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841 records – page 1 of 17.
Name
Joseph Fremar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joseph Fremar
Number
AC 021
Subject
Business
Food
Occupations
Interview Date
14 May 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Bess Shockett
Total Running Time
021: 12:59 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
Joseph "Joe the Orangeman" Fremar was a produce merchant in Kensington Market and opened his location on Augusta Avenue in 1938. Freamar, commonly referred to as the "Orangeman" was a member of the Kiever Synagogue.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Rodfei Sholom Anshei Kiev Synagogue
Fremar, Joseph
Shockett, Bess
Geographic Access
Kensington Market, Toronto, Ont.
Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Started at location on 334 Augusta Street in 1938
Only one other merchant on Augusta at that time. He sold vegetables
His home was on Oxford Street
Since he arrived in 1938 most of the merchants have “changed around”
When he arrived in 1938 the Anshe Lida Synagogue was located on Augusta. It was located at the current fish store location
The congregants were originally from Romania
There were no religious Jewish Schools on Augusta at the time
Synagogues at the time were: Lubavitcher on Grange; Kiever on Denison; Minsker.
A man by the name of Biasky (?) brought Joseph into the Kiever Synagogue which he attended only on holidays. He also attend the Londoner Synagogue on Spadina
Joseph is still a Kiever member, does not attend but pays dues to in order to maintain his cemetery plot, which the Kiever holds at the Roselawn Cemetery.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the social politics and financial expectations around belonging to certain Toronto synagogues versus others.

In this clip, Joseph Fremar, also known as "Joe the Orange Man", talks about the changing population of Toronto

Name
Fred Schaeffer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Number
AC 024
Subject
Small communities
Immigrants--Canada
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
Schaeffer, Fred
Geographic Access
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Timmins, Ont.
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Ansonville, 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 (nee 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.

Name
Isaac (Ike) Segal with Mrs. Esther S. Segal and Lillian Beube
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isaac (Ike) Segal with Mrs. Esther S. Segal and Lillian Beube
Number
AC 025
Subject
Social services
Small communities
Antisemitism
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 15 seconds
Side 2: 45 minutes 50 seconds
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
Isaac Segel, the son of Russian immigrants was born and lived in Toronto’s Ward district until 1900 when the family moved to Orillia, Ontario. Isaac recalls his experiences as one of 3 Jewish boys attending the local Orillia high school and working in his father’s general store. In order to provide a proper Jewish life for Isaac, the family returned to Toronto. In 1917 Isaac enlisted in the army and after his father’s death in 1918, Isaac made his home in Hamilton, Ontario. He was a business executive, active on several executive committees of Jewish and Zionist organizations in Hamilton.
Issac maried Esther (Kenen) Segal who was influential in the National Council of Jewish Women, Hamilton Branch, and their successful attempt to repeal the law that refused the right of women to serve on jury duty.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Segal, Isaac
Segal, Esther
Beube, Lillian
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Orillia, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 025: Side 1
0.0-16.14: Isaac Segel, the son of Russian immigrants was born and lived Toronto’s Ward district until 1900 when the family moved to Orillia Ontario. Isaac recalls his experiences as one of 3 Jewish boys attending the local Orillia high school and working in his father’s general store. In order to provide a proper Jewish lifestyle for Isaac, the family returned to Toronto. In 1917, Isaac enlisted in the army and after his father’s death in 1918, Isaac made his home in Hamilton Ontario.
16.15-31.04: Isaac recalls Hamilton’s Jewish community of 800 people, its Orthodox synagogues, and the Jewish immigrants who arrived in Hamilton after the First World War.
31.05-33.24: Division within Hamilton’s Jewish Community. Discussed are the reasons for the division between the Anshe Shalom Reform Congregation and Hamilton’s Orthodox Synagogues. Also discussed is the United Hebrew Association and its control over all philanthropic work within Hamilton’s Jewish Community.
34.05-45.19: Establishment of Hamilton Jewish Social Services 1931. Lillian Beube discusses the United Hebrew Association and its misappropriation of community funds, the formation of Hamilton’s Jewish Social Services and the conflicting ideologies of JSS and UHA.
45.20-46.15: Discussed is Marietta Levy and how she brought together various factions of Hamilton’s Jewish community.
AC 025: Side 2
1.00-13.20: Establishment of Jewish Social Services continued. There is further discussion of UHA’s misappropriation of community funds, its continued refusal to relinquish its prerogative of handling community monies and the events that led to its disintegration of the UHA. Beube discusses Jewish Social Services and its mission to establish itself as a service organization within the Jewish community.
13.20-18.00: Yiddish within the Hamilton Jewish Community. Beube discusses the reasons for the disappearance of the Yiddish language within Hamilton’s Jewish community.
18.01-20.34: Activities of the Council of Jewish Women are discussed.
20.35-22.39: Hamilton’s Orthodox and Conservative communities. Discussion revolves around the Anshe Shalom Temple, its reform practices and the more traditional Orthodox and Conservative movements within the community.
22.40-30.55: Antisemitism in Hamilton. Discussion revolves around antisemitism and assimilation of the Jewish population.
31.00-45.50: Personal opinions are discussed regarding, inter-marriage, the future of Hamilton’s Jewish community, and Zionism.
End
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Finkelman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1972
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Finkelman
Number
AC 028
Subject
Antisemitism
Occupations
Education
Health services and medicine
Interview Date
1972
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
AccessionNumber
1978-2-2
Total Running Time
028A: 46 minutes 028B: 7 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Parts inaudible
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Harry Finkelman was born in 1909 in Hamilton and was one of the first Jewish pharmacists in Hamilton. His father was a tailor and an active member of several Jewish organizations including the Hess Street Synagogue and the Talmud Torah. Harry attended the Talmud Torah and was involved with Young Judea and groups/clubs from the Talmud Torah. In this interview he discusses the early history of Hamilton and descrimination against Jews entering the professions.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Finkelman, Harry
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 028, Harry Finkelman\AC 028, Finkleman transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Finkelman shares some of his early memories of the Hamilton Jewish community in the 1910s. He notes name of shops, shop owners, streets and describes some of the synagogues

In this clip, Harry Finkelman describes the difficulty for a Jew in the 1920s to find a placement to complete a mandatory 3 year apprenticeship before he could enter Pharmacy at University.

