Sub-sub-series consists of widely-distributed publications listing large numbers of refusniks as well as assorted folders of refusnik file listings and fact sheets. These publications and lists were utilized by the Committee and its associated member agencies both to enhance public awareness concerning the extent of the problems and also to create mailing lists that could be used by the agencies to assist in expanding direct contact with individual refusniks.
Individual refusnik case files may be found at Fonds 17, Sub-sub-series 3-6-1.
Publications about refusniks may be found at Fonds 17, Sub-sub-series 3-6-2.
Sub-sub-series records are organized chronologically.
Individual case files and refusnik listings were assembled by numerous Soviet Jewry advocacy groups and distributed internationally. Such records were then used by groups like the Committee for Soviet Jewry in their promotional material such as leaflets and news briefs to inform the Jewish community, interest groups and members of the general public about updates to the status of individual refusnik cases and the plight of Soviet Jews within the Soviet Union.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of files documenting individual refusniks, some very well known, as well as files and publications containing lists and/or groups of Soviet Jews and documents related to group activities. Sub-series is organized into three sub-sub-series: individual case files, groups, and publications.
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.
Brantford’s B’nai Brith Lodge No. 1154 was formed on December 31, 1931 with Max White as its first president. B’nai Brith is an international service organization that was first formed in New York in 1843 to unify the American Jewish Community. B’nai Brith lodges began appearing in Canada in the late 1800s and by 1981 Canadian membership in the organization had grown large enough for the establishment of a separate Canadian district, B’nai Brith Canada. As a member of B’nai Brith, the Brantford lodge shared its mandate of assisting those in need both at home and abroad, supporting the state of Israel, and promoting human rights. The Brantford lodge has not been active since 1974. Brantford’s Jewish community has been largely inactive since 2001, when the diminishing Jewish population finally forced the closure of Brantford’s synagogue, Congregation Beth David.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the founding, presidents, and charitable activities of Brantford's B'nai Brith lodge No. 1154. Included are photographs, certificates, banners, a bell, plaques, a chanukiah, a charity box, pins, and a medal. Records are arranged at the file-level, with two items attached directly to the fonds-level.
Includes 4 plaques, 4 certificates, 1 photo album, 6 objects, and 2 banners.
Photographers and photography studios are identified on the photographs.