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Part Of
Zionist Organization of Canada fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 28
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Zionist Organization of Canada fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
28
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
moving images
Date
1908-1979, predominant 1955-1976
Physical Description
7.4 m of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
The Zionist Organization of Canada (ZOC) (1921-1978) acted as the official voice of Zionism in Canada, promoting the aims of Zionism in communities across the country. The ZOC adhered to the principles of the Jerusalem Programme of the World Zionist Movement founded by Theodor Herzl in 1898 during the First Zionist Congress held in Basle Switzerland. These principles included: 1) the promotion of immigration to Israel; 2) raising funds to carry out the aims of Zionism; 3) encouraging investment in Israel; 4) fostering Jewish consciousness; and 5) mobilizing public opinion about Israel and the Jewish communities of the Diaspora.
The Federation of Zionist Societies of Canada (FZSOC) was founded in 1898 as the national collective of groups representing Zionist interests in Canada. In 1921 the organization changed its name and was incorporated as the Zionist Organization of Canada, becoming the primary umbrella organization for Zionist groups in Canada.
The ZOC was a broad-based organization that embraced an ideology of nationhood which attracted influential national leaders within the Jewish community as well as thousands of members across the country. ZOC's main office was located in Montreal until 1970, when it moved to the Toronto Zionist Centre on Marlee Ave, Toronto. ZOC provided smaller communities, which had few institutional supports, with vital linkages to the metropolitan centres through their programs that were run out of the regional offices and local Zionist councils. The Zionist Organization of Canada operated as an umbrella group that oversaw Zionist funds and administered the budgets of such organizations as Canadian Hadassah-Wizo, the Men's Zionist Organization of Canada and Young Judaea. ZOC programs promoted a stronger Jewish identity amongst Canadian Jews and familiarity with Hebrew through the periodical, Canadian Zionist. These programs included book clubs, lunch clubs, film exhibits, youth camps, travel offices, and two television programs during the 1970s on cable television in Montreal and Toronto.
In 1967, ZOC became a constituent member of the new Federated Zionist Organization of Canada (FZOC), along with Canadian Hadassah-Wizo, the Labour Zionist Movement of Canada, Mizrachi Hapoel Hamizrachi Organization of Canada, Zionist Revisionist Organization of Canada, Achdut Avoda, and Friends of Pioneering Israel (Mapam). In 1972, FZOC became the Canadian Zionist Federation (CZF). During the 1970s, ZOC's functions were gradually absorbed by the Canadian Zionist Federation, the CZF Central Region based in Toronto, and by the Toronto Zionist Council. By 1978, the Zionist Organization of Canada had ceased to function as an organization.
Scope and Content
The Zionist Organization of Canada (ZOC) records span a 70 year period between 1908, with the formation of the Toronto Zionist Council (and its affiliated corporation, the United Zionists of Toronto) and the creation of the Zionist Organization of Canada in 1921, until 1978. The bulk of the records in the fonds were created after 1950.
The fonds is organized into two sous-fonds and eight record series. The sous-fonds contain records of the ZOC Central Region and the Toronto Zionist Council, which exercised considerable autonomy in their work under the ZOC umbrella. The record series include records relating to: ZOC's executive bodies, the National Administrative Council and Executive Board, and their predecessor, the Executive Committee of the Federation of Zionist Societies of Canada (1919-1976); the National Camps Association, responsible for overseeing the administration of summer camps owned by ZOC (1961-1968); Canadian Young Judaea, the youth wing of ZOC which was also responsible for the operation of ZOC summer camps (1957-1978); the ZOC Department of Education and Culture's cable television programme, Shalom (1971-1977); ZOC national conventions (1946-1975); the Federated Zionist Organization of Canada, of which ZOC became a member organization on its formation in 1967 (1972-1978); and the 28th World Zionist Congress held in 1972. The fonds also includes a series of subject files, the primary recordkeeping system for ZOC's administration, and a series of photographs of prominant persons and events maintained by ZOC for its public relations work.
Notes
Physical description note: Includes: ca. 1100 photographs (b&w and col.; some negatives), 24 embossed prints, 3 film reels (col., Super 8 mm), and 1 videocassette (col., VHS).
