In addition to his ongoing involvement with Clanton Park, the Canadian Jewish Congress Archives, the Aliyah Support Group, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Shomrai Shabbos and Adas Israel, Sol Edell undertook special projects on behalf of a wide array of Jewish organizations. These include cultural (Toronto Cantorial Scholarship Fund), educational (Netivot Hatorah and Yeshivat Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot), religious (Union of Jewish Orthodox Congregations), social welfare (Association of Jewish Seniors and Co-Ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly) and Zionist (Canadian Friends of Yeshivat Hakotel and State of Israel Bonds) organizations.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting Sol Edell's involvement with a wide variety of Jewish educational, social and religious organizations and institutions in Canada, the United States, and Israel. Included are meeting minutes, publications, reports, photographs, correspondence, invitations, programmes, financial records, an architectural drawing, and a sound recording. While many of these organizations such as Eitz Chaim, Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot (educational), Mizrachi Organization of Canada, Emunah Women (Zionist) and Beth Jacob V’Anshe Drildz (synagogue) are orthodox, others such as Associated Hebrew Day Schools (educational), State of Israel Bonds (Zionist) and Co-ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (social welfare) have no religious affiliation.
Physical description note: includes 26 photographs, 1 audio cassette, and 1 architectural drawing.
Jewish Family & Child was established in 1943 from the amalgamation of a variety of different social agencies formed as early as 1868. These included the Ladies Benevolent Fund, the Free Burial Society, Jewish Family Welfare Bureau, Jewish Children’s Bureau, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Ladies Maternal Aid Society. Much of its funding and support after its inception came from the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
The first executive director of the agency was Dora Wilensky. She was a trained social worker who served for twenty-eight years, until her untimely death from cancer in 1959. Jerome Diamond took over in 1960 and Gordon Wolfe succeeded him in 1981. Ron Levin briefly replaced Wolfe after his retirement in 2003, and was succeeded in 2006 by Dr. Richard Cummings who then retired in 2015. As of 2017, Brian Prousky is the organization’s current executive director.
During the early years, fees were established, but the agency never refused to assist clients because of their inability to pay. JF&CS became one of the first agencies to rely on trained social workers. It was also the first social agency in Canada to become unionized.
Over the years the agency’s role has changed and it has expanded significantly, in terms of its staff and services. After the Second World War it played a pivotal role supporting the Holocaust orphans who came to Canada as refugees, particularly in the area of locating foster parents for these children. By 1957, the agency hired its first counsellor and became a member of the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto. The year 1968 marked the start of JF&CS’ new program involving the use of a mobile treatment centre to reach out to Jewish street kids and in 1974 they established the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre.
In 1981, JF&CS was mandated by the Province of Ontario as a Jewish children’s aid society responsible for the care and protection of all Jewish youth in the GTA. In 1983 they established the Just-A-Second Shop at 3101 Bathurst Street, which took in used goods from the community to pass on to needy families. Two years later they established the Henry G. Goodman Home for developmentally challenged children on Wilmington Avenue. The following year marked the opening of the Elm Ridge Group Living Residence for elderly people. In 1988, they opened a special shelter for abused women and children, and in 1994, they introduced their Homework Club for kids.
The current mission of Jewish Family & Child is to support the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education, and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values. Their services include counselling, rehabilitation and support, foster care, family services, and community services. These services are offered in a host of different languages including Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, French, and English.
JF&CS is an independent organization that receives its funding from a variety of different sources such as UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, United Way Toronto and York Region, the Government of Ontario, and individual donations.
As of 2017, JF&CS has nearly 130 staff providing more than thirty community services with a budget of almost $20 million. Their main office is located in the Lipa Green Centre for Community Services at 4600 Bathurst Street. They also maintain offices and run services out of their downtown branch at 35 Madison Avenue, their York Region branch inside UJA’s 1 Open Door at the Lebovic JCC, and their Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre in midtown Toronto.
Jewish Family and Child
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Diamond, Jerome D.
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director and head of Jewish Family and Child prior to accessing the records.
See also: Jewish Child Welfare Association fonds (fonds 86); Jewish Family Welfare Bureau fonds (fonds 87); Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto fonds (fonds 66); and, United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds (fonds 67).