Name
Jack Abel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jack Abel
Number
AC 034
AC 035
Subject
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Recreation
Antisemitism
Societies
Cemeteries
Interview Date
1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
034A: 31:10 minutes 034B: 31:10 minutes 035A: 31:10 minuets 035B: 13:52 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
The end of the reference copy of AC 35 is not very audible. The original cassette may be clearer.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Jack Abel's career in the garment industry began in the 1920s taking him through the dressmaker's strike of 1932. Abel's experiences with anti-Semitism were numerous, he participated in the Christie Pits riot, he was active in politics and became an early member of the Mozirer Society. Abel became financial secretary of the Mozirer Society and was involved in the purchase and administration of the Roselawn and Bathurst Lawn cemeteries.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Abel, Jack
Mozirer Sick Benefit Society
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 034, 035, Jack Abel\AC 034 and 035 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Fishman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Fishman
Number
AC 036
Subject
Personal and family life
Antisemitism
Small communities
Synagogues
Organizations
Societies
Food
Occupations
Clubs and lodges
Interview Date
12 July 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Richard Menkis
Total Running Time
Side 1 46 minutes Side 2 17 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
Morris Fishman was born September 29, 1916 in New Jersey. His family moved to Welland, Ontario when he was an infant. He attended elementary and high school in Welland and completed two years at the University of Toronto. He worked in a family men's wear business in Welland. Morris was actively involved in the Jewish community including participation in the Anshe Yosher Congregation, the Jewish Cultural Society and the Jacob Goldblatt B'nai Brith Lodge. He was married and had two daughters.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Fishman, Morris
Geographic Access
Welland
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 036 Fishman\AC 036 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Fishman praises the efforts of the non-Jewish community in Welland, Ontario to support the building of a new synagogue following a fire that destroyed the old synagogue in 1954.

In this clip, Morris Fishman discusses the Jacob Goldblatt B’nai Brith Lodge in Welland, Ontario.

Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Joe and Minna Loewith
Number
AC 037
AC 038
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
June 3, 1984
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
AC 037 Side 1 31 minutes AC 037 Side 2 31 minutes AC 038 Side 1 8 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
Joe and Minna Loewith immigrated to Canada in November 1938 from Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. They settled on a farm outside of Hamilton, Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Loewith, Joe
Loewith, Mina
Silbert, Morris
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 037 and 038 Loewith\AC 037 and 038 transcript.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Minna Loewith recalls the events beginning in the summer through the fall of 1938 that led her family to emigrate from Czechoslovakia to Canada.

In this clip, Minna shares some of her earliest recollections of when she and her family arrived in Canada in November 1938.

In this clip, Joe Loewith explains the conditions for Czech immigration to Canada set by the CPR and how they were met.

Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Coleman Solursh
Number
AC 040
AC 041
Subject
Health services and medicine
Societies
Occupations
Interview Date
January 3, 1985
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Morris Silbert
Total Running Time
040A: 34 minutes 040B: 31 minutes 041A: 11 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
Coleman Solursh was born in Toronto in 1906. Graduated as a physician in 1932. Worked as a Lodge Doctor. Involved in the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors Association. Worked in the field of Family Medicine and was appointed Chief of the Department of Family Practice at Mount Sinai Hospital. Appointed Associate Chief of Medicine at Baycrest, Jewish Home for the Aged. Married to Zelda Singer, third generation Canadian. Zelda's maternal grandfather was appointed Colonization Chairman in 1897 for Baron de Hirsch settlement for Jewish immigrants. Zelda's father, Manny Singer, was first Jewish pharmacist in Toronto. Zelda's uncle, Fred Singer, was the first Jewish Member of Parliament for Ontario.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Solursh, Coleman
Silbert, Morris
Mount Sinai Hospital
Singer, Zelda
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes a meeting between executives from the Toronto Jewish Lodge Doctors' Association and representatives from various Jewish Lodges. The meeting resulted in significant changes to the way medical services and payment were provided to the physicians.

In this clip, Dr. Coleman Solursh describes his role as Chief of the Department of Family Practice in the new Mount Sinai Hospital in 1953. He explains how this department pioneered the model for Family Practice within a hospital setting across Canada.

Name
Cyrus Coppel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Cyrus Coppel
Number
AC 061
AC 062
Subject
Personal and family life
Small communities
Interview Date
21 July 1976
Interviewer
Larry Troster
Total Running Time
061A: 46:22 minuets 061B: 45:27 minuets 062A: 45:55 minuets 062B: 28:58 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Cassette tapes were digitized in 2012
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Cyrus Coppel son of Aaron Coppel and Chaya (Gertrude) Seigel was born in 1911 in Galt Ontario. Cyrus remained in Galt throughout his life and became a central figure within it's Jewish community. Cyrus initially worked as a mechanic and later worked in the office of an auto shop trading in auto parts. Cyrus also traded in livestock as a hobby. Cyrus Coppel was one of the founders of the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Galt.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Coppel, Cyrus
Troster, Larry
B'nai Israel Synagogue (Galt, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Galt
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the growth of Galt's Jewish community following the Second World War and the need to purchase a new and larger synagogue to accommodate the growing population.

In this clip, Cyrus Coppel discusses the difficulties of raising Jewish children in a small town.

Name
Montague Raisman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Montague Raisman
Number
AC 064
Subject
Organizations
Human rights
Antisemitism
World War, 1939-1945
Interview Date
11 July 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
064: 39 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Low sound quality
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Montague Raisman came to Canada from England in 1926. He was actively involved in B'nai Brith Toronto Lodge and held positions of office. He served as the Commanding Officer for the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron in Toronto during the Second World War. He was instrumental in the formation of the Joint Public Relations Committee, a united Jewish voice in response to pro-Nazi activity.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Raisman, Montague
B'nai Brith
Lipinsky, Jack
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Montague describes the formation of the B'nai Brith Air Cadet Squadron during the Second World War. He discusses the recruitment and training of the officers and cadets. He explains how this squadron was instrumental in changing recruitment qualifications to allow entry of new immigrants and black cadets.

