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 records documenting the life and cantorial career of Rev. Alexander Steinberg, and to a lesser extent his son, Ben Steinberg. Included are photographs of Cantor Steinberg, fellow cantors and the Shaarei Shomayim cheder class; Cantor Steinberg's scrapbook; hand-copied solo and choral music books; correspondence; and materials relaing to Ben Steinberg's cantata Echoes of Children memorializing the children who perished in the Holocaust.
Chazzan Alexander Steinberg was born Eliyahu Steinberg in Zhitomeir, Ukraine in 1893 to Chava and Chaim Steinberg. His father was the owner and operator of a lumber yard and, as a devout Jew, brought his son Eliyahu regularly to the synagogue where he developed a love of chazzanut and, in the then traditional apprenticeship method, studied the skills which would lead him eventually to a lifetime career in the music of the traditional synagogue.
At the age of 15 he emigrated to Winnipeg, Canada and worked in a men's clothing store until he could find employment as a cantor. He began his professional life as a visiting cantor in the 1920s, travelling to smaller communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, officiating at services for Shabbat, High Holy Days and the Fesitvals, as well as presenting concerts of Hebrew and Yiddish song.
By the 1930s, he officiated regularly at the Atereth Yisrael Synagogue in Winnipeg and appeared as a concert cantor throughout the western Canadian provices (Lethbridge, Regina, Prince Albert, Edenbridge, Melville, Edmonton, Calgary, etc.) as well as Ontario (London, Hamilton, Kitchener, Sarnia, Ottawa, Fort William and Toronto) and as far away as St. Louis, Missouri and Detroit, Michigan.
He was appointed cantor of Atereth Yisrael Congregation of Winnipeg in 1930 and maintained a relationship with that Shul throughout his time in Toronto, visiting regularly to daven and present concerts.
After the death of his first wife, he married Polly Shapiro in 1928, and in 1933 he moved his family including four children (three, Sam, Ida and Laurie from his previous marriage) to Toronto, where for a time he served as cantor at Goel Tzedec Congregation.
In Toronto, Cantor Steinberg became renowned for his beautiful tenor voice and his knowledge of the liturgy. He was much sought after and officiated througout the Toronto area in synagogues such as the Hebrew Men of England, Ostrovtzer, Beth Jacob, Kiever, Goel Tzedec, Palmerston, Anshei Minsk and Lubavitcher. All this activity brought him to the attention of various synagogues in the United States as well and he travelled to Detroit and Rochester on several occasions.
In 1941, he was appointed Cantor at Shaarei Shomayim on St. Clair Ave., a congreation he served until 1950. He continued to serve outlying congregations in Hamilton, London and Sarnia until he was invited in 1953 to establish the King David Congregation in Toronto, to serve the unaffiliated during the High Holy Days. His cantorial career came to an end in April 1960 when he experienced a heart attach in London, Ontario while leading that community's Pesach service. He died at home in Toronto two days before Yom Kippur in 1960.
Benjamin Steinberg is a composer, conductor, organist, and teacher. He was born in Winnipeg on 22 January 1930 and received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto in 1961. He and his wife Mildred have two children.
