24 photographs : b&w and sepia ; 21 x 13 cm or smaller
Rebecca Kamarner (née Huenstein) (1882-1975) was born in Russia and lived there until her early adulthood. She married Harry Kamarner (1877- 1962) in 1902 and immigrated to Toronto around 1904. Mrs. Chava Kamarner (1847-1929), possibly Harry’s mother, may have immigrated at a later date and lived with the family in Canada. Rebecca and Harry had three children: Bessie (b. 1903), Anne (b. 1906?), and Jack (1907?-1986). Harry and Rebecca lived on 35 Bellevue Avenue in 1925 and later resided at 72 Barton Street.
From the date of her arrival as an immigrant to Canada, Mrs. Kamarner was involved in charitable work through such organizations as The Hebrew Women’s Convalescent Home established in 1936 (of which she was the President and founder), The Hebrew Maternity Aid Society, and The Women’s Auxiliary Toronto Hebrew Free School. During the First and Second World Wars she was actively involved in social aid and the sponsorship of orphans, and she worked as a nurse during the influenza pandemic that began in 1918 and had its greatest effect on the Jewish community in Toronto in 1919 and 1920. She was one of the earliest members of the Toronto Hadassah-Wizo (Schamira Levine chapter) and was also actively involved in fundraising for the Women’s Auxiliary of The New Mount Sinai Hospital, of which she was listed as a charter member. She served on the Board of Directors of The Jewish Home for the Aged and was a preeminent name in the promotion of convalescent care and social advocacy for the disadvantaged throughout her lifetime.
Harry, Nathan "Nutta" (d. 1956), and Louis Kamarnar were men’s clothing and furnishings retailers and owned the Merchant’s Clothing Co. store on 131 Queen Street West. Harry, his son Jack, and his son-in-law Harry Granger, were also affiliated with the Judean Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order.
Bessie Kamarner married Sam Robins (b.1893) in 1922 and they lived together at 273 Queen Street East. Anne Kamarner was married to Harry Graner (d. 1986) in 1931. Jack Kamarner lived in Toronto and married Jeanne (née Rubin). They had two daughters, Ann and Nancy.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of family photographs, a scrapbook, and other textual records, both of a personal nature and those relating to the volunteer work done by Rebecca Kamarner. These records document her community social work, her affiliation with the Women’s Auxiliary, and her fundraising efforts for the Hebrew Women’s Convalescent Home, later the Mount Sinai Convalescent Home, in Toronto.
Kamarner, Rebecca, 1882-1975
see also clipping, re. photo #2503, from accession 1978-6-4
The fonds has been arranged in five files: the first file is of family photographs; the second contains one passport; the third contains institutional programmes; the fourth is of personal invitations and correspondence; and, the fifth file contains Rebecca Kamarner's scrapbook and clippings from that scrapbook. These are all kept together in one box and each file is housed in a separate folder.