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6 records – page 1 of 1.
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
Rabbis
Synagogues
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
Atkins (family)
Bucavetsky (family)
Cochrane (Ont.)
Etkins (family)
Mallins (family)
Purkiss (family)
Schaeffer, Fred
Geographic Access
Ansonville (Ont.)
Engelhart (Ont.)
Kirkland Lake (Ont.)
Krugerdorf (Ont.)
Ontario, Northern
Timmins (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 (née 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.

Level
Item
ID
Item 572
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
572
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1929]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 21 x 26 cm and 12 x 10 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of the Ansonville cheder class, ca. 1929. The photograph was taken outside. Pictured are:
Centre: Mr. Kosoff. Children from left to right: Harry Abramson (lawyer in Windsor), Vera Abramson (Montreal), Esther Abramson (Montreal), Becky Briansky, John Abramson, Mary Crotin, Dorothy Abramson, Art Crotin (killed in war), Lou Crotin (identified this photo), Bill Perlmutter (now in Montreal), and Bella Briansky.
Name Access
Abramson, Dorothy
Abramson, Esther
Abramson, Harry
Abramson, John
Abramson, Vera
Briansky, Becky
Briansky, Bella
Crotin, Art
Crotin, Lou
Crotin, Mary
Perlmutter, Bill
Subjects
Heder
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Ansonville (Ont.)
Accession Number
Acquired Dec. 1975.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 4740
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
4740
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1920]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 21 x 26 cm and 10 x 12 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a copy photograph of the staff standing behind the counter inside Kideckel Grocery in Ansonville, Ontario. Pictured are:
Back row, left to right: Harry Kideckel, Fay Kideckel, [unidentified].
Front row, left to right: [unidentified], Becky Kideckel, [Sam?], Wilf Kideckel, Israel Kideckel.
Name Access
Kideckel Grocery
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Ansonville (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-6-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 4741
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
4741
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1920]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 21 x 26 cm and 10 x 12 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a copy photograph of the staff standing behind the deli counter at Kideckel Grocery in Ansonville, Ontario. From left to right are: [unidentified], Wilf Kideckel, Harry Kideckel, and [unidentified].
Name Access
Kideckel Grocery
Kideckel, Harry
Kideckel, Wilf
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Ansonville (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-6-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 436
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
436
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1920]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 21 x 26 cm and 10 x 12 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a copy photograph of the first minyan in Ansonville, Ontario, probably at Kideckel's house. Standing at the top is Chazan Nathanson, a local storekeeper. On his left is Isaac Korman and on his right are Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Aron. Standing in the second last row from left are: Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein, Jake Perlmutter, Alec Abramson holding Dorothy (?) Abramson, and Mr. and Mrs. Garber. Seated in the second row from left are: Mrs. Kideckel, Mrs. Perlmutter, Polly Abramson with Esther (?) Abramson, and Mrs. Laroz. Seated cross-legged on the floor from left are: Mr. Branson, Jack Pesach and Mr. Laroz (a Sephardic Jew). Jack Pesach and Mr. Laroz were brothers-in-law.
Notes
The individuals were identified by B. Nosov, 19/10/75.
Copy delivered to the Baycrest Heritage Museum for "The Great Migration" exhibit, 1 - 8 x 20 sepia on board, June 1975.
Name Access
Abramson, Alec
Abramson, Dorothy
Abramson, Esther
Abramson, Polly
Aron, Mr.
Bernstein, Mr. and Mrs.
Branson, Mr.
Garber, Mr. and Mrs.
Hoffman, Mr.
Kideckel, Mrs.
Korman, Isaac
Laroz, Mr.
Laroz, Mrs.
Nathanson, Chazan
Perlmutter, Jake
Perlmutter, Mrs.
Pesach, Jack
Subjects
Minyan
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Ansonville (Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Address
1 Camp Gesher’s Rd
Source
Landmarks

Camp Gesher originated in 1963 from a merger between Camp Revivim (serving campers from Ottawa and Toronto) and Camp Kissufim (serving campers from Montreal). It is part of Habonim Dror, the Labour-Zionist youth movement and is located near Cloyne, Ontario.
Address
1 Camp Gesher’s Rd
Time Period
1963-present
Scope Note
Camp Gesher originated in 1963 from a merger between Camp Revivim (serving campers from Ottawa and Toronto) and Camp Kissufim (serving campers from Montreal). It is part of Habonim Dror, the Labour-Zionist youth movement and is located near Cloyne, Ontario.
History
Camp Gesher’s small size is central to the spirit of the camp where a culture of acceptance, individuality and mutual respect is fostered. The camp philosophy revolves around socialist ideals and its structure is similar to that of a kibbutz. Hebrew is used in day-to-day conversation and there are many opportunities to learn about Jewish and Israeli history and culture. There is a kosher kitchen and Shabbat and Havdalah are celebrated.
Category
Camps and Resorts
Source
Landmarks
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