Accession consists of photographs documenting various trips Nicole Cohen took to South Africa as a child and adult. Photographs predominatly document Nicole visiting sites around Johannesburg, particularly her family's old apartment building. Also included are photographs of Nicky visiting her grandparents as a child, reconnecting with her family's maid, and visiting the Nelson Mandela Square with her children. Also included is one photograph of Nicole's brother, Jeremy David Cohen, in front of the Cohen family home in Thornhill (1984?).
Nicole (Nicky) Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to John Cohen and Viviane (nee Lehwess) Cohen in 1972. She has two siblings: Steven (b. 1974), and Jeremy David (1979). Viviane worked as a physiotherapist and John as a textile sales agent. Due to the unstable political situation in South Africa, the family immigrated to North York in March 1977. For the first few weeks, they lived in a rental apartment in North York. They soon moved into a townhouse nearby. In 1980, they bought their first house in Thornhill. Both John and Viviane were able to continue in their professions after immigrating to Canada. The family regularly visited South Africa.
Nicole is a clinical psychologist in Toronto. She married Jordan Kerpinsky on May 16, 1999. They have three children together: Hayley, Justin, and Ryan.
Related Material Note: for an oral history interview with Nicole Cohen see AC 422, for other Cohen family material see accession #2015-3/8.
Video recordings of Transnistria Survivors' Association's annual commemomoration ceremonies (Haskara) that took place at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue in Toronto in 2006 and 2007.
Founded in 1994, the Transnistria Survivors’ Association works to provide a voice for and raise awareness of a lesser known group of Holocaust survivors. Transnistria was the Romanian authorities’ name for the former Ukrainian region located between the Rivers Dniester and Bug. It was placed under Romanian administration following the German and Romanian conquest of Ukraine in the summer of 1941. Prior to the Second World War, Romania was home to the third largest Jewish population in Europe; but beginning with the Citizenship Revision Laws of 1938, the Jews of Romania were deprived their citizenship rights and became the targets of repressive antisemitic policies and laws. Neighbours turned on neighbours. Thousands of Jews were murdered in pogroms, either by Romanian or German troops, Nazi Einsatzgruppen, or the local population. In 1941, the Jews who remained alive in the Provinces of Bucovina and Bessarabia were deported to camps and ghettos in Transnistria. Thousands were jammed into freight trains while others were marched by foot. Many died along the way. Between 1941 and 1944, it is estimated that German and Romanian authorities, along with Ukrainian collaborators, murdered or caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews in Transnistria. Some of those who survived these tragic circumstances, especially from Bucovina and Bessarabia, and made a new home in Toronto gathered together to lend each other support and to tell their largely unknown story of oppression and survival. The Transnistria Survivor’s Association organized yearly Hazkarah (memorial) services and its dedicated members continue to share their extraordinary stories of survival through speaking engagements at schools, colleges and synagogues. Past presidents include:
1. Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly
4.Lou (Leizer) Hoffer
As of 2017, the current President is Joe Leinburd.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Transnistria Survivors Association
Transnistria (Ukraine : Territory under German and Romanian occupation, 1941-1944)
Accession consists of seven oversized colour photographs of seven mikvahs in Toronto taken by photographer Alona Yeshayav.
First image from Sephardic Kehilla Centre, 7026 Bathurst, Thornhill. Image features tiles in Greek key styling around inside perimeter, black tiled flooring, greenery along two sides of pool. Four decorative columns.
Second image from Chabad Gate Mikvah North, 770 Chabad Gate, Thornhill. Image features blue stone tiled flooring, white tiled walls with floral tiled arrangement on two walls.
Third image from Beth Avaham Yosef of Toronto, 613 Clark Ave. West, Thornhill. Image features flooring and tiles in a brown and bronze tone.
Fourth image from Chabad Flamingo, 8001 Bathurst, Thornhill. Image features decorative image of stylized female in front of lit shabbat candles, encased on one wall. Her head is covered and she is preparing to pray. Crystal or glass chandelier with hanging pendants is suspended from ceiling.
Fifth image from The Village Shul, 1072 Eglinton Ave. West, Toronto. Image features white tiled decking. Lower portion of walls have green square tiles, above which is ribbon border of white, followed by large square grey tiles. Cornice moulding at ceiling. Four wall sconces.
Sixth image from Ner Israel Yeshiva, 8950 Bathurst St., Thornhill. Image features beige square tile floor and walls. Single band of blue tiles run horizontally along two walls.
Seventh image from Chabad Lubovitch of Markham, 83 Green Lane, Thornhill. Border of grey and white tiles in diamond pattern along three sides of mikvah. Lower two-thirds of walls are tiled, upper third painted in marble pattern. A single wall sconce is mounted on one wall. Ceiling has skylight image.
Alona Yeshayav was born in Israel, July 3, 1988. She moved to Toronto in 1998 where she studied photography as part of the Image Arts program at Ryerson University. Alona works as a nutritionist. Photography is her hobby.
Conditional Access. If photos are published, credit donor as photographer.
Village Shul and Aish HaTorah Learning Centre (Toronto, Ont.)