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47 records – page 1 of 1.
Name
Joseph Fremar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joseph Fremar
Number
AC 021
Subject
Business
Food
Occupations
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Bess Shockett
Total Running Time
021: 12:59 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Joseph "Joe the Orangeman" Fremar was a produce merchant in Kensington Market and opened his location on Augusta Avenue in 1938. Freamar, commonly referred to as the "Orangeman" was a member of the Kiever Synagogue.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Fremar, Joseph
Kiever Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Shockett, Bess
Geographic Access
Augusta Avenue (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Started at location on 334 Augusta Street in 1938
Only one other merchant on Augusta at that time. He sold vegetables
His home was on Oxford Street
Since he arrived in 1938 most of the merchants have “changed around”
When he arrived in 1938 the Anshe Lida Synagogue was located on Augusta. It was located at the current fish store location
The congregants were originally from Romania
There were no religious Jewish Schools on Augusta at the time
Synagogues at the time were: Lubavitcher on Grange; Kiever on Denison; Minsker.
A man by the name of Biasky (?) brought Joseph into the Kiever Synagogue which he attended only on holidays. He also attend the Londoner Synagogue on Spadina
Joseph is still a Kiever member, does not attend but pays dues to in order to maintain his cemetery plot, which the Kiever holds at the Roselawn Cemetery.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the social politics and financial expectations around belonging to certain Toronto synagogues versus others.

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the changing population of Toronto

Name
Fred Schaeffer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Number
AC 024
Subject
Communities
Immigrants--Canada
Rabbis
Synagogues
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 31 minutes
Side 2: 9 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Fred Schaeffer's wife, Beverley, grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Beverley's grandfather, Hyman Kaplan, emigrated from Vilna, Lithuania in 1907, and after a few years in New York, moved to Toronto. Shortly afterwards he became the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake in 1914.
In the 1920s the Jewish community in Kirkland Lake built a permanent synagogue, and acquired the aron kodesh of eastern European design, its lamps, railings, pews and reader’s desk, from the disbanded Ukrainishe Shul in Montreal. In the 1970s the Kirkland Lake Synagogue disbanded and Fred and Beverly Schaeffer acquired the aron kodesh, all of its furnishings, the ner tamid and the parochet. They generously donated these Jewish artifacts to Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Toronto, in 1988, in memory of Isadore Kaplan, father of Beverly Schaeffer and Erich Schaeffer, father of Fred Schaeffer.
Fred, married Beverley in Toronto. Like many children from Kirkland Lake, Beverley had moved to the city to attend university. Fred and Beverley are keen collectors of Canadian art. He is a retired civil engineer and a former chairman of the Canadian art historical committee at the AGO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Atkins (family)
Bucavetsky (family)
Cochrane (Ont.)
Etkins (family)
Mallins (family)
Purkiss (family)
Schaeffer, Fred
Geographic Access
Ansonville (Ont.)
Engelhart (Ont.)
Kirkland Lake (Ont.)
Krugerdorf (Ont.)
Ontario, Northern
Timmins (Ont.)
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 024: Side A
0.14: Fred discusses the first Jews to settle in Northern Ontario in the area around Krugerdorf/Engelhart. He mentions Edith Atkinson (née Martin) as a good primary source of information. Edith’s father, a Russian Jew who came to Canada via Scotland was employed by Temagami and Northern Ontario Railway to bring Russian Jews to work on the railroad.
1.11: Atkinson is related to Atkins and Etkins families.
2.25: Jewish families received land patents in the area of Krugerdorf (north of Engelhart).
2.44: Kurtz family started a hotel in Engelhart in 1908.
3.07: Mentions some of the earliest Jewish settlers. Gurevitch, Korman, Martin, Henerovsky, Purkiss
4.18: Women farmed during the week while the men worked on the railroad. Men came home on weekend.
5.05: Mentions a diary written by Mr. Martin, Edith Atkinson’s father.
5.42: Earliest records in Jewish cemetery in Krugerdorf were 1906. Relates a story involving a canoe accident. Tells a brief history of the cemetery.
8.00: Railway started to develop in 1908/9 with the opening of the mines in Timmins. Many Jews followed the railroad.
8.45: Mentions that the Purkiss family opened a chain of stores in every town that opened.
9.25: Mentions that the Bucavetsky family was well-known in Timmins.
9.58: Jews had settled in Cochrane.
10.16: First Rabbi in Timmins was Shulman.
11.15: Fred discusses early community organizations. One synagogue on a farm in Krugerdorf area. One synagogue in Engelhart that burnt down. Synagogue in Kirkland Lake built in 1926. Minyans were held in Cochrane and Ansonville (1918/19). Timmins synagogue dates back to 1910/12.
17.15: Fred describes Iroquois Falls as an Abitibi company town. Jews who ran businesses lived in nearby Ansonville.
18.02: Fred notes that there were many prominent Jews in Northern Ontario. He names several and describes their positions. (e.g. Dave Korman as Mayor of Engelhart, Rothschild was alderman in Cochrane, Barnie (?) Nasoff was on council and was Reeve of Ansonville, Max Kaplan Kirkland Lake council, Nicky Korman was Mayor).
21.11: Fred relates anecdotes about Roza Brown, the first Jew in Swastika / Kirkland area.
23.36: Fred relates anecdotes about Hyman and Max Kaplan (brothers-in-law) who ran businesses in Kirkland Lake.
25.26: Rabbi Rabinowitch was a long-standing rabbi in Kirkland Lake.
27.26: Discusses the demise /closure of the synagogue in Kirkland Lake. Remained open until 1979. Last Rosh HaShana services were held in 1977.
28.05: Discusses the situation with the Timmins Jewish community.
30.05: Discusses the plight of a poor Jewish family, the Mallins.
AC 024: Side B
0.15: Fred suggests some reference material. “Northland Post” – good source for info about Jewish community in Northern Ontario. “Silverland” – book that describes Kurt’s Hotel. Special edition of a newspaper that published an article on the history of the Jewish community.
1.48: The Jews of the North have themselves as self-sufficient community during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. They were represented in the first Jewish Congress.
3.33: Fred notes that there was a Jewish presence in most towns in Northern Ontario. He suggest that Haileybury may have been the exception due to antisemitic sentiments.
4.10: Mentions a fire in Haileybury in 1916/17 and the Jewish contribution to fire relief.
4.25: Relates an anecdote re. Hyman Kaplan and Haileybury.
5.48: Describes the location of a few small communities (Elk Lake, Charlton)
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer and Stephen Speisman discuss some of the earliest synagogues established in Northern Ontario.

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer relates colourful anecdotes about the first Jewish settler in the Swastika-Kirkland area, Roza Brown.

Name
Harry Finkelman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Finkelman
Number
AC 028
Subject
Antisemitism
Education
Occupations
Pharmacists
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
028A: 46 minutes 028B: 7 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Parts inaudible
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Harry Finkelman was born in 1909 in Hamilton and was one of the first Jewish pharmacists in Hamilton. His father was a tailor and an active member of several Jewish organizations including the Hess Street Synagogue and the Talmud Torah. Harry attended the Talmud Torah and was involved with Young Judea and groups/clubs from the Talmud Torah. In this interview he discusses the early history of Hamilton and descrimination against Jews entering the professions.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Finkelman, Harry
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton (Ont.)
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 028, Harry Finkelman\AC 028, Finkleman transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Finkelman shares some of his early memories of the Hamilton Jewish community in the 1910s. He notes name of shops, shop owners, streets and describes some of the synagogues

In this clip, Harry Finkelman describes the difficulty for a Jew in the 1920s to find a placement to complete a mandatory 3 year apprenticeship before he could enter Pharmacy at University.

Name
Morris Fishman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Fishman
Number
AC 036
Subject
Antisemitism
Nonprofit organizations
Communities
Synagogues
Societies
Food
Occupations
Clubs
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Richard Menkis
Total Running Time
Side 1 46 minutes Side 2 17 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Morris Fishman was born September 29, 1916 in New Jersey. His family moved to Welland, Ontario when he was an infant. He attended elementary and high school in Welland and completed two years at the University of Toronto. He worked in a family men's wear business in Welland. Morris was actively involved in the Jewish community including participation in the Anshe Yosher Congregation, the Jewish Cultural Society and the Jacob Goldblatt B'nai Brith Lodge. He was married and had two daughters.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Fishman, Morris
Geographic Access
Welland
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 036 Fishman\AC 036 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Fishman praises the efforts of the non-Jewish community in Welland, Ontario to support the building of a new synagogue following a fire that destroyed the old synagogue in 1954.

In this clip, Morris Fishman discusses the Jacob Goldblatt B’nai Brith Lodge in Welland, Ontario.

Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Number
AC 037
AC 038
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
AC 037 Side 1 31 minutes AC 037 Side 2 31 minutes AC 038 Side 1 8 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Joe and Minna Loewith immigrated to Canada in November 1938 from Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. They settled on a farm outside of Hamilton, Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Loewith, Joe
Loewith, Mina
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 037 and 038 Loewith\AC 037 and 038 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Minna Loewith recalls the events beginning in the summer through the fall of 1938 that led her family to emigrate from Czechoslovakia to Canada.

In this clip, Minna shares some of her earliest recollections of when she and her family arrived in Canada in November 1938.

In this clip, Joe Loewith explains the conditions for Czech immigration to Canada set by the CPR and how they were met.

Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Number
AC 040
AC 041
Subject
Physicians
Societies
Occupations
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
040A: 34 minutes 040B: 31 minutes 041A: 11 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Coleman Solursh was born in Toronto in 1906. Graduated as a physician in 1932. Worked as a Lodge Doctor. Involved in the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors Association. Worked in the field of Family Medicine and was appointed Chief of the Department of Family Practice at Mount Sinai Hospital. Appointed Associate Chief of Medicine at Baycrest, Jewish Home for the Aged. Married to Zelda Singer, third generation Canadian. Zelda's maternal grandfather was appointed Colonization Chairman in 1897 for Baron de Hirsch settlement for Jewish immigrants. Zelda's father, Manny Singer, was first Jewish pharmacist in Toronto. Zelda's uncle, Fred Singer, was the first Jewish Member of Parliament for Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Solursh, Coleman
Silbert, Morris
Mount Sinai Hospital
Singer, Zelda
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes a meeting between executives from the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors' Association and representatives from various Jewish Lodges. The meeting resulted in significant changes to the way medical services and payment were provided to the physicians.

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes his role as Chief of the Department of Family Practice in the new Mount Sinai Hospital in 1953. He explains how this department pioneered the model for Family Practice within a hospital setting across Canada.

Name
Cyrus Coppel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Cyrus Coppel
Number
AC 061
AC 062
Subject
Communities
Families
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Interviewer
Larry Troster
Total Running Time
061A: 46:22 minuets 061B: 45:27 minuets 062A: 45:55 minuets 062B: 28:58 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Cassette tapes were digitized in 2012
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Cyrus Coppel son of Aaron Coppel and Chaya (Gertrude) Seigel was born in 1911 in Galt Ontario. Cyrus remained in Galt throughout his life and became a central figure within it's Jewish community. Cyrus initially worked as a mechanic and later worked in the office of an auto shop trading in auto parts. Cyrus also traded in livestock as a hobby. Cyrus Coppel was one of the founders of the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Galt.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Coppel, Cyrus
Troster, Larry
B'nai Israel Synagogue (Galt, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Galt
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the growth of Galt's Jewish community following the Second World War and the need to purchase a new and larger synagogue to accommodate the growing population.

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the difficulties of raising Jewish children in a small town.

Name
Montague Raisman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Montague Raisman
Number
AC 064
Subject
Nonprofit organizations
Human rights
Antisemitism
World War, 1939-1945
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
064: 39 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Low sound quality
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Montague Raisman came to Canada from England in 1926. He was actively involved in B'nai Brith Toronto Lodge and held positions of office. He served as the Commanding Officer for the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron in Toronto during the Second World War. He was instrumental in the formation of the Joint Public Relations Committee, a united Jewish voice in response to pro-Nazi activity.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Raisman, Montague
B'nai Brith
Lipinsky, Jack
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Montague describes the formation of the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron during the Second World War. He discusses the recruitment and training of the officers and cadets. He explains how this squadron was instrumental in changing recruitment qualifications to allow entry of new immigrants and black cadets.

