Accession consists of the records related to the activities and operations of the First Narayever Congregation. Included are board and general meeting minutes (1984-1996); general correspondence, high holiday tickets and membership lists (1970s-1990s); membership and dues ledger (1929-1983); Ritual Committee meeting minutes (1984-1988); Implementation Committee records (1970s-1980s); constitutions (1980s); newsletters (1983-2004); a blank seat deed (1920s); a cemetery map (1950s?); records regarding burial rights for the Owen Sound Hebrew Congregation (1966-1980); records regarding a court case filed by members of the congregation surrounding the egalitarian changes being planned; an album documenting SHTICK! A Celebration of Jewish Playrights (2005-2006); an album documenting the congregation's participation in a UJA Mission to Israel (2003-2004); a binder of material containing photocopied and original records in support of the research for the congregation's 100th anniversary celebrations (1970s-2014); photographs and a video recording of the 100th Anniversary exhbition opening at the Miles Nadal JCC; photographs of events hosted by the congregation; and 9 video interviews with individuals connected to the shul conducted by Sharoni Siboney for the anniversary celebrations. Interviewees are: Peter Gold, Sharon Weintraub, Murray Teitel, Rosalyn Katz, Julia Gluck, Shaya Petroff, Stuart Schoenfeld, Sylvia Solomon and Ben Rothman. Also included are family photographs and written transcripts of oral interviews conducted with members of the Hersh Petersiel family, who lived in Hastings, Ontario and had early connections to the Narayever Congregation.
The records related to Hersh Petersiel were given to the First Narayever by Marsha Beck for their upcoming 100th anniversary. Marsha agreed to donate them to the OJA along with the Narayever records.
In 1914, Jews from eastern Galicia (now in modern Ukraine) established the First Narayever Congregation in Toronto as a landsmanshaf, i.e. a society of Jewish immigrants from the same town or region. The synagogue takes its name from the small market town of Narayev, which is located in eastern Galicia. The synagogue's founders belonged to the working class and many worked in Toronto's garment industry.
Initially, congregation members met in different locations, but by 1923 their numbers and financial means had grown such that they were able to rent a small house at 70 Huron Street at the corner of Huron and Dundas. This house served as the congregation's home for twenty years.
The congregation's first president was Israel Chaim Katz and its first meeting was held at the Katz home at 156 William Street. The congregation's first rabbi was Solomon Langner, who was hired by the congregation in 1923. He retained this affiliation despite serving the Kiever Synagogue as a full-time rabbi from 1929 until he died in 1973.
In 1943, the congregation purchased property at 187-189 Brunswick Avenue from Bethel Church. This is where the the synagogue is located today.
In 1950, Henry Young became president of the congregation. He occupied that position until his death in 1976.
Shalom Langner, the son of Rabbi Solomon Langner, succeeded Young as president.
As Toronto's Jewish population began to move north, the First Narayever continued to serve Orthodox Jews living downtown. In the 1980s, the congregation struggled to balance the needs of this older generation with the young generation's desire to make the synagogue more egalitarian with respect to gender. In 1983, the congregation's new leadership team successfully advanced a proposal to allow the full participation of women in traditional services. This innovation led to several long-standing members taking legal action, but their case was dismissed on the grounds that it was not a matter for civil law.
The First Narayever's identity continued to evolve. In 2009, its membership voted to allow its rabbi, Edward Elkin, who began serving the congregation in 2000, to officiate at same-sex marriages.
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.
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.
Sub-series consists of material relating to the construction of Adas Israel synagogue's new building at 125 Cline Ave. South. This includes publicity brochures and financial records about the building campaign and correspondence, programmes, and a film of the turning of the sod. As well there is correspondence, programmes, photographs and audio recordings of the laying of the cornerstone and dedication of the synagogue. There is also a key to the synagogue which was presented at the dedication ceremony.
Physical description note: includes 27 photographs, 14 architectural drawings, 3 audio reels, 1 film reel, and 1 key.
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, Bah Mitzvah’s. Dwindling resources and membership forced the Congregation to close around 2001. Throughout its existence, over 30 rabbi's 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.
ca. 1350 photographs : col. slides and b&w prints and other material
Scope and Content
Series consists of the records of sixty-nine Quebec synagogues, fifty-nine of them in Montreal. The records include black and white Polaroid prints of the exterior and interior of synagogues and 35 mm colour slides of the same. Series also contains forms filled out for each synagogue for the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings. These forms detail the buildings' architectural details such as size, shape, construction, windows, doors, trim, stairs, etc. Series includes one audio cassette from Temple Emanu-el in Montreal, containing a recorded interview with Rabbi Stern.
The series is arranged alphabetically by city, then synagogue.
Physical description note: includes 28 cm of textual records, 1 audio cassette, and 1 architectural drawing.
