Dr. Isadore M. Cass (1916-1996), a well-known pathologist and practicing mohel--Jewish ritual circumcisor--for the Toronto Jewish community, was born and educated in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto's medical school. After serving with the army during the Second World War, Dr. Cass returned to Toronto to private practice. He began studying pathology in 1953, and performed research at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Connaught Labs and the Ontario Department of Health throughout his career. He was chief of pathology at Ajax and Pickering hospitals for twenty-three years, until his retirement in 1986.
In 1945, Dr. Cass began doing ritual circumcisions and was the first medical doctor in Toronto to do so. He performed over 40,000 circumcisions throughout Canada and the eastern United States and trained many physicians to perform them as well.
Dr. Cass was a member of the following organizations: New York Academy of Sciences; the Academy of Medicine, Toronto; the Israel Medical Association; General Wingate Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion; and many other associations and societies.
Dr. Cass studied Torah under Rabbi Jacob Gordon and was a Torah reader at Goel Tzedec Synagogue and later, Beth Tzedec. He also studied and taught Torah throughout his life, chairing the Canadian Jewish Congress' Tanach study group for many years, and leading weekly Gemara classes at Beth Tzedec. He belonged to Shaarei Shomayim and Beth Lida synagogues, as well as Lubavitch. In 1987, Dr. and Mrs. Cass were honoured as "Couple of the Year" by Machanaim, The Network of Educational Institutions in Kiryat Gat, Israel, for their great contributions to this charity over the years.
Dr. Cass was married to Miriam Cass and they had four daughters: Sharon, Hylah, Judy, and Elaine. He had four brothers: the late Rabbi Samuel Cass, Harry, Al, and Elie (who was a Reform mohel), and two sisters: Miriam Cass and Zelda Fink. He also had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Dr. Cass died on January 24, 1996 of cancer.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records relating to the personal and professional life of Dr. Isadore Cass. These records include appointment books documenting circumcisions he performed, correspondence, writings, Tanach study group notes, a Machanaim invitation and programme, prayer books, certificates, memorial cards, and photographs.
Cass, Isadore M., 1916-1996
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The prayer book is in poor condition and some of the early daytimers are in fair condition.
See also the Ontario Jewish Archives' reference news clipping file under "Cass, Dr. Isadore".
Accession consists of records related to the Bureau of Jewish Education (later the Board of Jewish Education). Included is the inaugural meeting invitation, general correspondence, commencement and festival programmes, newsletters, a report on the schools of Beth Tikvah Synagogue and a BJE Dropouts' Study performed in 1989.
There is no acquisition information for these records. Cantor Stolnitz's stamp is visible on many of the records and some of the correspondence is addressed to him.
Accession consists of records related to the Board of Jewish Education. Included are records related to the Audio-Visual and Resource Centre, the National and Regional Bible Contests, the Meyer W. Gasner scholarship and an Association of Jewish Day Schools Administrators meeting in June 1996.
Accession consists of materials assembled by Stanley Emerson and donated to the Ontario Jewish Archives. Included are: one hardbound book commemorating the Toronto Hebrew Free School's liquidation of its capital debt on May 8, 1947; one spiral-bound book assembled on the occassion of Shomrai Shaboth Congregation's twentieth anniversary testimonial dinner honouring Rabbi Gedalia Felder to be held on Sunday, June 18, 1972; one Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto programme for its annual dinner to be held on Thursday, June 22, 1978; one programme for a Machanaim Testimonial Dinner honouring Dr. Isadore Cass on Wednesday, May 2, 1979; one Associated Hebrew Schools graduation programme for Wednesday, June 27, 1979; one newspaper clipping from the Thursday, June 6, 1985 edition of the Canadian Jewish News relating to Rabbi Gedalia Felder, former spiritual leader of Shomrai Shaboth-Chevra Mishnayoth Congregation; one newspaper clipping from the Thursday, June 13, 1985 edition of the Canadian Jewish News relating to Harold Dessen, former president of Associated Hebrew Schools; and one paperbound book assembled on the occassion of a Sol Edell tribute dinner commoemorating the fiftieth yahrzeit (death anniversary) of HaRav Yosef Weinreb and the establishment of the Saol Edell Family Endowment Fund to be held on Saturday, October 31, 1992.
Dr. Alexander Brown (1909-1984) was a leader in the field of Jewish education in Toronto. He held various positions with Toronto’s Board of Jewish Education (BJE) and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto, and was actively involved with other Jewish organizations, such as the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and the United Jewish Welfare Fund (UJWF).
Brown was born in the Ukraine on 14 February 1909 to Louis and Bessie Brown. The family immigrated to Canada in 1920. Brown attended the Simcoe Street Talmud Torah and studied under Rabbi Jacob Gordon. He continued his education at the Hebrew Theological College of Chicago and returned to Toronto in 1933. Between 1934 and 1936 Brown served as the first executive secretary of the CJC, Central Region. From 1936 to 1937 he was an announcer for the Jewish Radio Hour, where he read the News of the Week. In 1945 he graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA and then again in 1948 with an MA in Oriental languages. Brown was married to Dorothy Mercovitch (1912-2009) of London, Ontario, and together they had two children: Martin and Paul.
Brown entered the field of Jewish education as the principal of Shaarei Shomayim Hebrew School from 1942 to 1948, as a principal of the AHS of Toronto and as dean of the Midrasha L'Morim. From 1957 to 1964 he worked as a consultant with the BJE in Toronto and then became the BJE's associate director until the early 1980s. He also was a member of the UJWF’s Study Committee on Jewish Education, the National Council of Jewish Education, the Toronto Zionist Council, and the Educational and Cultural Committee of the CJC. In 1969, he received an honourary doctorate in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois.
Dr. Brown died on 15 September 1984 at the age of 75.
Records were in the possession of Paul Brown, Dr. Brown's son, until their donation to the OJA.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of textual and graphic material documenting the professional activities of Dr. Alexander Brown. The bulk of the material relates to his involvement with the BJE and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. Included are meeting notices, agendas, and minutes, reports, studies, speeches, proposals, constitutions, correspondence, financial records, publications, questionnaires, photographs, booklets, articles, biographies, press releases, newspaper clippings, programmes, invitations, flyers, lists, applications, statistics, and a directory.
Records have been arranged into the following four series: 1. Board of Jewish Education; 2. Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto; 3. United Jewish Welfare Fund Study Committee on Jewish Education; and, 4. Jewish communal activities. Two files are attached directly to the fonds level. Records are described to the file level with a selection of item level descriptions.
Fonds was reduced from approximately 1.2 metres to 0.74 metres. Records that were culled include duplicate or damaged photographs, duplicate graduation programmes and invitations, duplicate UJWF Study Committee Interim reports that are located elsewhere in OJA's holdings, and other duplicated material. Also removed were American and other non-Canadian booklets.
Photographers and photography studios are identified on the photographs.
Brown, Alexander, 1909-1984
Gordon, Jacob, Rabbi
Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.)
The photographs are in poor condition. They have begun to curl and have become stiff from being stored in a dry environment. They should be flattened through humidification and encapsulated in mylar to prevent re-curling.
See: Oral history interview with Dr. Brown (AC 140), Board of Jewish Education fonds 48, United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds 67, AHS of Toronto MG2 G-1E, accession 1981-11-4, United Synagogue Day School accession 1990-5-2, accession 1991-12-5, and accession 1988-11-3. For photographs of Jewish schools see Gordon Mendly fonds 18, series 3.
Arrangement has been created by the archivist since there was no discernable original order.