Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart (1862-1937) was chief rabbi to Toronto's Polish Jews, director of Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah, and a leading spokesman for Orthodox Jewry during the 1920s and 1930s. Rabbi Graubart was born in Poland, the descendant of a prominent rabbinical family. He was a noted rabbi and posek (legal decisor) in Poland, St. Louis (USA), and later, Toronto. In Poland, he served in Stashov, the district from which most of Toronto's Polish Jews had emigrated. He was renowned for his religious knowledge and published works and for his efforts in creating rabbinical associations throughout Poland and Russia. He was also an enthusiastic Zionist.
On August 18th, 1920, Rabbi Graubart became the communal rabbi of Toronto's Polish Jews, succeeding Rabbi Judah Rosenberg. He soon took charge of the Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah, and in 1922, he formed a yeshivah called Shaarei Torah. He was the recognized authority for Polish Jewish congregations on the supervision of kosher food production, which involved him in ongoing disputes with other Toronto rabbis of the time, including Rabbi Jacob Gordon and Rabbi Joseph Weinreb.
Rabbi Graubart developed the first communal Eruv in Toronto, enabling Jews to carry or move items outdoors on the Sabbath. He launched a campaign against Sabbath violation, publishing notices and holding open-air sermons in Kensington Market, urging Jewish workers and manufacturers not to work on Saturday. He also approached unions urging them to let their employees off for holy days. He was also a spokesman for Mizrachi, the movement of religious Zionists.
Toward the end of his life, Rabbi Graubart withdrew from communal work and concentrated almost exclusively on his writings and the study of rabbinic literature. He was renown internationally as a scholar and authority in his field. He wrote an autobiography entitled Book of memoirs. Rabbi Graubart was married to Esther (née Liebschuetz) and they had three children: David, Hinda, and Deborah.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of Rabbi Graubart's marriage registers and certificates, personal and professional correspondence, articles, speeches, sermons, photographs, copies of the introductions to "Chavalim Ba-Ne'Imim" in Hebrew and English, and other personal and family documents.
Graubart, Yehuda Leib, 1862-1937
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Many of the records are in very fragile condition.
See also Photo #3413 and the Ontario Jewish Archives' news clippings file under "Graubart, Rabbi Yehuda Leib"