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.
Series consists of textual records documenting Dr. Alexander Brown's various Jewish communal activities. Included are meeting minutes, speeches, publications, correspondence, invitations, flyers, photographs, biographies, newspaper clippings, brochures, a list, and a programme.
Photographers and photography studios are identified on the photographs.
A number of the photographs are starting to curl along the edges and have become stiff due to poor storage conditions.
Shirley (Gertzbein) Baine (1910-2005) was born in Lithuania in 1910. She came to Toronto to live with her extended family during the 1930s. She later married Arthur Baine, a widower who had two children. Together, they had three additional children of their own.
Soon after her arrival in Canada, Shirley Baine became very involved in the Mizrachi organization. She was first a member of the Bruria Girls, during the late 1930s, and then joined the Etzion women's chapter later in her life. The role of both groups was to raise funds and provide support for Palestine (and later Israel). In 1972, she was honoured by this chapter with an inscription of her name into their Golden Book. She died in Toronto in 2005.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting Shirley Baine's activites in the Mizrachi movement as well as other initiatives. The fonds includes minutes of meetings, a dance program, a list of members from the Etzion chapter, correspondence, speeches, and a yiskor book.
Baine, Shirley, 1910-2005
For related material on the Mizrachi movement, please see MG2 J1A.
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.
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.
Edell Solomon, 1919-2000
Clanton Park Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Edell's Drug Store
Jones Avenue Cemetery
Canadian Jewish Congress/ Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Aliyah Support Committee
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
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.
See fonds #5 for material related to Paul Edell.
See accession #2012-10/9 for material related to the Edell family.
Sol Edell, the son of Paul and Mollie Edell, was one of five siblings. He and Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock, had two daughters and two sons and lived in Toronto. After Dolly died in 1961, he married Celia (nee Rogen) Hoffman, a widow, in 1966. He became the stepfather to the two sons of Max and Celia Hoffman who had been residents of Hamilton. Some members of the family remained in Toronto while others moved to other parts of Canada, the United States and Israel. Sol Edell was actively involved in or provided financial support to many educational, professional and religious organizations.
Scope and Content
Series includes correspondence, invitations, publications, photographs, family films and a sound recording. The series is made up of seven sub-series: Associations, Charities, Community Activities, Education and Extra-Curricular Activities, Life Cycle and Family Events, Religious, and Residence.
Physical description note: includes 12 photographs, 7 film reels, 1 audio reel, 1 plaque, 4 badges, and 47 architectural drawings.
Shomrai Shabbos is an orthodox congregation which was founded in 1896. Sol Edell’s grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Weinreb, served as rabbi of the congregation from 1900 until 1942. The synagogue was in several downtown locations until it moved to its present location on Glengrove Avenue in North York in 1966. The congregation has grown steadily over the years and now has a membership of over 350 families. Sol Edell’s family were members of the congregation when he was a child. Although he retained his membership in the congregation after his marriage, he rarely attended the services at the synagogue. However, he did continue to participate in fundraising on behalf of the synagogue.
The earlier records were collected by Sol's grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Weinreb, or his father, Paul Edell. After their deaths, Sol maintained his membership in the congregation and continued to receive material from the synagogue.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting the establishment, construction, membership and activities of the Shomrai Shabbos Synagogue. Included is correspondence, speeches, technical drawings, financial records, ledgers, a tribute book, legal records, flyers, bulletins, marriage certificate receipts, certificates, invitations, a photograph, and stationary.
Sol Edell had a large family and a large circle of friends and aquaintenances. Consequently, he was invited to many circumcisions, weddings and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. He also set up several memorial funds in memory of his sister and wives.There are also documents in this sub-series that relate to family members.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of correspondence, receipts, diplomas, photographs and films documenting various family celebrations, vacations and home life. There is a selection of invitations, cards and benchers sent by the Edell, Weinstock and Hoffman families as well as ones that they received from family and friends. In addition, there are newspaper clippings and notices of the deaths of Edell family members and friends as well as correspondence and receipts relating to memorial funds set up in their memory. The sub-series also contains films of family and friends taken at home, on vacation and at family celebrations.
