Accession consists of records documenting the activities of Eitz Chaim. Included are photographs, yearbooks, class lists and registers, teachers record books and student grade reports, curriculum materials, anniversary books and 2 DVDs from a gala dinner and fundraising event. Also included is the Beth Jacob High School dedication and founders dinner book.
Known then as the Poylishe Talmud Torah, Eitz Chaim began in 1915 with a few students in one classroom guided by one teacher. The school’s first premises were in the Elm Street Shul. Within a year, a second teacher, Reb Leibish Noble, was hired, and he remained actively involved in Eitz Chaim for 30 years. There were now 30 students in two classes. The four-hour nightly sessions were held at the end of the regular public school day with an additional six hours on Sunday. Classes continued throughout the summer as well.
The school’s first building on Chestnut Street was inaugurated in August 1916, with additional classes held at a branch on Simcoe Street. The second president of the school, Yosef Shidlowsky, in a move to be more inclusive of all Orthodox Jews, changed the name of the school to Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim.
In 1917, Mr. Shidlowsky, Itshe Meyer Korolnek, and Joseph Cooper managed not only to obtain a provincial charter to open a religious school, but were also instrumental in purchasing the Italian Club at 68 D’Arcy St. to accommodate the school’s growing enrollment.
In 1920, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart arrived from Stashow, Poland, and assumed the post of spiritual leader of the Talmud Torah. He introduced more Hebrew instruction and a more intensive Torah curriculum.
In 1926, Rabbi Pinchas Ravad became the next principal, a position he retained for the next nine years. During that time, a separate girls’ class was formed and the first female teacher was hired. Although a fire in 1927 destroyed the wooden school building on D’Arcy St., a new, larger school was constructed on the same site and dedicated on December 30, 1927. After moving into the new building, student enrollment increased dramatically. Beginning with 300 students in 1929, the student body grew to 400 in 1931, 503 in 1933, and 600 in 1938.
After the passing of Rabbi Graubart, an evening high school yeshiva, the Maharil Graubart Yeshiva, was founded in 1939 to serve boys 14 years of age and up with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky acting as rosh yeshiva beginning in 1941. The building next door to the Talmud Torah, at 80 D’Arcy Street, was purchased to provide space for the yeshiva and was connected via a walkway to the Talmud Torah. As the students of Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah graduated from the elementary school, they would eventually attend the Maharil Graubart Yeshiva. That same year, Rabbi Jacob I. Wohlgelernter became principal of the Talmud Torah and a kindergarten was added in 1942.
Seven years later, Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum officially assumed the role of principal of Eitz Chaim Schools. Beginning with only a grade 1, new grades were added every year until grades 1 through 9 were in place. Eitz Chaim gradually broadened its scope, welcoming Jewish students from many diverse backgrounds and establishing afternoon and day classes beginning in 1950 at a branch on Burnside Ave. To meet the growing demand for classes, the Torath Emeth Jewish Centre was established at 1 Viewmount Avenue in 1956.
By 1958, in response to the geographical shift of the Jewish population northward, the Tanenbaum Building was added to the complex, followed by the Korolnek Building in 1961, both at 1 Viewmount Avenue. By this time, Eitz Chaim had two principals: Rabbi Nussbaum, who oversaw Hebrew studies, and Rabbi Shlomo Jakubovitz, who oversaw general studies.
The two buildings on D’Arcy St. were sold in 1966 and the proceeds were designated toward purchasing a new school building to the north of the city. Rabbi Shlomo Jakobovits, Avraham Bleeman, Joe Goldwasser and Sam Wortsman led the way in persuading the Board of Directors to purchase the land at Patricia and Bathurst Streets. Patricia and Bathurst Streets served as the temporary location for portable units until the large, permanent building was completed in 1970. This location evolved into the boys’ campus, servicing students from all areas of the city.
Rabbi Shneur Weinberg succeeded Rabbi Nussbaum in 1969 and served as the Hebrew principal until his retirement in 1995, when Rabbi Aaron Levine took over. The position of Hebrew studies principal for the girls’ school was created in 1974 and was held by Rabbi Leibish Adler for 26 years. Rabbi Mordechai Gewirts succeeded Rabbi Adler in 2002 and was principal of the girls’ school until 2012. Eitz Chaim Schools developed rapidly and acquired an excellent reputation among North American day schools.
The female graduates of Eitz Chaim, for the most part, attended public high school. To counter this trend, Beth Jacob High School, with the guidance of Eitz Chaim, was launched in 1963, with classes conducted near the Viewmount branch. In 1966, the Beth Jacob High School and Teacher’s Seminary was completed on Lawrence Avenue, culminating in the opening of a girls’ high school that became completely independent of Eitz Chaim. Today, many female graduates of Etiz Chaim continue their education at Beth Jacob High School.
The Spring Farm campus, named for the farm formerly on that site, opened its doors in 1988. Currently, Eitz Chaim serves primarily as an elementary educational institute under the guidance of Rabbi Isser Pliner.
History from http://www.eitzchaim.com/index.php?page=history (viewed Oct. 6, 2014)
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Physical Description note: Includes ca. 500 photographs, texts, 2 DVDs and 1 betacam cassette.
Use Conditions note: student grade reports are closed until 30 years after the death of the individual.
Accession consists of records of Canadian Young Judaea. Records include correspondence, camp committee meeting minutes, camp committee and staff lists, the CYJ constitution, organizational newsletters, donation lists, flyers and camp reunion ephemera. Records also include clippings and reproductions from the Zionist Archives, and Camp Solelim photographs, as well as publications from other Jewish organizations.
