Adas Israel is an orthodox congregation that was founded in the 1920s. The original building was on Cannon Street in downtown Hamilton. After the arrival of Rabbi Morton Green in 1958, a decision was made to move the synagogue to the western suburbs of Hamilton. The new building was built in 1961 and also included the Hamilton Hebrew Academy Day School. Since its move, synagogue membership has increased from 75 families to 350 families. Sol Edell became a member in 1966 after he married Celia Hoffman who was a member of the congregation. He did not attend the synagogue and had no regular involvement but did supervise a number synagogue renovation projects.
The material in this series was originally collected by the Hoffman family who were members of the congregation in the 1960s. Sol Edell became a member of the congregation after his marriage to Celia Hoffman in 1966. After her death in 1973, he inherited the material that she had collected and he continued to receive material from the congregation since he maintained his membership until his death in 2000.
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence, blueprints, photographs, audiotapes and films relating to the establishment and construction of the new synagogue in 1961. It also includes correspondence and anniversary books documenting a variety of synagogue activities such as the dedication of the synagogue and a tribute dinner honouring Rabbi Mordechai Green. Also included are synagogue bulletins from 1958 to 2000. The series is made up of 6 sub series: Building, Clergy, Religious, Programmes, Administration and Finance, and Publications.
Physical description note: includes 27 photographs, 3 audio reels, 1 film reel, 15 architectural drawings, and 1 key.
Clanton Park Synagogue was an orthodox synagogue that began as a shteibel in 1955 in the newly built up area of North York. Originally, services were held in homes or rented quarters. In 1957, land was purchased on Lowesmoor Avenue, and in 1961, the synagogue building was dedicated. The congregation, which initially consisted of 20 families, has grown steadily over the years and now has a membership of over 300 families. Sol Edell was one of the founding members of Clanton Park. He was president of the synagogue and served on the Board. He was involved in the purchase of the property and supervised the construction, the renovation and upkeep of the building. As well, he was active in the programmes sponsored by the synagogue such as the Long Life Club, which provided activities for seniors. He attended services on a daily basis and retained his membership until his death in 2000.
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence, meeting minutes, architectural drawings, and films relating to the establishment, construction and renovation of Clanton Park Synagogue. It also includes correspondence, anniversary books, photographs, films and videotapes of various synagogue activities and events including: religious celebrations, social programs, anniversary dinners and rabbinical installations. Also included are synagogue bulletins and membership lists as well as financial and legal records. Finally, series also consists of architectural drawings and textual records documenting Clanton Park's cemetery and Sisterhood.
Physical description note: includes 648 photographs, 16 architectural drawings, 4 slides, 7 audio cassettes, 5 audio reels, 5 film reels, and 4 videocassettes (VHS).
Sol Edell was active in the collection, preservation and exhibition of historical material relating to the history of Canadian Jewry. He was one of the founders and Chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region / Toronto Jewish Congress Archives (later the Ontario Jewish Archives). Among his achievements were the restoration of the Kiever Synagogue and organizing the showing of the exhibit Journey into Our Heritage. In addition, he was a financial supporter of the Baycrest Museum, the Jewish Historical Society of Canada and a member of the Toronto Jewish Historical Society.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting Sol Edell's heritage related activities, particularly his involvement with the Ontario Jewish Archives. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, financial and legal records, photographs, flyers, press releases, brochures, administrative records, reports, lists, notes, sound records, architectural drawings, exhibit material, grant applications, invitations, and programmes.
Physical description note: includes 10 photographs, 3 audio cassettes, and 5 architectural drawings.