Physical description note: includes 10 photographs, 7 film reels, and 1 audio reel.
File consists of marriage certificate receipts for marriages performed by Rabbi Weinreb at 26 Henry Street as well as a photograph of Rabbi Weinreb leading a march in commemoration of the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration. Also included is a certificate that Rabbi Weinreb received for collecting money to help people make aliyah in their old age (4 Oct. 1923).
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.
The certificate is in fragile condition and is starting to tear across the centre. Tape is adhered to sections on the back of the document.
File consists of appeals for donations to Shomrai Shabbos synagogue funds including the Book Fund, the Yizkor Fund, the Building Fund and the Charity Fund as well as receipts for donations given to these funds.
Cantor Bernard Wladowsky was born in Smila, Poland in 1870. He graduated from the Imperial Music School in 1887. At the age of 17, he took on his first cantorial post in Kiev. Subsequently, he was hired as cantor in Bakmut, Sevastopol, Constantinople and Bucharest.
In 1907 he emigrated to the United States to accept a position with the Ohev Tzedec Synagogue in New York City. In 1909, he became the cantor of the Anshe Knesset Synagogue in Chicago. In 1912 he was invited to Toronto to assume the post of uber-cantor at Goel Tzedec Synagogue. Later he served at the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue, where he remained until his retirement in 1955.
Cantor Wladowsky was invited to give concerts throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. He was one of the most popular and celebrated cantors in North America. He composed numerous and widely sung liturgical compositions, notably Modim. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Cantors Association of America and the President of the Agudath Ha'hazzanim of Toronto. In addition to his cantorial duties, he was also a mohel and performed circumcisions in Toronto during his career. Cantor Wladowsky died in 1963 at age 92 and is buried in Beth Tzedec Memorial Park.
Scope and Content
Fonds documents the life and activities of Cantor Bernard Wladowsky. The records consist of the following types of material: newspaper clippings, correspondence, record books of weddings and circumcisions, concert programs and liturgical compositions.
As early as 1916 the Ezras Noshem Society (a mutual benefit society for Jewish women) started to raise funds to purchase and renovate what would become The Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner) after its members recognized the need for a home in Toronto where the Jewish elderly could receive kosher meals and communicate with staff in their own language. Property at 31 Cecil Street was purchased in 1917 and sometime between September 1918 and January 1920 the Home officially opened there. The Home was run by a small staff and the women of Ezras Noshem who volunteered their time to make beds, cook kosher meals, do laundry and sponsor fundraising events. By 1938 the Home had expanded into its neighboring houses at 29, 33, and 35 Cecil Street and was caring for 115 residents. It provided residents with synagogue services, a hospital ward and social activities. At this time the Home also became a member of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
In 1946, the need for a larger and more modern building prompted a fundraising campaign, which was headed by Abe Posluns, to purchase and build a new facility. In December 1954, the new building opened at 3650 Bathurst Street and consisted of two new institutions: The Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital. This location continued to expand over the years, including a new building for residents in 1968, an apartment building for seniors called the Baycrest Terrace in 1976, and a community centre known as The Joseph E. and Minnie Wagman Centre in 1977. These additions enabled Baycrest to expand its programs to include a day care program, recreational programs, and a Sheltered Workshop which was run in cooperation with the Jewish Vocational Service and provided residents with employment. In 1986 a new Baycrest Hospital was erected, and in 1989, the Rotman Research Institute, which is also affiliated with the University of Toronto, opened to create a research facility where top researchers could study and find new treatment methods for the elderly.