In this clip, Montague Raisman discusses the events leading up to an association between B

Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Dr. David Monson
Number
AC 070
Subject
World War, 1939-1945
Religion
Interview Date
1 Dec. 1982
Quantity
1
Interviewer
(not stated, likely Jack Lipinsky)
Total Running Time
070A: 27 minutes 070B: 11 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
Rabbi David Monson came to Toronto from Ottawa in June 1939 to serve as the rabbi of the Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue. He served on the board of the Brusnswick Talmud Torah. He was a member of B'nai Zion and B'nai Brith and was the long-serving rabbi of Beth Shalom.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Monson, David
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region
Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses his early positive working relationships with rabbis within the Toronto Jewish community and explains how sectionalization became a post WWII phenomenon.

In this clip, Rabbi Monson discusses the role and responsibilities of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Toronto from 1939 to 1948.

Name
J.B. Salsberg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
J.B. Salsberg
Number
AC 071
Subject
Labor movement
Labor unions
Women
Demonstrations
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Quantity
1
Total Running Time
071A: 44:50 minuets 071B: 35:55 minuets
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
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, newspaper columnist and a man who dedicated his life to Yiddishkeit and the advancement of social justice. He was active in various Jewish organizations, including; the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. In 1938 he was elected as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943. 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.
This oral history includes Salsberg's personal reminiscences on the Toronto Jewish community, the Polish Jewish community and issues related to women's labour and the unions in the garment industry.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Salsberg, Joseph B.
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Side 1:
0.0-6.30: Joseph Baruch Salsberg was born in Poland in 1902 to Abraham and Sara Salsberg. Abraham migrated to Toronto in 1910 and Joseph followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913.
6.30-18.39: Prior to 1913 Poland was primarily a peasant and agricultural society with the majority of the Jewish population living and working as tradesmen in the villages. Salsberg discusses the difficult relationship between the Poles and Jews under the power of the Czar.
18:40-24.14: Salsberg discusses the Canadian government’s collaboration with the CP Railroad to launch advertising campaigns attracting potential immigrants to come and live in Canada.
24.22-33.24: Salsberg discusses the experiences of his mother as a young Jewish immigrant and her adjustment to life in Toronto.
33.25-37.30: Salsberg discusses the Ward, an area between University and Yonge as being the heartland of early Jewish settlement. He describes the area as being the natural choice for Jews to live, the rents were cheap, Synagogues and community centers were nearby as were and their places of employment. The center for Jewish shopping was Kensington Market with shops along McCaul and Baldwin Streets, shopping at Eatons was reserved for “special occasions”.
37.32-39.50: Salsberg discusses the hardships faced by Polish immigrant Jews arriving in Toronto after World War One.
39.52-44.45: Salsberg discusses his father an Orthodox man who eventually went into the junk business and became one of the founders of the first Talmud Torah, his mother was active in the Ladies Auxillary of the School and remained it’s President for 50 years.
End
Side 2:
0.03-5.37: Salsberg discusses the religious and cultural divisions that dominated social and communal living in Poland under Czarist rule and the resulting division between Jews and non- Jewish Polish immigrants in Toronto
5.38-8.28: Salsberg discusses the example set by his mother on matters of religious observance and importance of the woman’s role in the family.
8.29-11.08: Salsberg discusses his mother’s activities outside the home. Sarah Salsberg was the first woman to challenge the burial custom of not allowing husband and wife to be buried side by side. Sarah won her challenge and was buried alongside her husband.
11.10-12.28: Salsberg discusses his orientation towards labor Zionism and his parent’s reaction to his political views. Sarah Salsberg was a “broad-minded” woman and friendly with those active in the movement, while his father clung to his own group.
12.29-13.53: Salsberg discusses the garment trade and the organizers who become members of the Ladies Garment Workers Union. Salsberg goes on to speak of his mother’s approval and secret admiration of the women in the Ladies Garment Union.
13.54-14.44: Salsberg discusses the role of Jewish immigrant women using the example of the Eatons strike in 1911 led by Jewish tailors, both men and women.
14.45-15.00: Salsberg discusses the Triangle Fire in New York as the impetus that led to the birth of the ILGWU in America and the ILGWU’s influence on the Canadian Garment industry.
15.03-15.40: Salsberg discusses the New York Yiddish Dailies the “Forward” and Tagblat delivered and read daily by Toronto’s Jewish community as another factor in the establishment of the Ladies Garment Workers Union in Canada.
15.41-20.39: Salsberg discusses the introduction by Eatons to changes in production methods that would have tailors, mostly men, taking on the job of women finishers. The refusal by the tailors to take away the jobs of women would lead to the first sit down strike by tailors in Canada.
20.40-21.20: Salsberg discusses the recognition of women’s rights in the early garment workers unions. The Dressmakers section of the ILGWU in Toronto was predominantly women who led strikes and fought on picket lines.
21.21-23.44: Salsberg discusses Union sentiment within the Jewish community and the enforcement by some of the more militant women on community shopkeepers to use Union labels on their products.
23.45-24.39: Salsberg discusses single Jewish women who confronted with financial hardship worked in predominately Jewish factories.
24.40-26.07: Salsberg discusses the economic nature of the garment industry, the competition and undercutting in the industry factories and the continuous strikes and stoppages by employees opposed to wage cuts.
26.08-31.15: Salsberg discusses the important contributions in the areas of the labor force, education and social responsibility made to Ontario by Jewish immigrant women. Women worked alongside men in order to improve their economic position and establish themselves within the community. Jewish women placed a great emphasis on education and as a result a high percentage of their children would graduate from institutions such as Harbord Collegiate and Jarvis Collegiate with scholarships. Salsberg speaks of his late wife Dora Wilensky who graduated from Jarvis Collegiate with the highest mark of any girl student in Ontario earning a five-year scholarship to McMaster University and becoming a prominent Social Worker within the Jewish community.
31.16-33.09: Salsberg discusses the differences in opportunity for young Jewish men and young Jewish women. As the only boy in the family he was expected to set the path by going to a theological school in NY but to the dismay of his parents he became radicalized in leftist politics.
33.10-35.55: Although Salsberg’s parents were never involved in the labour movement and disagreed with his leftist philosophy, they were pleased by his election in 1938 as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and his election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943.
End
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses the events that led to the birth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in America and the ILGWU's influence on the Canadian Garment Industry.

