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61 records – page 1 of 2.
Name
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Newman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
4 January 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Newman
Number
AC 019
Subject
Jewish families
Interview Date
4 January 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Spiesman
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
May also include interview with Mr. and Mrs. Sam Newman
Early life in Toronto
Use Restrictions
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ben Newman was born in July 1920 in St Catharines. He married Sheila Gould from Winnipeg. Ben's father, Abraham emigrated to St. Catharines from Russia in 1909, living with his aunt and uncle and helping them with their junk business. His wife, Mary and two children followed later. Four more children were born in Canada: Norman, Benjamin, Rebecca and Gordon. Benjamin took over the company after Abe’s retirement and turned it into one of the largest steel manufacturers in Canada. Ben Newman was active in all phases of Jewish life in the community and was the first Jewish Alderman in St Catharines, a position he held for several years.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Newman, Benjamin
Newman, Sheila
Geographic Access
St. Catharines, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Sol Gebertig
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
17 April 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Sol Gebertig
Number
AC 020
Subject
Arts and Entertainment
Interview Date
17 April 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Sol Gebertig was one of several Jews who were pioneers in the Canadian film industry and helped build the motion picture business in the country.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Gebertig, Sol
Speisman, Stephen, 1943-2008
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joseph Fremar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joseph Fremar
Number
AC 021
Subject
Business
Food
Occupations
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Bess Shockett
Total Running Time
021: 12:59 minutes
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
Joseph "Joe the Orangeman" Fremar was a produce merchant in Kensington Market and opened his location on Augusta Avenue in 1938. Freamar, commonly referred to as the "Orangeman" was a member of the Kiever Synagogue.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Rodfei Sholom Anshei Kiev Synagogue
Fremar, Joseph
Shockett, Bess
Geographic Access
Kensington Market, Toronto, Ont.
Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Started at location on 334 Augusta Street in 1938
Only one other merchant on Augusta at that time. He sold vegetables
His home was on Oxford Street
Since he arrived in 1938 most of the merchants have “changed around”
When he arrived in 1938 the Anshe Lida Synagogue was located on Augusta. It was located at the current fish store location
The congregants were originally from Romania
There were no religious Jewish Schools on Augusta at the time
Synagogues at the time were: Lubavitcher on Grange; Kiever on Denison; Minsker.
A man by the name of Biasky (?) brought Joseph into the Kiever Synagogue which he attended only on holidays. He also attend the Londoner Synagogue on Spadina
Joseph is still a Kiever member, does not attend but pays dues to in order to maintain his cemetery plot, which the Kiever holds at the Roselawn Cemetery.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the social politics and financial expectations around belonging to certain Toronto synagogues versus others.

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the changing population of Toronto

Name
Dr. Sam and Rivka Hurwich
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
2 July 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Sam and Rivka Hurwich
Number
AC 022
Subject
Education
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
2 July 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side One - 43 minutes
Side Two - 3 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Digitized in 2014
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Dr. Sam Hurwich was involved in a number of organzations including the Canadian Jewish Congress, JIAS and several Labour Zionist groups.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Hurwich, Sam
Hurwich, Rivka
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 22 Side 1:
00:14 Dr. Hurwich explains that while he was in medical school between 1919 and 1926 a number of organizations started Sunday schools to provide Jewish education for children in the community. The earliest schools he recalls were at Holy Blossom established by Edmund Scheuer and at the Zionist Centre. Dr. Hurwich briefly taught at the Zionist Centre.
1:04 The Ladies Group at the McCaul St. Shul asked Dr. Hurwich to organize a school and serve as Principal. Dr. Hurwich list the women involved with the program. 150 students, both boys and girls met once a week on Sundays initially. Later, classes were held twice a week.
3:00 Dr. Hurwich explains that the leaders of the synagogue were very supportive. Outside of Talmud Torah there was no other formal Jewish education.
3:30 Dr. Hurwich list the melameds (private teachers) at the time and discusses his own Jewish education.
4:40 Dr. Hurwich mentions Dr. L.J. Solway (the son of one of Sam’s teachers) and describes his path to study medicine. Dr. Hurwich and Stephen Speisman discuss other members of the Solway family. Two brothers were shochtim (ritual slaughterer) and one brother was a sofer (scribe).
6:39 Dr. Hurwich explains that he was approached to be the school’s principal because of his background knowledge and previous experience as a teacher.
7:20 The students were taught Hebrew, Chumash, tefillah and Yiddish.
8:58 Dr. Hurwich explains that he has no knowledge of school established by Ida Siegal in 1912/13.
9:24 Dr. Hurwich’s family attended the McCaul St. Shul.
9:32 Mrs. Hurwich explains that the National Radical School, the first secular Yiddish school, opened in 1911/12 on Simcoe St. Mrs. Hurwich attended this school.
10:25 The Farband School, Zionistic in spirit, was organized in the 1920’s as an offshoot of the Radical School (which later became the Peretz Shule) that was anti-Zionist. The Farband School taught both Yiddish and Hebrew. Dr. Hurwich briefly discusses the history of the Farband (starting in the U.S., opening first in Montreal and later in Toronto).
12:30 Dr. Hurwich mentions other secular schools and their locations.
13:19 Dr. Hurwich discusses the conflict between the religious community and the National Radical School (later Workman’s Circle). E.g. Religious groups opposed the secular groups because they organized events on Saturday; Workman’s Circle opposed Zionist groups, etc.).
14:58 Dr. Hurwich comments that the signing of the Balfour Declaration had a uniting effect on the Jewish community.
16:19 Mrs. Hurwich describes the inception and growth of the National Radical School between 1911 and 1916. The school was able to revive the spirit of Jewish (Yiddish) revival through the teaching of language, music, literature and folklore. At its peak there were 500 children attending the school 3 times a week.
21:00 Mrs. Hurwich discusses that after the First World War, a school was established by Mr. Morris Goldstick. She explains that each Sunday children would collect money for the school at 194 Beverly.
22:11 Stephen Speisman comments that this type of organization grew into the Canadian Jewish Congress.
23:00 Mrs. Hurwich speaks of the influence this school had on her and other children’s lives. She comments, for example, that the children mourned Peretz’s death as if he were a relative.
24:29 Mrs. Hurwich discusses the leadership and teachers of the National Radical School.
25:58 Stephen Speisman cites an incident in which the National Radical School is accused of attempting to convert children to Christianity. Dr. & Mrs. Hurwich were not aware of this accusation.
26:58 Dr. Hurwich suggests that the signing of the Balfour Declaration was the stimulus for the creation of the Sunday school at the Zionist Centre. The school was designed to augment Jewish education with Zionistic ideology.
28:12 Stephen Speisman cites a second incident involving objections from the religious community to a proposal to hold a picnic in Lambton Park on Shabbat. Dr & Mrs. Hurwich concur that this may have occurred.
29:10 Dr. Hurwich explains that the school at Holy Blossom run by Edmund Scheuer did not have a Zionistic spirit. The Zionist Sunday school was a reaction to this school, as well.
31:10 Dr. Hurwich describes the efforts of Mr. ?Hyman, an engineer turned Hebrew teacher, and Mr. Israel Freeman, a chalutz from Palestine who moved to Canada, to organize a Hebrew Speaking Club for young people at Simcoe St. Talmud Torah.
34:26 Dr. Hurwich discusses the various Yiddish and Hebrew groups available for Jewish youth in Toronto.
36:10 Dr. Hurwich suggests there was no animosity among the Zionists. Young Judea had been founded by that time.
37:16 Dr. and Mrs. Hurwich list people who were active in youth groups and education in that era.
39:30 Dr. Hurwich discusses some shuls from that era: a shul on Richmond St that his grandfather helped found and a shul on Elm St. He recalls learning Gemorah at the Elm St. Shul in 1912.
42:24 Rabbi Yudi Rosenberg was Rabbi at the Elm St. Shul. Dr. Hurwich mentions other Rabbis from that era: Rabbis Weinreb, Gordon and Graubart.
AC 22 Side 2
00:10 Dr. Hurwich discusses his encounters with anti-Semitism while in public school and in an attempt to find a Pediatric internship at Hospital for Sick Children.
(interview ends abruptly at 3:06)
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida (Gazer) Weisteld
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
10 July 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida (Gazer) Weisteld
Number
AC 023
Interview Date
10 July 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Doris Newman
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Digitized 2014
Use Restrictions
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ida Weisteld (nee Gazer) was born in 1907 in Brantford, Ontario. Her father, Velvel Gazer, settled in Brantford in 1900. Ida attended King Edward Public School and Brantford Collegiate Institute. As a child, she attended Cheder and participated in a boys and girls social group. She took a business course and worked as a bookkeeper after high school. She was married in Toronto in 1933.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Weisteld, Ida
Gazer, Velvel
Geographic Access
Brantford, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Number
AC 024
Subject
Communities
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 31 minutes
Side 2: 9 minutes
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
Fred Schaeffer's wife, Beverley, grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Beverley's grandfather, Hyman Kaplan, emigrated from Vilna, Lithuania in 1907, and after a few years in New York, moved to Toronto. Shortly afterwards he became the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake in 1914.
In the 1920s the Jewish community in Kirkland Lake built a permanent synagogue, and acquired the Aron Kodesh of Eastern European design, its lamps, railings, pews and reader’s desk, from the disbanded Ukrainishe Shul in Montreal. In the 1970s the Kirkland Lake Synagogue disbanded and Fred and Beverly Schaeffer acquired the Aron Kodesh, all of its furnishings, the Ner Tamid and the Parochet. They generously donated these Jewish artifacts to Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Toronto, in 1988, in memory of Isadore Kaplan, father of Beverly Schaeffer and Erich Schaeffer, father of Fred Schaeffer.
Fred, married Beverley in Toronto. Like many children from Kirkland Lake, Beverley had moved to the city to attend university. Fred and Beverley are keen collectors of Canadian art. He is a retired civil engineer and a former chairman of the Canadian art historical committee at the AGO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Schaeffer, Fred
Geographic Access
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Timmins, Ont.
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Ansonville, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 024: Side A
0.14: Fred discusses the first Jews to settle in Northern Ontario in the area around Krugerdorf/Engelhart. He mentions Edith Atkinson (nee Martin) as a good primary source of information. Edith’s father, a Russian Jew who came to Canada via Scotland was employed by Temagami and Northern Ontario Railway to bring Russian Jews to work on the railroad.
1.11: Atkinson is related to Atkins and Etkins families.
2.25: Jewish families received land patents in the area of Krugerdorf (north of Engelhart).
2.44: Kurtz family started a hotel in Engelhart in 1908.
3.07: Mentions some of the earliest Jewish settlers. Gurevitch, Korman, Martin, Henerovsky, Purkiss
4.18: Women farmed during the week while the men worked on the railroad. Men came home on weekend.
5.05: Mentions a diary written by Mr. Martin, Edith Atkinson’s father.
5.42: Earliest records in Jewish cemetery in Krugerdorf were 1906. Relates a story involving a canoe accident. Tells a brief history of the cemetery.
8.00: Railway started to develop in 1908/9 with the opening of the mines in Timmins. Many Jews followed the railroad.
8.45: Mentions that the Purkiss family opened a chain of stores in every town that opened.
9.25: Mentions that the Bucavetsky family was well-known in Timmins.
9.58: Jews had settled in Cochrane.
10.16: First Rabbi in Timmins was Shulman.
11.15: Fred discusses early community organizations. One synagogue on a farm in Krugerdorf area. One synagogue in Engelhart that burnt down. Synagogue in Kirkland Lake built in 1926. Minyans were held in Cochrane and Ansonville (1918/19). Timmins synagogue dates back to 1910/12.
17.15: Fred describes Iroquois Falls as an Abitibi company town. Jews who ran businesses lived in nearby Ansonville.
18.02: Fred notes that there were many prominent Jews in Northern Ontario. He names several and describes their positions. (e.g.Dave Korman as Mayor of Engelhart, Rothschild was alderman in Cochrane, Barnie (?) Nasoff was on council and was Reeve of Ansonville, Max Kaplan Kirkland Lake council, Nicky Korman was Mayor).
21.11: Fred relates anecdotes about Roza Brown, the first Jew in Swastika / Kirkland area.
23.36: Fred relates anecdotes about Hyman and Max Kaplan (brothers-in-law) who ran businesses in Kirkland Lake.
25.26: Rabbi Rabinowitch was a long-standing rabbi in Kirkland Lake.
27.26: Discusses the demise /closure of the synagogue in Kirkland Lake. Remained open until 1979. Last Rosh HaShana services were held in 1977.
28.05: Discusses the situation with the Timmins Jewish community.
30.05: Discusses the plight of a poor Jewish family, the Mallins.
AC 024: Side B
0.15: Fred suggests some reference material. “Northland Post” – good source for info about Jewish community in Northern Ontario. “Silverland” – book that describes Kurt’s Hotel. Special edition of a newspaper that published an article on the history of the Jewish community.
1.48: The Jews of the North have themselves as self-sufficient community during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. They were represented in the first Jewish Congress.
3.33: Fred notes that there was a Jewish presence in most towns in Northern Ontario. He suggest that Haileybury may have been the exception due to antisemitic sentiments.
4.10: Mentions a fire in Haileybury in 1916/17 and the Jewish contribution to fire relief.
4.25: Relates an anecdote re. Hyman Kaplan and Haileybury.
5.48: Describes the location of a few small communities (Elk Lake, Charlton)
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer and Stephen Speisman discuss some of the earliest synagogues established in Northern Ontario.