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.
Accession consists of architectural drawings for the construction of the Northern YM-YWHA at 4600 Bathurst Street (1960) as well as floor plans for the proposed re-development of the site in 1999. Also included are submissions for the competition to design and build the Jewish War Veterans of Canada memorial at the Sherman Campus (2011).
UJA Federation meeting minutes and general correspondence are closed for 10 years from date of creation. Contracts and donor agreements are permanently closed.
Accession consists of records related to the life and career of David Green and the Jaffey family. Records include sound and video recordings of events, Goodwill Sales accounting ledgers, meeting minutes from the Jewish Canadian Military Archives and Museum, David Green's military ephemera, manuals and reports of the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees and Bequest and Endowment Fund, and Jaffey family correspondence and photographs. Records also include certificates of appreciation awarded to David Green, mainly from UJA Federation.
David Green (1919-2014) was born in the Junction in west Toronto. He served as a private in the Canadian army as part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was captured and designated MIA when he was held as a POW in Belgium. He became a member of General Wingate Branch 256 Jewish Canadian Legion. In the mid-1940s he married his wife, Sylvia (nee Jaffey) (d. 2010) and they had a daughter, Miriam. He was a longtime volunteer for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. In 1990, he was one of the first individuals to establish an Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto.
The Jaffey family consisted of Kaby Jaffey, his wife, Nellie, and their children Sylvia, Jess and Albert.
Physical description note: Accession also consists of photographs and textiles.
Accession consists of material documenting the activities of Ben Zion Shapiro and his family. The bulk of the records document the Shapiro family's involvement in Young Judea. Young Judea material includes: yearbooks, photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, event programmes, song books, newsletters, and two Camp Biluim flags made by Bunny Shapiro. One flag contains Camp Biluim's crest (1951) and the other one was created for Camp Biluim's colour war and contains the text "We will try and we will succeed Camp Biluim" (1954?). Also included is a VHS tape containing a copy of the Toronto Zionist Council's video about Camp Shalom (1991?). Of note are minute books maintained by Roy Shapiro for the Toronto Young Judea Administrative Board (1928-1934) and for the Leadership Club (1940-1948).
Accession also contains material relating to Roy and Ben Zion's involvement with the following organizations: the Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care), B'nai Israel Beth David Congregation, Beth Tzedec's Mispacha Program, Beth Tzedec's Israel Action Program, Congregation Beth Haminyan, and Holy Blossom Temple's Department for Jewish Living. These records include, minutes, correspondence, newsletters and publications, evaluation reports and other reports. Also included is a demographic report entitied, "Rapid Growth and Transformation: Demographic Challenges Facing the Jewish Community of Greater Toronto" (1995), material from a conference at the University of Toronto on the university's partnership with Israel, CHAT alumni directories, and a CHAT book entitled, "Voices: Jewish Teens of the 90's". Of note are buttons, photographs, reports and correspondence documenting Bunny and Ben Zion's trip to the Soviet Union on behalf of the CJC's Committee for Soviet Jewry.
Finally accession includes material documenting family activities of the Shapiro and Sherman family. Included is a transcript of Bessie Sherman telling her life story (1978), haggadot, PowerPoint presentations created by Ben Zion for his grandchildren and for a family reunion outlining the family history of his family and Bunny's family. There is also a video of Ben Zion presenting his PowerPoint at the Michalski / Cohen family reunion. Also included are family films and videos containing footage of Bunny and Ben Zion's wedding and honeymoon, Camp Biluim, Young Judea events, Bunny on Machon, family wedding anniversaries and birthday parties, trips to Israel, the United States, and Europe as well as footage of the Cousin's Club. Also included is a VHS tape containing a recorded segment from CityPulse News featuring the family's Pesach festivities in 1995.
Photo identification: Back row, left to right: Ray Markus, Michelle Landsberg, Menachem ?, Frank Narrol. Front row, left to right: Gilda Mitchell, Bunny Shapiro, BenZion Shapiro, Malka Rabinowitz.
