Search Results

New Search Photo Search Audiovisual Search
33 records – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 35
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
35
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1924
Physical Description
7 architectural drawings : blueprints ; 41 cm length or smaller and 8 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of an apartment building located on Beverley St. for Mr. Benjamin Brown (in trust). Floor plans, sections and elevation drawings are included.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Accession Number
2018-1-10
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2018-1-10
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
1953
Scope and Content
Accession consists of correspondence from the acting director of the Children's Aid and Infants' Homes of Toronto located at 32 Isabella Street to the executive director of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society located at 145 Beverly Street. The subject of the correspondence concerns a reference for an applicant for the position of investigator in the Protection Department of the Children's Aid and Infants' Homes.
Custodial History
Item was discovered while processing CJC Fonds 17 holdings.
Use Conditions
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing the records.
Subjects
Orphanages
Name Access
Children's Aid and Infants' Homes of Toronto
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Isabella Street(Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Name
Sarah (Patlik) Green
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
7 January 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Sarah (Patlik) Green
Number
AC 004
Interview Date
7 January 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Sophie Milgram
AccessionNumber
AC 004
Total Running Time
38 minutes 44 seconds
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Sarah (Patlik) Green grew up living in Toronto's "Junction" neighbourhood. The family home and scrap yard business were both located on Maria St. which served as the centre for Jewish life in the Junction during the early 1900s. Sarah Patlik was involved with numerous charitable organizations including the Ontario Hospital School of Orilla and the Rubinoff and Naftolin Mishpocha.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Green, Sarah
Geographic Access
West Toronto Junction
Kingston, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Orillia, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Side A:
0.21: Family arrived from Russia in 1908-1909. Grandfather arrived first. Saved his money and brought family to Canada, one by one. Anshel Wise agency used to help families immigrate to Canada.
3.44: Move to Toronto 1909. Family moved for better employment opportunities. Family lived in rented house on Portland Avenue. Father was a laborer in a junkyard. The junkyard was located around the King area, close to home. Family then moved to Stanley Ave. off Niagara St. Stanley Ave. was a Jewish neighborhood.
6.57: Move to The Junction 1915/1916. (Junction called “Muddy York” but was part of Toronto). Grandfather saved money and opened a junkyard of his own on Maria St. Family lived in 3 different homes on Maria St., one at 225, at 283 and the last house was right in the front of the junkyard, at 202 Maria St.
8.14: Standard of living in the Junction 1915/16. The rents were $20 a month. Mother made her own bread, preserves, and pickles to put away for the winter. She shared whatever we had with some of the poorer Jewish families on Maria St.
8.56: Maria Street Shopkeepers and Services. Two butchers, Mr. Zaitzove? and Mr. Weiner? Mr. Mandel had a Jewish bakery. Mr. Bexter? was the Schochet (ritual slaughterer). A cheder and a Peretz school. Teachers: Mr McKankil, Mr. Brick and Mr. Rigelhof?
11.28: No antisemitism in the Junction recalled by Sara Patlick.
11.34: Transportation in the Junction. No streetcars. There used to be a “jitney” and for 5 cents it took you right to your home. The streets were not paved and the mud came up to our “ears”. Entertainment in the Junction. We had no cars, radios nor televisions but we did have a gramophone, it was our entertainment. Mother bought a piano and paid a quarter a week for it. We all took piano lessons. Attended organized free concerts and dances at the Peretz Shul on Beverley St (first on Crawford St.). Picture shows were 5 cents.
17.27: Sarah Patlik and Charity Work. Secretary for Jewish Ladies Auxillary from the Junction. Raised money for the Weston Sanitorium. Secretary for the Old Folks Home on Cecil St. Secretary for the Antidiluvian Order of Buffalos, Lord Reading Lodge. Lodge did work for War Veterans. Hadassah. Secretary for Pride of Israel. In 1973 was made Woman of the year by the Ontario Hospital School of Orilla.
20.23: Agudath Mishpocha/Rubinoff and Naftolin Families. Families formed organization so that they would all be together and not forget who they were. Formed in 1928. Charity work and donations to: The Bloorview Hospital, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, The Heart Fund, Princess Margaret, Sick Children’s Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Baycrest, Jewish Blind, Syrian Jews, State of Israel emergency fund and bonds.
30.12: Affiliation with Pride of Israel. Joined with husband in 1933. Was Synagogue secretary for many years.
34.05: Junction Shul on Maria St. Founded in 1918/1919 by Hyman Naftolin. Shul began in a little house at 84 or 86 Maria St. Shul became too small. Abraham Tenenbaum investor of present day Junction Shul.
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Denise Rootenberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Denise Rootenberg
Number
AC 418
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--Zimbabwe
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 418 part 1: 16 min.
AC 418 part 2: 16 min.
AC 418 part 3: 16 min.
AC 418 part 4: 4 min.
Biography
Denise Rootenberg (née Abrahamson) was born in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Rhodesia). One of four sisters, she grew up in a warm Jewish community that was able to sustain an Ashkenazi synagogue, a Sephardic synagogue, and a small Reform synagogue. One of her aunts ran the local chapter of the Women’s International Zionist Organization with her sister. The aunt’s sister, meanwhile, made costumes for the repertory theatre company. Denise’s aunts also did kosher catering for simchas.
Because the Jewish community in Zimbabwe was so small, Jewish parents encouraged their children to attend university in South Africa, where they were less likely to marry outside the faith. Consequently, Denise attended university in Cape Town, living in residence for three years with one of her sisters. Ultimately, the sisters decided Cape Town was not for them and moved to Johannesburg. It was in Johannesburg that Denise met her husband, with whom she had a son. In 1989, they left South Africa to come to Canada.
The couple’s first few years in Canada were difficult ones as Denise and her husband struggled to find work and adjust to Canadian society. Eventually, however, things began to fall into place. Denise found work as an editorial assistant and then became a research analyst. Her husband, meanwhile, secured a job that enabled the couple to send their son to Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto and the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT).
Denise and her husband belong to Aish Toronto. Their son married his wife at the synagogue.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Rootenberg, Denise
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Harare (Zimbabwe)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:00 Denise was born in Zimbabwe. At age eighteen, she moved to Cape Town to attend University. At age 31, she immigrated to Toronto.
00:23 Denise’s maiden name was Abramson. She tells the history of the family name.
00:55 Denise's grandparents came to Zimbabwe from Poland via Sweden before the First World War.
01:16 Denise describes the jobs of her maternal and paternal grandfathers.
02:09 Describes immediate family.
02:46 Denise discusses the Jewish community of her youth in Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe) comprised of three synagogues. Denise's father was president of the Ashkenazi synagogue several times.
04:24 Denise shares memories about celebrating the Jewish holidays and the involvement of her aunts in the Jewish community.
06:06 Denise attended a small Jewish day school until grade seven. She attended a public high school. She recalls the bar mitzvah party from her youth.
07:26 Denise explains why she left Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). She attended university in Cape Town, South Africa following her older sister. Other Jewish students attended university in Johannesburg.
08:40 After university, Denise and her sister moved to Johannesburg. Her sister later moved to Israel, where she married, and they later moved to the United States.
09:00 Denise discusses her husband's family. Her father-in-law grew up in Lithuania and came to South Africa, where he lived with his aunt and later married his younger cousin. Denise recounts a colourful story about her father-in-law's journey to South Africa. Denise describes her faith-in-law's various business ventures and his dealing with white and black businesses that were segregated at the time.
12:15 There were three sons in her husband's family: David, Allan, and Lennie (Denise's husband). David, the eldest, was adopted. Denise relates stories involving David and his involvement with a racist, right-wing Afrikaans movement.
15:11 Denise and her family immigrated to Toronto in 1989.
Part 2:
01:00 Denise discusses her relationships with blacks while growing up. She attributes her more liberal views to her mother's kindness. She recalls (with shame) the poor living conditions of the blacks.
02:30 Denise discusses mandatory military service in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
03:29 Denise's husband joined the police force as a way of avoiding military service. She relates a frightening incident during the Soweto riots in 1976 involving her husband while he served in the police force.
05:52 Denise recounts her husband's constant fear that he would be required to arrest someone he knew.
06:05 Denise explains why she did not get directly involved with anti-apartheid groups and politics. Her first strong awareness of apartheid rose when she entered university.
06:57 Denise moved to Johannesburg after earning degrees in English and French at university. She describes her jobs in psychometric testing and as a proofreader for manuals for military equipment.
07:41 Denise recounts a story about the father of a boyfriend who was arrested for entering the townships without a permit and was represented by Nelson Mandela.
08:33 Denise describes how she met and eventually married her husband. Their son Mark was born in South Africa.
08:56 Denise's brother Allan and his family had already moved to Toronto.
09:37 Denise reports taht her husband's family in South Africa had the tradition similar to her own of having large holiday meals and seders.
10:00 A large contigent of her husband's family immigrated to Australia and a small segment immigrated to Canada.
10:07 Denise explains her reasons for coming to Canada. She considered Australia. She discusses early regrets for having chosen Canada rather than Australia. She discusses how in hindsight, and for a variety of reasons, she made the best choice.
13:19 Denise discusses her worries stemming from being a much pampered child growing up.
14:30 Denise describes how unsettled they felt when they first moved to Canada. She recounts a story about returning to South Africa to visit family after they had been in Canada for eighteen months. Her relatives' home was vandalized.
Part 3:
00:00 As a result of this traumatic incident, Denise and her sisters made a decision not to return to South Africa.
01:28 Denise describes some of the struggles she encountered when she initially moved to Toronto and she discusses some of the factors that contributed to feeling more settled and welcomed. Specifically, she shares a story about the efforts made by a Canadian family whose son was in her child's daycare.
04:40 Denise identifies some of the differences in religious observance between South Africa and Toronto.
06:50 Denise explains her choice of education for her son.
07:35 Denise discusses her husband's educational training and lists his work history in Toronto.
08:49 Denise explains that other than education subsidies she was unaware of other services offered by Jewish agencies to assist new immigrants and those struggling financially.
09:28 Denise outlines her work experience in Toronto and some of her work experience in South Africa.
11:19 Denise expresses appreciation for the benefits and treatment she received at her workplace. Specifically, she notes how she was accomodated after returning to work following cancer treatments.
12:18 Denise discusses the evolution of her religious observance.
15:00 Denise discusses her husband's mental health. She addresses associated issues and impact of his mental health on work and family. She identifies his experience with the police in Soweto as a factory contributing to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Part 4:
02:25 Denise identifies some of the factors that have enabled her to deal with the many life challenges she has encountered.
Source
Oral Histories