Associated material note: Additional records of the Zionist Organization of Canada can be found at the Canadian Jewish Congress National Archives (Montreal), Library & Archives Canada (Ottawa), and the World Zionist Organization's Central Zionist Archives (Jerusalem)
Name Access
Zionist Organization of Canada
Subjects
Zionism
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Creator
Zionist Organization of Canada (1921-1978)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 93
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
93
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1900]-2000, predominant 1929-1947
Physical Description
8 cm of textual records
3 albums (ca. 210 photographs)
2 photographs
Admin History/Bio
Heinz Kassel (1912-2009) (later changed to Henry Cassel) was a German refugee during the Second World War who was classified as an enemy alien by the British government. He spent two years in an internment camp for prisoners of war (POWs) in Quebec. He later became a naturalized Canadian citizen and enlisted in the Canadian military.
Heinz was born on October 25, 1912 in Aschaffenburg, Germany to Adolf and Olga Kassel. Adolf owned a successful banking business which he had inherited from his father. The family resided above the bank and lived a comfortable life during these early years. They moved to Frankfurt around 1920 after Adolf sold his business to buy a partnership in a bank there.
Heinz’s parents had hoped that he would one day become a corporate lawyer. In 1931, in preparation for his future career, he began studying law and economics at Frankfurt University. He enjoyed his initial university years. However, after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 he became alarmed when his non-Jewish university friends began ignoring him and when the German government passed laws forbidding Jews from practicing law in court. Determined to leave Germany and seek out a better life elsewhere, he begged his parents to immigrate with him to the United States. They refused to go, unwilling to leave behind the life they had worked so hard to build. In accordance with his parents’ wishes, Heinz relocated to nearby Italy instead of the US in 1934. He learned Italian and eventually secured a job with an engineering firm.
Sensing that the political climate in Italy was becoming dangerous for Jewish people, Heinz applied for immigration to the US in early 1939. Eager to leave Italy, he relocated to London to await the approval of his US visa. He left just in time – Britain declared war on Germany less than a week after his arrival. His parents, in turn, managed to escape to Holland. Soon after Britain’s declaration, all immigrants from enemy countries were considered enemy aliens and suspected of being spies.
On May 12, 1940, the British military arrested Heinz and interned him with other German immigrants and POWs. He believed his detainment was only a precautionary measure and that he would be cleared within a few days. However, the British shipped him to the Isle of Man where he remained for several months. Fearing an invasion, the British shipped 3,000 of the POWs, including Kassel, to Quebec, where he was briefly interned at a POW camp set up at the Plains of Abraham. In October 1940, he was moved with 736 other refugees to an abandoned railway yard (later known as “Camp N”) in Newington, near Sherbrooke, Quebec. While there, he confronted a great deal of antisemitism from the guards.
While he was interned in Quebec, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) interviewed him and other Jewish prisoners in order to lobby for their release. Realizing that the internees were not POWs, the Canadian government declared the camp a refugee camp in 1941. By October 1942, the CJC was successful in helping Heinz secure employment with Benjamin Pape & Company in Toronto.
Heinz met Reta Freeman in Toronto and they were married in November 1944. Reta was born and raised in Toronto. After their nuptials, they were both briefly classified as enemy aliens and had to report to the RCMP on a regular basis. Shortly thereafter, Heinz enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army and was sent to basic training in Manitoba. On January 21, 1946 he was granted landed immigrant status, and in April of that year, he became a citizen.
After the war, Heinz learned that his parents as well as other relatives had been transported to concentration camps and had not survived. He was certainly one of the few fortunate ones to leave the country, despite the circumstances of his removal. He resented being interned for so long, but did not blame the British for rounding him up with other Germans based on their initial fears regarding enemy aliens. His feelings about Canada's treatment of him during that time, however, were not as sympathetic.
The couple lived their lives in Toronto. They first resided at 2346 Yonge Street. Heinz legally changed his name to Henry Cassel. He worked as an accountant and later was a controller for the United Jewish Welfare Fund. The couple had two children: Andrew (b. 1947) and Richard (b. 1951). Reta passed away in August 1962 and Henry later remarried Esther Cassel. He passed away at the age of 96 on February 15, 2009.
Custodial History
Records were created and accumulated by Henry Cassel. His sons donated them to the OJA after his death.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the life of Henry Cassel, particularly his attempt to emigrate from Europe prior to the Second World War and his internment in Canada as a German prisoner of war (POW). Included is personal correspondence between Cassel and his parents; correspondence written by Cassel to potential employers and Canadian Jewish agencies; legal documents and certificates, such as Cassel's birth certificate and passport; family photo albums documenting the family and lives of Henry Cassel and his wife Reta; Cassel's autobiography; a journal and notebook written by Cassel during his internment; and, other internment records, such as government forms and poems and songs written by internees. Also included are newspaper clippings, articles, financial statements, genealogical research, and antisemitic ephemera collected by Cassel. Of particular note are newsletters that were produced during the 1990s by ex-internees who had kept in touch over the years. Records are arranged into 16 files.