In this clip, Montague Raisman discusses the events leading up to an association between B

Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Number
AC 070
Subject
World War, 1939-1945
Religion
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
(not stated, likely Jack Lipinsky)
Total Running Time
070A: 27 minutes 070B: 11 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Rabbi David Monson came to Toronto from Ottawa in June 1939 to serve as the rabbi of the Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue. He served on the board of the Brusnswick Talmud Torah. He was a member of B'nai Zion and B'nai Brith and was the long-serving rabbi of Beth Shalom.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Monson, David
Canadian Jewish Congress. Ontario Region
Shaarei Shomayim Congregation (Toronto, Ont.)
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses his early positive working relationships with rabbis within the Toronto Jewish community and explains how sectionalization became a post WWII phenomenon.

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses the role and responsibilities of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Toronto from 1939 to 1948.

Name
J.B. Salsberg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
J.B. Salsberg
Number
AC 071
Subject
Labor movement
Labor unions
Women
Demonstrations
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Quantity
1
Total Running Time
071A: 44:50 minuets 071B: 35:55 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, newspaper columnist and a man who dedicated his life to Yiddishkeit and the advancement of social justice. He was active in various Jewish organizations, including; the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. In 1938 he was elected as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943. He is well remembered by contemporaries, such as Sam Lipshitz, as a "champion of the people', committed to social justice, the plight of the working-class, and the preservation of Jewish culture.
This oral history includes Salsberg's personal reminiscences on the Toronto Jewish community, the Polish Jewish community and issues related to women's labour and the unions in the garment industry.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Side 1:
0.0-6.30: Joseph Baruch Salsberg was born in Poland in 1902 to Abraham and Sara Salsberg. Abraham migrated to Toronto in 1910 and Joseph followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913.
6.30-18.39: Prior to 1913 Poland was primarily a peasant and agricultural society with the majority of the Jewish population living and working as tradesmen in the villages. Salsberg discusses the difficult relationship between the Poles and Jews under the power of the Czar.
18:40-24.14: Salsberg discusses the Canadian government’s collaboration with the CP Railroad to launch advertising campaigns attracting potential immigrants to come and live in Canada.
24.22-33.24: Salsberg discusses the experiences of his mother as a young Jewish immigrant and her adjustment to life in Toronto.
33.25-37.30: Salsberg discusses the Ward, an area between University and Yonge as being the heartland of early Jewish settlement. He describes the area as being the natural choice for Jews to live, the rents were cheap, Synagogues and community centers were nearby as were and their places of employment. The center for Jewish shopping was Kensington Market with shops along McCaul and Baldwin Streets, shopping at Eatons was reserved for “special occasions”.
37.32-39.50: Salsberg discusses the hardships faced by Polish immigrant Jews arriving in Toronto after World War One.
39.52-44.45: Salsberg discusses his father an Orthodox man who eventually went into the junk business and became one of the founders of the first Talmud Torah, his mother was active in the Ladies Auxillary of the School and remained it’s President for 50 years.
End
Side 2:
0.03-5.37: Salsberg discusses the religious and cultural divisions that dominated social and communal living in Poland under Czarist rule and the resulting division between Jews and non- Jewish Polish immigrants in Toronto
5.38-8.28: Salsberg discusses the example set by his mother on matters of religious observance and importance of the woman’s role in the family.
8.29-11.08: Salsberg discusses his mother’s activities outside the home. Sarah Salsberg was the first woman to challenge the burial custom of not allowing husband and wife to be buried side by side. Sarah won her challenge and was buried alongside her husband.
11.10-12.28: Salsberg discusses his orientation towards labor Zionism and his parent’s reaction to his political views. Sarah Salsberg was a “broad-minded” woman and friendly with those active in the movement, while his father clung to his own group.
12.29-13.53: Salsberg discusses the garment trade and the organizers who become members of the Ladies Garment Workers Union. Salsberg goes on to speak of his mother’s approval and secret admiration of the women in the Ladies Garment Union.
13.54-14.44: Salsberg discusses the role of Jewish immigrant women using the example of the Eatons strike in 1911 led by Jewish tailors, both men and women.
14.45-15.00: Salsberg discusses the Triangle Fire in New York as the impetus that led to the birth of the ILGWU in America and the ILGWU’s influence on the Canadian Garment industry.
15.03-15.40: Salsberg discusses the New York Yiddish Dailies the “Forward” and Tagblat delivered and read daily by Toronto’s Jewish community as another factor in the establishment of the Ladies Garment Workers Union in Canada.
15.41-20.39: Salsberg discusses the introduction by Eatons to changes in production methods that would have tailors, mostly men, taking on the job of women finishers. The refusal by the tailors to take away the jobs of women would lead to the first sit down strike by tailors in Canada.
20.40-21.20: Salsberg discusses the recognition of women’s rights in the early garment workers unions. The Dressmakers section of the ILGWU in Toronto was predominantly women who led strikes and fought on picket lines.
21.21-23.44: Salsberg discusses Union sentiment within the Jewish community and the enforcement by some of the more militant women on community shopkeepers to use Union labels on their products.
23.45-24.39: Salsberg discusses single Jewish women who confronted with financial hardship worked in predominately Jewish factories.
24.40-26.07: Salsberg discusses the economic nature of the garment industry, the competition and undercutting in the industry factories and the continuous strikes and stoppages by employees opposed to wage cuts.
26.08-31.15: Salsberg discusses the important contributions in the areas of the labor force, education and social responsibility made to Ontario by Jewish immigrant women. Women worked alongside men in order to improve their economic position and establish themselves within the community. Jewish women placed a great emphasis on education and as a result a high percentage of their children would graduate from institutions such as Harbord Collegiate and Jarvis Collegiate with scholarships. Salsberg speaks of his late wife Dora Wilensky who graduated from Jarvis Collegiate with the highest mark of any girl student in Ontario earning a five-year scholarship to McMaster University and becoming a prominent Social Worker within the Jewish community.
31.16-33.09: Salsberg discusses the differences in opportunity for young Jewish men and young Jewish women. As the only boy in the family he was expected to set the path by going to a theological school in NY but to the dismay of his parents he became radicalized in leftist politics.
33.10-35.55: Although Salsberg’s parents were never involved in the labour movement and disagreed with his leftist philosophy, they were pleased by his election in 1938 as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and his election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943.
End
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses the events that led to the birth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in America and the ILGWU's influence on the Canadian Garment Industry.

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses Canada

Name
Isidore Kaplan
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isidore Kaplan
Number
AC 009
AC 010
Subject
Business
Communities
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Sophie Milgram
Total Running Time
009A: 29 minutes 009B: 41 minutes 010A: 30 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Reduced sound quality at times.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Isidore Kaplan was born in Vilna in 1910. His father was the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Isidore's father, a successful businessman, opened a general store in 1915 and a movie theatre in 1923. The Jewish community of Kirkland Lake grew to 135 families and was able to support a synagogue, kosher butcher and after-school cheder at its peak.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan, Isidore
Milgram, Sophie
Geographic Access
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Cobalt, Ont.
Englehart, Ont.
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 009: Side 1
0.20: Isidore was born in a town near Vilna in 1910.
0.40: Isidore had 2 brothers and 1 sister, all immigrated to Canada.
1.20: Isidore’s father came alone to America initially in 1907, went back to Europe to take care of a leather business. Returned a second time to America (New York) in 1912. Came to Toronto because of a contact.
6.15: Isidore’s father and friend, Mr. Teitlebaum, moved to Cobalt in northern Ontario to pursue employment opportunities that were the result of the growth of the mining industry. Mentioned the mining of cobalt and silver.
7.50: Isidore’s father and Teitlebaum walked from Cobalt to Timmins via Engelhart and Swastika. Described the development of the Jewish community in northern Ontario. Existing Jewish cemetery. Were offered land to farm by the government in Krugerdorf. 25-30 Jewish families started farming.
9.43: Explained that some of the Jews who settled the area had escaped from the Russo-Japanese war.
10.27: Reported that the Ontario government helped to bring out Jewish prisoners who had been captured by the Japanese.
11.55: Related a story of Isadore’s father rooming with a Jewish woman, Mrs. Rosa Brown in Swastika.
14.11: Listed names (?) of the agents for the town site and explained about the purchase of lots.
15.50: Isidore’s father was the first Jew in Kirkland Lake. He opened a general store in 1915. Related a story about how he acquired the materials to build the store. Described the construction of the store.
23.00: Isidore’s father’s brother-in-law, Max, became a partner in the business in 1915.
25.45: Isidore’s father traveled to Toronto to purchase supplies. Ordered groceries from Rubin and Fine who were in the grocery business in Toronto.
28.00: Business was very slow for several months. Competed with ?Labarge?
29.00: Mrs. Brown suggested that Isidore’s father start to sell meat.
AC 009: Side 2
0.40: Mrs. Rosa Brown helped solicit customers who were uneasy about doing business with Jews.
2.55: Isidore’s father offered more competitive prices. Business increased.
5.26: Expanded business to sell ice cream. Business prospered.
7.17: Described incident which he suspected was antisemitic involving the deliberate starting of a fire in the store in 1917. The store was destroyed.
8.35: Isidore’s uncle Max Kaplan, brother to his mother was his father’s business partner.
9.30: Isidore’s father rebuilt store. Once again the business prospered.
11.45: In 1921 ?Percussis? opened a store
12.48: Isidore’s father bought furs (e.g.beaver) and sold them to Hudson’s Bay outlet.
13.30: In 1921 Isidore’s father purchased 2 lots across the street from Harry Oaks to build a movie theatre.
15.20: Related problems regarding the purchase (e.g. inability to secure a mortgage, difficulty acquiring building supplies, leveling the property, etc.). Described how Harry Oaks (who was described as a very wealthy man) arranged for Isidore’s father to borrow money from the Royal Bank. Isidore attributed this to their trusting relationship.
19.50: The building was also used as a meeting hall for 2 Lodges, Masonic and ?
20.53: The theatre was completed in 1923.
23.40: Brought the family from Poland to Kirkland Lake, 4 children, his wife and Isidore’s aunt in 1923. Isidore’s grandmother was unable to come due to health reasons. Initially, Isidore’s father purchased tickets from ?Jurovski?, local travel agent but all was lost so he purchased tickets directly from White Star line.
25.30: 1 other Jewish family in Kirkland Lake, ?Stotts?
26.00: Other Jewish families moved into Kirkland Lake around 1924 to 1927.
27.00: By 1927, there were enough Jews to have a Minyan for Yontif in Kirkland Lake. Held services in the first theatre. Before 1927, Jews traveled to Englehart for religious services.
27.55: Mentioned a large fire in northern Ontario in 1922. (Kirkland Lake was spared.) The original synagogue in Englehart was destroyed. Rented another hall for religious services.
28.28: Mentioned a pious Jew who was a farmer who acted as prayer leader, Baal Tefilah.
AC 010: Side 1
0.22: Mr. Finkleman and Mr. Levinsky paid $350 for a lot and built a synagogue in 1928 in Kirkland Lake. Originally, held services in the back of Mr. Levinsky’s candy store.
2.55: About 12-14 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake by 1927.
3.20: Jews worked as merchants or miners. Isidore’s father helped find jobs for miners. Listed names of local merchants.
6.50: Reported 135 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake. Cited incidents of antisemitism. E.g. Isidore’s uncle who served on town council could not be elected Mayor because he was Jewish, antisemitic comments.
7.58: In 1975, reported that 8 Jewish families remained in Kirkland Lake, Shul was closed. Jews have moved from surrounding areas.
9.23: First Rabbi, Ruben, came to Kirkland Lake in 1928.
11.55: Next Rabbi, ?Luvich? originated from Holland. Related story about how Isidore’s, uncle Max approached a member of parliament, Russell Gordon, in order to prevent the Rabbi from being sent back to Europe.
13.45: Jewish community in Kirkland Lake continued to grow until 1937. Reported community decline with a downturn in the economy with the outbreak of the Second World War, a mining strike and closures of mines.
18.50: Synagogue rebuilt in 1945. The bima was purchased from a synagogue in Montreal by Mr. Stott. The bima had been built in Hungary.
21.10: Kirkland Lake supported a local kosher butcher, Turkin
22.06: The Rabbi from Kirkland Lake traveled by train to Jewish communities in outlying areas.
22.55: Discussed high rate of intermarriage.
24.35: Jewish education taught by Rabbi in after-school program.
25.16: Reported that children of founding Jewish families tended to be University educated. Children left Kirkland Lake and did not return.
Source
Oral Histories

Isidore Kaplan's father was the first Jewish resident of Kirkland Lake, Ontario. In this clip, Isidore relates his father's journey in 1912 from Toronto to Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario via Engelhart and Swastika.