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer relates colourful anecdotes about the first Jewish settler in the Swastika-Kirkland area, Roza Brown.

Name
Isaac (Ike) Segal with Mrs. Esther S. Segal and Lillian Beube
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isaac (Ike) Segal with Mrs. Esther S. Segal and Lillian Beube
Number
AC 025
Subject
Charities
Communities
Antisemitism
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 15 seconds
Side 2: 45 minutes 50 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
Isaac Segel, the son of Russian immigrants was born and lived in Toronto’s Ward district until 1900 when the family moved to Orillia, Ontario. Isaac recalls his experiences as one of 3 Jewish boys attending the local Orillia high school and working in his father’s general store. In order to provide a proper Jewish life for Isaac, the family returned to Toronto. In 1917 Isaac enlisted in the army and after his father’s death in 1918, Isaac made his home in Hamilton, Ontario. He was a business executive, active on several executive committees of Jewish and Zionist organizations in Hamilton.
Issac maried Esther (Kenen) Segal who was influential in the National Council of Jewish Women, Hamilton Branch, and their successful attempt to repeal the law that refused the right of women to serve on jury duty.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Segal, Isaac
Segal, Esther
Beube, Lillian
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Orillia, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 025: Side 1
0.0-16.14: Isaac Segel, the son of Russian immigrants was born and lived Toronto’s Ward district until 1900 when the family moved to Orillia Ontario. Isaac recalls his experiences as one of 3 Jewish boys attending the local Orillia high school and working in his father’s general store. In order to provide a proper Jewish lifestyle for Isaac, the family returned to Toronto. In 1917, Isaac enlisted in the army and after his father’s death in 1918, Isaac made his home in Hamilton Ontario.
16.15-31.04: Isaac recalls Hamilton’s Jewish community of 800 people, its Orthodox synagogues, and the Jewish immigrants who arrived in Hamilton after the First World War.
31.05-33.24: Division within Hamilton’s Jewish Community. Discussed are the reasons for the division between the Anshe Shalom Reform Congregation and Hamilton’s Orthodox Synagogues. Also discussed is the United Hebrew Association and its control over all philanthropic work within Hamilton’s Jewish Community.
34.05-45.19: Establishment of Hamilton Jewish Social Services 1931. Lillian Beube discusses the United Hebrew Association and its misappropriation of community funds, the formation of Hamilton’s Jewish Social Services and the conflicting ideologies of JSS and UHA.
45.20-46.15: Discussed is Marietta Levy and how she brought together various factions of Hamilton’s Jewish community.
AC 025: Side 2
1.00-13.20: Establishment of Jewish Social Services continued. There is further discussion of UHA’s misappropriation of community funds, its continued refusal to relinquish its prerogative of handling community monies and the events that led to its disintegration of the UHA. Beube discusses Jewish Social Services and its mission to establish itself as a service organization within the Jewish community.
13.20-18.00: Yiddish within the Hamilton Jewish Community. Beube discusses the reasons for the disappearance of the Yiddish language within Hamilton’s Jewish community.
18.01-20.34: Activities of the Council of Jewish Women are discussed.
20.35-22.39: Hamilton’s Orthodox and Conservative communities. Discussion revolves around the Anshe Shalom Temple, its reform practices and the more traditional Orthodox and Conservative movements within the community.
22.40-30.55: Antisemitism in Hamilton. Discussion revolves around antisemitism and assimilation of the Jewish population.
31.00-45.50: Personal opinions are discussed regarding, inter-marriage, the future of Hamilton’s Jewish community, and Zionism.
End
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joe Lewis
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joe Lewis
Number
AC 026
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
41:58
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Second side inaudible
Last 2 minutes of recording inaudible
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Lewis’ father immigrated to to Canada in 1906. He contributed to local shuls, and established a Hamilton chapter of the Socialist organization, The Grand Order of Israel. Lewis grew up in Hamilton and attended the Talmud Torah and the Beth Jacob Synagogue.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Lewis, Joe
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lillian Beube
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lillian Beube
Number
AC 027
Subject
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Second side inaudible
Use Restrictions
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Beube, LIllian
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Finkelman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Finkelman
Number
AC 028
Subject
Antisemitism
Education
Jewish pharmacists
Occupations
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
028A: 46 minutes 028B: 7 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Parts inaudible
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Harry Finkelman was born in 1909 in Hamilton and was one of the first Jewish pharmacists in Hamilton. His father was a tailor and an active member of several Jewish organizations including the Hess Street Synagogue and the Talmud Torah. Harry attended the Talmud Torah and was involved with Young Judea and groups/clubs from the Talmud Torah. In this interview he discusses the early history of Hamilton and descrimination against Jews entering the professions.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Finkelman, Harry
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 028, Harry Finkelman\AC 028, Finkleman transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Finkelman shares some of his early memories of the Hamilton Jewish community in the 1910s. He notes name of shops, shop owners, streets and describes some of the synagogues

In this clip, Harry Finkelman describes the difficulty for a Jew in the 1920s to find a placement to complete a mandatory 3 year apprenticeship before he could enter Pharmacy at University.

Name
Jack Shapiro
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1973
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jack Shapiro
Number
AC 031
Interview Date
1973
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Jack served as a private in the 4th Division Algonquin Tank Corps in the Canadian military in Holland. He worked as a pants presser in Toronto when he first immigrated from Poland in 1927. He lived in both Toronto and Hamilton.
Material Format
sound recording
Geographic Access
Toronto, Ont.
Hamilton, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fanny (Goldhar) Gertzbein
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
2 October 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fanny (Goldhar) Gertzbein
Number
AC 033
Subject
Charities
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
2 October 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
AC 033: 27:34 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Fanny often speaks Yiddish with Morris Silbert providing a translation.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Fanny (Goldhar) Gurtzbein immigrated from Poland to Toronto in 1903. Fanny lived with her parents and siblings in Toronto's "Ward" district. Although raised in poverty Barney, Fanny's brother went on to become a successful furrier and her mother Tzyerl Goldhar became the organizer of the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
Yiddish
English
Name Access
Goldhar, Myer
Goldhar, Tzeryl
Goldhar, Barney
Gurtzbein, Fanny
Geographic Access
St. John's Ward
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 033, Fanny (Goldhar) Gurtzbein\AC 033 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jack Abel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jack Abel
Number
AC 034
AC 035
Subject
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Recreation
Antisemitism
Societies
Cemeteries
Interview Date
1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
034A: 31:10 minutes 034B: 31:10 minutes 035A: 31:10 minuets 035B: 13:52 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
The end of the reference copy of AC 35 is not very audible. The original cassette may be clearer.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Jack Abel's career in the garment industry began in the 1920s taking him through the dressmaker's strike of 1932. Abel's experiences with anti-Semitism were numerous, he participated in the Christie Pits riot, he was active in politics and became an early member of the Mozirer Society. Abel became financial secretary of the Mozirer Society and was involved in the purchase and administration of the Roselawn and Bathurst Lawn cemeteries.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Abel, Jack
Mozirer Sick Benefit Society
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 034, 035, Jack Abel\AC 034 and 035 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Fishman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Fishman
Number
AC 036
Subject
Antisemitism
Nonprofit organizations
Communities
Synagogues
Societies
Food
Occupations
Clubs
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Richard Menkis
Total Running Time
Side 1 46 minutes Side 2 17 minutes
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
Morris Fishman was born September 29, 1916 in New Jersey. His family moved to Welland, Ontario when he was an infant. He attended elementary and high school in Welland and completed two years at the University of Toronto. He worked in a family men's wear business in Welland. Morris was actively involved in the Jewish community including participation in the Anshe Yosher Congregation, the Jewish Cultural Society and the Jacob Goldblatt B'nai Brith Lodge. He was married and had two daughters.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Fishman, Morris
Geographic Access
Welland
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 036 Fishman\AC 036 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Fishman praises the efforts of the non-Jewish community in Welland, Ontario to support the building of a new synagogue following a fire that destroyed the old synagogue in 1954.