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region / Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Toronto Jewish Historical Society
Historical Society of Western Canada
Baycrest Heritage Museum
Kiever Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Journey into Our Heritage
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Benjamin Brown (ca. 1888-1974) was the first practicing Jewish architect in Toronto. Born in what is now Lithuania, he arrived in Toronto at an early age and soon after, quit school to take a job in a garment manufacturing factory to help out his impoverished family. Not finding this career to his liking, Brown enrolled in the Ontario School of Art and Design with the intention of becoming an artist. When this profession proved financially unfeasible, Brown decided to pursue a career in architecture. After completing his high school equivalency, he enrolled in the University of Toronto architectural program, graduating in 1913. Soon after, Brown opened up a practice with fellow architect Robert McConnell, which lasted until the early 1920s. After the partnership ended, Brown set up an independent practice, which he maintained until his retirement in 1955.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents Brown’s design work and renovations of existing buildings through his original drawings, renderings, and building blueprints. The fonds consists of approximately 1500 drawings that are organized into about 150 projects. These projects include single-family residences, apartment buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, as well as synagogue and other community buildings. Many of Brown's buildings were designed in the Art Deco style, with some containing Georgian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Tudor and Romanesque elements.
Brown's most important commissions include the Beth Jacob Synagogue located on Henry Street, which was one the largest synagogues in Toronto, and the Balfour Building, an office tower built in the Art Deco style. The designs of Mendel Granatstein’s mansion, which contained a retractable roof for Sukkoth, and a colour sketch of the Primrose Club, which is currently the University of Toronto Faculty Club, may also be of interest to researchers. The fonds also includes some of Brown's files containing articles and illustrations from architecture and design journals of the early twentieth century, which he used as a resource to assist him with his work.
Fonds includes six photographs, one of the Balfour Building, one of Cumberland Hall, and four of Brown as a young man.
Architectural plans of a lead mine in Burnt River Ontario have been sent to the Kawartha Lakes Archives.
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 material documenting the Silberg family's immigration to Ontario, family life in South Africa and Ontario, education, communal involvement in Hamilton, and pharmacy businesses. Included are photographs, correspondence, ephemera from the pharmacy businesses (such as bags and a name tag), newspaper clippings, certificates, invitations, flyers, school transcripts, architectural drawings for Night-Day Pharmacy on Ryman Road East, cookbooks, and photo albums. Also included is a JNF book for a Negev dinner honouring Hilton and Shirley Silberg as well a copy of Beth Jacob Synagogue's 125th anniversary book (the Beth Jacob Family Album).
Hilton Silberg was born in Durban, South Africa in 1951 to Sam and Brina Silberg. Sam worked in the retail furniture business and Hilton has three siblings: Sheryl, Lynn and Brett. Hilton was very active in sports and played soccer, cricket and swimming. At age 11, he started competing in ballroom dancing with his sister Lynn. At age 16, he and Lynn were the South African Juvenile Ballroom Champions and runners up in the Latin American Championship. In highschool, Hilton started his own DJ business which he continued through his first years of pharmacy school.
Shirley (nee Gitlin) Silberg was born in Durban in 1951 to Max and Isabel Gitlin. Max was a physical medicine specialist and Isabel ran his practice. Shirley has two siblings: Brian and Barbara. Shirley was very active in her school's netball, field hockey and swimming teams.
Hilton and Shirley met at the Natal Pharmacy School in Durban and married in 1974. After marriage, Hilton completed his one-year mandatory service in the South African army as an officer. After his service, he and Shirley went on a ten month long backpacking trip which ended at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. This trip was an eye-opener for them and they realized that they no longer wanted to live in a country with apartaid politics. They didn't want to raise children in South Africa. They chose Canada as their destination and applied three times for entry. Thier application was rejected all three times, but Hilton staged a "sit-in" at the Canadian embassy in Pretoria and an immigration officer eventually met with him and overturned thier rejection. They arrived in Canada in August 1977.
They went to the University of Toronto School of Pharmacy for two years to re-license in Canada. In the evenings they worked in a pharmacy owned by their Canadian sponsor. In 1981, Hilton and Shirley partnered with their Canadian sponsors and opened the Amhurst Pharmacy in Dundas. In 1982 the pharmacy's name was changed to Hilton's Pharmacy. In 1987 Shopper's Drug Mart purchased Hilton's Pharmacy. The Silberg's stayed on to operate two of the franchises in Dundas. In 1992, Hilton and Shirley left Shppers Drug Mart to open the DayNight Pharmacy on the east Hamilton Mountain. This was the first pharmacy in Hamilton to remain open until midnight. Their pharmacy eventually expanded to include five stores. In 2007, they sold their business to Rexall Pharma Plus.