We Thought we were Orthodox

Name
Lorraine and Alan Sandler
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
12 May 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lorraine and Alan Sandler
Number
AC 420
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
Jews--Zimbabwe
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
12 May 2015
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
1 hr. 30 min.
Use Restrictions
Partially closed.
Biography
Lorraine, the daughter of European immigrants to Africa, was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) where she grew up with her three siblings. For his part, Alan was born in Cape Town, South Africa where he grew up a single child, his only brother passing away at a young age.
Alan first met Lorraine while on vacation in Bulawayo with some friends. The two dated while Alan was doing his accounting exams and Lorraine was attending teacher’s college. They married in Bulawayo after dating several years.
After their honeymoon, Alan and Lorraine began their new life in Cape Town, where they started their family. One incident in particular prompted the couple to seriously consider leaving South Africa: Their eldest son requested to attend a movie with his nanny, which would have been illegal under apartheid.
Not seeing a future in South Africa, the family looked to immigrate. Initially, Lorraine wanted to make aliyah, but Alan felt the language-barrier would be an obstacle to finding work. Eventually, they made their way to Toronto where they attended a Shabbat dinner that persuaded them that Jewish life could flourish in Canada.
The family—Alan, Lorraine, and their two sons—arrived in Canada on August 5, 1976. Unlike many subsequent Jewish South Africans who came to Toronto, the family chose to live downtown, enrolling their children in Jewish day school. Both Alan and Lorraine took on leadership roles within Toronto’s Jewish community. Alan is a founder of the South African Jewish Association of Canada and was president of the UJA Federation of Toronto. In turn, Lorraine was chair of both the Women’s Campaign and the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre. Today, their children are married and Alan and Lorraine are proud grandparents.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Sandler, Alan
Sandler, Lorraine
Geographic Access
Bulawayo (Rhodesia)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:09 Lorraine's maiden name was Weinstock. Her mother came from Lithuania. Her father came from Poland.
00:38 Lorraine describes her parents' histories and their respective journeys to Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe).
04:56 Lorraine describes her parents' courtship and decision to marry. Together they saved enough money to bring Lorraine's aunt to Rhodesia. Lorraine's father was a carpenter; her mother was a seamstress.
06:48 Lorraine describes her parents' early years together. Initially, they lived outside of Bulawayo, where her father worked for a mine. Lorraine's two older siblings, Mickey and Fay, were born there.
07:47 Lorraine's parents moved to Bulawayo. Her father and a partner started a lumber business, which flourished over time. Lorraine describes the business.
08:51 Lorraine was born. Her younger sister, Sheila, was born five years later.
09:11 Lorraine explains how despite financial struggles, life was good. She cites the weather, education, sports, friends, and fruit trees.
10:08 Lorraine describes the critical role Habonim played in her life.
11:09 Lorraine describes the Jewish community in Bulawayo. She addresses the important role the synagogue played in their lives, especially the Friday-night service.
12:30 Lorraine explains that her parents spoke Yiddish at home with one another and English with the children. The children were able to understand Yiddish, but not speak very much of it.
13:10 Lorraine attended Hebrew school but learned very little Hebrew. She learned Hebrew vocabulary at Habonim.
14:00 Alan's maternal great-grandfather came to South Africa from England. His maternal grandmother and her three sisters and four brothers were born in Cape Town. His maternal grandfather came to South Africa from Germany in 1908.
14:54 Alan's paternal grandparents came from Lithuania with other members of their shtetl. His grandparents tried (unsuccessfully) to farm. Alan explains how his father's four sisters enabled the only brother to attend university. Alan's three younger sister and father were born in South Africa. His oldest aunt was born in Lithuania.
16:35 Yiddish was not spoken. The majority of Cape Town's Jewish community came from Lithuania at the turn of the century. English was spoken at home. Alan learned Afrikaans and French at school.
17:50 Alan describes the vibrant Jewish community in Cape Town. he notes that there has been a Jewish presence in Cape Town since 1652 with the arrival of the Dutch.
19:30 Alan recalls that the meeting place for Jewish children in Cape Town was Muizenberg Beach.
19:58 Alan explains the reasons he did not have a strong Jewish education. In contrast, his Zionist education was very strong.
21:05 Alan explains that his father developed Zionist leanings while in university and he grew up in a Zionist household. He recalls meeting David Ben-Gurion and fundraising events for Israel.
22:42 Alan shares memories from his bar mitzvah. He recalls that he did not have a close connection with synagogue, but was actively involved with Zionist and Jewish community needs.
25:22 Alan contrasts the Jewish community in Cape Town with Toronto.
28:05 Alan's father was an accountant. He notes that in the 1930s and 1940s the large accounting firms did not hire Jews. The situation changed after the war as Jews became more affluent.
30:35 Alan and Lorraine describe how they met and dated.
36:20 Alan and Lorraine discuss their wedding.
38:40 Alan shares an anecdote about his aufruf (calling to the Torah) before his wedding.
40:30 Lorraine discusses their early years of marriage living in Cape Town. She discusses her and Alan's active involvement in the Jewish community.
43:17 Lorraine identifies an incident that served as a trigger for their decision to leave South Africa.
44:22 Alan discusses the inception and practice of apartheid in South Africa. He describes his personal dissonance with the situation.
47:26 Both Lorraine's father and Alan's parents supported their decision to South Africa.
48:40 Alan explains that the only people who were leaving South Africa were forced to leave because of their political activism or Zionists making aliyah. Lorraine wanted to move to Israel.
50:09 Alan and Lorraine discuss their exploration of English-speaking countries in 1974. They explain the factors that facilitated their decision to choose Toronto.
54:08 Alan discusses the financial implications of leaving a "blocked-currency state."
54:38 Alan explains his reasons for not going to Israel.
55:34 Alan discusses the sequence of events that delayed their departure until August 1976.
57:07 Lorraine discusses their difficult circumstances upon arrival in Toronto. She explains why they chose to settle in the Bathurst-Eglinton area and their decision to buy a house.
1:02:07 Alan discusses his initial involvement with the Toronto Jewish community and how he attempted to promote the needs of new Jewish South African immigrants.
1:04:00 Alan explains how he was able to integrate into a new country.
1:04:22 Once Lorraine started to run Holy Blossom Temple's preschool, she felt less isolated.
1:04:38 Alan describes the shock of a Canadian winter.
1:05:14 Alan discusses the impact of the influx of Jews from Montreal during the same period.
1:11:50 Alan describes their involvement in the Toronto Jewish community.
1:13:00 Lorraine cites her reasons for reaching out and persevering despite the obstacles.
1:14:28 Alan compares his experience to other Jewish families who remained in South Africa. He contrasts himself as an immigrant to the majority of immigrants who leave their home country.
1:16:28 Alan discusses the success of the next generation, more specifically their own children.
1:17:58 Lorraine discusses her career as a Jewish educator in early childhood education in Toronto.
1:21:24 Lorraine discusses her volunteer work in the Jewish community.
1:23:04 Alan comments that the establishment of Leo Baeck Day School was a direct result of the success of Holy Blossom Temple's preschool.
1:24:39 Lorraine displays and discusses some family mementos: heirloom candlesticks and some photographs.
1:27:38 Alan describes some family photographs and shares some family anecdotes. He discusses some of the barriers to Jews at university when his father was a student and some of the successes of Jewish students.
1:30:09 Alan and Lorraine share a photograph of their children, their spouses, and grandchildren.
Source
Oral Histories

