2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 18 x 13 cm and 10 x 12 cm
Benjamin Gershon Kayfetz was born on December 24, 1916 in Toronto, graduating from the University of Toronto in 1939, with a B.A. in modern languages. Between the years 1941 and 1943, he worked as a high school teacher in Huntsville and Niagara Falls. 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. During his tenure, he worked with various churches, unions and minority groups 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, and made visits to Cuba in 1962 and 1965, and Russia in 1985, to study and report on the state of these Jewish Communities. After his retirement in 1985, he was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal by the Canadian Jewish Congress. In recognition of his efforts to promote Human Rights, he was also awarded 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 and is survived by his wife Eva.
Scope and Content
This item is a portrait of Ben Kayfetz.
Kayfetz, Benjamin, 1916-2002
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
The file consists of correspondence with His Excellency, Ephraim Evron, and His Excellency, Theodor Meron, Israeli ambassadors to Canada and consular staff concerning celebrations of the anniversary of Israel's independence, and a message from Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir.
The file consists of photographs taken during a reception held for Ambassador Yaacov Herzog on 4 July 1963 and a reception for Ambassador Gershon Avner in 1964. Included in the photographs are Rabbi Plaut; Elizabeth Plaut; George Liban; Ben Keyfetz; Louis Lockshin; Yaacov Herzog and Shira Herzog.
The file consists of general correspondence. The file includes correspondence regarding the Shalom television programme, Schlichim of Canadian Young Judaea, Rabbi Reuven Slonim, requests for information regarding a screening of the film "Hester Street" and memoranda concerning the 1972 national convention.