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses Canada

Name
Isidore Kaplan
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Isidore Kaplan
Number
AC 009
AC 010
Subject
Small communities
Art and popular culture
Business
Interview Date
3 June 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Sophie Milgram
Total Running Time
009A: 29 minutes 009B: 41 minutes 010A: 30 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Reduced sound quality at times.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Isidore Kaplan was born in Vilna in 1910. His father was the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Isidore's father, a successful businessman, opened a general store in 1915 and a movie theatre in 1923. The Jewish community of Kirkland Lake grew to 135 families and was able to support a synagogue, kosher butcher and after-school cheder at its peak.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan, Isidore
Milgram, Sophie
Geographic Access
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Cobalt, Ont.
Englehart, Ont.
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 009: Side 1
0.20: Isidore was born in a town near Vilna in 1910.
0.40: Isidore had 2 brothers and 1 sister, all immigrated to Canada.
1.20: Isidore’s father came alone to America initially in 1907, went back to Europe to take care of a leather business. Returned a second time to America (New York) in 1912. Came to Toronto because of a contact.
6.15: Isidore’s father and friend, Mr. Teitlebaum, moved to Cobalt in northern Ontario to pursue employment opportunities that were the result of the growth of the mining industry. Mentioned the mining of cobalt and silver.
7.50: Isidore’s father and Teitlebaum walked from Cobalt to Timmins via Engelhart and Swastika. Described the development of the Jewish community in northern Ontario. Existing Jewish cemetery. Were offered land to farm by the government in Krugerdorf. 25-30 Jewish families started farming.
9.43: Explained that some of the Jews who settled the area had escaped from the Russo-Japanese war.
10.27: Reported that the Ontario government helped to bring out Jewish prisoners who had been captured by the Japanese.
11.55: Related a story of Isadore’s father rooming with a Jewish woman, Mrs. Rosa Brown in Swastika.
14.11: Listed names (?) of the agents for the town site and explained about the purchase of lots.
15.50: Isidore’s father was the first Jew in Kirkland Lake. He opened a general store in 1915. Related a story about how he acquired the materials to build the store. Described the construction of the store.
23.00: Isidore’s father’s brother-in-law, Max, became a partner in the business in 1915.
25.45: Isidore’s father traveled to Toronto to purchase supplies. Ordered groceries from Rubin and Fine who were in the grocery business in Toronto.
28.00: Business was very slow for several months. Competed with ?Labarge?
29.00: Mrs. Brown suggested that Isidore’s father start to sell meat.
AC 009: Side 2
0.40: Mrs. Rosa Brown helped solicit customers who were uneasy about doing business with Jews.
2.55: Isidore’s father offered more competitive prices. Business increased.
5.26: Expanded business to sell ice cream. Business prospered.
7.17: Described incident which he suspected was anti-Semitic involving the deliberate starting of a fire in the store in 1917. The store was destroyed.
8.35: Isidore’s uncle Max Kaplan, brother to his mother was his father’s business partner.
9.30: Isidore’s father rebuilt store. Once again the business prospered.
11.45: In 1921 ?Percussis? opened a store
12.48: Isidore’s father bought furs (e.g.beaver) and sold them to Hudson’s Bay outlet.
13.30: In 1921 Isidore’s father purchased 2 lots across the street from Harry Oaks to build a movie theatre.
15.20: Related problems regarding the purchase (e.g. inability to secure a mortgage, difficulty acquiring building supplies, leveling the property, etc.). Described how Harry Oaks (who was described as a very wealthy man) arranged for Isidore’s father to borrow money from the Royal Bank. Isidore attributed this to their trusting relationship.
19.50: The building was also used as a meeting hall for 2 Lodges, Masonic and ?
20.53: The theatre was completed in 1923.
23.40: Brought the family from Poland to Kirkland Lake, 4 children, his wife and Isidore’s aunt in 1923. Isidore’s grandmother was unable to come due to health reasons. Initially, Isidore’s father purchased tickets from ?Jurovski?, local travel agent but all was lost so he purchased tickets directly from White Star line.
25.30: 1 other Jewish family in Kirkland Lake, ?Stotts?
26.00: Other Jewish families moved into Kirkland Lake around 1924 to 1927.
27.00: By 1927, there were enough Jews to have a Minyan for Yontif in Kirkland Lake. Held services in the first theatre. Before 1927, Jews traveled to Englehart for religious services.
27.55: Mentioned a large fire in northern Ontario in 1922. (Kirkland Lake was spared.) The original synagogue in Englehart was destroyed. Rented another hall for religious services.
28.28: Mentioned a pious Jew who was a farmer who acted as prayer leader, Baal Tefilah.
AC 010: Side 1
0.22: Mr. Finkleman and Mr. Levinsky paid $350 for a lot and built a synagogue in 1928 in Kirkland Lake. Originally, held services in the back of Mr. Levinsky’s candy store.
2.55: About 12-14 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake by 1927.
3.20: Jews worked as merchants or miners. Isidore’s father helped find jobs for miners. Listed names of local merchants.
6.50: Reported 135 Jewish families in Kirkland Lake. Cited incidents of antisemitism. E.g. Isidore’s uncle who served on town council could not be elected Mayor because he was Jewish, antisemitic comments.
7.58: In 1975, reported that 8 Jewish families remained in Kirkland Lake, Shul was closed. Jews have moved from surrounding areas.
9.23: First Rabbi, Ruben, came to Kirkland Lake in 1928.
11.55: Next Rabbi, ?Luvich? originated from Holland. Related story about how Isidore’s, uncle Max approached a member of parliament, Russell Gordon, in order to prevent the Rabbi from being sent back to Europe.
13.45: Jewish community in Kirkland Lake continued to grow until 1937. Reported community decline with a downturn in the economy with the outbreak of the Second World War, a mining strike and closures of mines.
18.50: Synagogue rebuilt in 1945. The bima was purchased from a synagogue in Montreal by Mr. Stott. The bima had been built in Hungary.
21.10: Kirkland Lake supported a local kosher butcher, Turkin
22.06: The Rabbi from Kirkland Lake traveled by train to Jewish communities in outlying areas.
22.55: Discussed high rate of intermarriage.
24.35: Jewish education taught by Rabbi in after-school program.
25.16: Reported that children of founding Jewish families tended to be University educated. Children left Kirkland Lake and did not return.
Source
Oral Histories