Notes
Textual records in the fonds were reduced from ca. 20 cm to 8 cm. Please see accession record for further details about the culled material.
Associated material notes: for related records at other archives, please see: the UJRA case files at the National CJC Archive in Montreal and the holdings at Library and Archives Canada (such as, the Directorate of Internment Operations series in the Department of National Defense fonds R112-0-2-E)
Name Access
Cassel, Henry, 1912-2009
Subjects
Europe--Emigration and immigration
Prisoners of war
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Related Material
See: Canadian Jewish Congress case files in RG 282 and accession #2005-10-1.
Creator
Cassel, Henry, 1912-2009
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Joseph Baruch Salsberg fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 92
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Joseph Baruch Salsberg fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
92
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1914-1993
Physical Description
1.2 m of textual records (2 v.) and other material
Admin History/Bio
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, insurance salesman, and journalist. He was also active in various Jewish organizations, including: the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. 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.
J. B. was born in Lagov, Poland on November 5, 1902 to Abraham and Sarah-Gittel Salsberg. Abraham immigrated to Toronto in 1910 and J. B. followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913. They settled at 73 Cecil Street. Abraham and Sarah-Gittel had additional children in Canada: Nathan (b. 1915), Reuven (Bob or Robert, b. 1917), Betty, and Thelma. Abraham worked as a peddler in Toronto.
J. B. briefly attended Landsdowne Public School, but dropped out around 1915, against his parents' wishes, and took a job in a leather goods factory to contribute to his family’s income. J. B.’s parents had hoped he would become a rabbi and, despite his full-time employment, J.B. continued to study the Torah with scholars at the synagogue on Centre Avenue.
In 1917, J. B. decided to pursue the ideas of Zionism and socialism and, abandoning his plans to become a rabbi, became involved in establishing the Young Poale Zion organization, a Labour Zionist youth group dedicated to secular aims. Around 1922, J. B. was made secretary general of the Young Poale Zion of America in New York, where he worked for one year. Shortly after returning to Toronto, he became the organizer for the Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers Union of North America in Chicago. While in Chicago, around 1925, J. B. married Dora Wilensky.
In 1926, J. B. joined the Communist Party of Canada (CPC). He was an active member of the CPC for 30 years, serving as the head of its Trade Union Department for two decades. In 1929 he was suspended from the party for one year as a dissenter. In 1932, he became the Southern Ontario District union organizer for the Communist Workers' Unity League.
It was as a member of the CPC that J. B. entered electoral politics. After a series of failed bids in municipal and provincial elections between 1935 and 1937, J. B. was elected alderman of Ward 4 in Toronto in 1938. He only held the position for one year. In 1943, J. B. was elected to the Ontario Legislature as the representative for the St. Andrew riding. J. B. sat as Member of Provincial Parliament for the Labor-Progressive Party (the provincial wing of the CPC) for 12 years. For several years, he was the only elected Communist in North America. As MPP, he helped create legislation banning discrimination in public places and introduced a bill that would ensure fair employment practices in the province. He lost his seat to Allan Grossman in 1955 and unsuccessfully ran in the federal election later that year. Remembered by journalist Gordon Sinclair as “one of the best debaters in the house”, J. B. was well-respected by members of all political parties. Out of admiration for J. B., Conservative Premier Leslie Frost named Salsberg Township in Northern Ontario in his honour.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, J. B. had grown increasingly concerned about reports of Soviet antisemitism and privately urged party leaders to pursue the issue. In 1956, when Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev exposed the transgressions of Stalin’s regime, J. B. went to Moscow as part of a CPC delegation. After meeting with Khrushchev himself, it became clear to J. B. that antisemitism was indeed a problem in the USSR and that his efforts to probe the situation were being stonewalled.
J. B. publicly expressed his concerns about Soviet antisemitism in a series of articles published in the Vochenblatt from October 25, 1956 to December 13, 1956. He finally left the Communist Party in 1957. However, he remained a member of the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO), a Communist Jewish fraternal organization.