Ben Zion Shapiro was born in Toronto in 1931 to Roy and Beck (nee Cohen) Shapiro. He has a younger brother, Morden (Mort) Shapiro (b. 1940). His father worked as an office manager at Rotstein Furniture and Maple Leaf Cleaners and his mother worked as a legal secretary until marriage. Roy was active in a number of organizations including: Young Judea, Sons of Jacob Society, Toronto Camera Club, a founding member of Beth David Synagogue, Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care) and President of the Association of Jewish Seniors. Beck was active in Young Judea and Pioneer Women (President of the Golda Meir Club).
Ben Zion received a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and attended the Jewish Agency Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem, Israel (1951-1952). He has worked for a number of organizations throughout his career, including: Young Judea (he was Director of both Camp Shalom (1962-1969) and Camp Biluim (1954-1956)), B'nai Brith Youth Organization, University Settlement, St. Christopher's House and Director of the Novomeysky Centre in Jerusalem (1957-1961). He was also Professor and Associate Dean of Social Work at the University of Toronto and three times Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Ben married Bunny (Bernice) Shaprio in 1955. Bunny was born in 1934 in Noranda, Quebec to Irving and Bessie (nee Consky) Sherman. Bunny attended public school in Noranda, Noranda High School and Forest Hill Collegiate in Toronto, University of Toronto (BA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (M.Ed. in Special Education), and the Jewish Agency Institute for Jewish Leaders from Abroad (1952-1953).
Bunny graduated from the first Camp Biluim Institute for leadership training in 1951 and worked with Ben Zion at Camp Shalom as Camp Mother in 1962 and from 1964-1969. She also worked at Camp Biluim from 1955-1956. In 1983, Bunny and Ben Zion went to the Soviet Union to visit Refuseniks on behalf of the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region.
Bunny and Ben have two children: Ayala and Ilan. Since Ben Zion's retirement in 1996, he and Bunny have been living in Jerusalem for half of each year. In 2015, they moved full-time to Jerusalem.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical description note: includes ca. 300 photographs (256 tiff), 2 PowerPoint presentations, 1 textual record (doc), 4 buttons, 2 flags, 5 VHS tapes, and 18 film reels (8 mm).
Accession consists of records related to the history of the Dora Wilensky Salsberg Memorial Fund at Jewish Family and Child. Included are: a Canadian Jewish News feature ("Legacy of Life") on Dora Wilensky; a Dora Wilensky Memorial Fund pamphlet; correspondence from J.B. Salsberg regarding Sharyn’s ongoing role with the Jewish Communal Service Graduate Studies Scholarship Program; correspondence regarding the Fund between Sharyn Salsberg Ezrin and Richard Cummings, Ron Levin, Gordon Wolfe, and Sam Helfenbaum; fund and endowment statements regarding the Dora Wilensky Memorial Fund; and correspondence between Sharyn and the Toronto Jewish Congress Endowment Fund.
Also includes: records documenting the J.B. Salsberg Tribute Dinner held at Beth Sholom Synagogue on November 13, 1991; Canadian Jewish News and Toronto Life profiles of J.B. Salsberg; an interview of J.B. Salsberg by Sandy Naiman; J.B. Salsberg's eulogy by Irving Abella; and one DVD of a J.B. Salsberg video tribute.
Also includes three photographs of J.B. Salsberg and Dora Wilensky, and four issues of various JF&CS publications.
Dora Wilensky Salsberg was one of Toronto’s earliest professionally trained Jewish social workers and a leader in the Canadian social work field. She was born in Russia on July 28, 1902 to Hyman and Mary Wilensky. She had three younger sisters: Bertha (b. 1903) Jenny (b. 1905), and Fagel (b.1910). In 1907, the family immigrated to Toronto where Hyman worked at a cap factory.
Dora had the highest marks in the province of Ontario upon graduating from high school and graduated as a gold medalist in modern history from McMaster University in Toronto. She initially pursued a career in teaching, but had difficulty securing a job due to discrimination. When her only job offer from Oshawa was given on the condition that she change her last name, Dora decided to become a social worker.
After studying at the New York School for Social Work and working briefly in Chicago, Dora returned to Toronto and took up the position as Executive Director of the Jewish Family Welfare Bureau in 1931. When the JF&CS was formed in 1943 she served as its first Executive Director. Under her leadership, JF&CS gained a reputation as being one of the most advanced and progressive agencies in Toronto. She was among the first to hire a psychiatric social worker and to introduce play therapy as part of treatment; she remained on top of advances being made in the field in other countries and encouraged her staff to regularly engage in professional development activities.