In recent years, Baycrest’s services and programs have continued to expand. In 2000, the Apotex Centre, the Jewish Home for the Aged and the Louis and Leah Posluns Centre for Stroke and Cognition opened to help residents with progressive dementia caused by vascular disorders. In 2001 a condominium building opened at 2 Neptune Drive for seniors, and in 2003 the Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic was established to provide out-patient services for seniors with memory disorders. Baycrest Centre also provides numerous cultural and religious programs for the inhabitants and the greater community, including a heritage museum, art exhibits and a Holocaust program.
Records were donated to the OJA in a series of accessions from a variety of sources, including the Baycrest Women's Auxiliary and the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the history, governance, and activities of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, photographs, artifacts, constitutions, publications, press releases, financial records, event invitations, programs, a scrapbook, a poster, lists, theatrical scripts, newspaper clippings, brochures and booklets, flyers, a land deed, certificates, schedules, annual calendars, cards, questionnaires, and lists.
Fonds is arranged into eleven series: 1. Board of Directors and Executive Committee; 2. Annual General Meetings and Annual Reports; 3. Committees and meetings; 4. Women's Auxiliary; 5. Men's Service Group; 6. Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home; 7. Programs and services; 8. Religious services; 9. Fundraising; 10. Publications and publicity; and, 11. Events. Records are described to the file level with some item level descriptions.
Associated material note: related material at Library and Archives Canada includes a small Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care fonds, and the Eric Exton fonds. For architectural records see the Irving D. Boigon fonds 243 at the City of Toronto Archives (Boigon was an architect who designed many of Baycrest's buildings between the 1970s and 1990s). Contact Baycrest Centre's Heritage Museum for committee records from the 1930s, and consult Baycrest's website to access electronic copies of current issues of Baycrest's publications.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Ezras Noshem Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Home for the Aged (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ont.)
Old age homes
See Gordon Mendly Fonds 18, series 3-4; Jewish Vocational Services of Toronto fonds 75; United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds 67; accession # 2009-6-2; Dora Till Fonds 52; J. Irving Oelbaum Fonds 24; Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds 61, series 1-1; Gilbert Studios fonds 37; Ben Kayfetz fonds 62, series 3, file 3; JFWB fonds 87, series 6, files 5 and 6; JIAS fonds 9, series 7, file 1; Harold S. Kaplan fonds 27, series 1-4, and Morris Norman fonds 22.
By 1919 the plight of post-war Eastern European Jewry and the need for a united community voice for Canadian Jewry led to the creation of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Its founding meeting was held on March 16, 1919 in Montreal. Though it briefly maintained a tiny regional office in Toronto, the CJC remained inactive until 1933, when it fully reconvened by opening offices in Winnipeg, Montreal, and Toronto. Egmont L. Frankel was the first President of the new Central Division in Toronto. While the National Office in Montreal focused on the overarching issues of the social and economic rights of European Jewry, assistance for Jewish immigrants, and combating prejudice in Canada, the Toronto office dealt with local violent anti-Jewish demonstrations as well as continuing discrimination both in employment and in access to public recreational facilities. The structure was based on regular national biennial plenary conferences at which policies were delineated and national and regional executives were elected. Between plenary sessions, National and Regional Councils were in charge. These were augmented by the following standing committees: Administrative, Officers, Personnel, Financial, Publications, and Educational and Cultural. Special committees were created to deal with issues such as: youth, community loans, kashruth, fundraising, Israel, Russian Jewry, and various emergency issues such as refugees, immigration, and housing.