In this clip, Morris Fishman discusses the Jacob Goldblatt B’nai Brith Lodge in Welland, Ontario.

Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Number
AC 037
AC 038
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
AC 037 Side 1 31 minutes AC 037 Side 2 31 minutes AC 038 Side 1 8 minutes
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
Joe and Minna Loewith immigrated to Canada in November 1938 from Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. They settled on a farm outside of Hamilton, Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Loewith, Joe
Loewith, Mina
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 037 and 038 Loewith\AC 037 and 038 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Minna Loewith recalls the events beginning in the summer through the fall of 1938 that led her family to emigrate from Czechoslovakia to Canada.

In this clip, Minna shares some of her earliest recollections of when she and her family arrived in Canada in November 1938.

In this clip, Joe Loewith explains the conditions for Czech immigration to Canada set by the CPR and how they were met.

Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Number
AC 040
AC 041
Subject
Jewish physicians
Societies
Occupations
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
040A: 34 minutes 040B: 31 minutes 041A: 11 minutes
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
Coleman Solursh was born in Toronto in 1906. Graduated as a physician in 1932. Worked as a Lodge Doctor. Involved in the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors Association. Worked in the field of Family Medicine and was appointed Chief of the Department of Family Practice at Mount Sinai Hospital. Appointed Associate Chief of Medicine at Baycrest, Jewish Home for the Aged. Married to Zelda Singer, third generation Canadian. Zelda's maternal grandfather was appointed Colonization Chairman in 1897 for Baron de Hirsch settlement for Jewish immigrants. Zelda's father, Manny Singer, was first Jewish pharmacist in Toronto. Zelda's uncle, Fred Singer, was the first Jewish Member of Parliament for Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Solursh, Coleman
Silbert, Morris
Mount Sinai Hospital
Singer, Zelda
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes a meeting between executives from the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors' Association and representatives from various Jewish Lodges. The meeting resulted in significant changes to the way medical services and payment were provided to the physicians.

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes his role as Chief of the Department of Family Practice in the new Mount Sinai Hospital in 1953. He explains how this department pioneered the model for Family Practice within a hospital setting across Canada.

Name
Cyrus Coppel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Cyrus Coppel
Number
AC 061
AC 062
Subject
Communities
Jewish families
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Interviewer
Larry Troster
Total Running Time
061A: 46:22 minuets 061B: 45:27 minuets 062A: 45:55 minuets 062B: 28:58 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Cassette tapes were digitized in 2012
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Cyrus Coppel son of Aaron Coppel and Chaya (Gertrude) Seigel was born in 1911 in Galt Ontario. Cyrus remained in Galt throughout his life and became a central figure within it's Jewish community. Cyrus initially worked as a mechanic and later worked in the office of an auto shop trading in auto parts. Cyrus also traded in livestock as a hobby. Cyrus Coppel was one of the founders of the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Galt.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Coppel, Cyrus
Troster, Larry
B'nai Israel Synagogue (Galt, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Galt
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the growth of Galt's Jewish community following the Second World War and the need to purchase a new and larger synagogue to accommodate the growing population.

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the difficulties of raising Jewish children in a small town.

Name
Montague Raisman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Montague Raisman
Number
AC 064
Subject
Nonprofit organizations
Human rights
Antisemitism
World War, 1939-1945
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
064: 39 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Low sound quality
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Montague Raisman came to Canada from England in 1926. He was actively involved in B'nai Brith Toronto Lodge and held positions of office. He served as the Commanding Officer for the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron in Toronto during the Second World War. He was instrumental in the formation of the Joint Public Relations Committee, a united Jewish voice in response to pro-Nazi activity.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Raisman, Montague
B'nai Brith
Lipinsky, Jack
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Montague describes the formation of the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron during the Second World War. He discusses the recruitment and training of the officers and cadets. He explains how this squadron was instrumental in changing recruitment qualifications to allow entry of new immigrants and black cadets.

In this clip, Montague Raisman discusses the events leading up to an association between B

Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Number
AC 070
Subject
World War, 1939-1945
Religion
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
(not stated, likely Jack Lipinsky)
Total Running Time
070A: 27 minutes 070B: 11 minutes
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
Rabbi David Monson came to Toronto from Ottawa in June 1939 to serve as the rabbi of the Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue. He served on the board of the Brusnswick Talmud Torah. He was a member of B'nai Zion and B'nai Brith and was the long-serving rabbi of Beth Shalom.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Monson, David
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region
Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses his early positive working relationships with rabbis within the Toronto Jewish community and explains how sectionalization became a post WWII phenomenon.

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses the role and responsibilities of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Toronto from 1939 to 1948.

Name
J.B. Salsberg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
J.B. Salsberg
Number
AC 071
Subject
Labor movement
Labor unions
Women
Demonstrations
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Quantity
1
Total Running Time
071A: 44:50 minuets 071B: 35:55 minuets
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
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, newspaper columnist and a man who dedicated his life to Yiddishkeit and the advancement of social justice. He was active in various Jewish organizations, including; the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. In 1938 he was elected as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943. He is well remembered by contemporaries, such as Sam Lipshitz, as a "champion of the people', committed to social justice, the plight of the working-class, and the preservation of Jewish culture.
This oral history includes Salsberg's personal reminiscences on the Toronto Jewish community, the Polish Jewish community and issues related to women's labour and the unions in the garment industry.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Salsberg, Joseph B.
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Side 1:
0.0-6.30: Joseph Baruch Salsberg was born in Poland in 1902 to Abraham and Sara Salsberg. Abraham migrated to Toronto in 1910 and Joseph followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913.
6.30-18.39: Prior to 1913 Poland was primarily a peasant and agricultural society with the majority of the Jewish population living and working as tradesmen in the villages. Salsberg discusses the difficult relationship between the Poles and Jews under the power of the Czar.
18:40-24.14: Salsberg discusses the Canadian government’s collaboration with the CP Railroad to launch advertising campaigns attracting potential immigrants to come and live in Canada.
24.22-33.24: Salsberg discusses the experiences of his mother as a young Jewish immigrant and her adjustment to life in Toronto.
33.25-37.30: Salsberg discusses the Ward, an area between University and Yonge as being the heartland of early Jewish settlement. He describes the area as being the natural choice for Jews to live, the rents were cheap, Synagogues and community centers were nearby as were and their places of employment. The center for Jewish shopping was Kensington Market with shops along McCaul and Baldwin Streets, shopping at Eatons was reserved for “special occasions”.
37.32-39.50: Salsberg discusses the hardships faced by Polish immigrant Jews arriving in Toronto after World War One.
39.52-44.45: Salsberg discusses his father an Orthodox man who eventually went into the junk business and became one of the founders of the first Talmud Torah, his mother was active in the Ladies Auxillary of the School and remained it’s President for 50 years.
End
Side 2:
0.03-5.37: Salsberg discusses the religious and cultural divisions that dominated social and communal living in Poland under Czarist rule and the resulting division between Jews and non- Jewish Polish immigrants in Toronto
5.38-8.28: Salsberg discusses the example set by his mother on matters of religious observance and importance of the woman’s role in the family.
8.29-11.08: Salsberg discusses his mother’s activities outside the home. Sarah Salsberg was the first woman to challenge the burial custom of not allowing husband and wife to be buried side by side. Sarah won her challenge and was buried alongside her husband.
11.10-12.28: Salsberg discusses his orientation towards labor Zionism and his parent’s reaction to his political views. Sarah Salsberg was a “broad-minded” woman and friendly with those active in the movement, while his father clung to his own group.
12.29-13.53: Salsberg discusses the garment trade and the organizers who become members of the Ladies Garment Workers Union. Salsberg goes on to speak of his mother’s approval and secret admiration of the women in the Ladies Garment Union.
13.54-14.44: Salsberg discusses the role of Jewish immigrant women using the example of the Eatons strike in 1911 led by Jewish tailors, both men and women.
14.45-15.00: Salsberg discusses the Triangle Fire in New York as the impetus that led to the birth of the ILGWU in America and the ILGWU’s influence on the Canadian Garment industry.
15.03-15.40: Salsberg discusses the New York Yiddish Dailies the “Forward” and Tagblat delivered and read daily by Toronto’s Jewish community as another factor in the establishment of the Ladies Garment Workers Union in Canada.
15.41-20.39: Salsberg discusses the introduction by Eatons to changes in production methods that would have tailors, mostly men, taking on the job of women finishers. The refusal by the tailors to take away the jobs of women would lead to the first sit down strike by tailors in Canada.
20.40-21.20: Salsberg discusses the recognition of women’s rights in the early garment workers unions. The Dressmakers section of the ILGWU in Toronto was predominantly women who led strikes and fought on picket lines.
21.21-23.44: Salsberg discusses Union sentiment within the Jewish community and the enforcement by some of the more militant women on community shopkeepers to use Union labels on their products.
23.45-24.39: Salsberg discusses single Jewish women who confronted with financial hardship worked in predominately Jewish factories.
24.40-26.07: Salsberg discusses the economic nature of the garment industry, the competition and undercutting in the industry factories and the continuous strikes and stoppages by employees opposed to wage cuts.
26.08-31.15: Salsberg discusses the important contributions in the areas of the labor force, education and social responsibility made to Ontario by Jewish immigrant women. Women worked alongside men in order to improve their economic position and establish themselves within the community. Jewish women placed a great emphasis on education and as a result a high percentage of their children would graduate from institutions such as Harbord Collegiate and Jarvis Collegiate with scholarships. Salsberg speaks of his late wife Dora Wilensky who graduated from Jarvis Collegiate with the highest mark of any girl student in Ontario earning a five-year scholarship to McMaster University and becoming a prominent Social Worker within the Jewish community.
31.16-33.09: Salsberg discusses the differences in opportunity for young Jewish men and young Jewish women. As the only boy in the family he was expected to set the path by going to a theological school in NY but to the dismay of his parents he became radicalized in leftist politics.
33.10-35.55: Although Salsberg’s parents were never involved in the labour movement and disagreed with his leftist philosophy, they were pleased by his election in 1938 as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and his election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943.
End
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses the events that led to the birth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in America and the ILGWU's influence on the Canadian Garment Industry.