Teacher of Teachers

It

Impact of Habonim

A Reconnaissance Mission

Name
Ivor Simmons
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ivor Simmons
Number
AC 425
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2016
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 425 part 1: 21 min.
AC 425 part 2: 20 min.
AC 425 part 3: 21 min.
AC 425 part 4: 1 min.
AC 425 part 5: 2 min.
AC 425 part 6: 4 min.
Biography
Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judicial capital, in 1937, Ivor had a pleasant childhood alongside his two brothers. Because his family lived on the “wrong side” of Naval Hill (the other side was considerably more Jewish), he counted both Jews and non-Jews among his friends. This did not mean he lacked for Jewish culture: Ivor participated in a Jewish youth movement and was sent to a nearby cheder ahead of his bar mitzvah, which he celebrated in the communal hall. Unfortunately, the cheder teacher, a European immigrant who spoke halting English, was not the best teacher and Ivor finished his education with only a partial ability to read Hebrew.
As a young man, Ivor studied chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town. He worked in South Africa for a time before leaving to go to London. At the time he left, he did not have plans to live outside South Africa, but he ended up meeting several Canadians in England who encouraged him to give Canada a try. Obtaining work without any great difficulty and finding the locals friendlier than those in England, he decided to make Canada home.
Ivor worked in marketing for a time before coming to the conclusion that he wanted to be his own boss. With a loan from his father-in-law, he purchased a small company, which he ran for twenty-seven years. He looks back on those years fondly on account of having overcome a number of obstacles along the way and treated his employees fairly. In 1997, he sold his business and decided to devote his time to travel and volunteering.
Ivor and his wife have three children, all of whom live in Canada. They also have several grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Simmons, Ivor, 1937-
Geographic Access
Bloemfontein (South Africa)
Cape Town (South Africa)
England
Sasolburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:25 Ivor was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1937. His maternal grandparents' birthplace was Russia. His paternal grandfather was born near the Lithuanian/Latvian border. His paternal grandfather travelled to England and in 1886 moved to South Africa. His paternal grandmother came to South Africa from Cardiff.
02:24 Ivor's maternal grandfather was a jeweller in Cape Town. He remarried after Ivor's maternal grandmother died. The grandfather and second wife died in a vehicular accident in the 1920s.
03:45 Ivor discusses his parents: how they met and married. Ivor's father ran a printing company and his mother was a music teacher with an interest in the arts. Ivor's mother was involved in Jewish communal affairs.
05:55 Ivor discusses his two younger brother, both of whom moved to Sydney, Australia.
09:20 Ivor describes his youth in Bloemfontein.
10:34 Ivor participated in a B'nai Brith youth movement and attended cheder until age thirteen.
12:05 Ivor had a bar mitzvah in the communal hall.
13:24 Ivor discusses his education and extracurricular activities while he attended Grey College, a boys' school in Bloemfontein. Although Afrikaans was taught in school, Ivor did not gain fluency in Afrikaans until he worked in an oil refinery in Sasolburg.
15:40 Ivor describes his Jewish education.
16:20 Ivor discusses his family's religious and cultural observance.
17:47 Ivor shares his perspective on the impact of politics in South Africa on the Jewish community and on him personally.
19:40 Ivor discusses his reasons for leaving South Africa and how he decided to move to Canada. He found a job with Union Carbide in Toronto and decided to stay.
Part 2:
00:20 Ivor shares his first impressions of living in Toronto and addresses the ease of transition for him.
02:57 Ivor arrived in Toronto on 2 June 1963 after having spent one month in Montreal.
03:40 Ivor discusses the small South African community in Toronto at that time.
05:40 Ivor discusses his family's reaction to his decision to move to Toronto. His parents remained in South Africa. Ivor describes his parents' lifestyle.
08:45 Ivor describes his professional education and career. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town. He discusses his work history in South Africa, England, and Canada.
13:20 Ivor discusses how he met his wife. He discusses his family: his two sons and one daughter. Ivor discusses his daughter's career.
Part 3:
01:15 Ivor discusses the adoption of his two sons. Ivor discusses the children's education.
06:15 Ivor's mother came to visit regularly. His father came for several visits. Ivor and his family visited South Africa.
07:35 Ivor discusses how his family celebrated Jewish holidays.
08:24 Ivor discusses his wife, Renee.
09:08 Ivor discusses the similarities between Renee's family and his family with regards to Jewish practice and values and their Jewish practice in their home.
11:10 Ivor discusses his limited participation with any organizations within the South African Jewish community in Canada.
12:10 Ivor offers reasons why it would have been difficult to raise his children had they been living in South Africa.
13:40 Ivor discusses some of his family visits to South Africa and the impressions of the children.
15:36 Ivor offers his impressions of current day South Africa.
18:16 Ivor comments on the ease with which he integrated into Canada.
19:06 Ivor discusses his volunteer involvement following his retirement and his personal interests.
Part 4:
00:00 Ivor continues to discuss his personal interests.
Part 5:
00:00 Ivor fondly reminisces about his extended family in Cape Town: his mother's sister and her husband, his mother's brothers, their wives and children, and his father's twin cousins.
Part 6:
00:00 Ivor continues to reminisce about extended family.
02:42 Ivor discusses his pleasure in travel since his retirement.
Source
Oral Histories

What was planned as just a short trip...

Watching What you Say in South Africa

Name
Richard Stern
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Richard Stern
Number
AC 426
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Occupations
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2016
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 426 part 1: 22 min.
AC 426 part 2: 22 min.
AC 426 part 3: 21 min.
AC 426 part 4: 1 min.
AC 426 part 5: 4 min.
AC 426 part 6: 3 min.
AC 427 part 7: 10 min.
AC 428 part 8: 2 min.
Use Restrictions
Waiting for Richard to Sign Waiver
Biography
The firstborn twin (he insists he and his brother are not competitive), Richard grew up in the small town of Muizenberg in an old house on the seafront with his parents and four siblings. Born in 1937, Richard’s childhood was untainted by apartheid, which came into effect eleven years later in 1948. As a child, he played with children of colour on his grandfather’s farm; by adolescence, those same childhood friends were obliged to call him Boss on account of his race.
After completing high school at Kingswood College, a Methodist boarding school five hundred miles from where he grew up, Richard returned to Muizenburg where he worked on a farm before going back to school to obtain a diploma in agriculture. Around this time, he had a small mishap working at a winery. He had been warned not to fall asleep while the grapes were fermenting; sure enough, he did just that and the next morning the winery found itself with ten thousand gallons of vinegar.
Richard gained more experience in different wineries after completing a tour of Europe with the National Union of South African Students. He stayed in England and worked at a winery located under the Tower of London and later at wine farms in Bordeaux and the Champagne region of France. While in Europe, his twin brother told him about agriculture in Israel, which prompted him to go there. It was in Israel that he met his first wife with whom he had three children.
Richard worked at several jobs in Israel and opened three of the first Supersol supermarkets there. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces. Eventually though, he decided to come to Canada, which he did with his family in 1963. In Ottawa, he operated a supermarket for a short time before going to work for the head office of Loeb. Through this position, he got to see a good deal of Canada and developed a sense of its geography and a feel for its people.
In the early 1970s, Richard made a living as his own boss in a brokerage business before the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce recruited him to market Canadian grocery and alcohol products. It was while working for the department that he became a Canadian citizen.
Today, Richard is retired and married to Doris. They have four children and eight grandchildren. He considers himself a Canadian Jew, but retains a strong affection for South Africa and its natural beauty. Since leaving, he has been back to South Africa between twenty and thirty times with Doris.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Stern, Richard, 1937-
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
England
France
Israel
Muizenberg (South Africa)
Ottawa (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
0Part 1:
00:00 Richard was born in Muizenberg, South Africa on 5 January 1937. He was the first of a set of twins.
00:57 Richard discusses his grandfather's business in Cape Town.
01:38 Richard reminisces about his childhood in Muizenberg. He shares memories about school, after-school activities, and his school performance.
04:06 Richard discusses his siblings: Robert, Maxwell, Peter, and Jean.
06:11 Richard studied viticulture. He describes the challenges he faced realizing his dreams after leaving his country and support system.
08:37 Richard reminisces about growing up in Muizenberg.
09:30 Richard discusses Jewish life and education in Muizenberg.
10:23 Richard discusses his bar mitzvah.
11:11 Richard describes the history of his parents' home.
12:07 Richard recalls his family celebrating Jewish holidays.
12:42 Richard discusses his affiliation with the Second Muizenberg Jewish Boy Scout group and camp.
13:15 Richard notes that his father was a leader in the Habonim youth movement, but did not want his children to participate in Habonim.
14:18 Richard discusses his father's involvement with the scouting movement in Cape Town. His father was involved in Jewish communal affairs. He describes his father's involvement with an entertainment group.
15:59 Richard discusses the make-up of the Jewish community in Muizenberg.
16:30 Richard shares stories involving his personal relationships with black or "coloured" Africans. He relates an incident that occurred during his first work experience.
19:40 Richard discusses the changes that arose with the introduction of apartheid in 1948. He refers to the risks associated with political involvement against the government.
22:09 Richard discusses Klingswood College, the boarding school he attended.
Part 2:
00:00 Richard continues to reminisce about attending boarding school. There were about twelve Jewish students.
03:42 Richard mentions the Sharpeville massacre.
04:12 Richard describes the student mix at Kingswood College. He describes exemptions made for Jewish students as well as mandatory church services.
06:33 Richard describes his pursuits after graduating from Kingswood College. He describes working on farms and vineyards. He earned a diploma in agricultural science from the College of Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch. He relates stories from his college years.
11:44 Richard speaks of his travels and work experience in England, France, and Israel after graduating from college.
14:19 Richard speaks of his contact with Israel's first ambassador to Canada, Michael Comay, and his first marriage to Michael's daughter, Jill. They had two children.
15:49 Richard discusses his decision to remain in Israel and his early work experience in Israel.
17:22 Richard describes suffering from jaundice while completing his army training in Israel.
18:14 Richard was in Canada for six months and then returned to Israel.
18:18 Richard describes some of the challenges he encountered as manager of some of the newly-opened chain of Supersol supermarkets in Israel.
21:26 Richard discusses his decision to apply for immigration to Canada.
Part 3:
00:00 Richard discusses the breakup between the Bronfsmans and Bert Loeb.
00:58 Richard describes his ten years of work for Loeb's in Ottawa.
02:50 Richard opens up a brokerage business in 1971.
03:11 Richard describes how and why he was approached by the government of Canada to work in industry, trade, and commerce.
03:57 Richard explains how he became a Canadian citizen.
04:45 Richard describes his involvement in marketing alcoholic beverages and grocery products on behalf of the government of Canada.
06:01 Richard discusses his post chairing Canada-Israel agreements.
06:29 Richard describes the events that led to his wife and children returning to Israel in 1967. He notes the likelihood of his moving back to South Africa had his wife not decided to return to Canada.
07:06 Richard discusses his attachment to South Africa and offers his impressions of the country.
11:37 Richard praises the liberal political position taken by Jews in South Africa.
12:30 Richard discusses his ancestry. His paternal and maternal grandfathers came from Germany to South Africa. His paternal grandmother came from New York. He tells some stories about his grandparents.
14:42 Richard muses about his lack of awareness of different Jewish groups while growing up.
16:50 Richard discusses his identity as a Canadian Jew.
18:30 Richard discusses some of his philanthropic support.
19:55 Richard recalls memories about his grandparents.
Part 4:
00:00 Richard displays and describes two photographs of himself and his siblings.
Part 5:
00:00 Richard displays a photograph of the opening of the Voortrekker monument commemorating the Afrikaner scouting movement. Richard discusses his involvement with the movement and his attendance at the opening of the monument.
01:45 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of his school cadets band.
03:03 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of his rugby team.
03:49 Richard displays a photograph of himself and his brother-in-law, Yochanan, while serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Richard discusses how Yochanan was killed in the Golan Heights in 1967.
Part 6:
00:00 Richard displays and discusses a plaque that was present to his grandfather, Max Sonnenberg, for his service in parliament for twenty years.
01:38 Richard displays and discusses a book that was written by his grandfather.
Part 7:
00:00 Richard discusses his work with Agriculture Canada as director of processed food and later director of international marketing. He took early retirement in 1990.
01:23 Richard displays and discusses a photograph from the International Dairy Congress in 1994. He shares a story about Stephen Lewis, who was a guest speaker.
03:14 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of Richard presenting a cheque to the deputy minister of agriculture repaying the grant for the Dairy Congress.
04:12 Richard displays and discusses a photograph that related to his work with the sheep council in 1997.
05:44 Richard displays and discusses a photograph that related to his work with the cervidae industry.
06:50 Richard displays and discusses a trophy honouring his father for his contributions to the Community Chest Carnival. Richard shares some stories related to the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg that was started by his father.
09:56 Richard displays and discusses a program relating to the re-opening of the Masque Theatre in 1999.
Part 8:
00:00 Richard displays and discusses a photograph from his parents' wedding.
Source
Oral Histories

Scouting

Racism?

Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Number
AC 431
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
South African Oral History 2, Part I: 1 hr. 34 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part II: 1 hr. 8 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part III: 1 hr. 9 min.
Biography
David and Lynne both come from medical families: All four of their parents were doctors and all four attended University of Cape Town Medical School at the same time. As for David and Lynne, they began dating while Lynne was in medical school and David was completing his residency program.
South Africa’s political situation was one of the main reasons David and Lynne began thinking about leaving as neither of them wanted to raise children under the apartheid regime. Their first son was born in 1965 and by 1967 they had left. The family spent a year in Glasgow before moving to Boston, where David worked at Harvard Medical School. It was during this time that they had their second child.
Because of the fact David was eligible to be conscripted if he immigrated to the United States, the couple took out student visas, which expired after three years. If the Vietnam War had not been taking place, it is conceivable that the family would have remained in the United States, David and Lynne having already adjusted to American culture and made friends in the area.
With their visas set to expire, the couple considered immigrating to a number of countries, but settled on Canada. After their arrival, their third child was born. Once David and Lynne were settled in Canada they were joined by several other family members.
David and Lynne are now retired and enjoying the best years of their life. Their son and two daughters live in Toronto and they have ten grandchildren ranging in age from twenty-four to ten years as of November 2018.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Ginsburg, David
Ginsburg, Lynne
Geographic Access
Boston (Mass.)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Durban (South Africa)
Glasgow (Scotland)
Kingston (Ont.)
London (England)
Pretoria (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part I:
00:27 Lynne discusses how she and David met, courted, and married.
00:46 David and Lynne and their respective parents graduated from medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
01:45 Lynne and David's son Neil was born in Cape Town in 1965.
01:50 Lynne explains their reasons for leaving South Africa in February 1967.
02:25 Lynne and David spent one year in Glasgow and three years in Boston.
02:58 Lynne and David have a second child.
03:22 Lynne explains why they were forced to leave the United States.
05:07 Lynne explains how she and David moved to Canada, specifically Kingston.
08:48 Lynne and David discuss the warm community of Kingston.
09:00 David and Lynne describe the positive and negative features of living in Boston.
11:14 Lynne was born in Pretoria, moved to Durban, and then moved to Cape Town.
12:25 David and Lynne reminisce about Cape Town.
13:10 David's brother and sister and Lynne's sister emigrated. Lynne's brother left for a short time but returned to South Africa.
13:40 David and Lynne muse about some of the changes that have occurred in South Africa.
15:42 David's father's family was from Lithuania; his mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne's father's family was from Lithuania; her mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne cites a trip made by her sister to Lithuania.
16:47 Lynne and David discuss safety concerns and high level of crime in South Africa and how it affected them personally.
19:24 Lynne addresses the inefficiency of modern-day South Africa.
21:30 Lynne discusses some of her family's history, including her grandparents and parents. Her maternal grandfather came from Lithuania and married her South-African-born grandmother. They lived briefly in the United States, where her mother was born. Her maternal grandparents came from Lithuania but were married in Cape Town. Her father was born in Cape Town. She discusses the challenges faced by her father as well as his accomplishments in the field of medicine.
25:55 Lynne describes her family's experiences during the Second World War: her father's role as a surgeon enlisted with the British army and her pregnant mother evacuated out of London to South Africa.
28:24 Lynne addresses the role of living near a Jewish community impacted her family.
31:12 David discusses some of his family's history. He shares a colourful story of how his maternal grandparents fled from Russia (Lituhania). They settled in a small town, Sterksstroom, South Africa. David shares a few stories about his father and family.
34:15 David and Lynne reminisce about the apartheid situation in South Africa during their childhood. David discusses the link between the nationalists and Israel He notes that the current South African government is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
36:47 David and Lynne cite incidents of antisemitism during their childhood.
38:17 David discusses the risk of making political comments during his university years.
39:14 Lynne discusses some of the restrictions imposed by the apartheid regime.
42:43 Lynne comments that her family had minimal contact with Israel and Zionist movements.
46:50 Lynne's parents spoke Yiddish with one another. David's mother spoke Yiddish, not his father. Lynne and David speak Afrikaans.
52:33 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism.
55:05 David discusses his family's practice of Judaism.
56:52 Lynne and David continue to discuss Jewish practices and the customs of their grandparents.
59:46 Lynne and David describe some of the struggles faced by their grandparents' generation and the sacrifices they made for their children. They relate some stories about David's grandfather.
1:04:44 Lynne and David recall some Jewish memories while living in Glasgow and Boston.
1:10:47 Lynne discusses her experience of becoming a bat mitzvah at age fifty-three.
1:15:26 Lynne describes their involvement with the Jewish community in Kingston.
1:18:52 Lynne and David describe some of the recent changes in practice in the Kingston synagogue.
1:20:59 Lynne and David describe their children's Jewish education and practice.
1:22:42 Lynne and David share some of their views about Judaism and practice.
1:28:48 Lynne and David relate a story involving a kiddush cup brought from Europe by David's grandfather.
1:30:16 Lynne's maiden name was Heselson.
1:30:32 Lynne presents and discusses her father's military service and medals.
1:32:20 David and Lynne list their and their parents' medical specialties.
Part II
00:00 David describes his family's religious practice, including his paternal grandfather and father. David describes his own observance.
07:50 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism. She recalls celebrating Jewish holidays with neighbours, the Gelfands. David and Lynne reminisce about Jewish foods.
Source
Oral Histories

A Two-Cent Stamp

A Way to Meet People

Racial Segregation

Name
Neville and Ruth Sischy
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
17 Nov. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Neville and Ruth Sischy
Number
AC 439
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
17 Nov. 2016
Interviewer
Miriam Borden
Total Running Time
AC 439 part 1: 37 min.
AC 439 part 2: 7 min.
AC 439 part 3: 7 min.
Biography
Neville and Ruth were born toward the beginning of apartheid rule in South Africa. Indeed, Neville was born the same year the National Party returned to power and formalized the system of apartheid. Because of their young age, Neville and Ruth were largely unaware of the political developments taking place in their country. By the time they left South Africa in the mid-1970s, the government had devolved into a police state. For them, the Canada of Pierre Elliott Trudeau was a welcome contrast to the injustice of apartheid South Africa.
Neville and Ruth grew up in traditional Jewish homes, in which their grandparents spoke Yiddish and were treated with deference. Neville met Ruth while attending medical school in Johannesburg. He was twenty-one at the time; she was eighteen. The two married on the condition that they leave South Africa and, after a positive look-see, came to Canada in 1975. Initially, Neville had trouble finding work as a general practitioner but was eventually able to open a clinic, where he has worked for forty years. Ruth, meanwhile, quickly found work in the nursery department of Holy Blossom Temple, the latter serving as a launching pad for their integration into Canadian society.
Although there were challenges along the way, Neville and Ruth have never regretted their decision to immigrate to Canada. They have four children, all of whom have made friends with the children of their Holy Blossom friends, and hope to see those friendships continue into the third generation.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Sischy, Neville
Sischy, Ruth
Geographic Access
Benoni (South Africa)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Germiston (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Vancouver (B.C.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:35 Ruth discusses her parents' immigration history. Her father came to Benoni, South Africa from Lithuania and Latvia at age fifteen. Her mother came to Cape Town from Lithuania as an infant with her mother.
03:40 Ruth discusses her Jewish home life growing up. Yiddish was the primary language spoken by her grandmothers and between her grandparents and her parents. She describes her parents' home as traditional but not religious.
05:04 Ruth discusses her education. She attended a public school. She describes her brothers' Jewish education. She did not have any formal Jewish education.
05:42 Ruth continues to describe her home life.
06:55 Neville discusses his family's immigration history. His father came from Sveskna, Lithuania to live with an aunt in South Africa at age sixteen in 1927. He eventually bought a men's clothing business in Germiston, where Neville was born. His mother was born in South Africa. His maternal grandfather came to South Africa from Lithuania at the turn of the twentieth century, leaving behind a wife and child. He was able to bring them to Johannesburg, South Africa thirteen years later.
09:23 Neville explains that he lived in Germiston until 1971, when he moved to Johannesburg to go to medical school. He met Ruth while he was attending medical school. He explains that he and Ruth were married knowing they would leave South Africa.
10:29 Neville discusses the factors that contributed to his decision to leave South Africa.
11:49 Neville considered moving to England after he did an elective there during medical school. He explains why he decided to come to Canada instead. Neville discusses the circumstances that led to two of his father's cousins to leave South Africa and come to Canada.
13:24 Neville and Ruth explain why they decided to settle in Toronto rather than Vancouver, their initial destination. Ruth discusses the challenges of leaving her family. She recalls her first Rosh Hashanah in Toronto and how she found comfort from a sense of community.
17:23 Ruth notes that she chose Toronto over Vancouver thinking she would have a greater chance of seeing family. Paradoxically, her family immigrated to Oregon.
18:21 Ruth discusses the reaction of friends and family to their decision to emigrate.
19:12 Neville and Ruth discuss a look-see visit to Canada in 1974. They relate a humorous incident involving trying to get to the Canadian embassy in Rome.
21:04 Ruth describes the homesickness she felt as a new immigrant to Canada. She highlights the poor communication at the time: slow mail; postal strikes; sending mail via Buffalo, New York; expensive and complicated long-distance phone calls.
23:06 Neville discusses some of the challenges he encountered when he first arrived.
24:38 Neville and Ruth discuss the support they received from the Jewish community. They identify support from their colleagues.
26:10 Neville and Ruth explain the factors that directed them to choose their first neighbourhood.
27:12 Ruth discusses her adjustment to Canadian winter.
28:31 Ruth comments on her surprise of being able to practice Judaism openly in Toronto.
30:44 Ruth contrasts open conversations about the Holocaust in Canada with minimal discussion in Johannesburg. Neville discusses the impact of the Holocaust on his family.
32:25 Ruth discusses the role their household staff played in her life in South Africa.
33:11 Neville recounts an anecdote demonstrating the prevalence of domestic help in white South Africa.
34:08 Neville contrasts the oppressive society of South Africa with the open, welcoming Canadian governance and society.
35:11 Neville discusses why the military was glorified in South Africa.
36:02 Ruth discusses her professional career.
Part 2:
00:47 Neville's sister and family and parents immigrated to Canada a year-and-a-half after their arrival. Ruth's family immigrated to the United States.
01:25 Neville and Ruth have four children, all born in Canada.
02:01 Both Neville and Ruth strongly identify as Canadian. Neville recalls he felt Canadian when she took his children to school. Ruth distinguishes between her "childhood life" in Africa and her "adult life" in Canada.
04:16 Ruth explains when and why she returned to South Africa for visits.
05:07 Neville discusses a desire to help young children and families in South Africa.
07:17 Neville notes the similarities between Ruth and his backgrounds (e.g. living with a grandmother, Yiddish spoken in the home).
Part 3:
00:22 Ruth explains why she is grateful for coming to Toronto.
00:47 Neville discusses a social group in Toronto comprised of former Jewish residents from Germiston. He notes that he has a large extended family in Toronto.
01:38 Ruth notes that most of their close friends tend to be South African.
02:01 Neville discusses his cousin, Ben Sischy, who had been a political activist in South Africa.
02:30 Ruth notes her awareness of South African politics became stronger after she immigrated to Canada.
03:15 Neville relates stories about black medical students in his medical school class.
04:24 Neville and Ruth explain that they visited Israel but did not consider moving there.
04:57 Neville and Ruth discuss their limited involvement with Zionist youth movements and reminisce about fundraising as children for Jewish organizations.
Source
Oral Histories