The “Shuls Project” was the work of three University of Toronto architecture students, who in 1977 wrote a research paper on the eight Toronto synagogues built before World War II. Concerned at the lack of resources on these synagogues, Sidney Tenenbaum, Lynn Milstone and Sheldon Levitt foresaw the loss of communities’ recorded history as membership dwindled and elders passed on. The students conceived a project that would photograph and document every synagogue in Canada, gathering visual evidence, memorabilia, plaques and stories before they disappeared and history was lost. The students’ goal was to document synagogues’ architecture, art, and historical development through research, interviews and site visits.
The students secured a large portion of the required funding for the project from the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in Montreal, funding which was matched by the Canadian Jewish Congress. This financial support enabled Levitt, Milstone and Tenenbaum to begin their study, named “Shuls… A Study of Canadian Synagogue Architecture.” They began in the summer of 1977, traveling through the Western provinces. The next summer, they visited eight Maritime cities, Montreal and other Quebec communities. Financial support in the project’s second year was again provided by the Bronfman Family Foundation, along with the Canadian government and donations in kind from businesses, including Benjamin Photo Finishers in Toronto, and Polaroid. The summer of 1979 was spent in Ontario, with an added grant from Wintario. In total, the Shuls project team traveled over 24,000 kilometres, taking thousands of photographs and conducting several hundred interviews. Photographs were taken by Tenenbaum, with Levitt and Milstone assuming primary responsibility for researching synagogues’ history and gathering historic records. Interviews were conducted by all three researchers, in both English and Yiddish.
With no handy index of every shul in Canada, the researchers located small shuls by word of mouth. They spread word of their project and solicited assistance using press releases, letters to known communities, and slideshow presentations as they traveled. They would first examine a building to get an idea of a community’s character and heritage, then conduct interviews with designers, architects, rabbis and other prominent community members.
With the research and photographs created, the team compiled three catalogues of the Western, Eastern/Quebec, and Ontario phases of the project. These catalogues have entries on each synagogue that include historical summaries highlighting the founding, growth, mergers and decline of Jewish communities, their changing needs, changing architectural expressions and trends, and the evolving uses of synagogues over the course of the twentieth century. There are also building descriptions, some with critical comments by the authors, and lists of the photographs and slides produced.
The compilation of materials and preparation of these catalogues took place at the Project’s offices at 26 Ava Road in Toronto, and continued through the summer of 1980 when the Ontario catalogue was completed. In 1985, Tenenbaum, Milstone and Levitt published a book highlighting their work, called Treasures of a People: The Synagogues of Canada.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the records created and collected by the team of students conducting the Shuls study from 1977 to 1980. The majority of the fonds is made up of graphic material, in the form of 35mm colour slides and black-and-white Polaroid prints and (print-size) negatives. There are approximately 5110 photographs in the fonds. Fonds also consists of notes and inventory forms of buildings' architectural features. There are no interview transcripts, but the fonds does include three audio cassettes with recorded interviews and shul tours. Reference materials used in researching the history of the shuls include dedication and anniversary commemorative books and programmes, newsletters, articles and newspaper clippings. In addition the fonds contains 47 blueprints, the majority from Montreal synagogues. The fonds is arranged in the following series: 1. Quebec synagogues; 2. Ontario synagogues; 3. Western Canada synagogues; 4. Eastern Canada synagogues; 5. Reference.
Physical description note: includes 92 cm of textual records, 42 architectural drawings, 3 audio cassettes, and 1 drawing.
Physical extent note: many of the slides were culled because they were felt to be reproductions. Some of the synagogue images in the research book may therefore not be included in the fonds.
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
In 1909, the congregation legally adopted the name Chavra B’nai Israel and R.J. Hoffman became the first president. Services were held at a variety of different homes, including those of Mr. Barnett and Mr. Zalavinsky.
After the synagogue was left a large bequest in 1917 by the Friedman family, the congregation decided to purchase the house that it had been renting earlier for $3,500. The partitions between the rooms were removed to construct the sanctuary. It still continued to house the Hebrew school and provide living accommodations for the teacher and shochtim.
Due to the expansion of the community after the First World War, the house became too small to accommodate the congregation. The community therefore began to plan for a new building. The Building Committee accepted a design submitted by Nicholson & McBeth and the shul was built by the Newman Brothers. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 14, 1924. Once the synagogue was completed, a larger ceremony took place in July 1925. Services were conducted according to Orthodox tradition and membership at that time was about 30 families.
The congregation adopted a constitution in 1945. The synagogue remained affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Mixed seating emerged during the later years of the decade, however, Orthodox rabbis continued to serve the synagogue for years to come.
In 1981, the synagogue was incorporated as a charitable and religious organization. It also joined the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism organization. At this time, membership began to decline and they were barely able to maintain a minyan for daily and Friday night services.
In May 2002, B’nai Israel celebrated the 100th anniversary of the community. The celebration included an extended Shabbat service featuring Cantor Howard Shalowitz from New York, followed by a gala dinner on Saturday night with entertainment by the Toronto band Bais Groove.
The records were donated by individuals who were members of the synagogue as well as Congregation B'nai Israel from 1976 until 2009.