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses Canada

Name
Fay (Haber) Gardner
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
19 November 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fay (Haber) Gardner
Number
AC 003
Subject
Jewish families
Interview Date
19 November 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Sophie Milgram
Total Running Time
Side one: 30 minutes Side two: 2 minutes
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
Fay Gardner (nee Haber) was born in Toronto in December 1896. Her parents came from Austria. They met and married in New York and moved to Toronto in about 1894. As a child, Fay's family lived on King Street, LaPlante Street and Walton Street. She attended Elizabeth Street (later Hester Howe) Public School and Wellesley Street Public School. At age 16, Fay and her family moved to Margueretta Street. She got married at age 18.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Gardner, Fay
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Transcript
AC 003 Side A:
0.14: Fay was born in Toronto in 1896. Her parents came from Austria. They met and were married in New York.
1.11: Fay’s parents moved to Toronto. Her father was a fur cutter for Fairweather’s on Yonge St. for about 30 years and her mother looked after a second hand shop on King St. for a short time.
2.37: Fay’s family moved to LaPlante Ave. There were few Jewish families in the neighbourhood. Across the street from their home was a mission and the old Sick Children’s Hospital.
4.19: At around age 10, Fay’s family moved to Walton St.
4.33: Fay and her sister attended Elizabeth St. School (which later became Hester Howe School). Hester Howe was the Principal. Fay reminisces fondly about Hester Howe. Fay recalls that she experienced no incidents of antisemitism at school or in the neighbourhood.
6.40: Fay graduated to Wellesley School.
7.00: Fay warmly recalls a welcoming incident with a non-Jewish neighbour, Mrs. Denson.
7.54: Fay recalls that when she came down with diphtheria she was sent to an isolation hospital located next door to the Don Jail. She recalls that Sam Factor (later a Judge) was in the hospital with her at the same time.
8.50: Fay remembers other Jewish families in the area near her Walton St. home – the Factors, the Goldhars and the Baers (?). Gradually, more Jewish families moved into the area.
9.39: Fay reminisces about first meeting Esther Manilla (Rosen) who became a lifelong friend.
10.54: Fay’s family moved to Margueretta St.
11.06: While still living on Walton St., Fay’s family belonged to the Bond St. Synagogue. Fay and her sister attended Sunday school at Bond St. Shul (Holy Blossom) until they moved to Margueretta St.
11.45: Fay’s in-laws belonged to the Rumaneshe Shul on Centre Ave.
12.53: Fay’s sister worked in the millinery at Fairweather’s.
13.06: Fay recalls that the old Toronto Star building was next door to Fairweather’s. She identifies Greg Clark as a journalist & Jimmy Fries as a cartoonist at the time.
13.44: Fay stayed at home to help her mother look after her younger siblings (2 brothers and a sister). She then became an apprentice for Mrs. Holmes in a dressmaking shop on Queen St.
14.33: Fay recalls the few Jewish families near her Margueretta St. home – the Greenwoods (Sol. There were no synagogues in the area.)
16.41: Fay’s younger brothers and sisters attended Kent School at Dufferin and Bloor.
17.26: Fay recalls how she met her husband at age 18. His family lived around Dovercourt Road near Bloor.
19.16: Fay discusses the start of Temple Sinai. Fay’s daughter, Kay, married to Lorne Sandy joined Temple Sinai and Fay followed suit.
20.00: Fay reports no awareness of discrimination against Jews or Blacks when she lived on Margueretta St. Her family was friendly with the neighbours.
21.30: Fay continued to live with her parents after she was married. Her first daughter was born there. Then she and her husband moved to a house on Beatrice and College. Then they moved to Bloor and Gladstone Ave. for more than 30 years.
23.02: Fay recalls shopping on Thursdays in Kensington Market with her mother. (Kaplan’s Creamery, Permutter’s Bakery).
25.11: Fay recounts a visit to Hester Howe School.
26.36: Fay recalls her home on LaPlante St. – outdoor plumbing, potbelly stove, coal oil lamps, chimney lamps. On Walton St. they had indoor plumbing.
28.38: Fay recounts a story from her childhood. Her father purchased a goat to provide milk for her mother’s health. The goat that was kept in an empty neighbouring lot escaped and the neighbourhood ran after the goat to catch it.
AC 003 Side B:
0.0: Fay describes the condition of the sidewalks and roads from her childhood. She mentions an aunt and uncle living on Haggerman St. and Brenner’s Junk Shop.
1.41: Sophie Milgram clarifies a few points made in the interview. Fay was born in December 1896. Her family moved to Margueretta St. when she was age 16. The club she mentioned was the Nordau Club. Fay recalled that while living on Walton St., there was a convert named Singer who attempted to proselytize in the neighbourhood and operated out of the mission.
Source
Oral Histories
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
Bertha (Herbert) Allen
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Bertha (Herbert) Allen
Number
AC 007
Subject
Business
Motion picture theaters
Interview Date
January 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Lillian Bernstein
Total Running Time
Side 1: 36 minutes
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
Bertha Allen was married to Herbert Allen. Herbert, his brothers, Jule and J. J., and his brother-in-law, Louis Rosenfeld were pioneers in the motion picture industry in Canada. They opened a chain of theatres across Canada in the 1910s and 1920s. In Toronto, they built several theatres including the Tivoli Theatre, Bloor Theatre, College Theatre, Parkdale Theatre, Beach Theatre, St. Clair Theatre, Danforth Theatre and Hollywood Theatre.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Allen, Bertha
Allen, Jule
Allen, J. J.
Rosenfeld, Louis
Geographic Access
Toronto, Ont.
Brantford, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Transcript
0.00: Bertha is the widow of Herbert Allen
0.43: Herbert’s father was Barney Allen. Herbert and his brothers were born in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Barney sent his older sons, Jule and J.J., to Brantford, Ontario in 1907 where they opened up a theatre called The Gem.
3.44: Jule married Bertha’s sister, Sarah.
3.55: Jule and J.J. opened up another theatre called The Theatorium.
5.00: Barney, his wife, Goldie and their 2 remaining children, Herbert and Sol, moved to Brantford around 1907.
5.58: Jule and Sarah moved to Calgary where they opened other theatres.
7.05: Bertha was not aware of any antisemitic encounters.
7.52: Bertha recalls her in-laws as very generous and charitable.
9.24: The brothers formed a company in Western Canada called The First National Film Exchange of Canada.
10.07: The brothers came to Toronto and built the Canada Theatre which later became the Tivoli circa 1916. Herbert became a manager at The Tivoli.
12.39: The Allen brothers built several theatres including the Bloor Theatre, College Theatre, Parkdale Theatre, Beach Theatre, St. Clair Theatre and Danforth Theatre. Leon Yolles was the architect for Bloor and College Theatres.
13.20: The Allen brothers became bankrupt in 1923 or 1924.
13:40: The Allen brothers built the Allen Theatre in Cleveland, a building in Detroit. They had a representative in England. Wanted to expand through Europe.
16.20: Bertha suggests bankruptcy was due in part to a conflict with Paramount Pictures.
17.08: Herbert and Bertha’s brother, Louis Rosenfeld, joined Jule and J.J. to re-establish the business. Herbert was able to secure theatres in Kitchener. Louis was able to secure the Columbia franchise to distribute Columbia pictures. They became distributors and exhibitors.
19.16: Bertha refers to an article discussing a proposed deal between Adolph Zucker and the Allen brothers.
