14 photographs : b&w and col. ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller
Mrs. Mimi Wise (1920-2004) was a native Torontonian and an active member and supporter of the city's Jewish community. She volunteered her time with a number of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, such as the Jewish Book Fair, the Reena Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the North York Harvest Food Bank. She was known and respected for her many years of work and involvement with Hadassah-Wizo. Her primary focus was on education, with specific emphasis placed on the promotion of Israel within Canada. Mimi travelled to Israel many times during her life, often working as a trip co-coordinator.
Mrs. Mimi Wise was born in Toronto in 1920 to Joseph Marin and Sonia (Stern) Marin. She had an older sister Ruth (Steiner) and a younger brother Jay. The family lived across from the Woodbine Racetrack in the east end of Toronto known as the Beach, until 1928, when they moved to the Christie Street and Davenport Road area. Joseph Marin was one of the founders of the Beach Hebrew Institute and the family were active members of the shul. Mimi's parents were ardent Zionists and their home was often used as a meeting place for Zionists around the world, which included a visit from Golda Meir. Sonia Marin was a supporter of Hadassah-Wizo and of Pioneer Women.
Mimi attended McMurrich Public School and then Oakwood Collegiate High School. In 1938, she met her future husband, Dr. Sydney Wise, and the following year, Sydney began his medical internship at the Columbus Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Mimi stayed behind in Toronto and continued her studies at the University of Toronto. In 1941, she graduated with a degree in physiotherapy, although she never practiced. In 1942, Sydney and Mimi married and Mimi joined her new husband in the United States. In 1944, Sydney was sent overseas with the United States army and Mimi returned to Toronto and began work with the Combined Palestine Appeal. Upon his return to Toronto, Sydney became a pediatrician and opened his own practice. The couple later had two children, Mark and Joel.
In 1948, Mimi became the founding president of the Rishon Chapter of Hadassah-Wizo. During the 1950s and 1960s, she became further involved with Hadassah as the director of the Education Department, from 1957 to 1959, first vice-president from 1959 to 1961, and president of Hadassah Wizo of Toronto, from 1961 to 1963. Mimi also held the position of national co-chairman of the 1972 national convention in Toronto, and in 1973, organized the week-long "Shalom Israel" fair at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on the occasion of Israel's 25th anniversary.
In 2003, Mimi received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award from the Province of Ontario, in honour of her commitment to volunteerism. Mrs. Mimi Wise passed away in 2004.
The records were in the possession of Mimi's husband, Dr. Sydney Wise, who donated them to the Archives in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Scope and Content
This fonds consists of records related to Mimi Wise's personal life and organizational activities. It includes photographs, textual records and artifacts. The textual records relate to Mimi's work with Hadassah, including her installation speech as president, certificates, programs for conventions and luncheons, an invitation to meet Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and several speeches. There is also an electronic copy of a 1944 memorial card for Joseph Marin.
The artifacts include two pairs of Pierre Cardin silk stockings given to Mrs. Wise in 1967 by the Baroness Alix de Rothschild; a president's pin set with pearls, given to Mimi in 1963 at the end of her term; a gold maple leaf pin worn by participants on a Hadassah trip to Israel; a pin given to Mimi inscribed with Guardian of Youth Aliyah, given in exchange for a monetary donation; a pin given to Mimi inscribed with MDA, which is the Mogen Dovid Adom ambulance service; and a Canadian Hadassah-Wizo diamond jubilee gold medallion given to Mimi in Jerusalem in 1977.
There are item level descriptions for all fourteen photographs, which include images of the Rishon Chapter and the National Executive of Hadassah-Wizo, family photographs, and portraits of Mimi.