Dora attempted to enter the United States for professional development in the fall of 1948. She was refused entry by the commissioner of immigration and naturalization. Her aim was to attend a postgraduate course in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. In spite of numerous official letters of endorsement, her application for admission was denied.
Dora was also actively involved in various professional organizations. She was a member of the National Board of the Canadian Association of Social Workers, served on the Board of Governors and various committees of the Canadian Welfare Council, and was active on the Social Planning Council (formerly the Welfare Council of Toronto). In addition, she was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Toronto’s post-graduate course in social work. For her service to the field, she earned both the King George V and Coronation medals.
In 1927, Dora married J. B. Salsberg. Although she legally adopted his name, she always used her maiden name professionally. They did not have any children. On March 20, 1959, Dora passed away from cancer at the age of 56.
Accession consists of material documenting the Act to End Violence Against Women organization. Included are: meeting minutes of the executive board; a ledger containing executive board waivers of notice; meeting minutes and resolutions from the yearly conventions; photographs of Act to End Violence Against Women members; correspondence with other organizations; correspondence, research material, public reactions, and ephemera from various campaigns; a commemorative booklet for a B'nai Brith cantorial concert; a scrapbook on the formation of the B'nai Brith Women Claire Morry Chapter; constitutions, constitutional amendments, reports, budgets, resolutions and other records of Act to End Violence Against Women; member lists and honour roll of past chapters; material and correspondence with B'nai Brith Washington; UJA material concerning assimilation and intermarriage and 2001 Jewish census data results.
The first Canadian chapter of B'nai Brith Women International was formed in Windsor, Ontario in 1923. Other chapters were soon formed throughout Eastern Canada and additional chapters were established in Winnipeg and British Columbia after 1949. The organization was initially administered by the American B'nai Brith Women. In 1976, it finally became autonomous (although still affiliated with the American agency) and changed its name to B'nai Brith Women of Eastern Canada. In 1981, its name was changed again to B'nai Brith Women of Canada. In 1995, the organization became known as Jewish Women International of Canada (JWIC). In November 2011, the organization underwent a final name change to Act to End Violence Against Women.
JWIC is committed to social change, with a particular focus on improving the lives of women and their families. In the 1980s, the agency initiated programs to counter domestic violence and began operating safe housing for Jewish women and children known as ASTEH (Alternative Safe Temporary Emergency Housing). JWIC also runs the JWI Residential Treatment Centre for emotionally disturbed youth.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Language note: Material in English, Russian and French.
Accession consists of material documenting Pearl Mekler, her family, and her involvement in several Jewish organizations including Na'amat Canada and Bialik Hebrew Day School.
Included are: 41 photographs dating from Pearl's time with Na'amat Canada, 1 photo album that was given to Pearl by Marianne Ross, formerly of Vancouver Na'amat Pioneer Women; which features photographs of Na'amat Pioneer Women; a farewell letter to the Masada Club in Vancouver from the same; a DVD copy of a DVD recording titled Recalling the History of Bialik Hebrew Day School with Pearl Mekler (9 min 36 sec), a DVD produced by Na'amat Canada (Toronto) containing a Masada tribute video (25 min 54 sec) and photo archive, and an mp3 copy of a CD recording of the Freeman seder in 1970. The latter features the donor's father, Abraham Freeman, and two uncles, Israel and Harry, singing at the Pesach seder in 1970. It was recorded at the donor's apartment on Spadina Road.
Pearl Mekler was president of Na'amat Canada from 1981-1984. She and her husband, Peter, had three children: Mimi, Alan, and Jay. Pearl died on 4 February 2019.
Marianne Ross was involved with Vancouver Na'amat Pioneer Women before moving to Toronto. She died on 13 February 2018.
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Location of originals: USB flash drive, from which an mp4 copy of the Living History interview was made, is held by the donor. DVD of the Bialik Hebrew Day School, from which a DVD copy was made, is held by the donor.
General: A pdf copy of the booklet that came with the Freeman seder CD was made. The latter provides information about who sang at the seder.