In this clip, Isidore Kaplan describes the decline of Kirkland Lake, Ontario

Name
Ben Himel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Number
AC 135
Subject
Education
Fraternal organizations
Labor unions
Zionism
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
135A: 26:40 minutes 135B: 29:20 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Interview does not start at beginning.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ben Himel was Vice President and founder of the Borochov School and Kindergarten. Himel was affliated with the Poale Zion,Jewish National Workers Alliance (Farband), the Independent Workers Circle and The Board of Jewish Education
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Himel, Ben
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
Toronto
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Oral Histories

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the ideologies of Canada's Labor Movements during the 1930s and 1940s.

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the Zionist movement within the Toronto Jewish community during the 1930s and 40s.

Name
Tobie Taback
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Tobie Taback
Number
AC 136
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
34 minutes 58 secons
Conservation
Copied November 2006
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Biography
Tobie Taback was the long-time secretary for the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society in Toronto. He retired in 1982.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Taback, Tobie
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the helplessness faced by JIAS in bringing immigrants out of Europe during the period of Canada's strict "no immigration" policy.

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the activities of Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) employees during the years 1937-39, the obstacles they faced vis a vis immigrant applications and the "parcels to Russia and Poland" aid program run by JIAS.

Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Number
AC 140
Subject
Education
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 22 seconds Side 2: 41 minutes 13 seconds good
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Dr. Alexander Brown was a leader in the field of Jewish education in Toronto. He held various positions with Toronto's Board of Education and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. He was actively involved with other Jewish organizations, such as Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Welfare Fund. Dr. Brown was born in the Ukraine in 1909 and was the son of Louis and Bessie Brown.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Brown, Alexander
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region (Toronto, Ont.)
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.)
Associated Hebrew Schools (Toronto, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Toronto
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Brown describes his tenure as Executive Secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), its organizational structure, and the CJC's position within the Toronto Jewish Community.

In this clip, Dr. Brown discusses the Board of Jewish Education, the Welfare Fund and the Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to the subsidization of Associated Hebrew Schools

Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Number
AC 141
Subject
Education
Immigrants--Canada
Rabbis
Synagogues
Zionists
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Doris Newman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes Side 2: 19 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Biography
Rabbi Ittamar was born in Poland. He came to Toronto in 1923. He attended Landsdowne and Ryerson Public Schools in Toronto for one year and then continued his education at a theological seminary in New York which later became Yeshiva University. Throughout his life, Rabbi Ittamar was an ardent Zionist. From 1930 until June 1932, Rabbi Ittamar served as Rabbi of Beth Jacob and Adas Yisroel Synagogues in Hamilton. He then worked as principal of the Seattle Talmud Torah and attended graduate school at the University of Washington for three and a half years. He served for 20 years in Detroit as rabbi and president of Yeshiva. He made Aliyah in 5715 (1955) when he was invited by Chief Rabbi Herzog to become secretary of the Chief Rabbinate. He was married (nee Unger) in 1936 and had 2 children, Tamar and Yehoshua.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ittamar, Elimelech
Geographic Access
Toronto
Hamilton
Detroit
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G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 141, Rabbi Elmelech Ittamar\AC 141 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Ittamar shares some of his early memories as a boy in Toronto.

While attending Yeshiva in New York, Rabbi Ittamar headed the debating team. In this clip he describes his first English-speaking public presentation while representing the debating team in 1930 at the Jewish People’s Institute in Chicago.

Name
Mina Sprachman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mina Sprachman
Number
AC 142
Subject
Architects
Buildings
Occupations
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
AC142: 31:34 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Biography
Abraham Sprachman (1896-1971) was as Toronto based architect who in partnership with Harold Kaplan in the firm Kaplan & Sprachman, was well-known for the design of Art deco and Art moderne movie theatres during the 1930s and 1940s and for designing buildings for Jewish communities across Canada from the 1930s to 1960s. Abraham married his cousin Mina Sprachman in 1921. They had two children: Mandel and Sheila. Mandel followed in his father's footsteps and also became a nationally recognized and acclaimed architect. Both specialized in theatre design and renovations. Mandel became an architect best known for his restoration of the Elgin Wintergarden.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan & Sprachman
Kaplan, Harold
Sprachman, Abraham, 1896-1971
Speisman, Stephen
Sprachman, Mina
Original Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Mina Sprachman discusses her husband's architectural firm of Kaplan and Sprachman, its Jewish clientele and the firm's commissions to design and renovate theatres, hospitals and synagogues across Canada.

Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Number
AC 147
AC 148
Subject
Theater, Yiddish
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC147A: 44. minutes
AC148B: 45. minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Biography
Jennie Goldstein immigrated from Russia to Toronto in 1914. While living and working in The Ward, Jennie married Harry Goldstein, who was noted as both a "dresser" and actor in Toronto's Lyric and Standard Theatres. After Harry's passing Jennie became a supplier of costumes for the Yiddish Theatre. In 1920, to help support the family, Jennie opened a 'deli" stand alongside the original Shopsy's deli located in the area of Kensington Market. Jennie and Harry's daughter Bess married Boris Coppersmith whose parents, Yossel and Nessie, owned a variety store at Spadina and Baldwin Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Coopersmith, Bess
Coopersmith, Boris
Goldstein, Jennie
Harris, Harry
Lyric Theatre
Pasternak, Chanina
Speisman, Stephen
Standard Theatre (Toronto, Ont.)
Geographic Access
St. John's Ward (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
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Oral Histories

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the early years of Toronto's Yiddish theatres such as the Tivoli and the Standard, and actors such as Harry Harris and Chanina Pasternak.

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the performances and actors of the Lyric Theatre circa 1914

Name
Max Federman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Federman
Number
AC 149
AC 150
Subject
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Industries
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Ben Schneider
Total Running Time
AC149A: 30. minutes AC149B: 30. minutes AC150A: 1. minute
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Max Federman was born in Poland. In 1919, Max moved to Germany where he attended school. He joined his father in Toronto in 1920. A union leader, labour Zionist and ardent-Communist, Max became actively involved in the union movement and served as representative of the Local Fur Workers Union. He was involved in a twenty year battle with the Communist leadership of the International Furrier Union until they disbanded and merged with the International Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. Max was involved in Jewish community organizations including the Histadrut, Borochov School, and the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Goldman, Emma
Federman, Max
Schneider, Ben
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
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G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 149, 150, Max Federman\AC 149, 150 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Federman describes the conflict between the Federation of Labour (F of L) and Communist International Union (CIU) from 1938-1956. He discusses the steps in which the International Fur and Leather Union disaffiliated with the International Union to join the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union in 1956.

In this clip, Max Federman discusses his early involvement with a trade union while living in Germany in 1919.

Name
Dora Till
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dora Till
Number
AC 151
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Labor
Labor unions
Women
Occupations
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
46 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Dora Till (nee Tobias) was born in New York City in 1896. She came to Toronto in 1900. She married Morris Till in 1918. They had one daughter, Cecile. As a youth, Dora was involved with Herzl Girls and the Boot and Shoe Society. Dora was active in community service and contributed greatly to social service work. She was co-founder and first President for Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home, Vice-President of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society, a board member for the Jewish Family and Child Services, an executive for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Honourary Vice-President of United Jewish Welfare Fund, on the board of Canadian Jewish Congress and past President of the Naomi Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Herzl Girls Boot and Shoe Society, 1920
Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home
Baycrest Hospital
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
Timothy Eaton Company
Till, Dora
Geographic Access
Toronto
Bronte
Original Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dora Till discusses some of the services provided by Hebrew Maternity Aid.

Dora Till was co-founder and first President for Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home. In this clip, Dora describes the efforts to solicit and fundraise on behalf of the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home.

Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Number
AC 109
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Immigrants--Canada
Labor
Labor unions
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
109A: 60 minutes 109B: 6 minutes
Conservation
Not copied. Need 120 minute tape.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Kalmen was born January 5, 1912 in Poland. He worked in Montreal as a typesetter and linotype operator. He was active in the labour and human rights movements in Canada. Kalmen served as the director of the Jewish Labour Committee in 1945. In collaboration with the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian government and trade unions the Jewish Labour Committee helped Jewish displaced persons immigrate to Canada by securing them employment. Kalman sat on the Refugee Status Advisory Committee for the federal government.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplansky, Kalmen
Platnick, Phyllis
Jewish Labour Committee
Geographic Access
Toronto
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky discusses some of the obstacles to the relocation of displaced Jews to Canada after the Second World War. He describes a tripartite proposal involving consultation and cooperation among trade unions, management and government that enabled the immigration project.

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky explains that bribery, corruption and perjury were a way of life after the Second World War. He relates anecdotes as illustration.

Name
Max Enkin
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Enkin
Number
AC 113
AC 114
Subject
Antisemitism
Immigrants--Canada
Labor unions
Nonprofit organizations
Occupations
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC113: 19:40 minuets
AC114:
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Max Enkin was founder and a leading member of the Jewish Vocational Service of Toronto. The original purpose of the organization was to help survivors of the Second World War find employment. In 1947, as Associate Administrator and representative for the Men's Clothing sector in Ontario, Max Enkin became involved in The "Tailor Project". The project was designed to identify and select skilled tailors from the DP camps of Europe and help to settle them in Canada.
Max Enkin was awarded the OBE in Recognition of services to Wartime Prices.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Enkin, Max
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
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Transcript
AC 113
History of Immigration of Skilled Tailors from the Displaced Person Camps after WWII 1946 –
0.07: How the project got started
0.20: Canadian Government in relation to skilled workers in Canada 1946
1.19: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to DP camps in Europe.
2.45: Canadian Government restricted immigration 1946.
3.11: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to Garment industry.
4.13: Canadian Government in relation to UNRRA and immigration to Canada (UNRRA: United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration founded 1943 and became part of the UN in 1945).
5.29: JIAS Jewish Immigrant Aid Services.
5.39: Congress and Immigration to Canada.
5.58: Garment industry Union and Immigration to Canada
6.30: McNamara Deputy Minister of Labour from Winnipeg (circa 1946).
7.18: Labor and Management Representatives of the ILGE 1946 (ILGE - International Ladies Garment Workers Union?). Mr. Sam Hirsch of Winnipeg, representative of the Union for Men & Women. Mr. Bernard Shane of Montreal, Executive Director of the ILGE. Mr.? Solomon of Montreal, representative of Manufacturers Union of Montreal. Sam Posluns of Toronto representative of the Women’s Union. Max Enkin of Toronto, representative of the Men’s Union Ontario.
9.05: Beginning of the project by the ILGE to bring Jews from DP camps in Europe to Canada. Trip to London England by the 5 member body of ILGE. Difficulty in gaining clearance papers to gain entry into Germany & Austria.
11.34: C.D Howe Canadian Cabinet Minister serving under McKenzie King Meeting with ILGE in Canada House, London England.
13.20: Enkin meeting with C.D. Howe and question of quota of Jews allowed into Canada.
14.13: Federal Liberal Government, Quebec and Ottawa vis a vis Jewish immigration.
15.5: McKenzie King, Prime Minister and Ernest Lapointe, Member of Parliament/Quebec and immigration of Jews.
15.56: Jewish population, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg 3 largest centers 17.0-19.4: Antisemitism in Canada.
End: Rest of tape 19.50 -30.42 inaudible.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the organizations, government departments and union representatives involved in the development and implementation of the Tailor Project.

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the Liberal Government

Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Number
AC 122
Subject
Families
Women
Occupations
Antisemitism
Hospitals
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert and Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1 31 minutes
Side 2 17 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Lillian Gollom (nee Slovens) was born in Russia in1903. She came to Toronto around 1907. She attended Ogness Public School and Canada Business College. She married Nat Gollom in 1924 and had a son and a daughter. Lillian was actively involved with the "Sinais" and served as President of the organization in 1939. The fund-raising efforts of the the "Sinais", Ezrat Nashim and "Twigs" assisted with the establishment of the first Mount Sinai Hospital on Yorkville Ave. Lillian was an involved volunteer at the hospital. Lillian remained active with the Sinais following the building of the second Mount Sinai Hospital on University Ave. when the organization's focus shifted to fund-raising for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Mount Sinai Hospital
Dworkin, Dorothy
Canadian Cancer Society
Singer, E.F.
Gollom, Lillian
Geographic Access
Toronto
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G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 122, Lillian Gollom\AC 122 notes.pdf
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Oral Histories

In this clip, Lillian Gollom discusses the establishment and early days of the first Mount Sinai Hospital. She describes the fund-raising efforts of Ezrat Nashim, the Sinais and the Twigs.

In this clip, Lillian Gollom relates anecdotes pertaining to the impact of the Great Depression on Jewish families in the early 1930s.