Entering the business world, J. B. established the Model Insurance Agency Limited in 1957, where he served as president for several years. In 1959 J. B.’s wife, Dora, passed away. Around this time J. B. also resigned from the UJPO, along with other members who felt the organization needed to be more critical of the Soviet Union. They founded an alternative, non-Communist left-wing Jewish organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association, where J. B. served as president for several terms and edited its publication “Fraternally Yours”.
In his later life, J. B. was active as an executive member of organizations, such as the CJC and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. He was the first chairman for the CJC Ontario Region’s Soviet Jewry Committee and the Committee for Yiddish. He also began writing an award-winning weekly column for the Canadian Jewish News. J. B. was awarded the CJC’s Samuel Bronfman Medal for distinguished service, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto’s Ben Sadowski Award of Merit. A strong supporter of Israel, he was involved in the creation of two Israeli medical centres that are named in his honour. He also helped establish the J. B. and Dora Salsberg Fund and the J. B. Salsberg Fund for Yiddish at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. J. B. passed away in 1998.
Custodial History
The records were donated to the OJA in a series of accessions. Material from accessions 1991-5-4 and 1992-9-4 were donated by J. B. Salsberg. The remaining material was donated by his estate after his death.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting J. B. Salsberg's personal, professional and Jewish communal activities. The bulk of the records are textual and relate to his membership in the CPC (later LPP), election campaigns, and Jewish communal work. Included is correspondence; photographs; reports; political writings; certificates; agendas; pamphlets; brochures; booklets; flyers; campaign literature; campaign notes; posters; newspaper clippings; press releases; articles; transcripts; speeches; telegrams; political platforms, briefs and submissions; statements; constitutions; resolutions; newspapers; meeting minutes; bulletins; periodicals; notebooks; notes; course guides and outlines; medallions; pins; plaques; donation receipts; event invitations and programmes; lists; blank employment applications; a school test; a study; a coin; a drawing; a sketch; an audio cassette; and a delegate card.
Records are arranged into the following five series: 1. Personal ; 2. Labour Zionism and union activities ; 3. Political career ; and, 4. Jewish community involvement. There are also four files and one item attached directly to the fonds.
Notes
Physical Description Note: Includes 53 photographs, 7 medallions, 11 pins, 4 posters, 2 plaques, 1 sketch, 1 drawing, 1 audio cassette, 1 desk name plate, and 1 coin.
Physical Extent Note: Fonds was reduced from approximately 7 metres to 1.5 metres. The culled material consisted primarily of published books, periodicals and pamphlets that had been collected by J. B. Salsberg. For further details about what was culled please view the accession records.
Associated Material Note: Queen's University Archive also has a J. B. Salsberg fonds, 14 hours of interview tapes with J. B. Salsberg and records of the UJPO are held by the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario (MHSO).
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), ca. 1903-1998
Subjects
Labor leaders
Politicians
Related Material
For additional records in OJA's holdings, see: Ben Kayfetz fonds 62, series 8, file 2 ; accession 2008-11-2 ; accession 2004-1-4 ; and oral histories AC 71 and AC 226.
Creator
Salsberg, Joseph Baruch, 1902-1998
Accession Number
1991-5-4
1992-9-4
1998-2-2
1998-12-5
2004-5-28
2010-4-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Solomon Edell fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
4
Material Format
multiple media
Date
[ca. 1900]-2010
Physical Description
3.1 metres of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
Sol Edell (1919-2000) was a prominant member of the Toronto Jewish community who initially pursued a career as a pharmacist and was later founder and president of the property development company, Elmdale Investments. He held positions as board member or chair in a wide variety of religious, educational and social service organizations and institutions both in Canada and Israel. In Toronto, these included: Clanton Park Synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto (formerly Toronto Jewish Congress, and now the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto).
Edell was born in Toronto on 5 March 1919, the son of Pesach and Molly Edell. He attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the Toronto College of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, in 1943 while on leave of absence from the army. He was enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War and served in the signal corps.
After he completed his army service, he opened Edell’s Drug Store at 1978 Queen Street in Etobicoke in 1948, the first shomer Shabbat drug store in the city. He operated a second store at 494 Spadina Avenue in the late 1940s. In 1955 the Queen Street location was expropriated by the City of Toronto. Subsequently, Edell founded Elmdale Investments, the company which built and managed the Elmhurst Plaza in Etobicoke. He reopened the drug store, which was renamed Elmhurst Drugs in the plaza. He also invested in two retail textile stores, Deltex Drapery and Dodd’s Drapery which had been founded by group of businessmen including his cousin Israel Edell.