Isidore Kaplan's father was the first Jewish resident of Kirkland Lake, Ontario. In this clip, Isidore relates his father's journey in 1912 from Toronto to Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario via Engelhart and Swastika.

In this clip, Isidore Kaplan describes the decline of Kirkland Lake, Ontario

Name
Ben Himel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Number
AC 135
Subject
Zionism
Education
Labor
Labor unions
Organizations
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
135A: 26:40 minutes 135B: 29:20 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Interview does not start at beginning.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ben Himel was Vice President and founder of the Borochov School and Kindergarten. Himel was affliated with the Poale Zion,Jewish National Workers Alliance (Farband), the Independent Workers Circle and The Board of Jewish Education
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Himel, Ben
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the ideologies of Canada's Labor Movements during the 1930s and 1940s.

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the Zionist movement within the Toronto Jewish community during the 1930s and 40s.

Name
Tobie Taback
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Tobie Taback
Number
AC 136
Subject
Organizations
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
February 23, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Jack Lipinsky
Total Running Time
34 minutes 58 secons
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Tobie Taback was the long-time secretary for the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society in Toronto. He retired in 1982.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Taback, Tobie
Lipinsky, Jack
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the helplessness faced by JIAS in bringing immigrants out of Europe during the period of Canada's strict "no immigration" policy.

In this clip, Tobie Taback discusses the activities of Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) employees during the years 1937-39, the obstacles they faced vis a vis immigrant applications and the "parcels to Russia and Poland" aid program run by JIAS.

Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Number
AC 140
Subject
Education
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 22 seconds Side 2: 41 minutes 13 seconds good
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
Dr. Alexander Brown was a leader in the field of Jewish education in Toronto. He held various positions with Toronto's Board of Education and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. He was actively involved with other Jewish organizations, such as Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Welfare Fund. Dr. Brown was born in the Ukraine in 1909 and was the son of Louis and Bessie Brown.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Brown, Alexander
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region (Toronto, Ont.)
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.)
Associated Hebrew Schools (Toronto, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Brown describes his tenure as Executive Secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), its organizational structure, and the CJC's position within the Toronto Jewish Community.

In this clip, Dr. Brown discusses the Board of Jewish Education, the Welfare Fund and the Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to the subsidization of Associated Hebrew Schools

Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Elimelech Ittamar
Number
AC 141
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Education
Personal and family life
Religion
Synagogues
Zionism
Interview Date
May 11, 1976
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Doris Newman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes Side 2: 19 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
Rabbi Ittamar was born in Poland. He came to Toronto in 1923. He attended Landsdowne and Ryerson Public Schools in Toronto for one year and then continued his education at a theological seminary in New York which later became Yeshiva University. Throughout his life, Rabbi Ittamar was an ardent Zionist. From 1930 until June 1932, Rabbi Ittamar served as Rabbi of Beth Jacob and Adas Yisroel Synagogues in Hamilton. He then worked as principal of the Seattle Talmud Torah and attended graduate school at the University of Washington for three and a half years. He served for 20 years in Detroit as rabbi and president of Yeshiva. He made Aliyah in 5715 (1955) when he was invited by Chief Rabbi Herzog to become secretary of the Chief Rabbinate. He was married (nee Unger) in 1936 and had 2 children, Tamar and Yehoshua.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ittamar, Elimelech
Geographic Access
Toronto
Hamilton
Detroit
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 141, Rabbi Elmelech Ittamar\AC 141 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Rabbi Ittamar shares some of his early memories as a boy in Toronto.

While attending Yeshiva in New York, Rabbi Ittamar headed the debating team. In this clip he describes his first English-speaking public presentation while representing the debating team in 1930 at the Jewish People’s Institute in Chicago.

Name
Mina Sprachman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mina Sprachman
Number
AC 142
Subject
Architects
Buildings
Occupations
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
AC142: 31:34 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
Abraham Sprachman (1896-1971) was as Toronto based architect who in partnership with Harold Kaplan in the firm Kaplan & Sprachman, was well-known for the design of Art deco and Art moderne movie theatres during the 1930s and 1940s and for designing buildings for Jewish communities across Canada from the 1930s to 1960s. Abraham married his cousin Mina Sprachman in 1921. They had two children: Mandel and Sheila. Mandel followed in his father's footsteps and also became a nationally recognized and acclaimed architect. Both specialized in theatre design and renovations. Mandel became an architect best known for his restoration of the Elgin Wintergarden.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan & Sprachman
Kaplan, Harold
Sprachman, Abraham, 1896-1971
Speisman, Stephen
Sprachman, Mina
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Mina Sprachman discusses her husband's architectural firm of Kaplan and Sprachman, its Jewish clientele and the firm's commissions to design and renovate theatres, hospitals and synagogues across Canada.

Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Jennie Goldstein and Mr. and Mrs. Boris Coopersmith
Number
AC 147
AC 148
Subject
Art and popular culture
Theater, Yiddish
Interview Date
January 26, 1975
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC147A: 44. minutes
AC148B: 45. 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
Jennie Goldstein immigrated from Russia to Toronto in 1914. While living and working in The Ward, Jennie married Harry Goldstein, who was noted as both a "dresser" and actor in Toronto's Lyric and Standard Theatres. After Harry's passing Jennie became a supplier of costumes for the Yiddish Theatre. In 1920, to help support the family, Jennie opened a 'deli" stand alongside the original Shopsy's deli located in the area of Kensington Market. Jennie and Harry's daughter Bess married Boris Coppersmith whose parents, Yossel and Nessie, owned a variety store at Spadina and Baldwin Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Harris, Harry
Pasternak, Chanina
Goldstein, Jennie
Coopersmith, Boris
Coopersmith, Bess
Standard Theatre
Lyric Theatre
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
St. John's Ward
Kensington Market
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the early years of Toronto's Yiddish theatres such as the Tivoli and the Standard, and actors such as Harry Harris and Chanina Pasternak.