Loneliness

Basic Human Needs

Two Very Distinct Lives

Name
Nicole Cohen
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
18 Nov. 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Nicole Cohen
Number
AC 422
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
18 Nov. 2015
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 422 part 1: 22 min.
AC 422 part 2: 18 min.
AC 422 part 3: 4 min.
AC 422 part 4: 10 min.
Biography
Nicole “Nicky” Cohen moved to Canada from Johannesburg when she was five years old. Thereafter, her family went back several times. Her last trip back as a child was at age twelve. It is from these trips that she has her earliest memories of South Africa.
In 2008, Nicky returned to South Africa with her husband and children for a cousin’s wedding. While back, they visited the apartment where Nicky’s mother had grown up. As luck would have it, they made the acquaintance of the maid taking care of the apartment and who turned out to be the daughter of Nicky’s own nanny, Ruth. Ruth met with the family several times and the two sides stayed in touch for many years.
Ruth has since passed away, but Nicky hopes to return to South Africa with her husband and children in the near future.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Cohen, Nicole
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Soweto (South Africa)
Thornhill (Ont.)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:30 Nicole "Nicky" Cohen outlines her family history. Her great-grandparents came from Lithuania. Her paternal grandfather was born in Cape Town and her paternal grandmother was born in Johannesburg. Her maternal grandmother was born in Namibia. He maternal father and step-father were born in Germany and immigrated to South Africa in the 1930s.
01:40 Nicole discusses the birthplaces of her family. Her parents, Nicole, and her older brother were born in Johannesburg. Her younger brother was born in Toronto.
02:08 Nicole, aged five, immigrated to Canada with her parents on 19 March 1977.
02:23 Nicole recalls few memories from living in South Africa but shares some memories she gleaned from return trips and photographs.
03:37 Nicole recalls that her family would take four-to-six-week trips to South Africa every two years from 1977-1984.
04:52 Nicole's mother was a physiotherapist and her father was a travel agent.
05:30 Nicole explains why her parents decided to emigrate from South Africa.
06:58 Nicole discusses the maid (i.e., nanny), Ruth, from her childhood.
10:55 Nicole recalls other South African family friends they maintained when they moved to Toronto.
11:34 Nicole discusses living arrangements when her family came to Toronto. Her family settled in Thornhill.
13:15 Nicole discusses her education.
14:00 Nicole discusses the challenges of adjusting to a Toronto winter.
15:42 Nicole fondly recalls return visits to South Africa with her family.
16:45 Nicole describes attending a cousin's wedding to South Africa in 2008, twenty-four years after her last visit. She discusses the trip.
21:06 Nicole discusses the high crime rate in Johannesburg. She cites some specific examples.
Part 2:
00:00 Nicole continues to discuss the high rate of crime in Johannesburg. She discusses driving through shanty towns in Cape Town and Soweto.
02:05 Nicole recalls visiting the apartment where her grandmother had lived. She discusses some of the security enforced by gates and guards. She shares an anecdote involving her family's maid, Ruth. She describes how she reconnected with Ruth and her daughter while visiting her grandmother's former apartment.
13:00 Nicole expresses a desire to return to South Africa.
13:55 Nicole discusses relatives who remain in South Africa. She notes her father's first cousin and daughter who live in Johannesburg. She discusses where other relatives are currently living.
Part 3:
00:00 Nicole discusses the close relationship between her family and their maid, Ruth. She describes how her family supported Ruth and her family.
01:20 Nicole explains how her parents and grandmother remained in contact with Ruth even after her grandmother immigrated to Canada. She recalls an anecdote involving her family arranging for Ruth to visit Toronto when she was temporarily working with a South African family in New York in the late 1980s.
02:54 Nicole discusses the difficulty her father encouraged when he initially attempted to immigrate to Canada in 1976. She cites a fictitious letter of employment for her father that enabled her family to immigrate. The letter is on file in the archives.
Part 4:
00:00 Nicole describes photographs. Some of the photographs were taken during former and recent trips to South Africa. Some photographs include images from shanty towns, Soweto, Sun City, relatives, Nicole's grandmother's apartment, etc.
Source
Oral Histories

A Big Part of my Life

Name
Dr. Vivian Rakoff
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
24 Nov. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Vivian Rakoff
Number
AC 440
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
24 Nov. 2016
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 440 part 1: 31 min.
AC 440 part 2: 3 min.
AC 440 part 3: 2 min.
AC 440 part 4: 21 min.
Biography
Vivian was born in 1928 in Cape Town, but was quickly whisked off to Port Nolloth, a small town on the northwest coast of South Africa, where he spent his earliest years. And while Port Nolloth was home to less than a dozen Jewish families, his mother would still braid challah every Friday night.
The family moved to Cape Town when Vivian was six. At age eleven, he had a bruising encounter with apartheid that left a strong impression on him. Having innocently boarded a bus set aside for black South Africans, he was thrown off by the conductor who told him, “You can’t come here!” Afterwards, he told his aunt he was not going to live in South Africa.
After completing a degree at the University of Cape Town, Vivian set sail for England, where he was planning to study English at Oxford. Instead, he followed friends down to Marseilles where he met Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors waiting to set sail for Israel. The encounter was a pivotal one and led Vivian to journey to Israel, where he lived on kibbutz for a year.
After losing his passport, Vivian returned to South Africa, where he completed a master’s degree in psychology. He then traveled to England, this time staying for more than eight years. He studied medicine at University College London and enjoyed the city’s theatres and museums. After completing his degree, he decided it was time to see his parents so he returned once more to South Africa.
While in South Africa, Vivian met a friend who suggested he enroll in McGill University’s psychiatry program. Vivian thus set sail yet again, this time with wife and ten-month-old baby. After an eighteen day journey, the family arrived in Montreal, where Vivian did his residency. Residency complete, he accepted a job offer in Toronto, where he stayed for the rest of his career, serving as chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and as the namesake for the Rakoff Centre for Positron Emission Tomography. In 2015, the Government of Canada appointed him a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to psychiatry as well as for his role in founding the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Rakoff, Vivian, 1928-
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Montréal (Québec)
Port Nolloth (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:29 Vivian discusses the immigration of his father's family to South Africa. His grandfather left Lithuania around the turn of the twentieth century. His grandmother and her children joined him in South Africa. Vivian lists the members of the family.
04:24 Vivian discusses the immigration of his mother's family. His mother, who was born in Chicago, came to South Africa in 1914.
05:00 Vivian's family settled in Port Nolloth. Vivian discusses the economy of the region. He discusses his father's businesses and marriage to his mother, Bertha. Vivian is one of four children.
06:48 Vivian was born on 28 April 1928 and lived in Port Nolloth for his first six years.
07:35 Vivian shares memories of growing up Jewish in Port Nolloth. He recounts anecdotes concerning his father's Zionist leanings.
09:40 Vivian describes his family's Jewish observance and shares memories from his youth.
12:30 Vivian discusses the impact of Zionism in his personal life. He describes his involvement with HaShomer HaTzair and travelling to Israel.
13:13 Vivian describes synagogues in Cape Town. He discusses his Jewish education after his family moved to Cape Town when he was six.
14:26 Vivian discusses the Jewish lives of his grandparents in Lithuania. He discusses the influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and the rise of Zionism.
17:17 Vivian discusses the impact of South African politics on his life. He recalls a poem he wrote for his Zionist youth magazine. He recalls how an incident from his childhood that highlights the oppressive nature of the apartheid regime. The incident influenced his decision to leave South Africa.
21:04 Vivian describes the circumstances that triggered his decision to go to Palestine in 1947. His plan to study in England was interrupted when he decided to join a group of displaced persons in Marseilles who were travelling to Palestine. He remained there for a year.
24:26 Vivian describes his educational studies in South Africa and England.
25:27 Vivian expounds on living in London for eight years.
28:15 Vivian discusses his decision to come to Canada to study Psychiatry at McGill University.
29:18 Vivian describes his journey by steamship to Canada with his wife and ten-month-old baby.
30:13 Vivian discusses his impressions of South Africa when he returned from England.
Part 2:
00:13 Vivian discusses early memories of living in Montreal and how reality differed from expectations. He worked as a psychiatry resident at the Jewish General Hospital, but his wife, also a doctor, was unable to work. He describes a feeling of disappointment when they were not invited for High Holidays.
Part 3:
00:00 Vivian explains that he had decided to leave Montreal in 1967. He discusses Expo 67 and their many visitors.
Part 4:
00:00 Vivian discusses how his first job offer in Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital in 1967 was retracted due to antisemitism. He was then offered a position as director of postgraduate education in the psychiatry department.
01:00 Vivian describes some of the early challenges faced by his family when they arrived in Canada such as financial challenges and antisemitism.
02:28 Vivian and family move to a home on Ridgewood Road where they remain for twenty-three years.
03:00 Vivian contrasts his early experiences in Toronto with those in Montreal.
04:07 Vivian's children attended Bialik Hebrew Day School.
04:16 Vivian describes his family's Jewish observance.
04:52 Vivian explains that his primary connection to the South African Jewish community in Toronto is through relatives.
05:25 Vivian continues to discuss his Jewish observance.
06:25 Vivian discusses some of his family members who came to Toronto.
08:00 Vivian discusses his research concerning the challenges faced by children of Holocaust survivors. He continues to discuss his professional and literary writing.
09:5 Vivian outlines his professional positions: director of postgraduate education, chief of psychiatry at St. Michael's Hospital, chief of psychiatry and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
10:25 Vivian highlights a personal achievement concerning bringing a positron emission scanner to the Clark Institute (CAMH).
11:50 Vivian discusses his interest in art.
13:17 Vivian discusses some of the challenges encountered by new immigrants.
14:30 Vivian addresses his own decision to immigrate to Canada.
15:41 Vivian addresses his Canadian identity.
15:58 Vivian describes a trip with his grandchildren to Port Nolloth.
17:36 Vivian shares some of his lasting memories of Cape Town.
19:08 Vivian discusses the common destinations for South African Jewish immigration.
20:12 Vivian discusses his experience as an immigrant of Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Braiding challah with my mother

