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Part Of
Patricia Joy Alpert fonds
Fonds 77
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Patricia Joy Alpert fonds
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
sound recording
[ca. 1907]-2001, predominant 1990-2001
Physical Description
1.2 m of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
Patricia Joy Alpert (1931-2001) was an internationally-acclaimed artist, teacher, and dynamic community leader, most notably serving as national president of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO from 1996 to 1999. Pat was born in Toronto in 1931 to parents Oscar and Gertrude Pattenick. Oscar Pattenick, the son of Benjamin Pattenick and Pauline Goldenberg, was born in 1892 in Galicia and immigrated to Canada with his brother as a young man. The brothers ran a retail clothing business that expanded to several locations around Ontario, including Toronto and Bowmanville. Oscar married Gertrude Breslin (1896-1988) in 1917. She was one of fourteen children of Hyman Breslin and Sarah Pearl Papernick and had been raised in Toronto. Together the couple raised three children: Bernard (Boon), and twin girls Patricia and Pearl.
Pat and her sister showed artistic talent from an early age. After graduating from Oakwood Collegiate Institute, Pat enrolled at the University of Miami and graduated with a BA in art history in 1956. She started her career as a designer and display artist at the Simpson department store, doing freelance artwork and volunteering at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Pat married Herbert S. Alpert in 1958 and they had two daughters, Lisa and Nancy. Pat went back to school at Toronto Teacher's College and then taught kindergarten for eleven years for the North York Board of Education. She also earned a supervisor's art certificate and taught art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, North York Public Library, and Associated Hebrew Schools. Her artistic career took off in the 1970s, when her drawings were exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around North America. She typically drew human figures using ink.
Pat Alpert’s volunteer work began soon after her marriage, when she joined Toronto's Carmel chapter of Hadassah as a way to make new friends. In 1983, she became president of Toronto Hadassah-WIZO, serving until 1985. She continued with Toronto Hadassah as vice-president and corresponding secretary. Pat was deeply committed to Jewish life and to the State of Israel. Choosing Hadassah as the focus of her passion, she left her professional career in the 1990s to become a full-time volunteer. She served as chair of the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO Foundation, Vice-president of National Hadassah, national president from 1996 to 1999 and president of Toronto Jewish National Fund from 1992 to 1994. Pat also held positions for Israel Bonds, Jewish Women’s Federation, B’nai Brith League for Human Rights, the Holocaust Centre of Toronto, Baycrest Women’s Auxiliary and board of governors, and Reena Foundation. Pat Alpert died on October 4, 2001, at the age of seventy.
Custodial History
Donated by Herbert Alpert in late 2001 or early 2002. No documentation for this donation could be found when it was assigned an accession number in October 2002 during an inventory of the vault. Pat Alpert's daughter Nancy Spring was contacted in 2009 to sign a deed of gift.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains records documenting Patricia Joy Alpert's personal, professional and volunteer-related activities. The records include textual material, photographs, and a sound recording of a radio show announcing an exhibit of Alpert's work. The records of Alpert's professional career as an artist and a teacher are comprised of curriculum vitae and brief biographies, exhibit records and correspondence. Samples of Alpert's drawings are included, dating from the 1940s to the 1970s. The records relating to Alpert's community leadership include a large number of speeches, clippings, articles, correspondence, cards and letters, meeting minutes, and unique diary entries meticulously detailing Hadassah business, conversations and controversies. There are minutes from the following entities: Hadassah National Officers, Hadassah National Executive Board, World WIZO Executive and Canadian Hadassah Foundation. Other organizations represented in the records include the Jewish National Fund, Baycrest Women’s Auxiliary, Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, and State of Israel Bonds.
The personal records in the fonds include letters written by Pat to Herbert when he was working in England during parts of 1968-1970, letters exchanged between Pat and her daughters when the girls were at camp in 1971 and 1973, and a collection of clippings spanning twenty years in which Alpert appears. As well, there is a notebook of Pat's Torah observations, thoughts and quotations. The personal series also contains records of Gertrude Pattenick's: a handwritten homemaker's guide and recipe book, ca. 1907, and several letters exchanged between Gertrude and Oscar before and during their marriage. One file contains the obituary of Gertrude and the condolences received by Pat.
There are approximately 3175 photographs (218 negs and 45 slides) in the fonds. These are of Hadassah conferences and annual conventions, meetings, social events, Hadassah projects in Israel (contact sheets) and images of Alpert's drawings. Many of the photographs were originally in four scrapbooks Alpert created: three to highlight the events of her Hadassah presidency and one she titled "Important Moments" that spans the 1980s and 1990s. The scrapbook files (in box 3) contain photographs, clippings and a number of event programs. The photographs include images of Alpert at special events and conventions, as a speaker, meeting people, socializing and travelling in Israel and to international Hadassah events around the world.
The poster in the fonds is for an event organized by the Women's Auxiliary of Baycrest Centre in 1981, the second annual Camerata concert and gala reception.
The fonds is arranged in 6 series: 1. Personal; 2. Professional; 3. Toronto Hadassah; 4. Hadassah-WIZO Canada; 5. Jewish National Fund; 5. Hadassah-WIZO of Canada Foundation; Other organizations.
Physical description note: Includes ca. 3175 photographs (218 negatives and 45 slides), 1 cassette tape and 1 poster.
Name Access
Alpert, Patricia Joy, 1931-2001
Hadassah-WIZO Organization of Canada (Subject)
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The arrangement of the fonds was constructed by the archivist. The scrapbooks were taken apart and the captions for each event provided the titles for the files.
Alpert, Patricia Joy, 1931-2001
Accession Number
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