19.38: Famous Players became partners with the Allens circa 1927.
21.10: The Hollywood Theatre was the first theatre in Canada to run a double theatre.
21.45: Bertha discusses the family’s contributions to the community e.g. donation to a hospital, contributing films during both wars.
23.43: Bertha refers to an article that cites Herbert Allen’s efforts in organizing a motion picture company for war services.
25.00: Bertha describes some of Herbert’s involvement in community service.
26.45: The family belonged to Goel Tzedek which became the Beth Tzedec Synagogue and later belonged to Holy Blossom.
29.33: Bertha describes the involvement of the Allen brothers’ offspring in the business.
30.40: Bertha explains the history of the various buy-outs and reoranization of the business. At the time of the interview, Bertha & Herbert’s son, Barry, was the owner of the business.
32.29: Bertha describes Herbert’s actions to support Canada’s war effort in both world wars (e.g. officers training corps, fund-raising, working in the reserves).
34.34: Herbert was dedicated to serving the Variety Club.
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isidore Kaplan
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isidore Kaplan
Number
AC 009
AC 010
Subject
Communities
Art and popular culture
Business
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Sophie Milgram
Total Running Time
009A: 29 minutes 009B: 41 minutes 010A: 30 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Reduced sound quality at times.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Isidore Kaplan was born in Vilna in 1910. His father was the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Isidore's father, a successful businessman, opened a general store in 1915 and a movie theatre in 1923. The Jewish community of Kirkland Lake grew to 135 families and was able to support a synagogue, kosher butcher and after-school cheder at its peak.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan, Isidore
Milgram, Sophie
Geographic Access
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Cobalt, Ont.
Englehart, Ont.
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
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AC 009: Side 1
0.20: Isidore was born in a town near Vilna in 1910.
0.40: Isidore had 2 brothers and 1 sister, all immigrated to Canada.
1.20: Isidore’s father came alone to America initially in 1907, went back to Europe to take care of a leather business. Returned a second time to America (New York) in 1912. Came to Toronto because of a contact.
6.15: Isidore’s father and friend, Mr. Teitlebaum, moved to Cobalt in northern Ontario to pursue employment opportunities that were the result of the growth of the mining industry. Mentioned the mining of cobalt and silver.
7.50: Isidore’s father and Teitlebaum walked from Cobalt to Timmins via Engelhart and Swastika. Described the development of the Jewish community in northern Ontario. Existing Jewish cemetery. Were offered land to farm by the government in Krugerdorf. 25-30 Jewish families started farming.
9.43: Explained that some of the Jews who settled the area had escaped from the Russo-Japanese war.
10.27: Reported that the Ontario government helped to bring out Jewish prisoners who had been captured by the Japanese.
11.55: Related a story of Isadore’s father rooming with a Jewish woman, Mrs. Rosa Brown in Swastika.
14.11: Listed names (?) of the agents for the town site and explained about the purchase of lots.
15.50: Isidore’s father was the first Jew in Kirkland Lake. He opened a general store in 1915. Related a story about how he acquired the materials to build the store. Described the construction of the store.
23.00: Isidore’s father’s brother-in-law, Max, became a partner in the business in 1915.
25.45: Isidore’s father traveled to Toronto to purchase supplies. Ordered groceries from Rubin and Fine who were in the grocery business in Toronto.
28.00: Business was very slow for several months. Competed with ?Labarge?
29.00: Mrs. Brown suggested that Isidore’s father start to sell meat.
AC 009: Side 2
0.40: Mrs. Rosa Brown helped solicit customers who were uneasy about doing business with Jews.
2.55: Isidore’s father offered more competitive prices. Business increased.
5.26: Expanded business to sell ice cream. Business prospered.
7.17: Described incident which he suspected was anti-Semitic involving the deliberate starting of a fire in the store in 1917. The store was destroyed.
8.35: Isidore’s uncle Max Kaplan, brother to his mother was his father’s business partner.
9.30: Isidore’s father rebuilt store. Once again the business prospered.
11.45: In 1921 ?Percussis? opened a store
12.48: Isidore’s father bought furs (e.g.beaver) and sold them to Hudson’s Bay outlet.
13.30: In 1921 Isidore’s father purchased 2 lots across the street from Harry Oaks to build a movie theatre.
15.20: Related problems regarding the purchase (e.g. inability to secure a mortgage, difficulty acquiring building supplies, leveling the property, etc.). Described how Harry Oaks (who was described as a very wealthy man) arranged for Isidore’s father to borrow money from the Royal Bank. Isidore attributed this to their trusting relationship.
19.50: The building was also used as a meeting hall for 2 Lodges, Masonic and ?
20.53: The theatre was completed in 1923.
23.40: Brought the family from Poland to Kirkland Lake, 4 children, his wife and Isidore’s aunt in 1923. Isidore’s grandmother was unable to come due to health reasons. Initially, Isidore’s father purchased tickets from ?Jurovski?, local travel agent but all was lost so he purchased tickets directly from White Star line.
25.30: 1 other Jewish family in Kirkland Lake, ?Stotts?
26.00: Other Jewish families moved into Kirkland Lake around 1924 to 1927.
27.00: By 1927, there were enough Jews to have a Minyan for Yontif in Kirkland Lake. Held services in the first theatre. Before 1927, Jews traveled to Englehart for religious services.
27.55: Mentioned a large fire in northern Ontario in 1922. (Kirkland Lake was spared.) The original synagogue in Englehart was destroyed. Rented another hall for religious services.
28.28: Mentioned a pious Jew who was a farmer who acted as prayer leader, Baal Tefilah.
AC 010: Side 1
0.22: Mr. Finkleman and Mr. Levinsky paid $350 for a lot and built a synagogue in 1928 in Kirkland Lake. Originally, held services in the back of Mr. Levinsky’s candy store.
2.55: About 12-14 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake by 1927.
3.20: Jews worked as merchants or miners. Isidore’s father helped find jobs for miners. Listed names of local merchants.
6.50: Reported 135 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake. Cited incidents of antisemitism. E.g. Isidore’s uncle who served on town council could not be elected Mayor because he was Jewish, antisemitic comments.
7.58: In 1975, reported that 8 Jewish families remained in Kirkland Lake, Shul was closed. Jews have moved from surrounding areas.
9.23: First Rabbi, Ruben, came to Kirkland Lake in 1928.
11.55: Next Rabbi, ?Luvich? originated from Holland. Related story about how Isidore’s, uncle Max approached a member of parliament, Russell Gordon, in order to prevent the Rabbi from being sent back to Europe.
13.45: Jewish community in Kirkland Lake continued to grow until 1937. Reported community decline with a downturn in the economy with the outbreak of the Second World War, a mining strike and closures of mines.
18.50: Synagogue rebuilt in 1945. The bima was purchased from a synagogue in Montreal by Mr. Stott. The bima had been built in Hungary.
21.10: Kirkland Lake supported a local kosher butcher, Turkin
22.06: The Rabbi from Kirkland Lake traveled by train to Jewish communities in outlying areas.
22.55: Discussed high rate of intermarriage.
24.35: Jewish education taught by Rabbi in after-school program.
25.16: Reported that children of founding Jewish families tended to be University educated. Children left Kirkland Lake and did not return.
Source
Oral Histories