Montreal was Hostile

On Survivors

Receiving the Order of Canada

Name
Elfreda and Alec Levine
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2017
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Elfreda and Alec Levine
Number
AC 442
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2017
Interviewer
Miriam Borden
Total Running Time
AC 422 part 1: 37 min.
AC 422 part 2: 9 min.
Biography
Alec and Elfreda met when they were young teenagers. Elfreda was friends with Alec’s sister and the two would play tennis together. Despite meeting at a young age, Alec and Elfreda did not begin dating until they were in their early twenties. They married in 1958 and subsequently had three children. It was largely on account of their two eldest children that they emigrated. Their eldest son had emigrated first, initially settling in Saskatchewan, while their daughter emigrated shortly thereafter, making a home in the United Kingdom. Their youngest son chose to remain in South Africa.
Following the birth of their granddaughter in Saskatoon, Alec and Elfreda began making regular trips to Canada. As time went on and crime continued to rise in South Africa, Alec and Elfreda’s children started to encourage their parents to move to Canada. This they did in 1999, arriving in Toronto in the cold month of October. While the ice and snow initially made for a new and exciting experience, they quickly got over it.
Arriving in their sixties, Alec and Elfreda initially struggled in their new country, but soon found work and made friends. Making this process somewhat easier was the fact that the two enjoyed exploring the different areas of the city via subway, an activity they keep up to this day. Alec and Elfreda also continue to follow developments in South Africa—in part because one of their sons lives there—but now think of themselves as Canadians.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Levine, Alec
Levine, Elfreda
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Saskatchewan
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:40 Elfreda discusses her family's immigration to South Africa. Her maternal grandparents came to Cape Town from Riga, Latvia via London. Her paternal grandfather came to South Africa in his teens and settled in ?Aliwal North.
02:14 Alec discusses his family's immigration to South Africa. His parents were married in Riga, Latvia. His maternal grandfather came to South Africa. During the period of 1930-1936, he brought his five daughters and their husbands to South Africa.
03:30 Elfreda describes Jewish life in Aliwal North. She explains why the Jewish population declined over time.
05:08 Elfreda recalls travelling by train to cities for holidays and how she and Alec met during holiday.
06:41 Alec describes his Jewish life growing up in Johannesburg.
07:48 Elfreda continues to discuss Jewish life while growing up in a small community.
09:13 Alec and Elfreda discuss Jewish youth groups and camps.
10:35 Elfreda discusses her academic path: two years of nursing in Cape Town and commercial bookkeeping in Johannesburg.
12:13 Alec discusses his career path: architecture for two years then joining the family plumbing business.
13:00 Alec and Elfreda married in 1958.
13:24 Alec describes his limited involvement in politics in South Africa. Their daughter became involved with the African National Congress (ANC) while she attended university.
14:55 Elfreda shares her memories from her childhood. She recalls the impact of apartheid following the rise of the nationalists in 1948.
16:13 Alec and Elfreda discuss having household staff in their homes while growing up and after they were married.
19:50 Elfreda describes a party she held for her family's maid when she retired.
21:17 Alec and Elfreda explain when and why their two older children emigrated from South Africa. Their youngest son remained in South Africa.
22:49 Alec and Elfreda discuss the factors that contributed to their decision to immigrate to Canada.
25:13 Alec describes some incidents of violence he personally experienced in Johannesburg.
25:58 Alec and Elfreda describe their feeling about leaving South Africa and the challenges of immigrating at a later stage of life (e.g. upgrading their work skills, finding work, making new friends).
28:33 Alec and Elfreda share some of their earliest memories of moving to Canada.
30:35 Alec discusses his early efforts to find work in Canada.
33:52 Elfreda discusses her involvement with the Jewish community, notably the South African Jewish community since their arrival in Canada.
35:49 Elfreda discusses how their willingness to explore Toronto has helped with their integration.
Part 2:
00:34 Alec and Elfreda describe the response from family and friends in South Africa to their decision to leave.
02:25 Alec and Elfreda came to Canada in October 1999. Their son, Mark, came in 1986.
02:50 Alec and Elfreda discuss the easier experience of integration by their son's family compared to their own.
03:49 Elfreda relates a family story. Mark settled in a small town in Saskatchewan when he arrived in Canada. He discovered that relatives of Elfreda had settled in a small neighbouring community in 1906.
5:00 Elfreda discusses their identity as Canadians.
Elfreda discusses their ongoing connections with South Africa.
07:30 Elfreda notes that they did not experience culture shock as they settled in Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Not the Way to Live