Hilton and Shirley have three children: Mark, Maxine and Brad. Hilton and Shirley were very active in Hamilton's community. Hilton was involved in a variety of organizations including, Beth Jacob synagogue, Shalom Village, and Jewish National Fund Hamilton. Shirley has volunteered with various Hamilton JCC programs, the Hamilton North End Breakfast Program, the 'Out of the Cold' Program, Goldie's Place day program for adults at Shalom Village, and the Jewish National Fund Hamilton.
Physical description note: includes ca. 80 photographs, 4 cookbooks, 1 architectural drawing, 3 bags, and 1 name tag.
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting Claude Heimann's immigration to Canada, career, involvement with Temple Har Zion and family life. Included are photographs, correspondence, newsletters and journals, writings and presentations by Heimann, certificates, newspaper clippings, event and conference programs, and business cards. Also included are documents with the text used for Totum Research's website.
Claude Heimann was born on 21 March 1944 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Wilhelm (Bill) Otto Heimann and Lotte Heimann (nee Rosenberg). He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Witwatersrand in 1966. In 1969, he married Adele Masail at the Pine Street Synagogue in Johannesburg. They lived in Windsor Park, Johannesburg and had two children together: Nicole Heidi (now married to Marshall Starkman) and Marc Steven.
Claude initially worked for Market Research Africa interviewing farm workers across the country. In 1971 he joined Reader's Digest in South Africa as a Research Director. Believing there would not be a peaceful solution to apartheid, Claude had decided at a young age that he would evenutally leave South Africa. He hoped that Reader's Digest was a company that might be able to transfer him to work in another country. Ten years later, in 1981, an opportunity came up with the Canadian edition of Reader's Digest in a similar role. Claude accepted the position and immigrated with his family to Toronto in May 1981. For their first few months they lived at Glengrove Manor on Yonge Street between Lawrence and Eglinton. In July, they moved into their home in Thornhill. Adele initially stayed home with the family, but eventually worked as a bookkeeper for a variety of different businesses.
Claude left Reader's Digest in 1990 to become a partner in Totum Research. Throughout his career, Claude has served on the Research Committee of PMB and has been a member of the Board of Directors of CARF for whom he served as Technical Director. He has also served on a number of other media research related committees, including the Technical Committee of AMPS and the Magazines Canada Research Committee. Claude was also active on the Board of Temple Har Zion, holding a variety of positions, including: regular Board member, Vice President for Worship, Vice President, Treasurer, President and Past President for two years on the Executive. He also reported Board decisions for the THZ monthly bulletin.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical description note: includes 2.3 MB of textual records, 6 photographs, 17 slides, and 26.3 MB of photographs.
Accession consists of material documenting the personal and professional activities of Janice Benatar. Personal records include a family tree, speeches Janice delivered at the Lipa Lippers Toastmaster's Group meetings, a Sephardic cookbook, immigration papers, and a Sharon School Reunion invitation for alumni living in Toronto. Also included are photographs of Janice with her family, performing in a ballet production with the Academy of Ballet and Jazz, with her newborn son, at her son's bar mitzvah at Chabad Flamingo, and with the keys to her first home in Thornhill. Also identified in photographs are: Elan Levitan, Viviane Benatar, Michael Benatar, Claudia Benatar, Rachel Pasternak, and Samuel Pasternak.
Also included are speeches, invitations, event programs, and video recordings of Book Of Life events as well as a bookmark that was designed by artist Enya Keshet for Book of Life honourees. Finally, accession also includes Professional Advisory Committee meeting minutes (2009-2015) and breakfast seminar presentations (2014-2015).