Isidore Kaplan's father was the first Jewish resident of Kirkland Lake, Ontario. In this clip, Isidore relates his father's journey in 1912 from Toronto to Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario via Engelhart and Swastika.

In this clip, Isidore Kaplan describes the decline of Kirkland Lake, Ontario

Name
Barney and Tillie Nosov [with Wilfred Kideckel]
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
22 September 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Barney and Tillie Nosov [with Wilfred Kideckel]
Number
AC 011
Subject
Jewish families
Religion
Interview Date
22 September 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Fred Schaeffer
Total Running Time
side 1: 43:39 minutes
side 2: 43:36 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Most of the interview is conducted with Barney Nosov. Wilfred Kideckel is also featured on the tape, and Tillie Nosov is interviewed briefly.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Barney Nosov arrived in Canada in 1916. Nosov lived in Ansonville, Ontario. He was a merchant, owned a store, and was also in politics for many years.
Wilfred Kideckel was born in Kreugerdorf on a farm in 1917. His father was one of the first immigrants to the area. Kideckel had 10 people in his family. He moved to Ansonville and got married. Kideckel moved to Toronto in 1942.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Nosov, Barney
Nosov, Tillie
Kideckel, Wilfred
Geographic Access
Kriegerdorf, Ont.
Cochrane, Ont.
Cobalt, Ont.
Ansonville, Ont.
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AC 011: SIDE 1
BARNEY NOSOV
0.24: Nosov talks about how he came to Ansonville, Ontario. Talks about his aunt, Mrs. Perkiss?
1.14: Nosov talks about the families in Cochrane – was about 6 families. Rothchild, Kurtzer? Perkiss, Bernstein. Rothchild’s son was mayor at that time.
2.16: First Jewish people in Cochrane were peddlers. Cochrane is close to Cobalt, which had more Jews.
3.29: Nosov arrived in Canada in 1916. Opened a store in 1917.
4.37: Nosov talks about other Jewish families who were there when he arrived, and who came later. Mentions Korman.
5.18: There was religious instruction at that time; was a cheder; Korman was a teacher.
5.46: 1922 Korman decided to build a synagogue. Was about 16 Jewish families at that time.
6.44: Rabbi Gordon donated a sefer Torah .
7.25: Nosov tells a story about the Lubachitcher Rabbi.
8.10: Nosov talks about children being sent (conscripted?) into the army [unsure where this took place]. When the children were allowed to leave the army, they all prayed at a specific synagogue.
9.56: Nosov talks about a synagogue located on Synagogue Street.
10.52: Nosov talks about the synagogue they built. Rabbi was named Rabinovitch.
11.44: Congregation functioned until 1930, and then Nosov sold the building.
11.55: Nosov talks about himself – he was a merchant, owned a general store, was in politics. Nosov was a councilor for many years from 1930 to 1944.
13.43: Nosov explains how he got started in politics – he felt discriminated against in business, so he decided to tell the public what was going on. He ran for fun; never believed he would even get elected.
16.25: Nosov talks about antisemitism
19.43: Nosov tells a story to describe the antisemitism. a Jewish dentist wanted to go to a small town (Hansville?). Came to Nosov’s store and Nosov told him he had no chance of getting a job, because he was Jewish. No Jewish dentists allowed in that time. They would rather have no dentist at all in town.
22.23: Nosov talks about the first mayor of Ansonville who was a gentile; used to hire Jews in early 1920s.
23.18: Nosov talks about talked about a farming settlement in Kreugerdorf (most settlers there were Russian immigrants)
25.25: Kreuger was a German (not Jewish), and he taught people how to work the land. That’s why the land is named Kreugerdorf
WILFRED KIDECKEL
Born in Kreugerdorf on a farm in 1917. His father was one of the original immigrants. Family of 10. Doesn’t have too many memories of the farm.
26.57: Kideckel talks about how his father got to Krugerdorf (thought he would get free land).
27.45: Kideckel talks about Jewish life in Kriegerdorf. Talks about how his father used to chop wood in return for someone teaching his children to read Hebrew. Still a cemetery there, but no people living there.
28.57: Kideckel moved to Ansonville, got married, moved to Toronto in 1942.
30.17: [no sound audible for the rest of the recording]
43.39: End
AC 011: SIDE 2
TILLIE NOSOV
0.08: Nosov came to farm in Kreugerdorf in 1906. Maiden name Abromson?, 11 children in her family.
0.59: Nosov talks about her childhood and her family; what her house looked like.
2.15: Nosov talks about her father working on the railroad and on the farm.
2.54: Nosov talks about what she did on the farm; life on the farm; religious life on the farm. People kept kosher; women’s roles on the farm equal to men.
WILFRED KIDECKEL
4.33: Kideckel talks about inter-dating – the Jewish mayor used to discourage it.
5.05: [no sound audible for the rest of the recording]
43.36: End
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Hana (nee David) Gelber
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
29 July 1973
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Hana (nee David) Gelber
Number
AC 013
AC 014
Subject
Antisemitism
Jewish families
Israel
Occupations
Interview Date
29 July 1973
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
013 Side One 30 minutes
014 Side One 30 minutes
014 Side Two 30 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Hana Gelber (nee David) was born in Safed (Tzfat), Palestine in 1907. She studied sciences at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and prepared her thesis at Hebrew University. She graduated from University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1929. Hana moved to Toronto in December 1929 and married Eddie Gelber in March 1930. Hana and Eddie moved to New York where Eddie was completing his final year at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hana conducted research at the Rockefeller Institute. They returned to Toronto in July 1930. Hana graduated from Medical School at the University of Toronto in 1934. She completed her medical internship in Palestine. Hana and Eddie lived in Palestine from 1934-1939. They returned to Toronto in 1939 where they remained until 1954 at which time they made Aliyah. Hana worked at Women's College Hospital until 1954. Hana had 3 children; Edna, Lynn and David.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Gelber, Hana
Gelberg, Eddie
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Source
Oral Histories
Name
Belle James
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 April 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Belle James
Number
AC 016
Subject
Jewish families
Rabbis
Interview Date
21 April 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side One: 46 minutes
Side Two: 5 minutes
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
Belle James (nee Levy) was born in Toronto in 1908. Her father, Rabbi Meyer Levy became chief rabbi of Toronto in 1905/6.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
James, Belle
Levy, Meyer
Weiss, Lottie
Geographic Access
Toronto, Ont.
Original Format
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Transcript
AC 16: Side A.
0.00 - 1.57: Sound quality is poor.
2.04: Belle refers to an autobiography written by her father, Rabbi Meyer H. Levy. Her father was ordained at age 22 in 1891 in Vilna. He immigrated to New York in 1892. He worked in Syracuse as a rabbi for 5 years. He left the rabbinate and entered business but business failed.
5.58: Rabbi Levy returned to the rabbinate to serve as Chief Rabbi in Toronto in 1905/6.
6.18: While in business, Rabbi Levy worked in Rochester and Detroit and knew Henry Ford.
7.18: Belle’s parents were married in Europe.
7.54: Belle was born in 1908.
7.59: Rabbi Levy came originally to the Chestnut Street Synagogue and then went to the Russishe Shul.
8.50: Belle recalls where the family lived. She was born on University Ave., next door to Mary Pickford. They then moved to 2 homes on Alice Street, 2 homes on Baldwin, 288 Bathurst St. and 2 homes on Palmerston St.
11.35: Belle’s sister is Lottie Weiss.
11.52: Belle recounts the synagogues with which Rabbi Levy was affiliated. Russishe Shul, Adath Israel, Rumainishe Shul, Hebrew Men of England, Berkley Street Shul, Palmerston Avenue Shul.
12.44: Belle explains how Rabbi Levy was remunerated for his services.
13.18: Belle describes her mother’s charitable acts. She was a founder of the Home for the Aged.
14.16: Belle recalls travelling with her father to open synagogues in Niagara Falls, St. Catharine and Welland, ON.
14.51: Belle recalls Rabbi Levy’s visits to Kingston to visit Jewish in-mates and to the jail farm north on Yonge Street.
16.04: Belle recalls the good relationships between her father and other rabbis in the city. e.g. Rabbi Jacob, Rabbi Brickner and Rabbi Isserman.
18.00: Belle describes the controversies concerning kashrut.
20.00: Rabbi Levy gave hashgacha (supervisory overseer) for some products. Belle recalls his relationship with George Weston.
21.07: Rabbi Levy had some political influence.
22.58: Belle describes her father as charismatic and more liberal in behaviour. Other orthodox rabbis tended to be less approachable.
25.58: Belle describes her Jewish education.
29.40: Belle’s brothers studied at the Simcoe Street Talmud Torah with Nathanson.
30.42: Belle recalls that her father was close with other Orthodox rabbis.
31.40: Rabbi Levy remained active in the rabbinate until 1951, when Belle’s mother passed away.
32.43: Belle and Stephen Speisman discuss the names and locations of some of the downtown synagogues.
33.37: Belle relates a story involving Rabbi Levy and a mashgiach, Reverend Margolis.
34.43: Belle recalls the shachtim of the time in Toronto. Mittel Farber, Yankel David Farber, Garfinkel.
35.18: Belle recalls accompanying her father to the cemetery to an event that seemed like a party.
36.18: Belle explains why Rabbi Levy is buried in the Lubavicher section of Mount Sinai Cemetery.
37.08: Belle notes that her parents did not eat meat for many years because they did not recognize the hashgacha. Belle recounts a story involving her mother tempted to eat meat immediately before she died but in the end not succumbing.
41.42: Rabbi Levy was responsible for the Yiddish Hebrew Journal. Helped to bring Hirsch.
42.18: Belle recalls her father dancing on the table in response to the signing of the Balfour Declaration
43.05: Rabbi Levy requested in his will to be buried in Israel.
43.40: Belle reminisces about mishalachim from Rishon LeTzion in Palestine staying with her family.
AC 16: Side B
0.20: Rabbi Levy was instrumental in starting a matzah factory in Toronto on Dundas Street.
1.50: Rabbi Levy secured a permit for Jews to buy Passover wine during the Prohibition. Additionally, he got a wine permit for Rabbi Gordon who later sold the permit to Parkdale wines.
3.49: Rabbi Levy had connections with Hirsch-Manischewitz.
End
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Number
AC 135
Subject
Education
Fraternal organizations
Labor unions
Zionism
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
135A: 26:40 minutes 135B: 29:20 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Interview does not start at beginning.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ben Himel was Vice President and founder of the Borochov School and Kindergarten. Himel was affliated with the Poale Zion,Jewish National Workers Alliance (Farband), the Independent Workers Circle and The Board of Jewish Education
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Himel, Ben
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the ideologies of Canada's Labor Movements during the 1930s and 1940s.

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the Zionist movement within the Toronto Jewish community during the 1930s and 40s.

Name
Tobie Taback
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Tobie Taback
Number
AC 136
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
34 minutes 58 secons
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Tobie Taback was the long-time secretary for the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society in Toronto. He retired in 1982.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Taback, Tobie
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the helplessness faced by JIAS in bringing immigrants out of Europe during the period of Canada's strict "no immigration" policy.

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the activities of Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) employees during the years 1937-39, the obstacles they faced vis a vis immigrant applications and the "parcels to Russia and Poland" aid program run by JIAS.

Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Number
AC 140
Subject
Education
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 22 seconds Side 2: 41 minutes 13 seconds good
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
Dr. Alexander Brown was a leader in the field of Jewish education in Toronto. He held various positions with Toronto's Board of Education and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. He was actively involved with other Jewish organizations, such as Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Welfare Fund. Dr. Brown was born in the Ukraine in 1909 and was the son of Louis and Bessie Brown.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Brown, Alexander
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region (Toronto, Ont.)
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.)
Associated Hebrew Schools (Toronto, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Brown describes his tenure as Executive Secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), its organizational structure, and the CJC's position within the Toronto Jewish Community.

In this clip, Dr. Brown discusses the Board of Jewish Education, the Welfare Fund and the Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to the subsidization of Associated Hebrew Schools

Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Number
AC 141
Subject
Education
Immigrants--Canada
Rabbis
Synagogues
Zionists
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Doris Newman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes Side 2: 19 minutes
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
Rabbi Ittamar was born in Poland. He came to Toronto in 1923. He attended Landsdowne and Ryerson Public Schools in Toronto for one year and then continued his education at a theological seminary in New York which later became Yeshiva University. Throughout his life, Rabbi Ittamar was an ardent Zionist. From 1930 until June 1932, Rabbi Ittamar served as Rabbi of Beth Jacob and Adas Yisroel Synagogues in Hamilton. He then worked as principal of the Seattle Talmud Torah and attended graduate school at the University of Washington for three and a half years. He served for 20 years in Detroit as rabbi and president of Yeshiva. He made Aliyah in 5715 (1955) when he was invited by Chief Rabbi Herzog to become secretary of the Chief Rabbinate. He was married (nee Unger) in 1936 and had 2 children, Tamar and Yehoshua.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ittamar, Elimelech
Geographic Access
Toronto
Hamilton
Detroit
Original Format
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Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 141, Rabbi Elmelech Ittamar\AC 141 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Ittamar shares some of his early memories as a boy in Toronto.

While attending Yeshiva in New York, Rabbi Ittamar headed the debating team. In this clip he describes his first English-speaking public presentation while representing the debating team in 1930 at the Jewish People’s Institute in Chicago.

Name
Mina Sprachman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mina Sprachman
Number
AC 142
Subject
Architects
Buildings
Occupations
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
AC142: 31:34 minutes
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
Abraham Sprachman (1896-1971) was as Toronto based architect who in partnership with Harold Kaplan in the firm Kaplan & Sprachman, was well-known for the design of Art deco and Art moderne movie theatres during the 1930s and 1940s and for designing buildings for Jewish communities across Canada from the 1930s to 1960s. Abraham married his cousin Mina Sprachman in 1921. They had two children: Mandel and Sheila. Mandel followed in his father's footsteps and also became a nationally recognized and acclaimed architect. Both specialized in theatre design and renovations. Mandel became an architect best known for his restoration of the Elgin Wintergarden.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan & Sprachman
Kaplan, Harold
Sprachman, Abraham, 1896-1971
Speisman, Stephen
Sprachman, Mina
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Mina Sprachman discusses her husband's architectural firm of Kaplan and Sprachman, its Jewish clientele and the firm's commissions to design and renovate theatres, hospitals and synagogues across Canada.

Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Number
AC 147
AC 148
Subject
Art and popular culture
Theater, Yiddish
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC147A: 44. minutes
AC148B: 45. minutes
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
Jennie Goldstein immigrated from Russia to Toronto in 1914. While living and working in The Ward, Jennie married Harry Goldstein, who was noted as both a "dresser" and actor in Toronto's Lyric and Standard Theatres. After Harry's passing Jennie became a supplier of costumes for the Yiddish Theatre. In 1920, to help support the family, Jennie opened a 'deli" stand alongside the original Shopsy's deli located in the area of Kensington Market. Jennie and Harry's daughter Bess married Boris Coppersmith whose parents, Yossel and Nessie, owned a variety store at Spadina and Baldwin Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Harris, Harry
Pasternak, Chanina
Goldstein, Jennie
Coopersmith, Boris
Coopersmith, Bess
Standard Theatre
Lyric Theatre
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
St. John's Ward
Kensington Market
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the early years of Toronto's Yiddish theatres such as the Tivoli and the Standard, and actors such as Harry Harris and Chanina Pasternak.

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the performances and actors of the Lyric Theatre circa 1914

Name
Max Federman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Federman
Number
AC 149
AC 150
Subject
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Industries
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Ben Schneider
Total Running Time
AC149A: 30. minutes AC149B: 30. minutes AC150A: 1. minute
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
Max Federman was born in Poland. In 1919, Max moved to Germany where he attended school. He joined his father in Toronto in 1920. A union leader, labour Zionist and ardent-Communist, Max became actively involved in the union movement and served as representative of the Local Fur Workers Union. He was involved in a twenty year battle with the Communist leadership of the International Furrier Union until they disbanded and merged with the International Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. Max was involved in Jewish community organizations including the Histadrut, Borochov School, and the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Goldman, Emma
Federman, Max
Schneider, Ben
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 149, 150, Max Federman\AC 149, 150 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Federman describes the conflict between the Federation of Labour (F of L) and Communist International Union (CIU) from 1938-1956. He discusses the steps in which the International Fur and Leather Union disaffiliated with the International Union to join the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union in 1956.

In this clip, Max Federman discusses his early involvement with a trade union while living in Germany in 1919.

Name
Dora Till
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dora Till
Number
AC 151
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Jewish families
Labor
Labor unions
Women
Occupations
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
46 minutes
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
Dora Till (nee Tobias) was born in New York City in 1896. She came to Toronto in 1900. She married Morris Till in 1918. They had one daughter, Cecile. As a youth, Dora was involved with Herzl Girls and the Boot and Shoe Society. Dora was active in community service and contributed greatly to social service work. She was co-founder and first President for Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home, Vice-President of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society, a board member for the Jewish Family and Child Services, an executive for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Honourary Vice-President of United Jewish Welfare Fund, on the board of Canadian Jewish Congress and past President of the Naomi Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Herzl Girls Boot and Shoe Society, 1920
Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home
Baycrest Hospital
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
Timothy Eaton Company
Till, Dora
Geographic Access
Toronto
Bronte
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dora Till discusses some of the services provided by Hebrew Maternity Aid.

Dora Till was co-founder and first President for Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home. In this clip, Dora describes the efforts to solicit and fundraise on behalf of the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home.

Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Number
AC 109
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Immigrants--Canada
Labor
Labor unions
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
109A: 60 minutes 109B: 6 minutes
Conservation
Not copied. Need 120 minute tape.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Kalmen was born January 5, 1912 in Poland. He worked in Montreal as a typesetter and linotype operator. He was active in the labour and human rights movements in Canada. Kalmen served as the director of the Jewish Labour Committee in 1945. In collaboration with the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian government and trade unions the Jewish Labour Committee helped Jewish displaced persons immigrate to Canada by securing them employment. Kalman sat on the Refugee Status Advisory Committee for the federal government.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplansky, Kalmen
Platnick, Phyllis
Jewish Labour Committee
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky discusses some of the obstacles to the relocation of displaced Jews to Canada after the Second World War. He describes a tripartite proposal involving consultation and cooperation among trade unions, management and government that enabled the immigration project.

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky explains that bribery, corruption and perjury were a way of life after the Second World War. He relates anecdotes as illustration.

Name
Max Enkin
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Enkin
Number
AC 113
AC 114
Subject
Antisemitism
Immigrants--Canada
Labor unions
Nonprofit organizations
Occupations
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC113: 19:40 minuets
AC114:
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
Max Enkin was founder and a leading member of the Jewish Vocational Service of Toronto. The original purpose of the organization was to help survivors of the Second World War find employment. In 1947, as Associate Administrator and representative for the Men's Clothing sector in Ontario, Max Enkin became involved in The "Tailor Project". The project was designed to identify and select skilled tailors from the DP camps of Europe and help to settle them in Canada.
Max Enkin was awarded the OBE in Recognition of services to Wartime Prices.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Enkin, Max
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 113
History of Immigration of Skilled Tailors from the Displaced Person Camps after WWII 1946 –
0.07: How the project got started
0.20: Canadian Government in relation to skilled workers in Canada 1946
1.19: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to DP camps in Europe.
2.45: Canadian Government restricted immigration 1946.
3.11: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to Garment industry.
4.13: Canadian Government in relation to UNRRA and immigration to Canada (UNRRA: United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration founded 1943 and became part of the UN in 1945).
5.29: JIAS Jewish Immigrant Aid Services.
5.39: Congress and Immigration to Canada.
5.58: Garment industry Union and Immigration to Canada
6.30: McNamara Deputy Minister of Labour from Winnipeg (circa 1946).
7.18: Labor and Management Representatives of the ILGE 1946 (ILGE - International Ladies Garment Workers Union?). Mr. Sam Hirsch of Winnipeg, representative of the Union for Men & Women. Mr. Bernard Shane of Montreal, Executive Director of the ILGE. Mr.? Solomon of Montreal, representative of Manufacturers Union of Montreal. Sam Posluns of Toronto representative of the Women’s Union. Max Enkin of Toronto, representative of the Men’s Union Ontario.
9.05: Beginning of the project by the ILGE to bring Jews from DP camps in Europe to Canada. Trip to London England by the 5 member body of ILGE. Difficulty in gaining clearance papers to gain entry into Germany & Austria.
11.34: C.D Howe Canadian Cabinet Minister serving under McKenzie King Meeting with ILGE in Canada House, London England.
13.20: Enkin meeting with C.D. Howe and question of quota of Jews allowed into Canada.
14.13: Federal Liberal Government, Quebec and Ottawa vis a vis Jewish immigration.
15.5: McKenzie King, Prime Minister and Ernest Lapointe, Member of Parliament/Quebec and immigration of Jews.
15.56: Jewish population, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg 3 largest centers 17.0-19.4: Anti-Semitism in Canada.
End: Rest of tape 19.50 -30.42 inaudible.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the organizations, government departments and union representatives involved in the development and implementation of the Tailor Project.

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the Liberal Government

Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Number
AC 122
Subject
Jewish families
Women
Occupations
Antisemitism
Hospitals
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert and Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1 31 minutes
Side 2 17 minutes
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
Lillian Gollom (nee Slovens) was born in Russia in1903. She came to Toronto around 1907. She attended Ogness Public School and Canada Business College. She married Nat Gollom in 1924 and had a son and a daughter. Lillian was actively involved with the "Sinais" and served as President of the organization in 1939. The fund-raising efforts of the the "Sinais", Ezrat Nashim and "Twigs" assisted with the establishment of the first Mount Sinai Hospital on Yorkville Ave. Lillian was an involved volunteer at the hospital. Lillian remained active with the Sinais following the building of the second Mount Sinai Hospital on University Ave. when the organization's focus shifted to fund-raising for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Mount Sinai Hospital
Dworkin, Dorothy
Canadian Cancer Society
Singer, E.F.
Gollom, Lillian
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 122, Lillian Gollom\AC 122 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Lillian Gollom discusses the establishment and early days of the first Mount Sinai Hospital. She describes the fund-raising efforts of Ezrat Nashim, the Sinais and the Twigs.

In this clip, Lillian Gollom relates anecdotes pertaining to the impact of the Great Depression on Jewish families in the early 1930s.

Name
Morris Silbert
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Silbert
Number
AC 123
AC 124
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Nonprofit organizations
Communities
Interview Date
1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Brooky Robins
Total Running Time
AC123A - 30. minutes AC123B - 31. minutes AC124A - 46. minutes. AC124 Side2 - 44 minutes good
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
Morris Silbert was born in 1912 on a farm outside of Hamilton. His parents came from Lithuania. His father arrived in Canada in 1905 and his mother and 3 older siblings joined him in 1906. Morris spent his youth growing up on farms and at age 16 in 1928 his family moved to Hamilton. In his youth, Morris was involved in several Jewish organizations including Young Judea, AZA and Hashomer Hatzair. He was married in 1938. He served in the army in 1943 during the Second World War. Morris was second vice president of the Council of Jewish Organizations, served on the executive, was chairman of the nursery school board and participated on several committees.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Silbert, Morris
Robins, Brooky
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Wentworth
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family's farm in southern Ontario. He includes names of peddlers with descriptions of their wares and their carts.

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family

In this clip, Morris Silbert describes the restructuring of the Hamilton Jewish community as a result of the Depression in the 1930s. He explains how the Council of Jewish Organizations was formed to replace United Hebrew Association.