Name
Morris Silbert
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Silbert
Number
AC 123
AC 124
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Nonprofit organizations
Communities
Interview Date
1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Brooky Robins
Total Running Time
AC123A - 30. minutes AC123B - 31. minutes AC124A - 46. minutes. AC124 Side2 - 44 minutes good
Conservation
Copied August 2003
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Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Morris Silbert was born in 1912 on a farm outside of Hamilton. His parents came from Lithuania. His father arrived in Canada in 1905 and his mother and 3 older siblings joined him in 1906. Morris spent his youth growing up on farms and at age 16 in 1928 his family moved to Hamilton. In his youth, Morris was involved in several Jewish organizations including Young Judea, AZA and Hashomer Hatzair. He was married in 1938. He served in the army in 1943 during the Second World War. Morris was second vice president of the Council of Jewish Organizations, served on the executive, was chairman of the nursery school board and participated on several committees.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Silbert, Morris
Robins, Brooky
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Wentworth
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Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family's farm in southern Ontario. He includes names of peddlers with descriptions of their wares and their carts.

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family

In this clip, Morris Silbert describes the restructuring of the Hamilton Jewish community as a result of the Depression in the 1930s. He explains how the Council of Jewish Organizations was formed to replace United Hebrew Association.

Name
Edna Jacobs
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Edna Jacobs
Number
AC 125
Subject
Families
Travel
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Girl Guides
Religion
Volunteers
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1: 36 minutes Side 2: 46 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Edna (nee Frankel) Jacobs was born March 20, 1904 in Toronto, Her parents, Sigmund and Paula Frankel, were early immigrants from Germany. Edna attended Havergal from kindergarten through high school. She studied general arts for two years at the University of Toronto. She married Arthur Jacobs, the son of Rabbi Solomon Jacobs, in 1936. Together, they had one daughter, Patsy and a baby who died during infancy. Edna was involved with the Girls Club and the Junior Council of Jewish Women.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Toronto Girl's Club
Toronto Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
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G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 125 Jacobs\AC 125 notes.pdf
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Oral Histories

In this clip, Edna Jacobs shares memories from a trip she and her family took to Biblis, Germany to celebrate her grandparents’ golden anniversary.

In this clip, Edna Jacobs reminisces about several prominent Toronto Jewish families.

Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Number
AC 161
AC 162
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz and Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC161 Side 1: 47 minutes AC161 Side 2: 47 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Toronto Historical Society lecture
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Esther Volpe (nee Shulman) was born on February 24, ?1898. As a child, she and her family briefly lived in Romington, ON and Havlock, ON. Her family later settled in Toronto. In her youth, she participated in the Herzl Girls' Club. She attended University of Toroonto in the Faculty of Arts. She married Dr. Aaron Volpe in 1921. Esther was involved in several Jewish organizations, including the old Mount Sinai Medical Auxillary, Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, UJA Appeal, JIAS and BBYO and non-Jewish organizations, including Toronto Local Council of Women. She represented the Jewish community of Toronto on the Wartime Price and Trade Board and helped organize the Ontario Food Council.
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Volpe, Esther
Siegel, Ida
Kayfetz, Eva
Speisman, Stephen
Hadassah-WIZO
National Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Oral Histories

In 1947, Esther Volpe was elected President of the National Council of Jewish Women. In this clip, Esther discusses how, with the support of the United Welfare Fund, the Canadian Jewish Congress and JIAS, she helped make arrangements for groups of Jewish refugees who settled in Toronto.

In this clip, Esther Volpe explains her involvement in the creation of the "Good Age Club" the first recreational program for Jewish seniors.

In this clip, Ida Siegel relates anecdotes from her childhood growing up in downtown Toronto.

Name
Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida Siegel
Number
AC 166
AC 167
Subject
Charities
Women
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz
Total Running Time
AC166A: 47.minutes AC166B: 5. minutes AC167A: 29. minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Hadassah-WIZO of Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ida Siegel discusses the formation of Hadassah in Canada and how it evolved into Hadassah-WIZO. She describes the creation of separate Hadassah branches.

In this clip, Ida Siegel explains the events that led up to the formation of a committee that she headed to write a Constitution for Hadassah. She describes some of the struggles she encountered in the process.

Name
Harry Fidler
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1977-1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Fidler
Number
AC 175
Interview Date
1977-1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Allan Grossman
Total Running Time
30 minutes 35 seconds
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Harry Fidler was born in 1900 in Ostrovtze. He came to Toronto at age ten in 1910. He married in 1922. Harry was very active with the Ostrovtzer Synagogue and served on the executive since 1922.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ostrovtzer Synagogue
Grossman, Allan
Fidler, Harry
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 175 Fidler\AC 175 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman discuss the decline of the Ostrovtzer Synagogue.

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman reminisce about the Ostrovtzer Synagogue at the Cecil Street location.

Name
Blanche Haber
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Blanche Haber
Number
AC 189
Subject
Families
Occupations
Immigrants--Canada
Food
Antisemitism
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Kaylee Gollom Miller
Total Running Time
Side 1 - 31 minutes Side 2 - 31 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Blanche Haber (nee Heller) was born in a small town in Russia in 1893. She came to Toronto at age 8. Her father worked as a peddler. She married Isadore Haber in 1915. Three of her five children died from illnesses in their childhood. Before her marriage, Blanche worked as a seamstress. Isadore worked as a tailor, primarily for Eaton's. Like her mother, once married, Blanche took boarders into their home at 112 Parliament Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Geographic Access
Toronto
Halifax
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 189 Haber\AC 189 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Blanche Haber describes taking boarders into her mother’s and her own home at 112 Parliament Street.

In this clip, Blanche Haber fondly remembers the warm relationship that developed between her family and the Manischewitz family. She explains that Joe Manischewitz boarded at her family’s home while his family built a matzah factory in Toronto.

Name
Nathan Cassels
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Nathan Cassels
Number
AC 207
Subject
Jewish musicians
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Carol Rosenthal
Total Running Time
Side 1 30 minutes 30 seconds Side 2 13 minutes 30 seconds
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Nathan Cassels was born in Montreal in 1903. As a child, his family moved to Toronto. He studied clarinet with Mr. Glass and performed with the Russian Juvenile Concert Band for two years. He left school after grade three and started working as a plumber at age 13. He played clarinet with the 110th Regimental Band during the First World War. His music career spanned 60 years. He moved to Detroit in 1926 because of the many Big Band opportunities. He returned to Toronto in the 1930s where he played with the Romanelli Band for 18 years and free-lanced as a studio musician. He later divided his time between work as a traveling textile salesman and musician. He was married and had one daughter born in 1937.
Material Format
sound recording
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 207 Cassels\AC 207 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Nathan Cassels recalls a trip taken by the Russian Juvenile Concert Band to Detroit, Michigan.

In this clip, Nathan Cassels reminisces about his early career as a musician with various bands.

Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Number
AC 208
Subject
Recreation
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC 208A: 40 minutes AC 208B: 18 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Anne Edell grew up in Toronto. She worked as a bookkeeper in several local Jewish businesses. During summer vacation, Anne would travel to Port Dalhousie, Crystal Beach and Jackson's Point. I.S. Edell grew up in Toronto. He graduated in education from OCE but was unable to find a teaching position. He worked at the post office for a short time and later in his father-in-law's business.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Edell, Anne
Edell, I.S.
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Port Dalhousie
Crystal Beach
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Anne Edell shares memories of summer vacations.

In this clip, I.S. Edell discusses the antisemitism encountered by Jewish graduates in the field of education in Ontario in the 1930s.

Name
Ben Kayfetz
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Kayfetz
Number
AC 210
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Law
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
46 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Christie Pits riot at approximately minute 16:00
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Benjamin Gershon Kayfetz was born on December 24, 1916 in Toronto. He married Eva Silver and had two children. Ben graduated from the University of Toronto in 1939, with a B.A. in modern languages. He worked as a high school teacher in Huntsville and Niagara Falls between 1941 and 1943. In 1943, he joined the war effort, working for the Department of National Defense in Postal Censorship and was responsible for reviewing prisoner of war mail. After the war, Kayfetz traveled to British Occupied Germany where he worked as a censor of telecommunications with the Control Commission until 1947. Upon returning to Toronto, he was hired as the National Director of Community Relations by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), and as the Executive (National) Director of the Joint Community Relations Committee (JCRC), a CJC - B'nai B'rith cooperative organization. He also served as the Central Region Executive Director of the CJC between 1973 and 1978. He worked to develop anti-discrimination laws and for the protection of minority and religious rights. Kayfetz was also actively involved in promoting the welfare of Jewish Communities worldwide. He was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal by the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1985 and the Order of Canada in 1986. In addition to his professional activities, Kayfetz wrote articles for various Jewish publications under both his own name and the pseudonym, Gershon B. Newman, and gave a weekly radio address on CHIN radio addressing various contemporary Jewish issues. He was also actively involved in the Toronto Jewish Historical Society (serving as its president), Canadian Jewish Historical Society and Yiddish Luncheon Circle. Ben Kayfetz died in 2002.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Balmy Beach Swastika Club
Canadian Jewish Congress
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kew Beach
Christie Pits
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 210, Ben Kayfetz\AC 210 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz describes the skirmish between antisemitic and Jewish youths at Kew Beach in July 1933.

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz discusses the laws that restricted “Jews or other objectionable races” from purchasing, owning or renting properties in Toronto and summer resort areas. He describes the steps taken to change the law.

Name
Genya Intrator
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Genya Intrator
Number
AC 223
AC 224
Subject
Antisemitism
Women
Human rights
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Mindy A. Skapinker
AccessionNumber
1993-9-1
Total Running Time
AC 223A: 46 minutes AC 223B: 46 minutes AC 224A: 16 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Genya was born in Moscow and moved as a child to Palestine in the 1930's. She was a member of the Israeli underground and served in the Israeli army during the War of Independence. She played a central leadership role in the Soviet Jewry Movement in Canada. She founded "Women for Soviet Jewry" and served as chair of "National Soviet Jewry Committee". She helped with creation of the Toronto "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group. Genya had regular contact by phone with Soviet activists and relayed their information back to Israeli consuls. She was an advisor to B'nai Brith on Soviet Jewry. She started an Inter-religious Task Force for Soviet Jewry in Canada.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Intrator, Genya
Skapinker, Mindy A.
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Genya Intrator discusses the formation of the "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group.

In this clip, Genya Intrator describes how information about Soviet Jews was passed on to the Israeli consulate in New York who tracked all the data. She explains how she was appointed as a "secret agent" who would report information from her many phone calls to the Soviet Union.

Name
Frank Schleifer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
June 29, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Frank Schleifer
Number
AC 084
Subject
Canada--Armed Forces
World War, 1939-1945
Recreation
Families
Interview Date
June 29, 1976
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Larry Troster
Total Running Time
084A: 46 minutes 084B: 11 minutes
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Frank was born January 4, 1916 in Toronto. His parents were Charles and Mary (nee Noble) Schleifer. At age 3, his family moved to Sturgeon Falls. At age 6 in 1922, his family moved to Brantford where his mother's family lived. Frank left school at age 16 to work at the family Cigar and Soda Fountain store when his father became ill. He opened Frank’s Billiard Parlour from 1941 to 1946. He was drafted into the army in 1943 where he served in the artillery and infantry. He started to work in Unemployment Insurance with the Federal government. Frank married Bertha (nee Maltifer ?) in 1937. They had one son, Charles, born in 1947. As a youth Frank was involved with AZA (B'nai Brith youth organization). He was a member of B'nai Brith and served on the executive of the synagogue in Brantford.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Schleifer, Frank
Troster, Larry
Geographic Access
Brantford
Sturgeon Falls
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Frank Schleifer shares some early memories of growing up in Brantford, Ontario. He mentions some of the original Jewish families who settled in Brantford.

In this clip, Frank Schleifer describes his involvement in a variety of Jewish activities and groups during his youth, including AZA, summer camp and baseball.

Name
Dr. Sydney Wise
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
September 29, 2003
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Sydney Wise
Number
AC 278
Subject
Business
Immigrants--Canada
Physicians
Interview Date
September 29, 2003
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 min.
Side 2: 30 min.
Conservation
Digital copy made April 11, 2011.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Dr. Sydney Wise was a Toronto physician and was a long-time volunteer at the Ontario Jewish Archives. Sydney was married to Mimi Wise who had been an active member of Hadassah-Wizo for most of her life. Sydney's father, Anshel Wise, opened a cigar store on Dundas street, which later turned into a steamship agency called A. Wise Travel Bureau that helped bring immigrants over from Europe.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Wise, Anshel
Wise, Sydney
Scheinberg, Ellen
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this portion of the interview, Syd describes his father, Anshel Wise’s, cigar store and travel business that opened in the Ward in 1918. Anshel was one of the first steamship agents in Toronto.