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical description note: includes 7 photographs, 4 DVDs, 200 KB of textual records, and 1 bookmark.
ca. 94 photographs : b&w and col. (44 tiff.) ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
1936-1990, predominant 1951-1990
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records documenting the activities of Ronnie Roth. Included are textual and graphic materials relating to Ronnie's personal life and career such as, photographs of family milestones and events; Ronnie's youth and early adulthood in South Africa, his involvement with Betar; and time as a paratrooper with the Israeli Army; Ronnie and Sandra's wedding; travel; Ronnie's insurance broker license graduation; and condolence letters sent to the Roth family after his passing. Also included are records documenting Ronnie's communal involvement, particularly his involvement with B'nai Brith Raoul Wallenberg - Yorkdale Circle Lodge, Antibes-Torresdale Ratepayers Association, and Forest Hill Ratepayers Association . B'nai Brith material includes photographs of Ronnie's participation in B'nai Brith Canada's 1986 Mission to Israel; photographs of events honouring Ronnie and his work; and an issue of The Orbit that eulogizes Ronnie. Finally, the accession consists of a business card for Ronnie's film and video entertainment company in South Africa and a Prime Minister's Certificate of Appreciation from the Conservative Party of Canada.
Identified in the photographs are: Ronnie Roth, Sandra Roth, Chantal [Roth], Gavin Roth, Elana [Roth], Morris Flicht, Frank Dimant, Ralph Snow, Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Harry Bick, Sam Pacht, Merv Rosenstein, Ralph Cohen, [?] Steinmetz, Colin Baskind, Dr. Meister, Esther Shiner, Peter Roth, Paul Roth, and Annie Guttman.
Material was in possession of Sandra Roth, Ronnie's wife. Sandra donated it to the OJA.
Ronnie Roth was born on December 24, 1938 to Mr. Dezso (Desmond) and Mrs. Erzsi (Elizabeth) Abraham of Johannesburg, South Africa. Throughout his youth, Ronnie was active in a variety of Zionist groups including: the Zionist Youth Movement of South Africa, Betar, the Zionist Revisionist Organization and the South African Zionist Federation. In his late teens, Ronnie went on Na[c]hal Tzonei-ach and joined the Tzanchanim, the elite paratrooper corps of the Israeli Army. Ronnie served in the military for three years. His time in Israel also included work on a kibbutz.
By the age of 25, Ronnie had returned to South Africa and was a director of the Tollman Group of hotels and manager of the famous Johannesburg restaurant, The Colony. Ronnie married Sandra Benn from Port Elizabeth, SA, in August 1964. Sandra was a singer, dancer and entertainer. After their marriage, they settled in Johannesburg where Ronnie continued to work as an hotelier. Their first daughter, Chantal, was born in 1966 followed by Gavin in 1969 and Elana in 1973. During this period, Ronnie’s community involvement grew as he became Executive Director of Tel Hai in 1968 and served in this role until 1970. He then joined the Jewish United Communal Fund and ran their fundraising campaign.
The Roth’s were unhappy with South Africa’s apartheid politics and were eager to emigrate. Ronnie sought employment opportunity abroad and was offered employment as a fundraiser for UJA Federation in Toronto in 1975. Ronnie accepted the position and immigrated to Toronto in 1976. Sandra followed him with their children a few months later. When he completed his UJA assignment, he became an insurance broker. After a year, he founded KRG Insurance Brokers with two partners in 1980.
Upon arriving in Canada, Ronnie became interested in immigration issues and co-founded the South African Jewish Association in Canada (SAJAC) to help other South Africans with immigration and adjustment to Canadian life. He was the organization’s first president from 1976 to 1981 and again from 1986 to 1987. Ronnie’s involvement in assisting newcomers extended to his roles as Member of the Board of Directors and Member of the Integration Committee of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society as well as Chairman of the Sherut Shalom Employment & Integration Assistance to African Jews.
Ronnie was also active in B’nai Brith Canada. He joined the Yorkdale Lodge in 1983 and went on to serve as both Vice-President and President. During his tenure as President, he played a critical role in the integration of the Yorkdale and Circle Lodges into the unified Raoul Wallenberg Lodge. He also served in various positions at the National level with B’nai Brith Canada, including as National Chairman of the Israel Cabinet, Co-Chairman of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the National Executive and Board of Governors. In 1986, the National Leadership awarded him with the B’nai Brith Canada Achievement Award. In the same year, he and his wife and fellow lodge member Sandra (the lodge’s first female full member) were honoured recipients of the Israel Bonds Negev Award.