Scope and Content
The records document the activities of Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Catharines, Ontario. The material consists of textual, graphic, architectural and electronic records.
The fonds include bulletins, board of governors meeting minutes and reports, anniversary books, correspondence, sisterhood records, financial statements, constitutional documents, committee reports, building plans, Hebrew school materials and other items.
001. Hebrew school graduating class, 1962. Top row, from left to right: Michael Mandel, Rabbi Dr. Israel Freedman, David Cooperman, Jerry Uretsky. Bottom row, from left to right: Peter Cooperman, Bruce Nepan, Marilyn Granek, Lorraine Tator, Linda Sherman, Rick Uretsky, Howard Slepkov.
002. 1974 Bar Mitzvah class. Eden Orvitz, Jocques Kesselman, Kevin Semson, Mr. Leo Possen, Ross Metzer, Larry Ritchie, Auby Fenig, Leslie Goldfarb.
003. B’nai Brith Cub Scouts, Fall 1959. B’nai Israel Scout and Cub Pack. This photo was taken as the Troop prepared for a parade in honour of Baden Powell’s birthday.
004. Synagogue board. Top row, from left to right: Harry Offstein, Harry Rubin, Eddie Offstein, Max Silver, Harry Tomarin, Martin Revzin, Jack Engel. Bottom row, from left to right: Ben Fruitman, Dave Katzman, Jacob Cooperman, Joseph Halperin, Saul Granek.
Physical Description Note: Includes 25 photographs (jpg), 8 architectural drawings (jpg), and 1 document (jpg).
Congregation B'nai Israel (St. Catharines, Ont.)
Records are in good condition.
The records are arranged at the file level by function.
Accession consists of records documenting the 100th anniversary celebration of Congregation Knesseth Israel. The records were compiled in an indexed binder by Edwin Goldstein, president of the synagogue. Included are newsclippings, press releases and advertisements; invitations and programs; a commemorative calendar; a volunteer t-shirt, a kippa and a gift bag; correspondence with the Ontario Trillium Foundation; information on a guided architectural walking tour of the area; an Israel Today DVD featuring the synagogue; the book "One Hundred Years at the Junction Shul" written by Neil Ross and Lorne Miller; and a DVD compilation featuring video and photographic highlights from the various anniversary events.
Congregation Knesseth Israel was established in 1911 at 56 Maria Street in the West end of Toronto. Early 20th century membership in the synagogue consisted mainly of new jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, many of whom lived and worked in the Junction as artisans, peddlers, shop owners and scrap and metal collectors. Known as the Junction Shul, Knesseth Israel Synagogue was built with the labour and funds provided by the founding members and their families.
Orthodox services first began in 1913 and since the 1930s the synagogue has functioned without a rabbi, with services being led by a cantor or the congregants themselves. Some family names associated with this early period include: Alexandroff, Goldstein, Nickolaevsky, Kronis, Greenblatt, Usprich, Tanenbaum, and Naftalin.
Knesseth Israel is the oldest Toronto synagogue still in use as a synagogue today and is now cared for by the descendents of these founding families. Although members of the synagogue are now few (as the Jewish population of the Junction has waned greatly since the 1960s), the synagogue still performs High Holiday services for some 75-80 full members and 300 associate members.
Physical description note: includes 1 text, 3 objects and 2 DVDs.
The records in this accession consist of early minutes of the Executive Committee, high holiday sermons, sidureem (booklets) that were produced by the synagogue for Shabbat and the holidays, a cassette containing instructions for bar/bat mitzvah children, a CD of music entitled "Solel Sings "Kids" Songs!", and a videotaped recording of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the shul.
The records were donated to the OJA from their archives committee. This committee will be responsible for overseeing future transfers and for helping to establish an information management program within the synagogue.
Solel Congregation was established in1973. It is a reform synagogue, situated in Mississauga, that currently has a membership of 300 families.
Accession contains records documenting the administration, programs and events of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Kitchener, from 1935 to 2008. Non-textual records include photographs, architectural drawings, artifacts, and a couple of books. The textual records include newsletters, correspondence, financial ledgers, community directories, event programmes, membership lists and dues ledgers. There is considerable material on the Talmud Torah, including teaching materials, curricula, student guides, notes on parent meetings, and correspondence. There are approximately 40 photographs in the accession, of which 25 are from one 1985 shul event. Other records relate to the cemetery, memorial plaques, adult education, nursery school, Sisterhood, youth programs, bar and bat mitzvots, clubs and chevra kadisha. There are several artifacts: Rabbi Rosensweig's quill pen, athletic trophies and medallions, I.D. bracelets, Tree of Life plaques, a Hadassah Convention name tag with ribbon from 1951, and an (empty) copper mezuzzah. Records of the Kitchener-Waterloo Hebrew Day School will form a second fonds when the accession is described (see accession file folder for proposed arrangement scheme). The Hebrew Day School records include parents and staff handbooks, procedure manual, teaching materials, certificates, correspondence, governance documents, student records and attendance books with class lists.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.