In this clip, Jennie Goldstein describes the performances and actors of the Lyric Theatre circa 1914

Name
Max Federman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Federman
Number
AC 149
AC 150
Subject
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Industries
Interview Date
March 19, 1976
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Ben Schneider
Total Running Time
AC149A: 30. minutes AC149B: 30. minutes AC150A: 1. minute
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
Max Federman was born in Poland. In 1919, Max moved to Germany where he attended school. He joined his father in Toronto in 1920. A union leader, labour Zionist and ardent-Communist, Max became actively involved in the union movement and served as representative of the Local Fur Workers Union. He was involved in a twenty year battle with the Communist leadership of the International Furrier Union until they disbanded and merged with the International Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. Max was involved in Jewish community organizations including the Histadrut, Borochov School, and the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Goldman, Emma
Federman, Max
Schneider, Ben
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 149, 150, Max Federman\AC 149, 150 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Federman describes the conflict between the Federation of Labour (F of L) and Communist International Union (CIU) from 1938-1956. He discusses the steps in which the International Fur and Leather Union disaffiliated with the International Union to join the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union in 1956.

In this clip, Max Federman discusses his early involvement with a trade union while living in Germany in 1919.

Name
Dora Till
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dora Till
Number
AC 151
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Labor
Labor unions
Women
Occupations
Personal and family life
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
46 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
Dora Till (nee Tobias) was born in New York City in 1896. She came to Toronto in 1900. She married Morris Till in 1918. They had one daughter, Cecile. As a youth, Dora was involved with Herzl Girls and the Boot and Shoe Society. Dora was active in community service and contributed greatly to social service work. She was co-founder and first President for Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home, Vice-President of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society, a board member for the Jewish Family and Child Services, an executive for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Honourary Vice-President of United Jewish Welfare Fund, on the board of Canadian Jewish Congress and past President of the Naomi Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Herzl Girls Boot and Shoe Society, 1920
Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home
Baycrest Hospital
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
Timothy Eaton Company
Till, Dora
Geographic Access
Toronto
Bronte
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dora Till discusses some of the services provided by Hebrew Maternity Aid.

Dora Till was co-founder and first President for Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home. In this clip, Dora describes the efforts to solicit and fundraise on behalf of the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home.

Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Kalmen Kaplansky
Number
AC 109
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Immigrants--Canada
Labor
Labor unions
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
September 20, 1985
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
109A: 60 minutes 109B: 6 minutes
Conservation
Not copied. Need 120 minute tape.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Kalmen was born January 5, 1912 in Poland. He worked in Montreal as a typesetter and linotype operator. He was active in the labour and human rights movements in Canada. Kalmen served as the director of the Jewish Labour Committee in 1945. In collaboration with the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian government and trade unions the Jewish Labour Committee helped Jewish displaced persons immigrate to Canada by securing them employment. Kalman sat on the Refugee Status Advisory Committee for the federal government.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplansky, Kalmen
Platnick, Phyllis
Jewish Labour Committee
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky discusses some of the obstacles to the relocation of displaced Jews to Canada after the Second World War. He describes a tripartite proposal involving consultation and cooperation among trade unions, management and government that enabled the immigration project.

In this clip, Kalmen Kaplansky explains that bribery, corruption and perjury were a way of life after the Second World War. He relates anecdotes as illustration.

Name
Max Enkin
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Max Enkin
Number
AC 113
AC 114
Subject
Antisemitism
Immigrants--Canada
Labor
Labor unions
Occupations
Organizations
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
April 13, 1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC113: 19:40 minuets
AC114:
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
Max Enkin was founder and a leading member of the Jewish Vocational Service of Toronto. The original purpose of the organization was to help survivors of the Second World War find employment. In 1947, as Associate Administrator and representative for the Men's Clothing sector in Ontario, Max Enkin became involved in The "Tailor Project". The project was designed to identify and select skilled tailors from the DP camps of Europe and help to settle them in Canada.
Max Enkin was awarded the OBE in Recognition of services to Wartime Prices.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Enkin, Max
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Transcript
AC 113
History of Immigration of Skilled Tailors from the Displaced Person Camps after WWII 1946 –
0.07: How the project got started
0.20: Canadian Government in relation to skilled workers in Canada 1946
1.19: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to DP camps in Europe.
2.45: Canadian Government restricted immigration 1946.
3.11: Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to Garment industry.
4.13: Canadian Government in relation to UNRRA and immigration to Canada (UNRRA: United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration founded 1943 and became part of the UN in 1945).
5.29: JIAS Jewish Immigrant Aid Services.
5.39: Congress and Immigration to Canada.
5.58: Garment industry Union and Immigration to Canada
6.30: McNamara Deputy Minister of Labour from Winnipeg (circa 1946).
7.18: Labor and Management Representatives of the ILGE 1946 (ILGE - International Ladies Garment Workers Union?). Mr. Sam Hirsch of Winnipeg, representative of the Union for Men & Women. Mr. Bernard Shane of Montreal, Executive Director of the ILGE. Mr.? Solomon of Montreal, representative of Manufacturers Union of Montreal. Sam Posluns of Toronto representative of the Women’s Union. Max Enkin of Toronto, representative of the Men’s Union Ontario.
9.05: Beginning of the project by the ILGE to bring Jews from DP camps in Europe to Canada. Trip to London England by the 5 member body of ILGE. Difficulty in gaining clearance papers to gain entry into Germany & Austria.
11.34: C.D Howe Canadian Cabinet Minister serving under McKenzie King Meeting with ILGE in Canada House, London England.
13.20: Enkin meeting with C.D. Howe and question of quota of Jews allowed into Canada.
14.13: Federal Liberal Government, Quebec and Ottawa vis a vis Jewish immigration.
15.5: McKenzie King, Prime Minister and Ernest Lapointe, Member of Parliament/Quebec and immigration of Jews.
15.56: Jewish population, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg 3 largest centers 17.0-19.4: Anti-Semitism in Canada.
End: Rest of tape 19.50 -30.42 inaudible.
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the organizations, government departments and union representatives involved in the development and implementation of the Tailor Project.