Afrikaners Dominated Politics

Leaving your Heart in South Africa

Name
Roland Wilk
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2017
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Roland Wilk
Number
AC 443
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2017
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 443 part1: 26 min.
AC 443 part2: 37 min.
AC 443 part3: 37 min.
AC 443 part4: 177 min.
Biography
Roland grew up part of a close-knit family in the small town of Worcester, one hundred kilometres from Cape Town. At the time, Worcester was home to a small Jewish community of 120 families, the life of which revolved around a single synagogue. Despite its small numbers, the community had a rabbi, a kindergarten teacher, and a Hebrew teacher. In the cheder, Roland learned the Hebrew grammar that was to come in useful when, years later, he studied in Israel.
After high school, Roland completed his year of compulsory military service and enrolled in electrical engineering at the University of Cape Town. He met his wife-to-be, Marion, during this time. The two shared a passion for classical music that would come to shape much of their life together. When Roland went to Israel to pursue a master’s degree at the Technion in Haifa, Marion joined him for part of the time. Even though he never had any intention of making a life in Israel, Roland remembers those years with Marion as among the most blissful and care-free of his life, including representing Israel in the European Junior Bridge Championships.
After graduating in 1976, Roland returned to Cape Town and started working in his father’s business, Merrimaker Industries. After four years, Roland decided to pursue his own path in the IT industry and moved to Johannesburg in 1981 with their two children. A year later, along with two work colleagues, Roland enrolled in a part-time MBA program at Wits University. In 1984, the three founded a software engineering business which was very successful. Fifteen years later they sold the business, which provided Roland and Marion with the financial resources to retire.
The Wilk family came to Canada in July 2003 after spending many summers there at a music camp in Quebec in the late 1990s. Roland and Marion are an integral part of the Toronto classical music scene, involved both in performance and administration. Their two older children live in New York and Beit Shemesh and the two younger ones both live in Toronto.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Wilk, Roland
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Haifa (Israel)
Worcester (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:27 Roland was born on 10 March 1951 in Worcester, South Africa. He discusses the location of Worcester.
01:00 Roland discusses his family history. His paternal grandfather came to South Africa with his parents from Lithuania. He discusses an incident involving his grandfather becoming a prisoner of war while serving with the South African army during the First World War.
02:32 Roland's maternal grandfather came to South African from Lithuania via England. His maternal grandmother came as a three-year-old from Kiev at the turn of the century.
03:24 Roland discusses his grandparents' early years in South Africa. He discusses an acne business started by his great-aunt.
05:10 Roland discusses his parents: where they were born, their education, their work, and his father's service during the Second World War.
06:37 Roland's parents settled in Worcester after they married. He discusses his father's business.
07:30 Roland describes Jewish life growing up in Worcester. Roland attended a Jewish kindergarten.
08:39 Roland discusses his Jewish education.
09:30 Roland discusses the paucity of culture in Worcester and his frequent visits to Cape Town to attend concerts.
10:10 Roalnd discusses his early involvement with music.
11:18 Roland discusses his other early interests.
11:29 Roland recounts his regular visits to Cape Town.
11:58 Roland discusses his limited involvement in Jewish youth groups and camps.
12:37 Roland discusses his family's involvement in Jewish/Zionist activities. His paternal uncle lived in Israel.
13:12 Roland discusses his secular education.
14:18 Roland discusses his eleven-month compulsory military after high school in 1968.
15:40 Roland explains the reasons for moving to Cape Town. He attended the university in Cape Town, studying electrical engineering. He met his future wife while at the university.
16:44 Roland explains the reasons for his limited involvement in political activities while at university. He describes some of the political unrest and the reaction by the state/police during that time. He discusses the evolution of the movement toward a liberal democracy in South Africa.
20:09 Roland discusses his time spent in Israel pursuing his postgraduate studies at the Technion in Haifa. Marion, his future wife, joined him in Israel. Roland mentions his interest in competitive bridge.
22:31 Roland discusses his return to Cape Town following his studies. He marries Marion in November.
23:50 Roland discusses the period after his marriage. He worked in his father's business for four years.
25:35 Roland explains his decision to return to engineering in 1981 and his work in a software engineering firm in Johannesburg.
25:18 Roland describes how he met Marion.
Part 2:
00:00 Roland continues to discuss his initial relationship with Marion and their shared interest in music.
00:51 Roland discusses his involvement in the Gardens Shul choir.
02:04 Roland mentions the birth of his four children.
02:40 Roland describes Cape Town and his involvement with the Jewish community in Cape Town.
04:14 Roland discusses the impact of the unrest in South Africa on his personal life and in more general terms.
07:17 Roland discusses his move to Johannesburg, including his work, studying for a master's of business of administration (MBA) degree, and performing in a choir.
08:36 Roland discusses how he and two friends opened their own software business, BSW, in 1984. They sold the business in 1999.
10:03 Roland discusses his involvement with the Johannesburg mail choir.
10:58 Roland discusses his continued interest in music and bridge.
11:24 Roland completed his MBA in 1986.
11:52 Roland discusses the growth of the business in the telecom industry.
13:57 Roland discusses his ongoing interest in music and performance.
17:25 Roland and his two business partners took a business course at Harvard over three summers, commencing in 1994. He explains how his decision to attend a summer music camp in Quebec during his second summer at Harvard turned into an annual family summer event.
19:25 Roland discusses how and why he and his business partners ended their business in 1999.
20:43 Roland discusses his family's plans after the business was sold. His older son went to the United States, and his older daughter went to Australia with the plan to move to Israel. The rest of the family opted for Canada.
22:22 Roland explains that, as a result of his involvement with a business in England, he and his family moved to Cambridge, England in 2002 until their visas for Canada came through.
23:14 Roland and his family move to Canada in July 2003.
23:37 Roland discusses the quality of his children's education in Johannesburg, Cambridge, and Toronto.
24:30 Roland discusses extended family members who remained in South Africa.
25:24 Roland explains the system of currency movement at the time he and his family emigrated from South Africa.
26:58 Roland discusses his business plans following immigration to Canada.
28:13 Roland describes efforts to purchase a house in Toronto in March before their arrival.
31:40 Roalnd discusses his first impressions of Canada following their move.
32:10 Roland recalls his first impressions of Canada following their move.
33:20 Roland discusses joining two orchestras in Toronto.
35:10 Roland describes a relatively easy adjustment to living in Toronto.
35:45 Roland discusses the challenges of initially finding the right placement for their younger son at York Mills Collegiate.
Part 3:
00:00 Roland suggests reasons to explain the easy integration for younger children in Toronto.
01:34 Roland explains why the family chose to move to Canada.
02:27 Roland discusses his limited contact with other South Africans in Toronto. He explains that he was more inclined to seek out a music community.
03:48 Roland recalls organizing a music fundraising event for the synagogue in Cambridge.
04:38 Roland discusses his involvement on the boards of many musical organizations.
05:50 Roland continues to offer reasons to explain the ease of his integration to Canada.
09:01 Roland discusses how he identifies himself as Canadian and appreciates Canadian values.
11:17 Roland discusses his Jewish life in Toronto and the practices of his children.
12:51 Roland discusses South African traditions that he has continued in Canada.
15:00 Roland explains that he returns to South Africa for two weeks every year to stay at a time-share. He discusses friends and relatives that they visit.
19:04 Roland discusses differences between Canada and South Africa.
22:37 Roland images how his and his family's lives would be had they remained in South Africa.
24:35 Roland discusses his mother who lives in Israel.
28:00 Roland discusses the Jewish community in Worcester when he was young.
31:40 Roland discusses how he started to make cheese at home following a request from his daughter-in-law, who keeps kosher.
Part 4:
00:27 Roland discusses his involvement with various orchestras and music camps.
Source
Oral Histories

Music in the Bush

Making Cheese

Name
Anthony Melman, 1947-
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
27 Sept. 2017
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Anthony Melman, 1947-
Number
AC 447
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Businessmen
Capitalists and financiers
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
27 Sept. 2017
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
1 hr., 19 min.
Biography
Anthony R. “Tony” Melman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 June 1947 to Frances and Jack Melman. He was Frances and Jack’s second child, their first being Tony’s older sister, Lillian. Both of Tony’s parents were second-generation South Africans, his father’s family originating from Lithuania and his mother’s from Poland.
Tony describes himself as having been “quite naughty” as a child, which, among other things, resulted in him being sent to a Methodist boarding school. The experience was not entirely negative as Tony forged close friendships with other Jewish boys at the school. Prefiguring his lifelong passion for music, he even formed a rock ‘n’ roll band while he was there.
After high school, Tony enrolled in the army, eventually becoming a major. His rebellious streak alive and well, he would sometimes go AWOL in order to play music at different nightclubs around town.
Tony’s postsecondary education spanned several institutions: He holds a bachelor of science degree from Wits University, a master of business administration degree (gold medalist) from the University of Cape Town, and a doctor of philosophy degree (also from Wits). At the time, Tony thought of his PhD as a kind of “ticket” for leaving South Africa.
Tony and his wife came to Toronto in February 1977 and fell in love with the city. In July, Tony took up a position at CIBC, where he rose to the position of senior vice president. In 1984, he left CIBC to co-found Onex Corporation, where he stayed until 2006. Upon leaving Onex, he enjoyed a brief retirement before returning to the world of finance, co-founding Acasta Capital in 2012 and Acasta Enterprises in 2015.
In addition to music, Tony is passionate about health and fitness. He and his wife Valerie have three children.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Melman, Anthony
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:15 Anthony introduces himself. He states his date and place of birth and describes his immediate family. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 June 1947. Growing up, he had an older sister, Lillian. His parents were Frances and Jack Melman.
00:50 Anthony discusses his family history. His parents were born in South Africa and were second-generation South Africans. His father's family was from Lithuania originally while his mother's family was from Poland.
01:15 Anthony talks about his sister. He relates a story about her marking up his face when they were little. They weren't close. Today, she lives in Los Angeles with her family.
02:40 Anthony talks about himself as a child. He describes himself as "quite naughty." His naughty behaviour led his father to send him to boarding school.
03:55 Anthony discusses Jewish observance at home. They were Orthodox but did not run an Orthodox home. He shares memories of synagogue attendance.
05:13 Anthony discusses his father's relationship to Judaism. He describes his father as "a proud Jew." He was not, however, an especially religious man.
06:05 Anthony discusses his father's profession. Jack Melman was a lawyer who ran a family practice. He did not encourage Anthony to follow in his footsteps, professionally-speaking.
07:47 Anthony explains his decision-making process around leaving South Africa. He then talks about his family's reaction when he informed them of his decision. They were supportive.
09:25 Anthony talks about his schooling. He attended a Methodist boarding school, where he formed a rock 'n' roll band. The Jewish boys at the school bonded over their outsider status. His education was in English, although he did learn Afrikaans.
13:05 Anthony remembers his bar mitzvah. It was a fun event.
14:25 Anthony talks about his time in the army. Conscription was not mandatory at the time. His father felt it was important for Anthony to serve his country. Anthony became a major in the army. He also relates stories of going AWOL to play music at different nightclubs.
20:05 Anthony talks about his mother, who was very musical. Neither Anthony's father nor his sister were musical. Anthony concludes his love of music comes from his mother. On the whole, Anthony's family was indifferent to his musical interests. His mother-in-law appreciated his music.
23:18 Anthony elaborates upon the continuing importance of music in his life. He wrote music for each of his daughter's weddings as well as for his son's bar mitzvah. He considers his music spiritual as well as philosophical.
25:44 Anthony discusses his postsecondary education at the University of Witswatersrand, where he studied chemical engineering. He did not want to become a chemical engineer, so he went to Cape Town to attend business school. Following that, he went into the workforce only to decide to do a PhD. He saw the PhD as a "ticket" to exit South Africa.
28:57 Anthony explains how he came to North America upon completing his PhD in December 1976.
30:10 Anthony describes falling in love with Toronto. He and his wife came in February 1977. They had never experienced snow before. He began working at CIBC in July 1977.
32:20 Anthony talks about friends in Toronto who helped him and his wife get set-up.
34:45 Anthony discusses how he came to co-found Onex. It became a launching pad for his "evolution" in finance.
43:30 Anthony talks about what he means by "evolution." He talks about his early forays into business (such as selling his mother's sandwiches at school) and his later entrepreneurial endeavours. He believes it is necessary to be both tough and fair in business.
46:00 Anthony discusses a Financial Post article that profiled him. He considers himself to have been instrumental in Onex's success. He cites Celestica as an example. He speaks at length about the Labatt takeover.
50:45 Anthony returns to the theme of evolution. He considers himself to have been at grade one when he came to Canada. Now he is "as far as . . . most people can go."
52:20 Anthony talks about his decision to leave Onex after twenty-one years. He felt that the culture changed. It was not a culture that he felt comfortable with.
52:55 Anthony talks about his short-lived retirement, during which time he was the chair of Baycrest. He also devoted himself to his hobbies, including guitar and photography.
54:50 Anthony recalls his experience being approached by Belinda Stronach regarding a business opportunity. Together, they started Acasta Capital.
57:30 Anthony talks about his passion for and commitment to fitness.
1:02:05 Anthony discusses fainting in a Four Seasons hotel in New York and hitting his head on the way down. At the time, he attributed it to low blood sugar. Anthony goes on to relate his prior and subsequent health history.
1:11:00 Anthony talks about his life today, including his health, the significance of the number eleven for him, his family, and Acasta Capital/Acasta Enterprises. Anthony closes on the theme of people and the importance of people to business.
Source
Oral Histories

