The first Canadian chapter of Hadassah was established in Toronto in 1916. Subsequent chapters emerged in other large Canadian cities thereafter. In 1919 several chapters organized to form the Hadassah Organization of Canada. And in 1921, Hadassah Canada joined the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), and subsequently changed its name to Hadassah-WIZO. The original goal of Hadassah was to raise funds for refugees in Eastern Europe. Later on, their mandate shifted to that of providing money and support for the Jews in Israel. Although it spent a great deal of time and resources raising funds for this cause, Hadassah-WIZO was a philanthropic organization that encouraged productivity rather than charity.
Today, Hadassah-WIZO is the largest organization of Jewish women in Canada. In addition to providing Jewish women with an opportunity to liaise with other women from the community and volunteer for a worthy cause, this organization also promotes some important national and international goals. These goals include: encouraging Jewish and Hebrew culture in Canada; extending the material and moral support of Jewish women in Canada to the people of Israel who require assistance; and cooperating with other organizations in the promotion of Canadian ideals of democracy.
The records in this fonds were created by the Toronto chapter of Hadassah-WIZO. The Toronto chapter is not only the oldest, but also one of the largest and most active affiliates of the 304 Hadassah-WIZO chapters in Canada. Some of the activities that it sponsors include the famous annual bazaar, which was started in 1924 and is one of the largest in North America. They also contribute to the support of a host of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO initiatives in Israel which include: the Nahalal School, the Netanya Technological High School, the Hadassim Children and Youth Village, several day care centres, women’s and youth clubs, the Hadassah-WIZO Canada Research Institute, and two medical centers. The Toronto chapter in particular sponsors youth aliyah, and raises funds and honours important volunteers through the organization of tribute dinners, golf tournaments, and other events. Finally, this chapter is also responsible for producing the Hadassah Reporter, which is the newsletter that documents the activities of the Toronto chapter.
The records were acquired from the main Hadassah office on Sheppard Ave.
Scope and Content
The records in this fonds document the activities of Toronto Hadassah-WIZO. They include the Hadassah magazine the Reporter as well as the national publication Orah. The fonds also consists of photographs, minutes of meetings, certificates, press clippings, correspondence, audio-visual material, posters and scrapbooks.
Associated material note: The Library and Archives of Canada also possesses material created by members of Toronto Hadassah.
5593 photographs, 25 x 20 cm and smaller, and other media
The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto was incorporated in Ontario in March 1917 to coordinate the fundraising activities of Jewish charitable, philanthropic, and social service agencies in Toronto. In 1918, ten separate agencies were funded by the FJPT. By 1937, fourteen agencies were funded. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the development of several newer Jewish aid, education, and medical care organizations created both increased need for resources and growing competition for ever-more scarce dollars. Within a very few years this funding crisis forced a major review of the organization.
During 1936 a series of special meetings of leading individuals were held to examine the income and expenditures of all Toronto Jewish agencies and also to speculate about the need for a new Toronto Jewish "Community Chest" as the sole fund-raising organization for a federation of all Jewish agencies including the FJPT. In 1938, the new United Jewish Welfare Fund was formally constituted. Added to the FJPT's previous list of Toronto client agencies in 1938 were: the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Hebrew National Association, the Jewish Immigrant Aid Association, the Mizrachi Society, the Toronto Free Loan Association, the Geverkshaften, and Old Folks Home, and the United Palestine Appeal, raising the total number of agencies to 22.
When the State of Israel was established in 1948, the UJWF's annual fundraising campaign was combined with the CJC's United Palestine appeal to form a new, combined campaign named the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). In 1967, the UJA name was legally changed to the United Jewish Appeal of Metropolitan Toronto.
In mid-1976, the organization's public name was changed to the Toronto Jewish Congress. Although initially thought of as a merger between the UJWF and the CJC, the actual result was the expansion of the UJWF responsibilities to include local education and welfare services previously shared with the Canadian Jewish Congress, Central Region. The UJWF, however, remained the legal senior entity.
In 1991 the public name was again changed to the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto and in 1999, to UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. By this date, over 30 beneficiary and affiliated agencies, 49 affiliated schools and five Federation departments were fully or partly funded by the UJA Federation.
In June, 2010, the organization altered its legal structure, with the senior legal entity becoming the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 25 series: Annual Meetings, Annual Reports, Board of Directors, Constitution Committee, Executive Committee, Officers Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Administration Committee, Social Planning Committee, Committee on Capital Needs and Planning, Central Committee on Scholarships in Aid, Joint Committee of the BJE and UJWF Study on Jewish Education, Nominations Committee, Pension Fund Committee, Coordinating Committee, Special Ad Hoc and Temporary Committees, Annual Campaign, Client Agencies, Joint Committee of the CJC and the UJWF, Committee on Community Organization, Sub-Committee on Construction and Administration of Community Schools, Joint Committee on Fundraising, Personnel Committee, Community Leadership Development Council, and Israel at Fifty Community Celebration.
Over 4500 photographs and a variety of other media are managed within Series 17, Campaign records.
For exact details about the contents of individual series and sub-series, please review their scope and contents notes.
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto
United Jewish Appeal
Toronto Jewish Congress
Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
For records of the predecessor of the UJWF, see Fonds 66, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto fonds.
Further detailed documentation of the proposed merger between the UJWF and the CJC (creation of the TJC) may be found in Fonds 67, Sub-sub-series 5-5-1, Files 171 and 221.
Further documentation on the United Jewish Welfare Fund may be found within Fonds 9, Series 7, records of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society.
For further detailed records of a key community leader's involvement with the UJWF see Accession 1982-8-8, the records of Samuel Godfrey, 1943-1972.