In this clip, Max Enkin discusses the Liberal Government

Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lillian (Slovens) Gollom
Number
AC 122
Subject
Personal and family life
Women
Occupations
Antisemitism
Health services and medicine
Interview Date
December 8, 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Morris Silbert and Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1 31 minutes
Side 2 17 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
Lillian Gollom (nee Slovens) was born in Russia in1903. She came to Toronto around 1907. She attended Ogness Public School and Canada Business College. She married Nat Gollom in 1924 and had a son and a daughter. Lillian was actively involved with the "Sinais" and served as President of the organization in 1939. The fund-raising efforts of the the "Sinais", Ezrat Nashim and "Twigs" assisted with the establishment of the first Mount Sinai Hospital on Yorkville Ave. Lillian was an involved volunteer at the hospital. Lillian remained active with the Sinais following the building of the second Mount Sinai Hospital on University Ave. when the organization's focus shifted to fund-raising for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Mount Sinai Hospital
Dworkin, Dorothy
Canadian Cancer Society
Singer, E.F.
Gollom, Lillian
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
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Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 122, Lillian Gollom\AC 122 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Lillian Gollom discusses the establishment and early days of the first Mount Sinai Hospital. She describes the fund-raising efforts of Ezrat Nashim, the Sinais and the Twigs.

In this clip, Lillian Gollom relates anecdotes pertaining to the impact of the Great Depression on Jewish families in the early 1930s.

Name
Morris Silbert
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Morris Silbert
Number
AC 123
AC 124
Subject
Agriculture
Immigrants--Canada
Small communities
Organizations
Interview Date
1986
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Brooky Robins
Total Running Time
AC123A - 30. minutes AC123B - 31. minutes AC124A - 46. minutes. AC124 Side2 - 44 minutes good
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
Morris Silbert was born in 1912 on a farm outside of Hamilton. His parents came from Lithuania. His father arrived in Canada in 1905 and his mother and 3 older siblings joined him in 1906. Morris spent his youth growing up on farms and at age 16 in 1928 his family moved to Hamilton. In his youth, Morris was involved in several Jewish organizations including Young Judea, AZA and Hashomer Hatzair. He was married in 1938. He served in the army in 1943 during the Second World War. Morris was second vice president of the Council of Jewish Organizations, served on the executive, was chairman of the nursery school board and participated on several committees.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Silbert, Morris
Robins, Brooky
Geographic Access
Hamilton
Wentworth
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family's farm in southern Ontario. He includes names of peddlers with descriptions of their wares and their carts.

In this clip, Morris Silbert shares memories about Jewish peddlers who were welcomed on his family

In this clip, Morris Silbert describes the restructuring of the Hamilton Jewish community as a result of the Depression in the 1930s. He explains how the Council of Jewish Organizations was formed to replace United Hebrew Association.

Name
Edna Jacobs
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Edna Jacobs
Number
AC 125
Subject
Personal and family life
Travel
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Community service
Religion
Interview Date
December and March 1986
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Nancy Draper
Total Running Time
Side 1: 36 minutes Side 2: 46 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
Edna (nee Frankel) Jacobs was born March 20, 1904 in Toronto, Her parents, Sigmund and Paula Frankel, were early immigrants from Germany. Edna attended Havergal from kindergarten through high school. She studied general arts for two years at the University of Toronto. She married Arthur Jacobs, the son of Rabbi Solomon Jacobs, in 1936. Together, they had one daughter, Patsy and a baby who died during infancy. Edna was involved with the Girls Club and the Junior Council of Jewish Women.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Toronto Girl's Club
Toronto Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Germany
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 125 Jacobs\AC 125 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Edna Jacobs shares memories from a trip she and her family took to Biblis, Germany to celebrate her grandparents’ golden anniversary.

In this clip, Edna Jacobs reminisces about several prominent Toronto Jewish families.

Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Esther Volpe and Ida Siegel
Number
AC 161
AC 162
Subject
Organizations
Immigrants--Canada
Personal and family life
Interview Date
January 4, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz and Stephen Spiesman
Total Running Time
AC161 Side 1: 47 minutes AC161 Side 2: 47 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Toronto Historical Society lecture
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Esther Volpe (nee Shulman) was born on February 24, ?1898. As a child, she and her family briefly lived in Romington, ON and Havlock, ON. Her family later settled in Toronto. In her youth, she participated in the Herzl Girls' Club. She attended University of Toroonto in the Faculty of Arts. She married Dr. Aaron Volpe in 1921. Esther was involved in several Jewish organizations, including the old Mount Sinai Medical Auxillary, Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, UJA Appeal, JIAS and BBYO and non-Jewish organizations, including Toronto Local Council of Women. She represented the Jewish community of Toronto on the Wartime Price and Trade Board and helped organize the Ontario Food Council.
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Volpe, Esther
Siegel, Ida
Kayfetz, Eva
Speisman, Stephen
Hadassah-WIZO
National Council of Jewish Women
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In 1947, Esther Volpe was elected President of the National Council of Jewish Women. In this clip, Esther discusses how, with the support of the United Welfare Fund, the Canadian Jewish Congress and JIAS, she helped make arrangements for groups of Jewish refugees who settled in Toronto.

In this clip, Esther Volpe explains her involvement in the creation of the "Good Age Club" the first recreational program for Jewish seniors.

In this clip, Ida Siegel relates anecdotes from her childhood growing up in downtown Toronto.