A soloist at age 8 in the synagogue choir conducted by his father, Cantor Alexander Steinberg, he began conducting choirs himself at age 12. At the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto from 1948-1951 and 1957-1960 he studied composition with John Weinzweig, piano with Samuel Dolin, and voice with Weldon Kilburn. After teaching from 1953-1958 in public schools in the Toronto area and studying music education at the University of Toronto, he served from 1961-1964 as head of the music department at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute and from 1961-1964 and in the same capacity at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute from 1964-1986. He was director of school music (1950-1960) and music director (1960-1969) at Holy Blossom Temple, and in 1970 he became music director at Temple Sinai. His method for youth choirs, "Together Do They Sing" (New York 1961), was commissioned and published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Steinberg's music includes five sacred services (four published - 1963, 1969, 1969, and 1990 - by Transcontinental Music); works for choir and/or soloist and organ or orchestra (some published by Transcontinental Music and Israeli Music Publications); The Vision of Isaiah (1970) for tenor, choir, and organ or instrumental ensemble; Yerushalayim (1973) for soprano, choir, and orchestra; Echoes of Children (1979), a cantata for soloist, narrator, chorus, and orchestra (which won the International Gabriel Award and has twice been televised on PBS); and instrumental works including a suite for flute and string trio based on Israeli folksongs. Steinberg was invited by the city of Jerusalem to be an artist-in-residence in 1978 and 1980; he received the Kavod (Honour) Award of the Cantor's Assembly in 1983, and that same year received a composer's award from the American Harp Society for his Suite for Flute, Viola and Harp (1981, commissioned by Suzanne Shulman). A number of temples, synagogues, and congregations in the USA commissioned some 18 works from Steinberg between 1980 and 1991. He has also received commissions from Paul Brodie (Suite Sephardi 1980), the Chamber Players of Toronto (Suite for String Orchestra 1983), and Lawrence Cherney (Invocations 1990). Baritone Richard Allen recorded several of Steinberg's works on the cassette A Ben Steinberg Concert. (ca 1989, Transcontinental unnumbered).
Of Steinberg's music Michael Isaacson wrote, 'While conservative, pragmatic and always well-mannered, it is also gratefully mindful of its tradition in a deeply lyrical way' (Journal of Synagogue Music, June 1973). Steinberg has presented Jewish music on the CBC, has published articles on it, and has given many lecture-recitals on it in Australia, Canada, Japan, and the USA. He is a contributor to EMC, a member of the CLComp, and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.
Biographical Note: Further biographical information on Ben Steinberg is available with the accession record.
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 textual and graphic records documenting the history and professional activities of Ismé Bennie. The accession includes: a report card from Vereeniging Medium English High School; a SA identification card; documentation from her early employment history in SA; clippings of her work with News/Check magazine; newspaper articles documenting reactions to the "South Africa Speaks" documentary and her involvement with the production; correspondence received while working in public broadcasting at NET (National Educational Television, later succeeded by PBS [Public Broadcasting Service]) and OECA (Ontario Educational Communications Authority, also known as TVOntario); an invitation to the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) Personal Achievement Award party in 1990 and correspondence related to her receipt of the award; a commemmorative document written by Stuart Foxman entitled "Paragon International: Bennie Celebrates Decade at the Helm"; correspondence regarding Bennie's ten year anniversary at Paragon; an invitation to the CFTPA Jack Chisholm Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Motion Picture and Television Industry luncheon and correspondence related to her receipt of the award.
Identified in the photos are: Ismé Bennie and Veronica Tennant.
Material was in possession of Ismé Bennie. Isme donated it to the OJA.
Ismé Bennie was born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1940. She graduated from Witwatersrand University in 1960 with a B.A. in Library Science. She intially worked as a librarian at the City of Johannesburg Library and briefly left SA to seek opportunity in London. After returning from London, Ismé worked as a writer, researcher and editor with News/Check magazine until the mid-1960s. During this period, she participated in the production of "South Africa Speaks"; a Peabody Award-winning NET/WGBH produced documentary that was critical of the apartheid regime.
Bennie left SA in 1965 in search of professional opportunity and to leave the politics of apartheid. She began working primarily in public broadcasting in the United States. She continued in this field after relocating to Canada 1960s and rose to success in production at OECA,
In 1983, she founded Ismé Bennie International, a media distribution company. After it merged with production company Paragon, Bennie returned to broadcasting. She joined CHUM, (the Toronto-based media company), as Director of Development, rising to Director of Programming and Acquisitions in 1995, and that year won the (CFTPA) Jack Chisholm Award. Previously, she had received the CFTPA Personal Achievement Award in 1990. In 2003, Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT–T) recognized her contribution to supporting and developing women in broadcasting, and she received the WIFT-T Outstanding Achievement Award. Canadian Television Network (CTV) acquired CHUM in 2007 and Bennie was one of the executives retained in the acquisition. Around 2010, Bennie left CTV. Since leaving she has done consulting work and freelance writing. In 2015, she published a memoir entitled, White Schooldays : Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.