Methodist Boarding School

Family Reactions

Getting Started

Dealmaker of the Year

Address
216 Beverley Street
Source
Landmarks

The Apter Synagogue was formed by a group of people who came to Toronto from the area of Opatow (Apt) in Poland around the turn of the century. They first established a small synagogue on Centre Avenue near Dundas Street in the Ward. In 1918, in anticipation of more Apter immigrants coming to Toronto after the First World War, the synagogue was sold and a larger one purchased on Beverley Street. Both the synagogue members and the Apter Friendly Society met there.
Address
216 Beverley Street
Time Period
1918-unknown
Scope Note
The Apter Synagogue was formed by a group of people who came to Toronto from the area of Opatow (Apt) in Poland around the turn of the century. They first established a small synagogue on Centre Avenue near Dundas Street in the Ward. In 1918, in anticipation of more Apter immigrants coming to Toronto after the First World War, the synagogue was sold and a larger one purchased on Beverley Street. Both the synagogue members and the Apter Friendly Society met there.
History
In later years, a bitter controversy between the synagogue and society erupted and the building was sold.
Category
Political
Religious
Private Clubs
Source
Landmarks
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 103; Series 1; File 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
Fonds
103
Series
1
File
1
Material Format
textual record
Date
1936
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of handwritten lecture notes and a newspaper clipping documenting Shemen's lecture on Polish Jewry and the struggle between existence and ruin. Shemen presented this lecture to the "Not to Worry!" Club (or "Be of Good Cheer!" Club) in Radomer Hall, 210 Beverley Street.
Subjects
Jews--Poland
Lectures and lecturing
Physical Condition
The lecture notes are rolled and difficult to unfurl.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Jewish Family Welfare Bureau fonds
Clothing Centre series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 87; Series 9; File 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Jewish Family Welfare Bureau fonds
Clothing Centre series
Level
File
Fonds
87
Series
9
File
1
Material Format
textual record
architectural drawing
Date
1934-1936
Physical Description
2 folders of textual records
1 architectural drawing : blueprint, ms. annotations ; 39 x 48 cm
Admin History/Bio
The architectural firm Kaplan & Sprachman was established by Harold S. Kaplan and Abraham Sprachman in 1922. Kaplan & Sprachman were best known for their more than 300 movie theatre projects completed from the 1920s to the 1960s, designing and renovating theatres across Canada in progressive "modern" styles and using innovative building materials. In 1937, they were awarded the bronze medal in the Sixth Biennial Toronto Exhibition for their interiors to the Eglinton Theatre (400 Eglinton Ave. W.) in Toronto, considered to be the finest example of their Art deco design work.
Over the course of their careers, they designed many synagogues for the Jewish community, such as the Anshei Minsk and Shaarei Shomayim synagogues in Toronto, Beth Israel Synagogue, Edmonton, and Beth Israel Synagogue in Vancouver. They also designed the new Mount Sinai Hospital, the Oakdale Golf & Country Club, the Jewish Home for the Aged (Baycrest), and the Jewish Community Centres of Toronto and Hamilton. Their design for the Oakdale Golf & Country Club was chosen as a Canadian entrant in the Arts Competition of the 14th Olympic Games in London, 1948.
In addition to the projects already mentioned, Kaplan & Sprachman worked on retail stores, warehouses and factories, apartment buildings, and single family residences. Their partnership continued until 1965, when the firm of Kaplan & Sprachman was dissolved as of 30 October 1965. Kaplan continued to work as an architectural consultant for several years after this date.
Scope and Content
File consists of textual records and one architectual drawing documenting the renovations to the Clothing Centre, which was located at 55 Baldwin Street. Included is one blueprint and a building alteration proposal by Kaplan & Sprachman Registered Architects, correspondence and job quotes.
Name Access
Clothing Centre
Kaplan & Sprachman Registered Architects
Related Material
See also Harold S. Kaplan fonds 27.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3968
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3968
Material Format
graphic material
Date
7 June 1951
Physical Description
1 photograph
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of the first annual Board of Jewish Eduacation dinner at Murray House in Torotno. The dinner took place on 7 June 1951. The speaker is Sam Posluns, to his left (partially hidden) is Joe Diamond and Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig.
Name Access
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
Subjects
Dinners and dining
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1986-4-2
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3287
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3287
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1911]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Name Access
Sprachman, Jacob
Subjects
Storefronts
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Spadina Avenue (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1982-7-4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1164
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1164
Material Format
graphic material
Date
July 1918
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of Menachem Mendel Hyman surrounded by ten boys from his cheder class.
Name Access
Hyman, Menachem Mendel
Subjects
Heder
Students
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1977-1-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1306
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1306
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[1906 or 1907]
Physical Description
1 photograph: b&w (1 negative)
Scope and Content
Photograph of a domestic science class at Lord Dufferin School on Berkeley St. Second from the left in the front row is Mattie Levi.
Name Access
Levi, Mattie
Lord Dufferin School
Subjects
Children
Education
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1977-5-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 4799
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
4799
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1966
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of a Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Association meeting. Included are: Saul Sigler; Jack Papernick; Louis Gelber; Charlie Garfunkel.
Notes
Photo by Graphic Artists, Toronto negative #4-66-4349.
For exact identification see accession record.
Name Access
Toronto Jewish Free Loan Association
Subjects
Meetings
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1985-11-9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 4495
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
4495
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1938
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w
Admin History/Bio
The Perlmutar Bakery located at 175 Baldwin St. was opened in 1911 by Arrin Perlmutar who had immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine by way of London, England. He opened the bakery on the main floor of his home while his family of seven lived upstairs. The bakery had a wood-burning brick oven until the 1960s, when the city forced them to convert to electric. The bakery was best known for their onion buns and rye bread. Electric mixers were used for cakes and bread but almost every other step was done by hand. Bread baking was started by 10:00 pm so that there would be fresh bread to deliver in the morning. The bakery closed in 1974.
Scope and Content
Left to right: Ben Zalvin; Harry Elishevitz; Arrin Perlmutar.
Name Access
Elishevitz, Harry
Perlmutar, Arrin
Zalvin, Ben
Subjects
Challah (Bread)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1989-1-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1168
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1168
Material Format
graphic material
Date
July 23, 1918
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of the backyards and laneway behind Menachem Mendel Hyman's residence on Baldwin Street. A man seated on a horse-drawn wagon is in the laneway. The pohto appears to have been taken from a second floor window.
Name Access
Hyman, Menachem Mendel
Subjects
Dwellings
Streets
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1977-1-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1165
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1165
Material Format
graphic material
Date
April 1918
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of Menachem Mendel Hyman seated at a table with a book.
Name Access
Hyman, Menachem Mendel
Baldwin St
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1977-1-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 4032
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
4032
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[between 1920 and 1925]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Scope and Content
In back: Sam Silver (with hat); Moishe Barsht, son of Yehoshua Yekl and Golda Barsht.
Name Access
Barsht, Yehoshua Yekl
Barsht, Golda
Barsht, Moishe
Silver, Sam
Subjects
Portraits, Group
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1986-3-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Businesses series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 2; Item 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Businesses series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
2
Item
1
Material Format
graphic material
Date
16 May 1959
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 10 x 13 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a negative of the exterior of F. Goldstien's (sic) butcher shop at the corner of Augusta and Baldwin Avenues in Kensington Market.
Name Access
F. Goldstien Butcher Shop
Subjects
Storefronts
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Augusta Avenue (Toronto. Ont.)
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Accession Number
1994-1-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1994-1-2
Material Format
graphic material
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 21 x 26 cm and 10 x 13 cm
Date
[ca. 1922]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of a copy photograph of Joe Nesker, Bella Nesker and their son, Manny Nesker, standing in the doorway of Nesker & Co. Wholesale and Retail Produce, located at 193 1/2 Baldwin Street, Toronto.
Subjects
Families
Small business
Name Access
Nesker, Joe
Nesker, Bella
Nesker, Manny
Nesker & Co.
Places
Baldwin Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2007-10-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2007-10-5
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
1977-2003
Scope and Content
Accession consists of materials documenting Congregation Iyr Hamelich, the Reform synagogue in Kingston. The records include the constitution, Sunday school minutes and policy documents, synagogue bulletins, correspondence and "Welcome to our Congregation" booklets.
Subjects
Religion
Name Access
Congregation Iyr Hamelich
Places
Kingston, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3411
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3411
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1938
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w
Scope and Content
Many prominent individuals are shown in this photograph, with names written on the bottom.
Name Access
Jewish National Fund
United Jewish Appeal
Subjects
Congresses and conventions
Zionism
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1982-11-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1545
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1545
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1948]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Name Access
Apter Synagogue
Gary, Ethel
Halter, Jack
Zimmerman, Rabbi M.
Subjects
Weddings
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1978-11-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3872
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3872
Material Format
graphic material
Date
31 August, 1935
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w
Scope and Content
Identified in this photograph are: David Newman; Jack Burke.
For identification, see accession record.
Name Access
Burke, Jack
Newman, David
Young Judaea
Subjects
Congresses and conventions
Portraits, Group
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1984-1-8
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 6031
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
6031
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1952]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of a Labour Zionist banquet at the New Chudleigh House at 126 Beverley St. Invitees are seated around two long banquet tables. Identified are Myer Mandel, Mrs. Myer Mandel, Leibel Bagrad; Leibel Abella; Mr. Levinsky; Chaike Lovinsky; Nachman Lovinsky; Chaim Langer; Leah Langer; Archie Bennett; Sophie Bennett; Ida Krakover; Avrum Green; Charlie Krakover; I. S. Weinrot; and Baylke White.
Subjects
Dinners and dining
Labor Zionism
Portraits, Group
Repro Restriction
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Beverley Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1992-2-8
Source
Archival Descriptions
33 records – page 1 of 1.

Narrow By

Collection Name

Source

Format

Date

Description Level

Subject

Name

Place

Language

Restrictions

Available Digital Content