In 1952 he married Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock. They lived in the newly developed suburb of North York with their four children: Ethel, Simcha, Malka and Joseph. After 10 years of marriage, Dolly died and in 1966, he married Celia Rogen Hoffman.
Sol Edell was a founding member and first president of the Clanton Park Congregation. He was actively involved in the construction of the synagogue and its development. He continued to be affiliated with Shomrai Shabbos where his grandfather Rabbi Yosef Weinreb had been the rabbi. He was also involved with Adas Israel, the synagogue in Hamilton where his wife Celia had been an active member.
He was chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region -- Toronto Jewish Congress Archives Committee, which subsequently became the Ontario Jewish Archives. During his tenure, the archives was responsible for the reconstruction of the Kiever Synagogue which had been built in the early 1900s but had fallen into a state of disrepair by the 1960s.
Sol Edell was also involved in a number of Zionist organizations. He was the founding chair of the Aliyah Support Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, whose mandate was to assist Torontonians who had moved to Israel and ease their transition into Israeli society. He was also an active member of the Mizrachi organization and its affiliated institutions. Another one of Sol Edell’s interests was ensuring the preservation of local cemeteries. He was president of the Jones Avenue Cemetery and on the board of Pardes Shalom and the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery, Clanton Park section.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting Sol Edell's business activities, community involvement and personal life. Included is correspondence, meeting minutes, photographs, financial records, legal records, publications, audio-visual material, invitations, newspaper clippings, artifacts, lists, reports, speeches, and architectural drawings.
The fonds is organized into the following eleven series: Personal; Edell's Drug Store and Elmhurst Pharmacy; Elmdale Investments; Deltex Drapery and Dodd's Drapery; Adas Israel Synagogue; Clanton Park Synagogue; Shomrai Shabbos; Aliyah; Cemetery and funeral home; Historical materials; and, Activities and organizations.
Notes
Physical description note: includes 739 photographs, 232 architectural drawings, 11 audio cassettes, 9 audio reels, 13 film reels, 7 videocassettes, 4 slides, 1 plaque, 4 badges, and 1 key.
Name Access
Edell Solomon, 1919-2000
Clanton Park Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Edell, Dolly
Edell, Celia
Edell's Drug Store
Elmhurst Pharmacy
Jones Avenue Cemetery
Canadian Jewish Congress/ Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Aliyah Support Committee
Subjects
Business
Pharmacists
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Physical Condition
The bulk of the architectural drawings are currently being stored rolled up. They should be flattened and encapsulated in melinex.
Film and sound reels should be digitized.
Related Material
See fonds #5 for material related to Paul Edell.
See accession #2012-10/9 for material related to the Edell family.
Creator
Edell, Solomon, 1919-2000
Accession Number
2002-12-2
2008-8-29
2011-5-4
2012-10-9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 62
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
62
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1919-2001
Physical Description
93 cm of textual records and other material
Admin History/Bio
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.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of materials produced or acquired by Ben Kayfetz in both his personal and professional capacity. It includes biographical materials, minutes, correspondence, recorded CJC and JCRC meetings, memorabilia, transcripts and recorded versions of CHIN radio broadcasts he delivered, as well as various interviews, speeches, articles, book reviews and works he composed. Fonds also consists of minutes, agendas and other records of various Yiddish and historical associations Mr. Kayfetz was involved in.
Notes
Physical Description note: includes 20 photographs, 107 audio cassettes, 1 Beta video cassette and 1 object.
Fonds includes audio tapes 1-5, 7-32, 35-37, 39-42, 44-45, 47-50, 53-56, 58-64, 66-67, 70-85, A1-A5, A7-A9, A12-A14, A16-A20, A23-A28, A30, A32-A38 and A40-A43.
Name Access
Kayfetz, Ben, 1916-2002
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Related Material
Audio tapes AC 246-AC 275 belonged to Ben Kayfetz and are related to this fonds.