In this portion of the interview, Sydney describes his entry into medical school at the University of Toronto. He outlines some of the challenges encountered by Jewish medical students in their search for internship positions.

Name
Bess Maltinsky Shockett
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 18, 2004
December 7, 2004
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Bess Maltinsky Shockett
Number
AC 288
Subject
Committees
Labor
Labor unions
Interview Date
November 18, 2004
December 7, 2004
Quantity
4
Interviewer
Jillian Gould
Total Running Time
AC 288A: 31 minutes
AC 288B: 31 minutes
Conservation
Copies made for Bess' son Michael on four 90 minute tapes
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Bess was born in the Ukraine in 1920. She immigrated to Montreal in 1925 with her parents and two brothers. She married Barry Shockett in 1952 and had three children. As an adolescent, Bess became very active in the Jewish community and joined the United Jewish People's Order. She helped organize a union for workers in the knitting industry and later did the same for fur workers. She also travelled to Winnipeg to organize a laundry workers union. She helped found the New Fraternal Jewish Association in 1960 and was actively involved in the organization. She became very active in the Toronto Jewish community, particularly in regards to supporting and launching several innovative Yiddish programs. She staffed the office of the CJC's Committee for Yiddish in its early years, and was Director from 1974 to 1989.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
United Jewish People's Order
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Committee for Yiddish
Geographic Access
Montreal
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

Bess became President of the Youth Division of the United Jewish People’s Order in Montreal in 1946. In this clip, Bess shares some of her memories and experiences as a representative to the First International Conference of Youth held in Prague in 1947.

In this clip, Bess discusses the events that led up to the formation of a new left-leaning organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association, which broke away from the United Jewish People’s Order in 1960.

Name
Mel Lastman
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mel Lastman
Number
AC 290
Subject
Religion
Families
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Melvin Douglas Lastman was born in Toronto on March 9, 1933, the son of Rose and Louis Lastman. Raised in the Kengsington Market area, he attended Ryerson Public School and Central High School of Commerce where he was president of the school council. Lastman left high school to work at an appliance store and, in 1955, opened his own appliance store. By the late 1960s, he owned a chain of 40 stores, Bad Boy Appliances, throughout Ontario. Lastman lived in North York and, in 1969, ran successfully for the North York Board of Control. In the 1972 municipal election, he was elected as mayor of North York, a position he held for 25 years until North York became part of the newly created City of Toronto on January 1, 1998. With the provincially mandated creation of the new City of Toronto by the amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto and the six local municipalities, Lastman decided to run for mayor against the other major contender, former City of Toronto mayor Barbara Hall. He won the 1997 election and was sworn in on January 1, 1998. Lastman was easily re-elected in the 2000 mayoralty election; however, in February 2003, Lastman announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the November municipal election.
In 1953, Mel Lastman married Marilyn Bornstein. They have two married sons and six grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Anshei Minsk Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Lastman, Mel
Scheinberg, Ellen
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kensington Market
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman remembers playing as a child at the Minsk Shul in Kensington Market.

Name
Michele Landsberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
August 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Michele Landsberg
Number
AC 294
Subject
Religion
Families
Buildings
Interview Date
August 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg and Aviva Heller
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
An award-winning columnist, staunch feminist, and tireless activist for social justice and progressive causes at home and abroad, Michele Landsberg was a well-known and prominent Torontonian during the mid to late 20th century. According to a biography posted by the University of Windsor where Landsberg was a Distinguished Visitor in Women's Studies in October 2003, her 'zest for wanting to change the world has its roots in her childhood: growing up as a Jewish girl in 1950s Toronto, where sexual stereotyping and objectification were rampant and overt antisemitism was acceptable.' As a result, Ms. Landsberg tackled a wide-range of related issues, often grounding her columns in events, places, and issues of particular interest to Torontonians.
Born on July 12, 1939, Ms. Landsberg attended Toronto public schools, spent time on a kibbutz in Israel, and graduated from the University of Toronto with honours in English language and literature in 1962. She was dissuaded from pursuing a master's degree by her male professors, and instead became a reporter at the Globe and Mail newspaper and launched a remarkable career as a journalist and writer. In addition to freelance and full-time stints with the Globe and Mail (1962-1965; 1985-1988), Chatelaine magazine(1965-1971), and the Toronto Star (1978-1983 and 1989-2003), Ms. Landsberg frequently appeared on television and radio and wrote three best-selling books She garnered awards, including the first National Newspaper Award for column-writing, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and the 2002 Governor-General's Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case, and received honourary degrees from several Canadian universities. She also served on the boards of many community organizations, such as CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights League) and Opportunity for Advancement.
After her retirement from the Toronto Star in 2003, Ms. Landsberg planned to pursue other writing projects and to spend more time at home in her garden and with her family: husband Stephen Lewis, three grown children, and two grandchildren. In September 2005, she was acclaimed as the new Chair of the Women's College Hospital Board when the Hospital ended its partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Anshei Minsk Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Landsberg, Michele
Scheinberg, Ellen
Heller, Aviva
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

Canadian author and journalist Michele Landsberg provides recollections of attending the Minsk Synagogue with her grandfather in the 1940s

Name
Gail Freeman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
24 Mar. 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Gail Freeman
Number
AC 414
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
24 Mar. 2015
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
52 minutes
Use Restrictions
NONE
Biography
The middle of three siblings, Gail Freeman was born in Johannesburg in 1953. The daughter of committed Jews, she fondly remembers the beautiful seders her parents would host, sometimes having as many as forty-to-fifty people joining them for Pesach. Growing up, she attended a Jewish day school in Linksfield, a positive experience that would later influence her decision to enroll her own children in Jewish day schools in Canada. Overall, it was a happy, almost utopian childhood, which took on a slightly more complicated character when she developed a political consciousness as a teenager.
It was at a cousin’s wedding that Gail met her future husband. Years later, she would joke that they met under the chuppah. The young couple married a short time after meeting and had two children in South Africa before moving to Canada and having two more.
Upon arriving in Canada, the family received a warm welcome from Toronto’s South African community, which she describes as “out of this world.” Gail, who has a master of education degree in educational psychology, found work in the Jewish school system while her husband found work as an accountant. The family’s immigration a success, her parents followed suit, thereby ensuring that her children would grow up with grandparents nearby.
Today, Gail feels proud to be a Canadian, not least because Canada allows her to be proud of her Jewish identity. As she puts it, in Canada “everybody [is] from everywhere.”
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Freeman, Gail, 1953-
Geographic Access
Irving (Calif.)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:19 Gail was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1953.
00:30 Gail discusses her grandparents' immigration to South Africa from Russia. Her maternal grandparents were from (Kadam?) and her paternal grandparents were from Vilna. Her mother was born in Vilna and her father was born in South Africa.
01:17 Gail's mother is the youngest of three sisters. Her father is the eldest of three, with a younger sister and brother. Gail has an older brother, Hilton, living in New York, and a sister, Felicia, living in California.
01:55 Gail's father was born in the suburbs of Doornfontein.
02:14 Gail's parents were married in 1948. They worked in the building industry.
02:26 Gail describes her family's practice of Judaism while she was growing up.
03:39 Gail's parents originally lived in the neighbourhood called Bez Valley but moved to Linksfield, a Jewish neighbourhood where the King David Jewish day school was built.
04:25 Gail attended King David from nursery to high school. She briefly describes the school.
05:22 Gail mentions that another branch of King David later opened in Victory Park. She notes other Jewish day schools in Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria. Later Yeshiva College opened.
06:15 Gail notes that her own school experience influence how she selected schools or her own children, who attended the Associated Hebrew Day School in Toronto.
07:28 Gail notes that there is a King David alumni group on Facebook. She mentions class reunions and a fundraiser spearheaded by former schoolmaster Elliott Wolf.
08:25 Gail earned a bachelor of arts with a major in Hebrew and sociology at the University of Witwatersrand. She earned a teaching diploma at the Hebrew Seminary. She completed her practical work at King David School. She returned to university and earned a bachelor's in social work and a master of education degree in educational psychology.
09:56 Gail discusses her involvement with "Boys Town" as principal in a children's home.
11:30 Gail shares some childhood memories concerning friends and school while growing up in Linksfield.
12:40 Gail notes that she became more politically aware as an adolescent. She identifies some of the issues that challenged her morally as a Jew. She comments that her ability to protest was limited due to the restrictions imposed by the police state.
14:14 Gail describes her warm relationships with her nannies.
15:11 Gail describes Jewish life in Linksfield. She attended weekly Shabbat services with her friends at King David. She recalls fond memories attending holiday services with her family at the Jewish Hebrew Congregation in Doornfontein, where her father was chairman. (Gail has a photo of the synagogue in her home.)
16:26 Gail participated in a group bar mitzvah through school.
17:44 Gail identifies a strong commitment to Israel as a major component of her Jewish tradition. They were encouraged to volunteer in Israel, support Israel and move to Israel. She recalls David Ben-Gurion visiting her school.
18:27 Gail was married in 1977. She describes how she met her husband and where they lived after they were married (Norwood, Berea and Linksfield).
20:34 Gail worked as a social worker for Jewish Family and Child Services and for Yeshiva School. Her husband worked as an accountant.
22:30 Gail discusses how the circumstances in South Africa that contributed to their decision to emigrate. She explains how she and her husband considered applications to the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel. She discusses the trauma involved with leaving family and moving to an unknown, new country.
27:02 Gail's parents moved to Canada two years later.
28:13 Gail describes what they were allowed to take out of South Africa and what they brought.
29:25 Gail shares some of her initial impressions upon arrival in Toronto.
30:15 Gail describes how she was able to secure work as a guidance counsellor with Associated Hebrew Day Schools of Toronto while in Washington for a Tay Sachs conference.
31:40 Gail explains how through family connections they were able to find housing in a neighbourhood with an established South African community. She recalls how she was well-received by the South African community.
34:22 Gail and her family arrived in Toronto in 1988.
34:30 Gail recollects more difficulty fitting into the Toronto Jewish community and having few Toronto friends.
36:30 Gail describes the decision to move to a new subdivision near Associated Hebrew Day Schools on Atkinson in 1993, her current home.
37:50 Gail's family joined the Chabad Flamingo synagogue after the move, but has since returned to the synagogue on Green Lane to be with her parents.
38:48 Gail describes the relative ease of adapting to Canadian society and her pride living in Canada.
40:28 Gail worked as a principal for a Jewish day school in Irvine, California for three years.
41:50 Gail discusses some differences in child-rearing between South Africa and Canada.
43:33 Gail explains that her reasons for teaching her children the values of respect and kindness stem from her personal experience living in South Africa.
44:30 Gail has returned to South Africa twice over thirty years, but her husband has not returned.
45:38 Gail discusses some of the differences, both positive and negative, she observed when she returned to South Africa.
47:00 Gail notes that her children feel a strong connection to South Africa (e.g. history, culture, accent, foods, politics).
50:00 Gail speaks with pride about the contributions made by South Africans who have immigrated to Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Crying on Route to Canada