During the 1930s the Central Division Office moved several times and occupied offices in the following locations; Yonge St., the Bond St. Synagogue, Scheuer House, the Zionist Building, and its long-term home at 150-152 Beverley Street where it remained until its July, 1983 move to the Lipa Green Building in North York. Its activities expanded to include taking responsibility for Jewish educational standards but, by 1941, its main efforts shifted to support for Canada’s war effort. Immediately after the end of the war, the focus again shifted to Jewish immigration projects and the maintenance of Jewish identity in small communities. By 1950, the CJC’s use of the title “division” was changed to “region” to accommodate internal operational “divisions” within each region. Also, by then, the Central Region was busy expanding its programs for all Ontario Jewish communities, creating a province-wide council of youth groups, and working with the newly-created Bureau of Jewish Education (later Board of Jewish Education, now Mercaz). Standardization of kashruth rules in Ontario was implemented. As well, regular educational conferences and cultural events were held throughout the province, while province-wide fund-raising efforts in support of Moess Chittin for relief projects in Israel and for local Congress activities were expanded. Many of its educational and cultural responsibilities necessitated working with other Jewish organizations such as the United Jewish Welfare Fund, Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS), Hadassah, the Canadian Legion, B’nai Brith, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Congress, and the many Landsmenshaften (Jewish mutual benefit societies, each formed by immigrants originating from the same Eastern European community).
During the 1960s, the Central Region began sending Moess Chittin relief shipments to Cuban Jews unable to acquire kosher foods for Passover. Its lobbying efforts included participation in the Royal Commissions on Hate Propaganda, and its greatest success came with the introduction and implementation of Ontario’s Fair Employment and Fair Accommodation Practices legislation, an achievement in which Congress played a pivotal role.
From 1971 to 1989 the major focus became international and Canada-wide lobbying for, and providing support to, Soviet Jewry. Virtually all local and Canadian efforts to assist the Soviet Jewish “refusniks” were organized and coordinated in Toronto by the CJC Ontario Region office, which provided staff and funding for the many lobbying activities and public demonstrations which characterized this successful effort.
As of November 1975, the CJC Central Region’s responsibilities in Toronto were radically altered. To improve cost efficiency in Toronto, CJC educational and social service program activities were merged with similar programs already provided by Toronto’s United Jewish Appeal. The UJA assumed sole responsibility for these amalgamated programs in Toronto and was renamed Toronto Jewish Congress. The CJC Central Region still retained province-wide responsibilities for Ontario’s smaller Jewish communities, and its office remained in Toronto. Also, following this reorganization, its name was changed to Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region. Although CJC no longer provided direct social and educational programs to Toronto, the TJC’s senior executive was, at the time, still obliged to continue to keep it notified about developments concerning previous Congress responsibilities.
Since 1983 the Ontario Region’s offices have been, like those of the UJA Federation, located in the Lipa Green Building, 4600 Bathurst St., North York. It continued its work of financially supporting various Israeli institutions and, as well, fostering Canada-Israel relations. It also spearheaded the movement to support and protect Jews in Arab lands, especially in Syria. Funding for the Canadian Jewish Congress now comes from the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, which redistributes a portion of the funds raised by local Jewish Federations across Canada. The CJC National Office then funds the regional offices. As of 2009, the Ontario Region’s central mandate is to represent the Jewish community to Ontario residents and government on issues of social justice and public policy. Its structure remains the same: an Officers’ group supported by various volunteer committees and a small professional staff together deliberating on regional issues and implementing national policies at the regional level.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of the records of the Ontario Region office of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Of primary importance in documenting this organization’s history are its minutes of the Executive and Administrative Committees and the various standing, and short-term committees such as Community Organization, Finance, Fund Raising, Educational and Cultural, Research, Immigration, War Efforts, and Jewish Education. Most of these records are still managed all together within Fonds 17, Series 1.
Fonds 17, Series 2 contains the general subject and correspondence files of these committees. Records in both series require further processing.
Records now found in Series 3 document the efforts of the Committee for Soviet Jewry in coordinating the activities of the many Toronto and Ontario organizations involved in assisting Soviet Jewry during the 1971 to 1989 period.
Series 4 consists of administrative and committee records of the United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agencies in Toronto from 1938 through 1967. These document its work rescuing the survivors of European Jewish communities, settling as many as possible in Ontario, and providing assistance to those attempting to obtain restitution payments.