Creator
Kayfetz, Ben, 1916-2002
Accession Number
1975-012, 1976-10-4, 1980-12-13, 1982-2-2, 1983-6-2, 1985-4-2, 1987-2-3, 1996-5-4, 1998-3-22, 2000-11-4, 2004-3-1, 2004-5-20, 2006-2-9, 2006-8-4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Collected materials series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 62; Series 3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Collected materials series
Level
Series
Fonds
62
Series
3
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
object
Date
1919-1970
Physical Description
11 cm of textual records
18 photographs
1 object
Scope and Content
Series consists of various materials collected by Ben Kayfetz. It includes various items from Nazi Germany including a Jewish yellow star and number on a badge, Nazi hymn book and a service book of a Nazi Stormtrooper. Among the other materials are photographs of the Bronfman family, World War II enlistment posters, Peretz School Composition books and Jewish Old Folks Home Committee minutes.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 64
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
The Shuls Project fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
64
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1859-1980, predominant 1977-1979
Physical Description
ca. 5178 photographs and other material
Admin History/Bio
The “Shuls Project” was the work of three University of Toronto architecture students, who in 1977 wrote a research paper on the eight Toronto synagogues built before World War II. Concerned at the lack of resources on these synagogues, Sidney Tenenbaum, Lynn Milstone and Sheldon Levitt foresaw the loss of communities’ recorded history as membership dwindled and elders passed on. The students conceived a project that would photograph and document every synagogue in Canada, gathering visual evidence, memorabilia, plaques and stories before they disappeared and history was lost. The students’ goal was to document synagogues’ architecture, art, and historical development through research, interviews and site visits.
The students secured a large portion of the required funding for the project from the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in Montreal, funding which was matched by the Canadian Jewish Congress. This financial support enabled Levitt, Milstone and Tenenbaum to begin their study, named “Shuls… A Study of Canadian Synagogue Architecture.” They began in the summer of 1977, traveling through the Western provinces. The next summer, they visited eight Maritime cities, Montreal and other Quebec communities. Financial support in the project’s second year was again provided by the Bronfman Family Foundation, along with the Canadian government and donations in kind from businesses, including Benjamin Photo Finishers in Toronto, and Polaroid. The summer of 1979 was spent in Ontario, with an added grant from Wintario. In total, the Shuls project team traveled over 24,000 kilometres, taking thousands of photographs and conducting several hundred interviews. Photographs were taken by Tenenbaum, with Levitt and Milstone assuming primary responsibility for researching synagogues’ history and gathering historic records. Interviews were conducted by all three researchers, in both English and Yiddish.
With no handy index of every shul in Canada, the researchers located small shuls by word of mouth. They spread word of their project and solicited assistance using press releases, letters to known communities, and slideshow presentations as they traveled. They would first examine a building to get an idea of a community’s character and heritage, then conduct interviews with designers, architects, rabbis and other prominent community members.
With the research and photographs created, the team compiled three catalogues of the Western, Eastern/Quebec, and Ontario phases of the project. These catalogues have entries on each synagogue that include historical summaries highlighting the founding, growth, mergers and decline of Jewish communities, their changing needs, changing architectural expressions and trends, and the evolving uses of synagogues over the course of the twentieth century. There are also building descriptions, some with critical comments by the authors, and lists of the photographs and slides produced.
The compilation of materials and preparation of these catalogues took place at the Project’s offices at 26 Ava Road in Toronto, and continued through the summer of 1980 when the Ontario catalogue was completed. In 1985, Tenenbaum, Milstone and Levitt published a book highlighting their work, called Treasures of a People: The Synagogues of Canada.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the records created and collected by the team of students conducting the Shuls study from 1977 to 1980. The majority of the fonds is made up of graphic material, in the form of 35mm colour slides and black-and-white Polaroid prints and (print-size) negatives. There are approximately 5110 photographs in the fonds. Fonds also consists of notes and inventory forms of buildings' architectural features. There are no interview transcripts, but the fonds does include three audio cassettes with recorded interviews and shul tours. Reference materials used in researching the history of the shuls include dedication and anniversary commemorative books and programmes, newsletters, articles and newspaper clippings. In addition the fonds contains 47 blueprints, the majority from Montreal synagogues. The fonds is arranged in the following series: 1. Quebec synagogues; 2. Ontario synagogues; 3. Western Canada synagogues; 4. Eastern Canada synagogues; 5. Reference.
Notes
Physical description note: includes 92 cm of textual records, 42 architectural drawings, 3 audio cassettes, and 1 drawing.
Physical extent note: many of the slides were culled because they were felt to be reproductions. Some of the synagogue images in the research book may therefore not be included in the fonds.
Name Access
Shuls Project
Subjects
Synagogues
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Creator
Levitt, Sheldon
Milstone, Lynn
Tenenbaum, Sidney T.
Places
Canada
Source
Archival Descriptions
7 records – page 1 of 1.

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