condition
Some drawings are frayed and torn.
Places
Henry Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 64; Series 5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
Series
Fonds
64
Series
5
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
architectural drawing
Date
1859-1980
Physical Description
35 cm of textual records
10 photographs
41 architectural drawings
Scope and Content
Series contains reference materials created by and written about the synagogues. Primary records include commemorative booklets, a small number of newsletters, brochures, and programs from special events. There are also newspaper clippings and copied articles providing histories of synagogues. There is a small number of photograph prints and negatives, but many of the files also include photographs from books, magazines or photocopies. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by city, then by synagogue. Not every synagogue the project team researched has a reference file, and there may be reference files for shuls for which no photographs survive.
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 64
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
64
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1859-1980, predominant 1977-1979
Physical Description
ca. 5178 photographs and other material
Admin History/Bio
The “Shuls Project” was the work of three University of Toronto architecture students, who in 1977 wrote a research paper on the eight Toronto synagogues built before World War II. Concerned at the lack of resources on these synagogues, Sidney Tenenbaum, Lynn Milstone and Sheldon Levitt foresaw the loss of communities’ recorded history as membership dwindled and elders passed on. The students conceived a project that would photograph and document every synagogue in Canada, gathering visual evidence, memorabilia, plaques and stories before they disappeared and history was lost. The students’ goal was to document synagogues’ architecture, art, and historical development through research, interviews and site visits.
The students secured a large portion of the required funding for the project from the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in Montreal, funding which was matched by the Canadian Jewish Congress. This financial support enabled Levitt, Milstone and Tenenbaum to begin their study, named “Shuls… A Study of Canadian Synagogue Architecture.” They began in the summer of 1977, traveling through the Western provinces. The next summer, they visited eight Maritime cities, Montreal and other Quebec communities. Financial support in the project’s second year was again provided by the Bronfman Family Foundation, along with the Canadian government and donations in kind from businesses, including Benjamin Photo Finishers in Toronto, and Polaroid. The summer of 1979 was spent in Ontario, with an added grant from Wintario. In total, the Shuls project team traveled over 24,000 kilometres, taking thousands of photographs and conducting several hundred interviews. Photographs were taken by Tenenbaum, with Levitt and Milstone assuming primary responsibility for researching synagogues’ history and gathering historic records. Interviews were conducted by all three researchers, in both English and Yiddish.
With no handy index of every shul in Canada, the researchers located small shuls by word of mouth. They spread word of their project and solicited assistance using press releases, letters to known communities, and slideshow presentations as they traveled. They would first examine a building to get an idea of a community’s character and heritage, then conduct interviews with designers, architects, rabbis and other prominent community members.
With the research and photographs created, the team compiled three catalogues of the Western, Eastern/Quebec, and Ontario phases of the project. These catalogues have entries on each synagogue that include historical summaries highlighting the founding, growth, mergers and decline of Jewish communities, their changing needs, changing architectural expressions and trends, and the evolving uses of synagogues over the course of the twentieth century. There are also building descriptions, some with critical comments by the authors, and lists of the photographs and slides produced.
The compilation of materials and preparation of these catalogues took place at the Project’s offices at 26 Ava Road in Toronto, and continued through the summer of 1980 when the Ontario catalogue was completed. In 1985, Tenenbaum, Milstone and Levitt published a book highlighting their work, called Treasures of a People: The Synagogues of Canada.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the records created and collected by the team of students conducting the Shuls study from 1977 to 1980. The majority of the fonds is made up of graphic material, in the form of 35mm colour slides and black-and-white Polaroid prints and (print-size) negatives. There are approximately 5110 photographs in the fonds. Fonds also consists of notes and inventory forms of buildings' architectural features. There are no interview transcripts, but the fonds does include three audio cassettes with recorded interviews and shul tours. Reference materials used in researching the history of the shuls include dedication and anniversary commemorative books and programmes, newsletters, articles and newspaper clippings. In addition the fonds contains 47 blueprints, the majority from Montreal synagogues. The fonds is arranged in the following series: 1. Quebec synagogues; 2. Ontario synagogues; 3. Western Canada synagogues; 4. Eastern Canada synagogues; 5. Reference.
Notes
Physical description note: includes 92 cm of textual records, 42 architectural drawings, 3 audio cassettes, and 1 drawing.
Physical extent note: many of the slides were culled because they were felt to be reproductions. Some of the synagogue images in the research book may therefore not be included in the fonds.
Name Access
Shuls Project
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Creator
Levitt, Sheldon
Milstone, Lynn
Tenenbaum, Sidney T.
Places
Canada
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 64; Series 5; File 23
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
23
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Date
[ca. 1910]-1978
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
4 photographs : b&w prints (2 negatives) ; 12 x cm
Scope and Content
File contains notes, lists, clippings, copied pages from directories and 4 unidentified photographs (2 negatives).
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Montréal (Québec)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 64; Series 5; File 41
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
41
Material Format
textual record
architectural drawing
Date
1859-1978
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
4 architectural drawings
Scope and Content
File contains photocopied articles, a newspaper clipping, photocopied photographs, a greeting card with photograph on cover, copies of the 1859 contract commissioning the erection of the synagogue as well as a list of specifications for the masons, and blueprints for the 1967 extension.
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Montréal (Québec)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 64; Series 5; File 104
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
104
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1918]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 13 x 18 cm
Scope and Content
File contains a copy photograph of a photo from the collection of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada.
Name Access
Congregation Teferus Israel
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Winnipeg (Man.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 1; File 6
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
1
File
6
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca. 1915]
Physical Description
2 architectural drawings : pencil and hand col., watercolour, 1 on cardboard backed paper ; 52 x 41 cm or smaller
Admin History/Bio
The Chevra Tehillim congregation was established in 1887 and held services at various locations until it moved to its permanent home at 69 McCaul Street in 1905. Around 1910, the congregation had the McCaul premises remodeled. The synagogue remained on McCaul Street until 1952, when it merged with Goel Tzedek to form the Beth Tzedek synagogue, currently Canada's largest. The Beth Tzedek synagogue is currently located on Bathurst Street. The McCaul Street premises was demolished in the late 1950s.
Scope and Content
File consists of two colour drawings of a proposed new Ark for the McCaul Street Synagogue. They were drawn by Benjamin Brown as a proposal for redesigning the Ark during the 1910s. According to an interview with Brown in 1973, this ark was his first commission after he opened his office at 600 Bay St.
Notes
It is possible that Item #16 is a design of the Ark for the Beach Hebrew Institute.
Subjects
Torah arks
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
7 records – page 1 of 1.