Lebil Shternshis was Bill Stern's paternal grandfather. Peah and Jonas were his aunt and uncle. Peah Shternshis was brought to Canada by Bill's father Moishe in 1927, and married a Tepperman in 1930. Jonas left Poland for Brazil in 1919.
Scope and Content
This item is a copy photograph of Lebil Sternshis with his daughter Peah and son Lebil in Lagov, Poland.
Pictured from left to right are: Peah, Lebil and Jonas.
Father and child
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
264 photographs (98 negatives) : b&w and col. ; 28 x 35 cm or smaller
2 folders of textual records
William (Bill) I. Stern (1921-2007) was born Izick Stern in Toronto on 24 February, 1921, to Moishe (Morris) Shternshis (ca. 1893-1976) and Fanny Rumianek (ca. 1896-1991). He was an active and respected member of both the Toronto and Hamilton Jewish communities.
Bill began his education in Toronto at Grace Street and Givens Street elementary schools. He later attended the Central Technical Institute for chemistry. In the late 1930s, Bill left Central Tech to work for his father, but eventually returned to school until the start of the Second World War. At this time, Bill enlisted in the Royal Canadian Airforce and served as a Leading Aircraftsman for three years in France, Belgium and Germany. At the end of the war, he returned to Central Tech and completed his junior matriculation (grade 12) in January of 1946. In December 1946, Bill married his first wife, Toronto-born Laura Rubinstein (1923-1963). The couple had two children, Hershel (1953-) and Sheila (1957-1996).
From 1946 to 1951, Bill studied social work at the University of Toronto through a government sponsored program for war veterans. When he graduated, he practiced social work at several community institutions such as the Children's Aid Society, the University Settlement House and St. Christopher House, in Toronto. In 1956, he was offered a position as director of activities for the Hamilton Jewish Community Centre (JCC). He remained in Hamilton at this post until 1960 and then returned to Toronto as a divisional director of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, where he initiated the fund's Social Planning Department. In 1963, upon the death of his wife Laura, Bill returned to Hamilton as the director of the JCC, and later the executive director of the Hamilton Council of Jewish Organizations (CJO), a position which he held for nine years from 1964 until 1973.
After two years with the United Jewish Welfare Fund of Buffalo, Bill returned to Toronto in 1975 and briefly served two years as the executive director of the Canadian Zionist Federation, Central Region. He then returned to private practice, working as a community consultant and later as a job placement coach at the University of Toronto's School of Social Work.
Bill was an active supporter of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the author of "You Don't Have to Be Jewish", a book on Jewish film. He held several positions with philanthropic organizations such as the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest, and the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was also a volunteer at the Ontario Jewish Archives. Bill lived in Toronto with his second wife of more than thirty years, Elizabeth Uptegrove (1952-), until his passing on 18 April 2007.
Records were in the possession of Bill Stern until they were donated to the Archives.
Scope and Content
This fonds consists of photographs documenting the Stern and Rumianek families, individuals and organizations from the Hamilton and Toronto Jewish communities, as well as Bill Stern and his fellow servicemen during the Second World War.
The fonds has been arranged into the following series: Family photographs; Military photographs; Hamilton Jewish community photographs; Toronto Jewish community photographs; and Camp photographs. The photographs have been described at the item level and have been arranged chronologically. The textual material consists of two files containing records related to Bill Stern's professional and philanthropic career, as well as some family invitations.