Series 5 consists of the records of the Community Relations Committee (1938-1976). Responding to depression-era anti-Semitism in Canada, the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith together established in 1938 a new joint committee. Since then this Committee has documented racist threats in Canada; initiated advocacy activities to work for improved civil rights; promoted legislation combating hate; worked to ensure equality of access to employment, education and accommodation; and investigated specific incidents of discrimination. The Committee, for example, played a key role in achieving the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1944, and the Fair Employment Practices Act of 1951, key steps leading to Canada’s current Human Rights Code. Although originally named Joint Public Relations Committee in 1938, a series of name changes later occurred; s follows: Joint Community Relations Committee, Central Region (1962-1978), Joint Community Relations Committee, CJC, Ontario Region (ca. 1978-ca. 1991) Community Relations Committee, CJC, Ontario Region (ca. 1991-present) Records in this series were reorganized into 5 sub-series and a further 9 sub-sub-series during the 2009 to 2011 period. For further details please view the database records for Fonds 17, Series 5. Although this series will eventually hold all CRC records up to 1992, only those prior to 1979 are currently fully processed.
Physical description note: Includes 1839 photographs, 89 audio cassettes, 11 videocassettes, 4 drawings, and 6 microfilm reels (16 mm).
Processing note: Processing of this fonds is ongoing. Additional descriptive entries will be added in future.
Canadian Jewish Congress. Ontario Region
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the Archivist prior to accessing some of the records
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the Archivist prior to accessing some of the records.
Canadian Jewish Congress. Ontario Region (1919-2011)
110 photographs : b&w and col. (hand-tinted) ; 51 x 41 cm or smaller
6 architectural drawings : 70 x 36 or smaller
The Folks Farein, also known as the Hebrew National Association, was established in 1914 by a group of Toronto Jewish immigrants as a society dedicated to anti-missionary and educational outreach. They were first located at 23 Cecil St. and moved to 37 Cecil St. around 1940.
In the early years of the Folks Farein's existence, Christian missions and a number of Jewish converts to Christianity sought to exploit the situation of poor Jews in the community through the distribution of direct relief, services of doctors and midwives and by street-corner preaching and proselytization. To counteract the work of the Toronto missionaries the Folks Farein offered a number of services including welfare for working mothers, a reading room, English language clases and translation services for Yiddish immigrants.
When the threat from missionary activity was no longer an issue, the Folks Farein transformed itself into a philantrophic society. Under its revised mandate the society looked after the sick and needy in hospitals, sanitoriums, mental health institutions and in their homes, and arranged for free doctor services, translation services, medicine, dentures, eyeglasses, orthopedic shoes and medical applicances. The Folks Farein guaranteed the full or partial payment of medical bills by maintaining a fund in several hospitals for the benefit of Jewish patients in need of assistance. They provided assistance to seniors applying for old age pensions, to widows and mothers applying for benefits, assisted needy famililes and patients with kosher meals, provided cash relief during Passover, and fed and billeted the unemployed and homeless at their premises at 37 Cecil St.
In the course of their work, the Folks Farein collaborated with many Jewish organizations and societies such as the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, Jewish Family Welfare Bureau, Relief Unemployment Fund, Jewish Joint Appliction Bureau, Jewish Children's Bureau, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto, Canadian Jewish Congress and the Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Association.
Its basis of revenue came from its large membership, house-to-house contributions from the public and from special events such as it annual ball, Moas Chittin campaign, Purim ball, and beauty contest.
In addition to its regular activities the Folks Farein assumed responsibility for providing aid to refugees of the Second World War: the first group arriving from Europe in 1945 and in 1948 to a group of Jewish tailors liberated from the DP camps of Germany. In 1947, the Folks Farein established Hachnoses Orchim, a temporary shelter to accomodate refugees and displaced persons. The shelter was located at 37 Cecil St.
The Folks Farein's first officers were Mr. J. Graner (president), Mr. J. Meisniker (vice-president), Mr. Meyer Littner (superintendent), Chuna Mosoff and Mr. W. Welman (trustees), Miss Weiner and Mr. Cohen (board of education), Mr. A. Kaminsky (recording secretary) and Mr. Cohen (treasurer). Mr. Epstein refered to as "Grandfather" was one of the founders of the Folks Farein.