Like a Little Kibbutz

A Closed Door

Name
Darrel Hotz
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Darrel Hotz
Number
AC 417
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Quantity
6 files
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
1 hr. 36 min.
Biography
Born in 1959, Darrel grew up in Victory Park, a predominantly Jewish suburb of Johannesburg. The family—made up of Darrel, his parents, and his young brother—occupied a four-bedroom house on a half-acre of land just a short walk from the local Jewish day school. For Darrel, “Everything was pretty easy . . . growing up.” Although the family was not particularly religious, Darrel’s mother lit candles on Friday night and he attended a Zionist camp every summer. In his final year of high school, he won a Bible quiz sponsored by the South African Zionist Federation, for which he was awarded a trip to Israel to compete against other Jewish students from all over the world. Unfortunately, he did not perform as well in this second competition: Israeli yeshiva students took first, second, and third place.
Darrel’s family moved to Canada when Darrel was in his second year of university. Because there were no direct flights to Toronto from South Africa, the family flew first to Zurich and then to New York. From New York, they made their way to Buffalo, where they stocked up on goods prior to arriving in Canada. Unhappily for the Hotzes, North America was experiencing a terrible year in terms of weather and the winter jackets they had purchased in South Africa (said to be sufficient for surviving Arctic temperatures) proved inadequate. They immediately purchased a new batch of winter coats appropriate for Canada.
The Hotz family’s first few years in Canada were not easy ones. The dental credentials of Darrel’s father, an orthodontist, were not recognized and he was unable to practice for several years as a result. Darrel’s mother, who had not been in the labour force for twenty-odd years, had to return to work in order to help make ends meet. Eventually though, the family got itself settled and Darrel was able to complete his university education, going on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and pass the bar. He worked for two law firms, one Jewish and one not, before starting his own practice.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Hotz, Darrel, 1959-
Geographic Access
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:30 Darrel was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1959.
00:47 Darrel provides a brief family history. His paternal grandfather came to South Africa from Shavl, Lithuania in 1917. His paternal grandmother came from Riga, Latvia with her family in about 1910. His father was born in a suburb of Johannesburg. His maternal grandparents were born in South Africa. His grandfather's family came from Lithuania at the turn of the century. His grandmother's family moved to England in the 1870s. His maternal great-grandfather fought in the Boer War and remained in South Africa.
03:08 Darrel discusses his grandparents' education. His maternal grandmother was educated in a convent.
04:44 Darrel explains how his mother adopted more Jewish practice following her marriage to his father.
05:15 Darrel's father was born in Johannesburg and his mother was born in Benoni.
05:32 Darrel describes how his parents met.
06:00 Darrel's father studied dentistry and specialized in orthodontics.
07:18 Darrel discusses the role of Judaism in his home. Darrel attended King David. Darrel describes his bar mitzvah.
09:03 Darrel describes his family's neighbourhood, Victoria Park.
10:12 Darrel describes his home and home life.
11:48 Darrel discusses the security situation and political leanings of the Jewish community in South Africa during his youth.
14:45 Darrel describes his minor personal involvement in politics.
15:44 Darrel discusses the good relationship between Israel and South Africa.
17:18 Darrel discusses his involvement at Habonim summer camp and the Habonim youth movement.
20:53 Darrel discusses his experience of competing in a Bible quiz in Israel after having won the contest in South Africa.
25:48 Darrel describes three subsequent trips to Israel: in 1984, in 2006, and in 2008.
28:08 Darrel explains his parents' decision to leave South Africa.
29:09 Darrel discusses conscription to the South African army.
30:40 Darrel's maternal uncle immigrated to Canada before his parents.
32:19 Darrel addresses some of the challenges faced by him and other members of his family with starting again in a new country.
36:50 Darrel discusses some of the factors and considerations that contributed to the decision to select Canada as their immigration destination.
38:49 Darrel describes his parents' look-see visit to Toronto before the family moved.
40:37 Darrel describes the application process for immigration to Canada and monetary restrictions imposed by South African government.
42:53 Darrel describes his family's journey to Canada via Buffalo, New York.
44:40 Darrel describes his family's arrival in Canada on 9 March 1979.
46:20 Darrel lists the various places his parents have lived since their arrival.
47:05 Darrel discusses some of the challenges faced by his mother when she arrived.
50:11 Darrel describes his education in Canada.
52:06 Darrel shares his views concerning the differences between Canadian and South African Jews.
55:26 Darrel discusses his son's social circle and religious and secular education history.
1:00:43 Darrel discusses how his family connected with the established South African community in Toronto.
1:03:41 Darrel describes his parents' involvement in the Jewish community.
1:09:14 Darrel discusses his career in law.
1:15:02 Darrel discusses meeting and marrying his wife, Barbara, in 2000 and their early years together. They have one son, Joey.
1:19:14 Darrel discusses Barbara and his involvement in Jewish communal work.
1:23:07 Darrel reminisces about Jewish foods eaten in South Africa.
1:24:24 Darrel explains how they chose Camp Gesher, affiliated with Habonim Dror, for Joey.
1:27:24 Darrel contemplates a return visit to South Africa.
1:31:20 Darrel mentions a few South African expressions and words.
1:32:34 Darrel offers his impressions of the differences between South Africans and Canadians.
1:33:44 Darrel reflects on his family's decision to come to Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Being raised in South Africa

Name
Brenda and Colin Baskind
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Brenda and Colin Baskind
Number
AC 423
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
1 hr. 52 min.
Biography
Brenda met Colin on a blind date while attending teacher’s college in Johannesburg. The two dated for one year before getting married at the Pine Street Shul in 1967. Together, they raised three children—Stacey, Alana, and Cliff—and helped bring up the nephew of their maid, whom they regarded as family.
Around 1976, Colin and Brenda began thinking about emigrating as a result of the country’s worsening political situation. At first, their daughter was unwilling to move, but after a riot broke out at her university, she declared she had had enough. Initially, the family considered moving to Australia, but soon settled upon Canada, immigrating in 1987. Although they found the prospect of starting over intimidating, they received a warm welcome from both the South African Jewish community and the larger community.
Brenda and Colin purchased a khaloupe (a fixer-upper) that they transformed into a beautiful home, planting trees in its large garden. Brenda found employment with Holy Blossom Synagogue while Colin became president of the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada. In their free time, they took up running, a hobby that introduced them to many friends. By 2015, they had participated in eleven marathons.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Yiddish
Name Access
Baskind, Brenda, 1944-
Baskind, Colin, 1941-
Geographic Access
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:13 Brenda (née Bebrow?) was born 29 October 1944 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Brenda discusses her parents’ divorce and the death of her brother from polio in 1956.
01:25 Brenda explains the reasons her mother sent her to boarding school in Grahamstown.
02:12 Brenda’s father drowned in the ocean in Port Elizabeth at age eleven.
03:41 Brenda’s mother worked as a bookkeeper in Johannesburg.
03:50 Brenda discusses her limited Jewish education and practice while living in Grahamstown.
05:40 Brenda reminisces about her experience at boarding school.
06:43 Brenda discusses how she was able to cope while dealing with her parents’ divorce, followed by the deaths of her brother, father, and grandmother.
07:36 Brenda’s maternal grandparents and great-grandmother were from Russia. They were observant Jews.
09:12 Brenda moved to Johannesburg at age eighteen to attend teacher’s college. She describes living with her great-aunt, great-uncle, and cousin.
10:21 Brenda describes how she met her husband, Colin.
11:37 Colin was born on 20 April 1941 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lived with his parents and younger sister.
12:03 Colin reminisces about his early years. He discusses his friends and interest in sports.
13:50 Colin’s father was a butcher. His mother assisted his father.
14:18 Colin discusses the high quality of his education.
15:32 Colin’s father practiced Orthodox Judaism.
16:26 Colin discusses his Jewish education. He reminisces about his bar mitzvah.
18:43 Colin describes how he helped with his father’s business.
20:21 Colin’s father was born in Lithuania at age 11. His mother was born in Latvia. Both came to South Africa in the 1920s.
21:39 Colin attended university in Johannesburg.
23:21 Colin discusses work experience.
25:12 Colin and Brenda reminisce about their initial meeting, courtship, and marriage.
29:30 Colin and Brenda’s eldest daughter Alana was born.
29:36 Colin and Brenda discuss their close relationship with their nanny and her family. They describe the living conditions for nannies in general.
33:23 Colin and Brenda recount how they helped raise the baby of their nanny’s sister.
36:50 Brenda’s mother remarried a third time.
39:18 Brenda discusses her work as a nursery school teacher in Johannesburg and Toronto.
41:06 Colin and Brenda explain the reasons that triggered their decision to emigrate. They describe the Soweto riots in 1976.
45:08 Colin explains how they chose and were accepted to immigrate to Canada. Colin and Brenda discuss the distinct advantages of living in Canada relative to South Africa and Australia.
52:33 Colin only considered leaving South Africa after his parents passed away.
53:10 Colin and Brenda discuss their children’s points of view about leaving South Africa.
55:23 Colin and Brenda describe how they got ready for the move to Canada. They discuss what they were and were not allowed to bring out of South Africa.
57:27 Colin explains how some South Africans left the country without going through the steps of formal immigration.
57:26 Brenda describes her fears concerning the move and explains the reasons some of her friends have remained in South Africa.
1:00:04 Brenda shares early memories of moving to Toronto: buying a house and a car.
1:03:09 Colin and Brenda contrast the quality of living between Johannesburg and Toronto.
1:05:04 Colin and Brenda discuss how they formed their early social connections.
1:07:46 Colin discusses how he maintained interest in sport, both as a participant and as a spectator. Sport was another means of making friends.
1:10:0 Colin volunteered with the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) for five years and became involved with the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC).
1:10:40 Colin discusses his involvement with SAJAC.
1:12:44 Brenda and Colin discuss some of the language and cultural challenges they encountered when they arrived in Canada.
1:16:17 Colin and Brenda discuss the achievements of their children.
1:20:42 Colin and Brenda discuss their daughter Stacy’s decision to be a single mother. Brenda discusses their involvement with baby Lily’s care and their decision to buy a house with private quarters to share with Stacy and Lily.
1:28:18 Brenda discusses two trips back to South Africa to care for her mother in 1998.
1:32:28 Brenda discusses the changes she noted in South Africa during her visit.
1:34:43 Colin discusses his volunteer work with JIAS, SAJAC, Jewish Family & Child (JF&CS) and JVC. He explains his desire to enable others to prepare themselves for and find work.
1:43:33 Colin discusses some of the challenges faced by his sister.
1:46:50 Colin and Brenda share their views on the current and future situation in South Africa.
Source
Oral Histories

The Way Things Were

A khaloupe!

A Scholarship Based on Need

Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Number
AC 431
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
South African Oral History 2, Part I: 1 hr. 34 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part II: 1 hr. 8 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part III: 1 hr. 9 min.
Biography
David and Lynne both come from medical families: All four of their parents were doctors and all four attended University of Cape Town Medical School at the same time. As for David and Lynne, they began dating while Lynne was in medical school and David was completing his residency program.
South Africa’s political situation was one of the main reasons David and Lynne began thinking about leaving as neither of them wanted to raise children under the apartheid regime. Their first son was born in 1965 and by 1967 they had left. The family spent a year in Glasgow before moving to Boston, where David worked at Harvard Medical School. It was during this time that they had their second child.
Because of the fact David was eligible to be conscripted if he immigrated to the United States, the couple took out student visas, which expired after three years. If the Vietnam War had not been taking place, it is conceivable that the family would have remained in the United States, David and Lynne having already adjusted to American culture and made friends in the area.
With their visas set to expire, the couple considered immigrating to a number of countries, but settled on Canada. After their arrival, their third child was born. Once David and Lynne were settled in Canada they were joined by several other family members.
David and Lynne are now retired and enjoying the best years of their life. Their son and two daughters live in Toronto and they have ten grandchildren ranging in age from twenty-four to ten years as of November 2018.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Ginsburg, David
Ginsburg, Lynne
Geographic Access
Boston (Mass.)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Durban (South Africa)
Glasgow (Scotland)
Kingston (Ont.)
London (England)
Pretoria (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part I:
00:27 Lynne discusses how she and David met, courted, and married.
00:46 David and Lynne and their respective parents graduated from medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
01:45 Lynne and David's son Neil was born in Cape Town in 1965.
01:50 Lynne explains their reasons for leaving South Africa in February 1967.
02:25 Lynne and David spent one year in Glasgow and three years in Boston.
02:58 Lynne and David have a second child.
03:22 Lynne explains why they were forced to leave the United States.
05:07 Lynne explains how she and David moved to Canada, specifically Kingston.
08:48 Lynne and David discuss the warm community of Kingston.
09:00 David and Lynne describe the positive and negative features of living in Boston.
11:14 Lynne was born in Pretoria, moved to Durban, and then moved to Cape Town.
12:25 David and Lynne reminisce about Cape Town.
13:10 David's brother and sister and Lynne's sister emigrated. Lynne's brother left for a short time but returned to South Africa.
13:40 David and Lynne muse about some of the changes that have occurred in South Africa.
15:42 David's father's family was from Lithuania; his mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne's father's family was from Lithuania; her mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne cites a trip made by her sister to Lithuania.
16:47 Lynne and David discuss safety concerns and high level of crime in South Africa and how it affected them personally.
19:24 Lynne addresses the inefficiency of modern-day South Africa.
21:30 Lynne discusses some of her family's history, including her grandparents and parents. Her maternal grandfather came from Lithuania and married her South-African-born grandmother. They lived briefly in the United States, where her mother was born. Her maternal grandparents came from Lithuania but were married in Cape Town. Her father was born in Cape Town. She discusses the challenges faced by her father as well as his accomplishments in the field of medicine.
25:55 Lynne describes her family's experiences during the Second World War: her father's role as a surgeon enlisted with the British army and her pregnant mother evacuated out of London to South Africa.
28:24 Lynne addresses the role of living near a Jewish community impacted her family.
31:12 David discusses some of his family's history. He shares a colourful story of how his maternal grandparents fled from Russia (Lituhania). They settled in a small town, Sterksstroom, South Africa. David shares a few stories about his father and family.
34:15 David and Lynne reminisce about the apartheid situation in South Africa during their childhood. David discusses the link between the nationalists and Israel He notes that the current South African government is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
36:47 David and Lynne cite incidents of antisemitism during their childhood.
38:17 David discusses the risk of making political comments during his university years.
39:14 Lynne discusses some of the restrictions imposed by the apartheid regime.
42:43 Lynne comments that her family had minimal contact with Israel and Zionist movements.
46:50 Lynne's parents spoke Yiddish with one another. David's mother spoke Yiddish, not his father. Lynne and David speak Afrikaans.
52:33 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism.
55:05 David discusses his family's practice of Judaism.
56:52 Lynne and David continue to discuss Jewish practices and the customs of their grandparents.
59:46 Lynne and David describe some of the struggles faced by their grandparents' generation and the sacrifices they made for their children. They relate some stories about David's grandfather.
1:04:44 Lynne and David recall some Jewish memories while living in Glasgow and Boston.
1:10:47 Lynne discusses her experience of becoming a bat mitzvah at age fifty-three.
1:15:26 Lynne describes their involvement with the Jewish community in Kingston.
1:18:52 Lynne and David describe some of the recent changes in practice in the Kingston synagogue.
1:20:59 Lynne and David describe their children's Jewish education and practice.
1:22:42 Lynne and David share some of their views about Judaism and practice.
1:28:48 Lynne and David relate a story involving a kiddush cup brought from Europe by David's grandfather.
1:30:16 Lynne's maiden name was Heselson.
1:30:32 Lynne presents and discusses her father's military service and medals.
1:32:20 David and Lynne list their and their parents' medical specialties.
Part II
00:00 David describes his family's religious practice, including his paternal grandfather and father. David describes his own observance.
07:50 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism. She recalls celebrating Jewish holidays with neighbours, the Gelfands. David and Lynne reminisce about Jewish foods.
Source
Oral Histories