Canadian Young Judaea was founded in 1909 as a Zionist movement for Canadian youth by members of the Herzl Zion Club. As a Zionist organization, Young Judaea continues to be committed to fostering a sense of Jewish identity and values in today's Jewish youth and to encouraging a lifelong commitment to Israel.
In order to foster a closer connection to Israel, Canadian Young Judaea employs educational Shlichim from Israel who are posted to various Jewish communities throughout Canada and to offices at the national level in Toronto Young Judaea also operates several Zionist summer camps located in each region of Canada, and a summer leadership institute called Camp Biluim in Quebec. In addition to the social programme of the organization, Young Judaea also offers educational seminars and conferences.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Access restriction note: Files contain personal information of donors, campers, committee members and applicants for subsidies.
Accession consists of material documenting the activities of Ben Zion Shapiro and his family. The bulk of the records document the Shapiro family's involvement in Young Judea. Young Judea material includes: yearbooks, photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, event programmes, song books, newsletters, and two Camp Biluim flags made by Bunny Shapiro. One flag contains Camp Biluim's crest (1951) and the other one was created for Camp Biluim's colour war and contains the text "We will try and we will succeed Camp Biluim" (1954?). Also included is a VHS tape containing a copy of the Toronto Zionist Council's video about Camp Shalom (1991?). Of note are minute books maintained by Roy Shapiro for the Toronto Young Judea Administrative Board (1928-1934) and for the Leadership Club (1940-1948).
Accession also contains material relating to Roy and Ben Zion's involvement with the following organizations: the Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care), B'nai Israel Beth David Congregation, Beth Tzedec's Mispacha Program, Beth Tzedec's Israel Action Program, Congregation Beth Haminyan, and Holy Blossom Temple's Department for Jewish Living. These records include, minutes, correspondence, newsletters and publications, evaluation reports and other reports. Also included is a demographic report entitied, "Rapid Growth and Transformation: Demographic Challenges Facing the Jewish Community of Greater Toronto" (1995), material from a conference at the University of Toronto on the university's partnership with Israel, CHAT alumni directories, and a CHAT book entitled, "Voices: Jewish Teens of the 90's". Of note are buttons, photographs, reports and correspondence documenting Bunny and Ben Zion's trip to the Soviet Union on behalf of the CJC's Committee for Soviet Jewry.
Finally accession includes material documenting family activities of the Shapiro and Sherman family. Included is a transcript of Bessie Sherman telling her life story (1978), haggadot, PowerPoint presentations created by Ben Zion for his grandchildren and for a family reunion outlining the family history of his family and Bunny's family. There is also a video of Ben Zion presenting his PowerPoint at the Michalski / Cohen family reunion. Also included are family films and videos containing footage of Bunny and Ben Zion's wedding and honeymoon, Camp Biluim, Young Judea events, Bunny on Machon, family wedding anniversaries and birthday parties, trips to Israel, the United States, and Europe as well as footage of the Cousin's Club. Also included is a VHS tape containing a recorded segment from CityPulse News featuring the family's Pesach festivities in 1995.
Photo identification: Back row, left to right: Ray Markus, Michelle Landsberg, Menachem ?, Frank Narrol. Front row, left to right: Gilda Mitchell, Bunny Shapiro, BenZion Shapiro, Malka Rabinowitz.
Ben Zion Shapiro was born in Toronto in 1931 to Roy and Beck (nee Cohen) Shapiro. He has a younger brother, Morden (Mort) Shapiro (b. 1940). His father worked as an office manager at Rotstein Furniture and Maple Leaf Cleaners and his mother worked as a legal secretary until marriage. Roy was active in a number of organizations including: Young Judea, Sons of Jacob Society, Toronto Camera Club, a founding member of Beth David Synagogue, Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care) and President of the Association of Jewish Seniors. Beck was active in Young Judea and Pioneer Women (President of the Golda Meir Club).
Ben Zion received a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and attended the Jewish Agency Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem, Israel (1951-1952). He has worked for a number of organizations throughout his career, including: Young Judea (he was Director of both Camp Shalom (1962-1969) and Camp Biluim (1954-1956)), B'nai Brith Youth Organization, University Settlement, St. Christopher's House and Director of the Novomeysky Centre in Jerusalem (1957-1961). He was also Professor and Associate Dean of Social Work at the University of Toronto and three times Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Ben married Bunny (Bernice) Shaprio in 1955. Bunny was born in 1934 in Noranda, Quebec to Irving and Bessie (nee Consky) Sherman. Bunny attended public school in Noranda, Noranda High School and Forest Hill Collegiate in Toronto, University of Toronto (BA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (M.Ed. in Special Education), and the Jewish Agency Institute for Jewish Leaders from Abroad (1952-1953).
Bunny graduated from the first Camp Biluim Institute for leadership training in 1951 and worked with Ben Zion at Camp Shalom as Camp Mother in 1962 and from 1964-1969. She also worked at Camp Biluim from 1955-1956. In 1983, Bunny and Ben Zion went to the Soviet Union to visit Refuseniks on behalf of the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region.
Bunny and Ben have two children: Ayala and Ilan. Since Ben Zion's retirement in 1996, he and Bunny have been living in Jerusalem for half of each year. In 2015, they moved full-time to Jerusalem.
Physical description note: includes ca. 300 photographs (256 tiff), 2 PowerPoint presentations, 1 textual record (doc), 4 buttons, 2 flags, 5 VHS tapes, and 18 film reels (8 mm).
Accession consists of photographs of the graduating classes of the Downtown Jewish Community School from the first class in 1988 through to 2013. Missing are the photographs from the years 1998, 1999 and 2011. Also included are identification keys as well as class lists detailing student names, addresses, home schools and parent names.