Ronnie also held important roles in the community at-large as President of the Antibes-Torresdale Ratepayers Association and Forest Hill Ratepayers Association; President and Founder of the Rockford Community Summer Day Camp; Member of the City of North York Condominium Committee; Member of the Board of Directors of Baycrest’s Men’s Service Group; and Member of the Board of Directors of Bank Leumi (Canada).
Ronnie passed away on October 14, 1989 at the age of 50 years.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
The Brantford Hebrew Association, Congregation Beth David’s precursor, was founded in 1907 when Rabbi Backer officiated Brantford’s first public Jewish religious service in an upper hall on George Street. Services had previously taken place in the homes of Jewish families, who had begun settling in the area around the turn of the century. By 1911, services had moved to the old Conservative Hall at Dalhousie and King Street. In 1915, the congregation purchased a building at 33 Palace Street and remodeled it into a synagogue. This building was also used as a community centre and for the Congregation’s Hebrew school.
On October 13th, 1911 the congregation was incorporated, and the following year it purchased land for a cemetery in the northeast corner of Mount Hope Cemetery. Due to increasing membership, a new synagogue was built at 50 Waterloo Street in 1948. In January 1950, the congregation changed its name to Beth David in honour of member David Axler, who died during the Second World War while training as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The congregation was at its peak in the 1960s with 150 member families. However, membership drastically fell after the children of this generation moved to larger cities and their parents followed after retirement. By 1999, only 28 families remained as members and services were reduced to being held on the High Holidays and special occasions, such as, b'nai mitzvah. Dwindling resources and membership forced the congregation to close around 2001. Throughout its existence, over 30 rabbis served the congregation, including Rabbi Saul Wolfe Gringorten (ca. 1910-1923). Its cemetery continues to be looked after by Allan Norris, a past president of the congregation.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the acitivities, religious programs and services, membership, and finances of Congregation Beth David, as well as the recognition and honours awarded by and to Brantford's Jewish community. Included are meeting minutes, photographs, plaques, a key, a marriage register, general ledgers, ledgers and lists of membership dues and receipts, audited financial statements, budgets, correspondece, bulletins, office stationary, newsclippings, certificates, library book cards, bookplates, rabbi contracts, and surveys.
Fonds has been arranged into the following six series: 1. Meetings ; 2. Religious programs and services; 3. Finances & accounting ; 4. Administrative functions ; 5. Bulletins ; and, 6. Events.
Includes 10 microfiches of textual records, 5 architectural drawings, 11 photographs (4 negatives), 3 plaques, 1 mounted letter and 1 key.
Fonds was reduced from ca. 1 metre to ca. 45 cm. See accession 2001-10-3 for further information about the culled material.
Congregation Beth David (Brantford, Ont.)
The binding on some of the general ledgers is fragile and coming apart. They have been stored flat to reduce any strain.
The architectural drawings have some tears and should be flattened.
Please see the Sadie Stren fonds 78 for other records documenting Brantford's Jewish community and the Beth David Congregation, including the synagogue's original letters of incorporation.
For records related to Beth David's namesake, David Axler, and photographs of its cemetery, please see accession #2004-5-71.
For records of Rabbi Gringorten, see accession #2009-2-5 and 2008-11-3
For additional records related to Brantford families and other Jewish organizations, such as the Hadassah chapter and B'nai Brith lodge, please see accession #2001-10-3; MG 2J29a, #2009-7-1, 1978-11-4, 1977-8-16, 1992-8-3, 1980-1-14, 1978-1-2, 2008-7-1, photo# 109, photo# 755, and photo #758.
Fonds is arranged to the file-level, but only described to the series-level. Three file-level descriptions exist for files attached directly to the fonds. Photographs with existing item-level descriptions were also attached to the fonds.