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6 records – page 1 of 1.
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 36
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
36
Material Format
textual record
Date
1955-[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File contains dedication booklet (1957); magazine (?) article from Architecture-Batiment-Construction (in French), "Extension de la Synagogue Beth Ora"; and dedication book (1963).
Name Access
Congregation Beth Ora
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 80
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
80
Material Format
textual record
Date
[1979?]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File contains a one-page historical sketch of the congregation.
Name Access
First Narayever Congregation (Toronto, Ont.)
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
Toronto (Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 64; Series 5; File 79
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Reference series
Level
File
Fonds
64
Series
5
File
79
Material Format
textual record
Date
[ca. 1978]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File contains several newsletters and flyers.
Name Access
Magen David Sephardic Congregation (Toronto, Ont.)
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
Toronto (Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
4
Material Format
multiple media
Date
[ca. 1900]-2010
Physical Description
3.1 metres of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
Sol Edell (1919-2000) was a prominant member of the Toronto Jewish community who initially pursued a career as a pharmacist and was later founder and president of the property development company, Elmdale Investments. He held positions as board member or chair in a wide variety of religious, educational and social service organizations and institutions both in Canada and Israel. In Toronto, these included: Clanton Park Synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto (formerly Toronto Jewish Congress, and now the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto).
Edell was born in Toronto on 5 March 1919, the son of Pesach and Molly Edell. He attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the Toronto College of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, in 1943 while on leave of absence from the army. He was enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War and served in the signal corps.
After he completed his army service, he opened Edell’s Drug Store at 1978 Queen Street in Etobicoke in 1948, the first shomer Shabbat drug store in the city. He operated a second store at 494 Spadina Avenue in the late 1940s. In 1955 the Queen Street location was expropriated by the City of Toronto. Subsequently, Edell founded Elmdale Investments, the company which built and managed the Elmhurst Plaza in Etobicoke. He reopened the drug store, which was renamed Elmhurst Drugs in the plaza. He also invested in two retail textile stores, Deltex Drapery and Dodd’s Drapery which had been founded by group of businessmen including his cousin Israel Edell.
In 1952 he married Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock. They lived in the newly developed suburb of North York with their four children: Ethel, Simcha, Malka and Joseph. After 10 years of marriage, Dolly died and in 1966, he married Celia Rogen Hoffman.
Sol Edell was a founding member and first president of the Clanton Park Congregation. He was actively involved in the construction of the synagogue and its development. He continued to be affiliated with Shomrai Shabbos where his grandfather Rabbi Yosef Weinreb had been the rabbi. He was also involved with Adas Israel, the synagogue in Hamilton where his wife Celia had been an active member.
He was chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region -- Toronto Jewish Congress Archives Committee, which subsequently became the Ontario Jewish Archives. During his tenure, the archives was responsible for the reconstruction of the Kiever Synagogue which had been built in the early 1900s but had fallen into a state of disrepair by the 1960s.
Sol Edell was also involved in a number of Zionist organizations. He was the founding chair of the Aliyah Support Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, whose mandate was to assist Torontonians who had moved to Israel and ease their transition into Israeli society. He was also an active member of the Mizrachi organization and its affiliated institutions. Another one of Sol Edell’s interests was ensuring the preservation of local cemeteries. He was president of the Jones Avenue Cemetery and on the board of Pardes Shalom and the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery, Clanton Park section.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting Sol Edell's business activities, community involvement and personal life. Included is correspondence, meeting minutes, photographs, financial records, legal records, publications, audio-visual material, invitations, newspaper clippings, artifacts, lists, reports, speeches, and architectural drawings.
The fonds is organized into the following eleven series: Personal; Edell's Drug Store and Elmhurst Pharmacy; Elmdale Investments; Deltex Drapery and Dodd's Drapery; Adas Israel Synagogue; Clanton Park Synagogue; Shomrai Shabbos; Aliyah; Cemetery and funeral home; Historical materials; and, Activities and organizations.
Notes
Physical description note: includes 739 photographs, 232 architectural drawings, 11 audio cassettes, 9 audio reels, 13 film reels, 7 videocassettes, 4 slides, 1 plaque, 4 badges, and 1 key.
Name Access
Edell Solomon, 1919-2000
Clanton Park Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Edell, Dolly
Edell, Celia
Edell's Drug Store
Elmhurst Pharmacy
Jones Avenue Cemetery
Canadian Jewish Congress/ Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Aliyah Support Committee
Subjects
Business
Pharmacists
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Physical Condition
The bulk of the architectural drawings are currently being stored rolled up. They should be flattened and encapsulated in melinex.
Film and sound reels should be digitized.
Related Material
See fonds #5 for material related to Paul Edell.
See accession #2012-10/9 for material related to the Edell family.
Creator
Edell, Solomon, 1919-2000
Accession Number
2002-12-2
2008-8-29
2011-5-4
2012-10-9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Heritage series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 4; Series 10
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Heritage series
Level
Series
Fonds
4
Series
10
Material Format
multiple media
Date
[1967?]-1993
Physical Description
34 cm of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
Sol Edell was active in the collection, preservation and exhibition of historical material relating to the history of Canadian Jewry. He was one of the founders and Chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region / Toronto Jewish Congress Archives (later the Ontario Jewish Archives). Among his achievements were the restoration of the Kiever Synagogue and organizing the showing of the exhibit Journey into Our Heritage. In addition, he was a financial supporter of the Baycrest Museum, the Jewish Historical Society of Canada and a member of the Toronto Jewish Historical Society.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting Sol Edell's heritage related activities, particularly his involvement with the Ontario Jewish Archives. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, financial and legal records, photographs, flyers, press releases, brochures, administrative records, reports, lists, notes, sound records, architectural drawings, exhibit material, grant applications, invitations, and programmes.
Notes
Physical description note: includes 10 photographs, 3 audio cassettes, and 5 architectural drawings.
Name Access
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region / Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Toronto Jewish Historical Society
Historical Society of Western Canada
Baycrest Heritage Museum
Kiever Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Journey into Our Heritage
Subjects
Architecture
Nonprofit organizations
Synagogues
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Source
Archival Descriptions
6 records – page 1 of 1.

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