A Two-Cent Stamp

A Way to Meet People

Racial Segregation

Name
Aubrey and Lucille Groll
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
28 June 2011
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Aubrey and Lucille Groll
Number
AC 432
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
28 June 2011
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
South African Oral History 1, Part I - 30 min.
South African Oral History 1, Part II - 21 min.
South African Oral History 1, Part III - 1 min.
Biography
Aubrey and Lucille both grew up Jewish in South Africa, but in many respects their experiences of Yiddishkeit were quite different. The son of Orthodox Eastern European parents, Aubrey grew up in a kosher household that took religion very seriously, even if his parents, who owned a small business, had to work Friday evenings in order to make ends meet. Lucille, on the other hand, was the daughter of German immigrants to South Africa who belonged to a Reform synagogue; as a result, she was less familiar with the nuances of kashrut. After meeting Lucille, Aubrey’s mother made several phone calls to verify that her future daughter-in-law was, in fact, Jewish.
Lucille tells a story related to her lack of familiarity with kashrut that illustrates several aspects of Jewish life under apartheid South Africa. When Aubrey was fourteen years old, his family employed a servant of the same age who went on to work for the family for decades. Years later, when Lucille was staying with Aubrey’s family, the servant, despite being non-Jewish, would inquire whether Lucille would be giving her child meat or milk that night and would then proceed to put out the food along with the appropriate plates. Immediately after doing so, he would tell Lucille not to touch anything until he returned in the morning lest she inadvertently violate kashrut!
Aubrey and Lucille left South Africa in 1965, ending up in Kingston after a two-year stay in Birmingham, Alabama. Aubrey became one of the first Jewish academics to teach at Queen’s University while Lucille found interesting jobs in social work, ending her career at Kingston General Hospital. Initially, they had some difficulty integrating into the local Jewish community, but the situation improved as they slowly became more integrated into the Jewish community and more Jewish academics settled in Kingston. Aubrey and Lucille have four children and are the proud grandparents of ten grandchildren. Aubrey passed away in February, 2018.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Groll, Aubrey
Groll, Lucille
Geographic Access
Kingston (Ont.)
South Africa
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
01:07 Lucille Groll (née Godfrey) shares some of her family history. Her parents were born in Germany. Her father (né Gothelf) came to South Africa in the late 1920s as an adult. Her mother came to Johannesburg as an infant and was educated in a convent.
02:36 Lucille describes her Jewish upbringing as Reform and liberal with minimal Zionism.
03:10 Lucille's brother attended a Reform summer camp with Zionist leanings.
03:34 Lucille discusses her Jewish education, practice of Jewish holidays, and her Jewish social life.
06:50 Lucille's parents and other elders spoke German at home.
07:14 Lucille recalls the German-style food eaten at her home.
09:34 Lucille's maternal grandfather came to South Africa in 1910, returned to Germany, and then returned to South Africa after the First World War.
10:41 Aubrey shares some of his family history. His parents were married in Lithuania and migrated to Furrow, a farming community. His parents ran a general store. He had two brothers.
13:38 Aubrey discusses his upbringing in Somerset West such as going to school and Jewish practices (Shabbat, kashrut, holidays, Zionism).
15:44 Aubrey discusses her father's affiliation with the Revisionist Zionism. He relates an anecdote involving a visit by Menachem Begin to their town.
16:35 Aubrey discusses her parents' involvement with the synagogue.
17:28 Aubrey reminisces about his education, bar mitzvah, foods, the Jewish community, synagogue life, Hebrew school, and keeping kashrut.
22:00 Aubrey notes that his parents did not discuss the Holocaust or their family's history, despite losing all of the family that remained behind in Lithuania.
23:20 Aubrey's parents spoke Yiddish with one another and friends but not with their children.
25:35 Lucille recalls first meeting Aubrey and his family.
26:45 Aubrey discusses antisemitism during his school years.
27:48 Lucille relates a humorous about Aubrey's mother confirming Lucille's Jewish background.
28:38 Lucille and Aubrey discuss how they met.
Aubrey explains how they ultimately moved to Kingston, Ontario in 1967 via Birmingham, Alabama.
Part 2:
01:36 Lucille discusses her work as a social worker in psychiatry.
02:10 Aubrey and Lucille discuss their relationships with Lynne and David Ginsburg and their role in helping David find work in Kingston.
03:24 Lucille explains how she assumed there would be a Jewish community in Kingston. She shares her impressions of the Jewish community when they arrived. Aubrey shares his impressions as well.
06:20 Aubrey and Lucille were the first Jewish South Africans in Kingston. Other South Africans came to Kingston in 1969 and the 1970s. Aubrey discusses the involvement of South African Jews in the Kingston Jewish community.
08:23 Lucille discusses her family's involvement in the Jewish community in Kingston.
09:22 Lucille discusses her children and grandchildren and their practice.
14:10 ?Joyce (Aubrey's relative?) relates an anecdote about finding and repairing some old candlesticks.
15:45 Lucille discusses changes in Jewish practice over time in Canada versus South Africa.
16:50 Aubrey shares comments about the strong sense of Zionism and Jewish identity in South Africa during his youth.
19:35 Lucille notes that most South African Jews in Toronto have been affiliated with an Orthodox synagogue on Bayview Avenue and the Reform Temple Emanu-El.
Part 3:
00:00 Aubrey briefly discusses the prominence of Zionist movements and camps in South Africa.
00:48 Mention some prayer books.
Source
Oral Histories

Holiday Celebrations

Not Marrying Jewish

Name
Monty Grunebaum and Barney Sher
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
6 Sept. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Monty Grunebaum and Barney Sher
Number
AC 438
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South AFrica
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
6 Sept. 2016
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 438 part 1: 22 min.
AC 438 part 2: 22 min.
AC 438 part 3: 20 sec.
AC 438 part 4: 14 min.
AC 438 part 5: 22 min.
AC 438 part 6: 11 min.
Biography
Monty Grunebaum and Barnie Sher are two of the founding members of Kehillat Shaarei Torah, a Modern Orthodox shul located on Bayview Avenue in North York. Monty, who immigrated to Canada in 1977, says that the impetus for starting the shul derived partly from South Africans wanting to recreate their memories of Jewish life in South Africa in their new country. A group began to look at different venues in the city and applied for a rabbi. Because many of the South Africans who immigrated to Canada were of modest means, it was a challenge raising funds. With the support of the established Toronto community, eventually, the group was able to purchase a property and hire a rabbi. In November 1980, the shul was incorporated as Kehillat Shaarei Torah of Toronto.
Kehillat Shaarei Torah has had four rabbis since its incorporation in 1980. Rabbi Eliot Feldman served the community from 1981 to 1988 and was instrumental in getting the shul established. Rabbi Steven Cohen succeeded Feldman, serving the congregation from 1988 to 1992. Rabbi Reuven Tradburks came next, caring for the community from 1992 to 2009. The current rabbi, Rabbi Joe Kanofsky, has led the community since 2009.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Grunebaum, Monty
Kehillat Shaarei Torah of Toronto
Sher, Barney
Geographic Access
South Africa
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:29 Monty explains the impetus for starting a synagogue for South African Jews in Toronto.
01:37 Monty discusses where he lived in Toronto when he arrived in 1977. He discusses the main locations where South African Jews settled.
02:50 Barnie describes a large presence of South African Jews in the Bayview/York Mills area.
03:11 Barnie discusses the origins of the synagogues in South Africa.
04:14 Barnie discusses the importance of cantorial singing in South African synagogues.
05:20 Barnie describes some of the synagogues and their primary influences from Lithuania and Germany.
06:24 Barnie recounts his first experience at a Toronto synagogue for the High Holidays.
08:13 Monty recounts his first experience at a Toronto synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and how it served as a catalyst to establish a synagogue that would feel more comfortable.
09:47 Barnie describes funeral traditions in South Africa. He contrasts these practices with his personal experience in Toronto.
14:19 Barnie and Monty discuss the early attempts to establish services to meet the needs of their South African Jewish community.
18:21 Barnie highlights the importance of having a separate section in the cemetery in order to maintain South African burial practices.
19:23 Barnie and Monty discuss the role played by Bernard Isaacs in the formation of the synagogue.
Part 2:
00:00 Barnie discusses some of the earliest founders and promoters of the synagogue: Rabbi Whitty, Kurt Rothschild, Harvey Hecker, ?Bernie Gert. He describes fundraising efforts.
01:19 Monty explains how the property for the synagogue was purchased.
03:23 Barnie describes the acquisition of the aron kodesh, pews, and prayer books from an Ontario synagogue donation and from membership donations.
04:25 Monty discusses the limited financial resources of new South African immigrants. Financial support for the synagogues came from membership donations.
05:20 Monty notes that the synagogue attracted a number of Jews who moved from Montreal.
06:26 Barnie discusses the synagogue's first rabbi, Rabbi Feldman.
07:50 Barnie discusses resistance to the synagogue from Jewish neighbours.
09:36 The synagogue's name, Kehillah Shaarei Torah, was the name of Rabbi Feldman's congregation in Syracuse. Barnie and Monty reminisce about Rabbi Feldman.
12:55 The synagogue was incorporated in November 1980.
14:45 Barnie describes the operation of the synagogue before a building was constructed.
19:13 Monty recalls that Beth Tikvah Synagogue lent them Torahs.
19:51 Barnie reminisces about the first Rosh Hashanah in their new building.
20:48 Barnie recounts how the synagogue received a generous donation from the Reichman family.
Part 4:
00:00 Monty lists the rabbis who served the synagogue.
00:26 Barnie recounts a humorous incident about meeting a new rabbi.
02:50 Barnie and Monty discuss Rabbi Tradburks and his contribution to the synagogue and the greater Jewish community in Toronto.
09:29 Barnie discusses an attempt to change the synagogue's direction from Orthodox to Conservative.
10:28 Barnie and Monty continue to reminisce about Rabbi Tradburks.
Part 5:
00:00 Monty discusses Rabbi Joel Kanofsky.
02:40 Barnie identified demographics as a concern for the continuity of the synagogue.
04:50 Barnie continues to discuss membership. Membership has remained relatively steady at a 220-230 family core.
06:00 Barnie and Monty discuss outreach methods and various synagogue services, education, and events.
11:00 Barnie discusses some humorous incidents involving their group of four friends, including a Purim skit and a birthday gag.
18:17 Barnie discusses Rabbi Tradburk's involvement in the formation of the Coby Mandel Foundation, a support group for youth in Israel who have lost family members as a result of terrorism.
Part 6:
00:00 Barnie discusses changes that are occurring in the synagogue with a change of demographics and new membership.
02:24 Monty raises concerns about loss of membership.
04:18 Monty lists some programs and services offered in the synagogue, including a youth program.
04:43 Barnie discusses the current status of the synagogue. He cites some of the problems with the existing synagogue (e.g. no elevator, lack of parking, no banquet hall).
07:34 Barnie mentions the synagogue on Green Lane, another synagogue with a large South African membership.
08:44 Barnie describes the process of hiring a new rabbi for their synagogue.
Source
Oral Histories