Name
Edna Jacobs
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Edna Jacobs
Number
AC 125
Subject
Jewish families
Travel
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Girl Guides
Religion
Volunteers
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1: 36 minutes Side 2: 46 minutes
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
Edna (nee Frankel) Jacobs was born March 20, 1904 in Toronto, Her parents, Sigmund and Paula Frankel, were early immigrants from Germany. Edna attended Havergal from kindergarten through high school. She studied general arts for two years at the University of Toronto. She married Arthur Jacobs, the son of Rabbi Solomon Jacobs, in 1936. Together, they had one daughter, Patsy and a baby who died during infancy. Edna was involved with the Girls Club and the Junior Council of Jewish Women.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Toronto Girl's Club
Toronto Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 125 Jacobs\AC 125 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Edna Jacobs shares memories from a trip she and her family took to Biblis, Germany to celebrate her grandparents’ golden anniversary.

In this clip, Edna Jacobs reminisces about several prominent Toronto Jewish families.

Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Number
AC 161
AC 162
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Jewish families
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz and Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC161 Side 1: 47 minutes AC161 Side 2: 47 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Toronto Historical Society lecture
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Esther Volpe (nee Shulman) was born on February 24, ?1898. As a child, she and her family briefly lived in Romington, ON and Havlock, ON. Her family later settled in Toronto. In her youth, she participated in the Herzl Girls' Club. She attended University of Toroonto in the Faculty of Arts. She married Dr. Aaron Volpe in 1921. Esther was involved in several Jewish organizations, including the old Mount Sinai Medical Auxillary, Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, UJA Appeal, JIAS and BBYO and non-Jewish organizations, including Toronto Local Council of Women. She represented the Jewish community of Toronto on the Wartime Price and Trade Board and helped organize the Ontario Food Council.
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Volpe, Esther
Siegel, Ida
Kayfetz, Eva
Speisman, Stephen
Hadassah-WIZO
National Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In 1947, Esther Volpe was elected President of the National Council of Jewish Women. In this clip, Esther discusses how, with the support of the United Welfare Fund, the Canadian Jewish Congress and JIAS, she helped make arrangements for groups of Jewish refugees who settled in Toronto.

In this clip, Esther Volpe explains her involvement in the creation of the "Good Age Club" the first recreational program for Jewish seniors.

In this clip, Ida Siegel relates anecdotes from her childhood growing up in downtown Toronto.

Name
Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida Siegel
Number
AC 166
AC 167
Subject
Charities
Women
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz
Total Running Time
AC166A: 47.minutes AC166B: 5. minutes AC167A: 29. minutes
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
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Hadassah-WIZO of Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ida Siegel discusses the formation of Hadassah in Canada and how it evolved into Hadassah-WIZO. She describes the creation of separate Hadassah branches.

In this clip, Ida Siegel explains the events that led up to the formation of a committee that she headed to write a Constitution for Hadassah. She describes some of the struggles she encountered in the process.

Name
Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida Siegel
Number
AC 168
Quantity
1
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
This is a recorded lecture for the Beth Tzedec Sisterhood group.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Fidler
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1977-1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Fidler
Number
AC 175
Interview Date
1977-1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Allan Grossman
Total Running Time
30 minutes 35 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
Harry Fidler was born in 1900 in Ostrovtze. He came to Toronto at age ten in 1910. He married in 1922. Harry was very active with the Ostrovtzer Synagogue and served on the executive since 1922.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ostrovtzer Synagogue
Grossman, Allan
Fidler, Harry
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 175 Fidler\AC 175 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman discuss the decline of the Ostrovtzer Synagogue.

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman reminisce about the Ostrovtzer Synagogue at the Cecil Street location.

Name
Blanche Haber
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Blanche Haber
Number
AC 189
Subject
Jewish families
Occupations
Immigrants--Canada
Food
Antisemitism
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Kaylee Gollom Miller
Total Running Time
Side 1 - 31 minutes Side 2 - 31 minutes
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
Blanche Haber (nee Heller) was born in a small town in Russia in 1893. She came to Toronto at age 8. Her father worked as a peddler. She married Isadore Haber in 1915. Three of her five children died from illnesses in their childhood. Before her marriage, Blanche worked as a seamstress. Isadore worked as a tailor, primarily for Eaton's. Like her mother, once married, Blanche took boarders into their home at 112 Parliament Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Geographic Access
Toronto
Halifax
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 189 Haber\AC 189 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Blanche Haber describes taking boarders into her mother’s and her own home at 112 Parliament Street.

In this clip, Blanche Haber fondly remembers the warm relationship that developed between her family and the Manischewitz family. She explains that Joe Manischewitz boarded at her family’s home while his family built a matzah factory in Toronto.

Name
Nathan Cassels
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Nathan Cassels
Number
AC 207
Subject
Jewish musicians
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Carol Rosenthal
Total Running Time
Side 1 30 minutes 30 seconds Side 2 13 minutes 30 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
Nathan Cassels was born in Montreal in 1903. As a child, his family moved to Toronto. He studied clarinet with Mr. Glass and performed with the Russian Juvenile Concert Band for two years. He left school after grade three and started working as a plumber at age 13. He played clarinet with the 110th Regimental Band during the First World War. His music career spanned 60 years. He moved to Detroit in 1926 because of the many Big Band opportunities. He returned to Toronto in the 1930s where he played with the Romanelli Band for 18 years and free-lanced as a studio musician. He later divided his time between work as a traveling textile salesman and musician. He was married and had one daughter born in 1937.
Material Format
sound recording
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 207 Cassels\AC 207 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Nathan Cassels recalls a trip taken by the Russian Juvenile Concert Band to Detroit, Michigan.

In this clip, Nathan Cassels reminisces about his early career as a musician with various bands.

Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Number
AC 208
Subject
Recreation
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC 208A: 40 minutes AC 208B: 18 minutes
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
Anne Edell grew up in Toronto. She worked as a bookkeeper in several local Jewish businesses. During summer vacation, Anne would travel to Port Dalhousie, Crystal Beach and Jackson's Point. I.S. Edell grew up in Toronto. He graduated in education from OCE but was unable to find a teaching position. He worked at the post office for a short time and later in his father-in-law's business.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Edell, Anne
Edell, I.S.
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Port Dalhousie
Crystal Beach
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Anne Edell shares memories of summer vacations.

In this clip, I.S. Edell discusses the anti-Semitism encountered by Jewish graduates in the field of education in Ontario in the 1930s.

Name
Ben Kayfetz
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Kayfetz
Number
AC 210
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Law
Nonprofit organizations
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
46 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Christie Pits riot at approximately minute 16:00
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Benjamin Gershon Kayfetz was born on December 24, 1916 in Toronto. He married Eva Silver and had two children. Ben graduated from the University of Toronto in 1939, with a B.A. in modern languages. He worked as a high school teacher in Huntsville and Niagara Falls between 1941 and 1943. In 1943, he joined the war effort, working for the Department of National Defense in Postal Censorship and was responsible for reviewing prisoner of war mail. After the war, Kayfetz traveled to British Occupied Germany where he worked as a censor of telecommunications with the Control Commission until 1947. Upon returning to Toronto, he was hired as the National Director of Community Relations by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), and as the Executive (National) Director of the Joint Community Relations Committee (JCRC), a CJC - B'nai B'rith cooperative organization. He also served as the Central Region Executive Director of the CJC between 1973 and 1978. He worked to develop anti-discrimination laws and for the protection of minority and religious rights. Kayfetz was also actively involved in promoting the welfare of Jewish Communities worldwide. He was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal by the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1985 and the Order of Canada in 1986. In addition to his professional activities, Kayfetz wrote articles for various Jewish publications under both his own name and the pseudonym, Gershon B. Newman, and gave a weekly radio address on CHIN radio addressing various contemporary Jewish issues. He was also actively involved in the Toronto Jewish Historical Society (serving as its president), Canadian Jewish Historical Society and Yiddish Luncheon Circle. Ben Kayfetz died in 2002.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Balmy Beach Swastika Club
Canadian Jewish Congress
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kew Beach
Christie Pits
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 210, Ben Kayfetz\AC 210 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz describes the skirmish between anti-Semitic and Jewish youths at Kew Beach in July 1933.

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz discusses the laws that restricted “Jews or other objectionable races” from purchasing, owning or renting properties in Toronto and summer resort areas. He describes the steps taken to change the law.

Name
Abe Posluns
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
16 Feb. 1988
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Abe Posluns
Number
AC 214
Subject
Baycrest
Interview Date
16 Feb. 1988
Quantity
1
Interviewer
N. Sherman
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
Abe Posluns was born in 1908 to Sheindel and Abraham Isaac Posluns. Abe married Elsie Posluns and they had three children. Abe was a financier and was actively involved in the Toronto Jewish community. In 1946, he headed the fundraising campaign to purchase land and build a new facility to accommodate the Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner). Throughout the course of his career, he was President of the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto, President of the Jewish Home for the Aged, President of Baycrest Hospital, Honorary Vice-President for United Jewish Welfare Fund, Director and Executive of New Mount Sinai Hospital, Director of YW-YMHA, Director of Canadian Welfare Council, and he was also a member of B'nai B'rith, Primrose Club, and the Oakdale Golf and Country Club.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Posluns, Abe
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Genya Intrator
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Genya Intrator
Number
AC 223
AC 224
Subject
Antisemitism
Women
Human rights
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Mindy A. Skapinker
AccessionNumber
1993-9-1
Total Running Time
AC 223A: 46 minutes AC 223B: 46 minutes AC 224A: 16 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Genya was born in Moscow and moved as a child to Palestine in the 1930's. She was a member of the Israeli underground and served in the Israeli army during the War of Independence. She played a central leadership role in the Soviet Jewry Movement in Canada. She founded "Women for Soviet Jewry" and served as chair of "National Soviet Jewry Committee". She helped with creation of the Toronto "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group. Genya had regular contact by phone with Soviet activists and relayed their information back to Israeli consuls. She was an advisor to B'nai Brith on Soviet Jewry. She started an Inter-religious Task Force for Soviet Jewry in Canada.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Intrator, Genya
Skapinker, Mindy A.
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Genya Intrator discusses the formation of the "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group.

In this clip, Genya Intrator describes how information about Soviet Jews was passed on to the Israeli consulate in New York who tracked all the data. She explains how she was appointed as a "secret agent" who would report information from her many phone calls to the Soviet Union.

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