Other pioneers included Moshe Olebaum, and M. Spiegel (1st vice-president), J. Hurwitz (1st vice-president and president), Abraham Sher, S.M. Shapiro Shlesinger, Joseph Grenner, Mrs. Minna Winter (president of the Women's Auxillary) and Kalman Wagner. In 1930, David Green assumed the position of president of the Folks Farein and served as its exclusive president from 1934 until his passing on 13 May 1977. Sam Cohen was then elected the new president of the Folks Farein.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the Folks Farein's philantrophic activities in the Toronto Jewish community from 1914 to 1977. Records include meeting minutes and agendas of the executive board and committees, resolutions of board of directors, newspaper clippings in both Yiddish and English, publicity material, photographs, general correspondence, architectural drawings, cemetery deeds, legal documents, records relating to David Green's personal interests, financial and fundraising records, wills and bequests, and client case files. The records have been arranged into nine series: Meeting minutes; Scrapbooks; Executive services; Celebrations and events; Building and operations; David Green; Finance and fundraising; and Case files.
Series consists of meeting minutes and agendas of the executive board and officers, the membership campaign committee, board and welfare meetings, annual meetings, the contact committee, the constitution committee, the ladies auxiliary, and annual and general meetings. Also included are accompanying materials distributed at meetings such as the nomination of officers, monthly case work reports, financial and auditor reports, and campaign reports. Of note is David Green's resignation letter, records documenting the slander suit of Kirshenbaum vs David Green, the final order of foreclosure of lands and premises at 23 Cecil St., the establishment of Hachnoses Orchim (the shelter house for refugees), the discussion regarding the purchase of a cemetery, the sale of the Jewish Old Folks Home and Folks Farein's motion to purchase, and records documenting the Folks Farein merger with the Chaplaincy division of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
File consists of weekly meetings of the Folks Farein [Executive?] from 1914-1915. Minutes detail the Association's anti-missionary activities. Folks Farein's first elected officers were Mr. J. Graner (president), Mr. J. Meisniker (vice-president), Mr. Littner (superintendent), Chuna Mosoff and Mr. W. Wilman (trustees), Miss Weiner and Mr. Cohen (board of education), Mr. Kaminsky (recording secretary), and Mr. Cohen (treasurer).
File consists of meeting minutes of the board and executive, the officers, the ladies auxiliary, annual meetings and nomination of officers, an emergency meeting and general meeting minutes. Included in the minutes are hospital and case work reports, building committee reports, good and welfare reports, financial statements, reports on the establishment of Hachnoses Orchim, the Shelter house for refugees on the premises of the Folks Farein, and the nomination of David Green as President in 1948. Also included is a notebook containing Yiddish notes from meetings between 1943 and 1948.
File consists of a photocopied scrapbook containing newspaper clippings relating to Folks Farein activities. The majority of the clippings are from the Daily Hebrew Journal (Yiddisher Zhurnal), the Daily Packet and Times, The Mail and Empire, Evening Telegram, The Toronto Daily Star, The Globe and Mail, The Jewish Standard. A large number of articles relate to the charitable activities of the Folks Farein such as the annual fund raising campaign, the annual beauty contest and New Years Eve Ball, concerts, and charity work in hospitals, sanatoriums and asylums. Of note is the motion of Kirshenbaum vs David Green, the official opening of the Folks Farein new home at 37 Cecil St., and the election of Rabbi Monson as treasurer of the Folks Farein. Included among the newspaper articles are photographs of David Green, H. Weiner, I. Grossman, M. Spiegel, A. Simon, Ben Fish, Ida Segal, Rabbi Samuel Sachs and Sam Kronick. Also included is a photocopied photograph of the Graner Family [192-?], seated is Joseph Graner, founder and first president of the Folks Farein
File consists of a photocopied scrapbook containing newspaper clippings relating to Folks Farein activities. The majority of the clippings are from the Daily Hebrew Journal/The Yiddisher Zhurnal and the Toronto Daily Star. A large number of articles relate to the election of David Green as President of the Folks Farein, charitable activities such as the annual fund raising campaign, the annual beauty contest and New Years Eve Ball, and charity work in hospitals, sanatoriums and asylums. Of note is an interview with David Green at the time of his resignation as President, and an article regarding a meeting of the Labor Lyceum honoring Sholom Schwartzband.