https://vimeo.com/232091886

Name
Ivan Zarenda
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 July 2011 and 15 June 2012
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ivan Zarenda
Number
AC 434
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
21 July 2011 and 15 June 2012
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
Part I: 46 min.
Part II: 1 hr. 4 min.
Biography
Ivan’s parents arrived in South Africa from Lithuania around 1930. Prior to immigrating, they knew each other from Klykoliai, a shtetl in northwestern Lithuania. Ivan’s father was the first to arrive, taking up work at a concession store in the mining town of Brakpan. As for Ivan’s mother, she came over with her mother after her siblings had prepared a home for them in Brakpan. After being sent to a convent in Rhodesia in order to learn English, she returned to Brakpan where she married Ivan’s father. Together, the couple raised two children, who grew up with their maternal grandmother, who only spoke Yiddish. Consequently, Ivan grew up speaking Yiddish as well as English. He even gave his bar mitzvah speech in Yiddish, causing his Lithuanian grandmother to beam with pride.
Although they were not well off, Ivan’s parents managed to send their two sons to university. As an undergraduate, Ivan studied pharmacy at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. He met his wife while visiting his parents in Kimberley, where they had moved and were managing a hotel. The two were introduced on a blind date and corresponded for well over a year when Ivan went to do a post-graduate degree in industrial pharmacy at the University of Michigan. When Ivan returned to South Africa to take up a job in Cape Town, the two dated, became engaged, and married. In 1990, they immigrated to Canada with their two children as part of a job transfer. After a short stay in Brockville, the family relocated to Kingston, where they were active in Jewish life. Ivan’s wife, Daphne, passed away in 2006. He moved from Kingston to Toronto in 2018, joining his children Marc and Shelley and families who live there.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Zarenda, Ivan
Geographic Access
Kingston (Ont.)
South Africa
Original Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

Friendship with Afrikaners

Name
Elfreda and Alec Levine
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2017
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Elfreda and Alec Levine
Number
AC 442
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2017
Interviewer
Miriam Borden
Total Running Time
AC 422 part 1: 37 min.
AC 422 part 2: 9 min.
Biography
Alec and Elfreda met when they were young teenagers. Elfreda was friends with Alec’s sister and the two would play tennis together. Despite meeting at a young age, Alec and Elfreda did not begin dating until they were in their early twenties. They married in 1958 and subsequently had three children. It was largely on account of their two eldest children that they emigrated. Their eldest son had emigrated first, initially settling in Saskatchewan, while their daughter emigrated shortly thereafter, making a home in the United Kingdom. Their youngest son chose to remain in South Africa.
Following the birth of their granddaughter in Saskatoon, Alec and Elfreda began making regular trips to Canada. As time went on and crime continued to rise in South Africa, Alec and Elfreda’s children started to encourage their parents to move to Canada. This they did in 1999, arriving in Toronto in the cold month of October. While the ice and snow initially made for a new and exciting experience, they quickly got over it.
Arriving in their sixties, Alec and Elfreda initially struggled in their new country, but soon found work and made friends. Making this process somewhat easier was the fact that the two enjoyed exploring the different areas of the city via subway, an activity they keep up to this day. Alec and Elfreda also continue to follow developments in South Africa—in part because one of their sons lives there—but now think of themselves as Canadians.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Levine, Alec
Levine, Elfreda
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Saskatchewan
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:40 Elfreda discusses her family's immigration to South Africa. Her maternal grandparents came to Cape Town from Riga, Latvia via London. Her paternal grandfather came to South Africa in his teens and settled in ?Aliwal North.
02:14 Alec discusses his family's immigration to South Africa. His parents were married in Riga, Latvia. His maternal grandfather came to South Africa. During the period of 1930-1936, he brought his five daughters and their husbands to South Africa.
03:30 Elfreda describes Jewish life in Aliwal North. She explains why the Jewish population declined over time.
05:08 Elfreda recalls travelling by train to cities for holidays and how she and Alec met during holiday.
06:41 Alec describes his Jewish life growing up in Johannesburg.
07:48 Elfreda continues to discuss Jewish life while growing up in a small community.
09:13 Alec and Elfreda discuss Jewish youth groups and camps.
10:35 Elfreda discusses her academic path: two years of nursing in Cape Town and commercial bookkeeping in Johannesburg.
12:13 Alec discusses his career path: architecture for two years then joining the family plumbing business.
13:00 Alec and Elfreda married in 1958.
13:24 Alec describes his limited involvement in politics in South Africa. Their daughter became involved with the African National Congress (ANC) while she attended university.
14:55 Elfreda shares her memories from her childhood. She recalls the impact of apartheid following the rise of the nationalists in 1948.
16:13 Alec and Elfreda discuss having household staff in their homes while growing up and after they were married.
19:50 Elfreda describes a party she held for her family's maid when she retired.
21:17 Alec and Elfreda explain when and why their two older children emigrated from South Africa. Their youngest son remained in South Africa.
22:49 Alec and Elfreda discuss the factors that contributed to their decision to immigrate to Canada.
25:13 Alec describes some incidents of violence he personally experienced in Johannesburg.
25:58 Alec and Elfreda describe their feeling about leaving South Africa and the challenges of immigrating at a later stage of life (e.g. upgrading their work skills, finding work, making new friends).
28:33 Alec and Elfreda share some of their earliest memories of moving to Canada.
30:35 Alec discusses his early efforts to find work in Canada.
33:52 Elfreda discusses her involvement with the Jewish community, notably the South African Jewish community since their arrival in Canada.
35:49 Elfreda discusses how their willingness to explore Toronto has helped with their integration.
Part 2:
00:34 Alec and Elfreda describe the response from family and friends in South Africa to their decision to leave.
02:25 Alec and Elfreda came to Canada in October 1999. Their son, Mark, came in 1986.
02:50 Alec and Elfreda discuss the easier experience of integration by their son's family compared to their own.
03:49 Elfreda relates a family story. Mark settled in a small town in Saskatchewan when he arrived in Canada. He discovered that relatives of Elfreda had settled in a small neighbouring community in 1906.
5:00 Elfreda discusses their identity as Canadians.
Elfreda discusses their ongoing connections with South Africa.
07:30 Elfreda notes that they did not experience culture shock as they settled in Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Not the Way to Live

Afrikaners Dominated Politics

Leaving your Heart in South Africa

Name
Colleen "Chips" Klein and Paul Klein
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
03/13/2017
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Colleen "Chips" Klein and Paul Klein
Number
AC 444
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
03/13/2017
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 444 part 1: 7 min.
AC 444 part 2: 7 min.
AC 444 part 3: 37 min.
AC 444 part 4: 2 min.
Biography
Although they both grew up in Jewish neighbourhoods, Chips and Paul met for the first time at Margate, a decidedly non-Jewish seaside resort on South Africa’s southern coast. Chips’ grandmother, who was with Chips at the time, scouted the area for Jewish men, which is when she spotted Paul. Convinced the two were bashert, she indulged in a little matchmaking, with the result that Paul phoned Chips when he returned home. While they did break up at one point, Chips’ grandmother’s judgment was vindicated when the two married at Cyrildene Shul in Johannesburg a few years later.
When their children were three and five years old, the couple made the decision to immigrate to Canada. Paul, an engineer by training, was transferred to Guelph. There, the family joined the local synagogue and enrolled their children in public education. It was while living in Guelph that Chips and Paul became involved in work combating antisemitism. Growing up in Jewish communities, neither had encountered much antisemitism, but living in a small town they were forced to come to terms with being different.
Once their children were grown up, Chips and Paul moved to Toronto, purchasing a house in Thornhill in order to be close to the South African community. Both Chips and Paul are involved in Jewish education through their local synagogue and remain active in a variety of sports. In addition to their faith, sport is one of the ways they stay in touch with their grandchildren, which is why Chips says, “As long as we’re able, we’re going to keep doing it.”
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Klein, Colleen
Klein, Paul
Geographic Access
Guelph (Ont.)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Thornhill (Ont.)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:00 Chips discusses the areas in Johannesburg where she was born and raised.
01:30 Chips discusses her education. She attended King David School. She notes that her parents may have been founding members of King David.
02:37 Chips discusses her career in dance as a dancer and as a teacher in her own dance school.
05:22 Chips describes growing up in South Africa. She discusses her family's warm relationship with their servants.
06:20 Chips mentions her own political involvement as a teenager in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She explains why and her husband decided to leave South Africa.
Part 2:
00:00 Paul discusses his parents' arrival to South Africa. His father fled from Berlin in 1937. His mother fled from Frankfurt, Germany in 1936. His father served in the British army during the war.
01:34 Paul explains why his father did not join a synagogue. Paul did not have a bar mitzvah. He recounts an incident that he attributes to his connection to Judaism.
02:55 Paul explains that having Jewish friends only became an issue for him when he started dating.
03:20 Paul explains that his father's fellow workers were secular German Jews.
03:40 Paul discusses his limited Jew upbringing. He discusses how and why he started to learn about and practice Judaism.
05:02 Paul has one sister living in Montreal. He discusses other relatives, some of whom survived the Holocaust.
06:30 Paul discusses how he met Chips.
Part 3:
00:00 Chips discusses how she met Paul.
00:48 Chips and Paul describe how they reconnected with Chips when Paul graduated from engineering.
03:49 Paul discusses their early marriage. He explains the factors that contributed to his decision to leave South Africa and immigrate to Canada. He expresses satisfaction with their decision to come to Canada.
05:25 Chips notes their children's positive comments about growing up and living in Canada.
05:56 Paul discusses his professional career.
07:30 Chips discusses their friends' and relatives' reactions to their decision to leave South Africa. They left in 1975. Chips' and Paul's parents immigrated to Canada around 1981.
09:18 Paul describes his parents' reaction to their decision to emigrate.
10:14 Chips discusses her parents' comments about leaving South Africa.
10:49 Chips and Paul discuss their return visits to South Africa. Chips describes her children's impressions of South Africa.
12:45 Chips discusses their early time in Canada. They first came to Guelph. She discusses establishing a Jewish home/environment for their children.
13:42 Paul recounts antisemitic incidents while living in Guelph.
15:20 Paul discusses their involvement with a program out of Lipa Green focused on assisting small Jewish communities. He comments on the program's success. Paul served as vice-chair.
16:50 Paul discusses the impact of the program on his children. He describes their strong connection to Israel.
17:37 Chips and Paul explain the program and how it was implemented.
18:46 Paul discusses his involvement with the synagogue in Guelph and in Toronto.
20:39 Paul explains why they decided to move to Thornhill in 1991. They belong to a synagogue on Green Lane.
21:33 Paul explains that the company he worked for in South Africa transferred him to Canada.
22:32 Chips discusses her community involvement including participation in Hadassah-WIZO and participation in the synagogue.
23:26 Chips discusses the creation of a business. She discusses her involvement in a women's inventors project. Chips mentions that she and Paul run a business together.
25:47 Chips describes her involvement in the development of a book to assist women with the patenting and marketing of products. She describes a federal government initiative that she was involved in to develop a book for the government to help women entrepreneurs. She also assisted with the development of a books for teachers and Girl Guides geared toward female inventions.
27:52 Paul discusses an acclaimed dance program that Chips was involved with South Africa.
30:22 Chips and Paul discuss their involvement in Jewish education. Chips spearheaded an adult education program for women and men. Paul discusses his involvement teaching Parshat HaShavuah.
35:45 Chips discusses her family's involvement in sport, including marathons and skiing.
36:47 Paul ponders the question of feeling Canadian.
Part 4:
00:34 Chips comments on when she first considered herself Canadian.
02:02 Paul mentions a National Film Board documentary about Jews in small communities and their inclusion in the film.
Source
Oral Histories

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

Always a Stranger

Anti-Semitism in Canada

Small Town Life

Address
10 St Andrew Street
Source
Landmarks
Address
10 St Andrew Street
Time Period
1930
History
It was founded by poor Jewish immigrants from Russia (mostly Minsk) in 1912. The current Byzantine Revival building was completed in 1930. The congregation has had only three full-time rabbis: Meyer Levy (1916–1921), Meyer Zimmerman (1940–1954), and Shmuel Spero, who has served from 1988 to the present. It is the only Orthodox synagogue in downtown Toronto with a full-time rabbi, and the only one that holds daily services.
Category
Religious
Source
Landmarks
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