File consists of a photocopied scrapbook containing newspaper clippings relating to Folks Farein activities. The majority of the clippings are from the Daily Hebrew Journal, The Jewish Standard, and The Telegram. Articles relate to Folks Farein charitable activities in the community, Passover meals and seders for the sick and needy, a pamphlet highlighting the activities of the Folks Farein in the community, the installation of officers of the Ladies Auxiliary, the Toronto Israel Bond Drive with photos of David Green, Louis Zuker of the Landsmanshaften Committee, Syd Applebaum, and Bert Godfrey of the State of Israel Bond campaign. Also included is a photocopied photograph of David Green.
File consists of a photocopied scrapbook containing newspaper clippings relating to Folks Farein activities. The clippings are from The Jewish Standard, View, The Toronto Jewish Reporter, and the Canadian Jewish News. Articles relate to Folks Farein's 50th Anniversary Jubilee Year celebration, the Children's Haven at Kfar Saba in Israel, and expanded activities of Chaplaincy services in prisons and hospitals. Of note is an article entitled Folks Farein 35 years of devoted service to the Jewish community. The article includes reprints of editorials from the Hebrew Journal in 1914 addressing the activity of missionary groups seeking to gain Jewish proselytes. Mentioned are Rabbi Kelman and Rabbi Monson.
Series consists of photocopied scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings relating to Folks Farein activities. The majority of clippings are from the Daily Hebrew Journal, the Daily Packet and Times, the Mail and Empire, the Evening Telegram, the Toronto Daily Star, the Globe and Mail, the Jewish Standard, the Yiddisher Zhurnal, View, the Toronto Jewish Reporter and the Canadian Jewish News. A large number of articles relate to Folks Farein charitable activities for the sick and needy in Ontario hospitals, sanatoriums, and asylums, Passover meals and seders, concerts, the annual fund raising campaign, beauty contest and New Years Eve Ball, the 50th Anniversary Jubilee Year celebration, the Children's Haven at Kfar Saba Israel, and the Toronto Israel Bond Drive. Of note is an article entitled Folks Farein 35 years of devoted service to the Jewish community. Included in the article are reprints of excerpts from the Hebrew Journal of 1914 addressing the activity of missionary groups seeking to convert members of the immigrant Jewish community and the Anti-Conversion Farein society organized to counteract the work of the missionaries.
25 photographs : b&w and col. ; 51 x 41 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
Series consists of portraits, photographs and correspondence documenting the activities of the Folks Farein Executive. Of note is a letter from the Canadian Overseas Garment Commission to David Green regarding the issuance of discharge certificates for immigrants who came to Toronto under the Tailor's Project.
File consists of Folks Farein activity reports. Included in the file are pamphlets entitled The Ways We Help, Service with Meaning, Folks Farein Provides Help and a Personal Interest and a one page detailed account of services provided to patients in Toronto hospitals.
Series consists of records of Folks Farein services offered to the community. Of note are Bathurst Lawn architectural drawings, cemetery deeds and delegates, resolution of the board of directors, the notification of registration as a charitable organization, the United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agencies report of meeting held on January 5, 1945. There are also several photographs depicting Passover dinners and volunteer service performed by various Folks Farein volunteers at Ontario hospitals.
Series consists of records documenting Folks Farein celebrations and events. The majority of records contain correspondence and related material for the 50th and 60th Jubilees, the Children's Haven in Kfar Saba Israel, the Passover campaign and the David Green testimonial dinner.