Name
Ida Siegel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ida Siegel
Number
AC 166
AC 167
Subject
Charities
Women
Interview Date
July 22, 1971
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Eva Kayfetz
Total Running Time
AC166A: 47.minutes AC166B: 5. minutes AC167A: 29. 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
Ida Siegel (nee Lewis) (1885-1982) was born 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established The Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to Board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Hadassah-WIZO of Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ida Siegel discusses the formation of Hadassah in Canada and how it evolved into Hadassah-WIZO. She describes the creation of separate Hadassah branches.

In this clip, Ida Siegel explains the events that led up to the formation of a committee that she headed to write a Constitution for Hadassah. She describes some of the struggles she encountered in the process.

Name
Harry Fidler
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
1977-1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Harry Fidler
Number
AC 175
Interview Date
1977-1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Allan Grossman
Total Running Time
30 minutes 35 seconds
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
Harry Fidler was born in 1900 in Ostrovtze. He came to Toronto at age ten in 1910. He married in 1922. Harry was very active with the Ostrovtzer Synagogue and served on the executive since 1922.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Ostrovtzer Synagogue
Grossman, Allan
Fidler, Harry
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 175 Fidler\AC 175 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman discuss the decline of the Ostrovtzer Synagogue.

In this clip, Harry Fidler and Allan Grossman reminisce about the Ostrovtzer Synagogue at the Cecil Street location.

Name
Blanche Haber
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Blanche Haber
Number
AC 189
Subject
Personal and family life
Occupations
Immigrants--Canada
Food
Antisemitism
Interview Date
December 18, 1987
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Kaylee Gollom Miller
Total Running Time
Side 1 - 31 minutes Side 2 - 31 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
Blanche Haber (nee Heller) was born in a small town in Russia in 1893. She came to Toronto at age 8. Her father worked as a peddler. She married Isadore Haber in 1915. Three of her five children died from illnesses in their childhood. Before her marriage, Blanche worked as a seamstress. Isadore worked as a tailor, primarily for Eaton's. Like her mother, once married, Blanche took boarders into their home at 112 Parliament Street.
Material Format
sound recording
Geographic Access
Toronto
Halifax
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 189 Haber\AC 189 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Blanche Haber describes taking boarders into her mother’s and her own home at 112 Parliament Street.

In this clip, Blanche Haber fondly remembers the warm relationship that developed between her family and the Manischewitz family. She explains that Joe Manischewitz boarded at her family’s home while his family built a matzah factory in Toronto.

Name
Nathan Cassels
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Nathan Cassels
Number
AC 207
Subject
Jewish musicians
Interview Date
November 7, 1988
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Carol Rosenthal
Total Running Time
Side 1 30 minutes 30 seconds Side 2 13 minutes 30 seconds
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
Nathan Cassels was born in Montreal in 1903. As a child, his family moved to Toronto. He studied clarinet with Mr. Glass and performed with the Russian Juvenile Concert Band for two years. He left school after grade three and started working as a plumber at age 13. He played clarinet with the 110th Regimental Band during the First World War. His music career spanned 60 years. He moved to Detroit in 1926 because of the many Big Band opportunities. He returned to Toronto in the 1930s where he played with the Romanelli Band for 18 years and free-lanced as a studio musician. He later divided his time between work as a traveling textile salesman and musician. He was married and had one daughter born in 1937.
Material Format
sound recording
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 207 Cassels\AC 207 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Nathan Cassels recalls a trip taken by the Russian Juvenile Concert Band to Detroit, Michigan.

In this clip, Nathan Cassels reminisces about his early career as a musician with various bands.

Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Anne Edell and I.S. Edell
Number
AC 208
Subject
Recreation
Education
Occupations
Antisemitism
Interview Date
February 7, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
AC 208A: 40 minutes AC 208B: 18 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
Anne Edell grew up in Toronto. She worked as a bookkeeper in several local Jewish businesses. During summer vacation, Anne would travel to Port Dalhousie, Crystal Beach and Jackson's Point. I.S. Edell grew up in Toronto. He graduated in education from OCE but was unable to find a teaching position. He worked at the post office for a short time and later in his father-in-law's business.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Edell, Anne
Edell, I.S.
Platnick, Phyllis
Geographic Access
Port Dalhousie
Crystal Beach
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Anne Edell shares memories of summer vacations.

In this clip, I.S. Edell discusses the anti-Semitism encountered by Jewish graduates in the field of education in Ontario in the 1930s.

Name
Ben Kayfetz
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Kayfetz
Number
AC 210
Subject
Antisemitism
Human rights
Law
Organizations
Interview Date
March 4, 1984
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Phyllis Platnick
Total Running Time
46 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Christie Pits riot at approximately minute 16:00
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Benjamin Gershon Kayfetz was born on December 24, 1916 in Toronto. He married Eva Silver and had two children. Ben graduated from the University of Toronto in 1939, with a B.A. in modern languages. He worked as a high school teacher in Huntsville and Niagara Falls between 1941 and 1943. 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. He worked 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. He was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal by the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1985 and 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.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Balmy Beach Swastika Club
Canadian Jewish Congress
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kew Beach
Christie Pits
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
G:\Description\Oral Histories\AC 210, Ben Kayfetz\AC 210 notes.pdf
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz describes the skirmish between anti-Semitic and Jewish youths at Kew Beach in July 1933.

In this clip, Ben Kayfetz discusses the laws that restricted “Jews or other objectionable races” from purchasing, owning or renting properties in Toronto and summer resort areas. He describes the steps taken to change the law.

Name
Genya Intrator
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Genya Intrator
Number
AC 223
AC 224
Subject
Antisemitism
Women
Human rights
Interview Date
November 26, 1990
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Mindy A. Skapinker
AccessionNumber
1993-9-1
Total Running Time
AC 223A: 46 minutes AC 223B: 46 minutes AC 224A: 16 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Genya was born in Moscow and moved as a child to Palestine in the 1930's. She was a member of the Israeli underground and served in the Israeli army during the War of Independence. She played a central leadership role in the Soviet Jewry Movement in Canada. She founded "Women for Soviet Jewry" and served as chair of "National Soviet Jewry Committee". She helped with creation of the Toronto "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group. Genya had regular contact by phone with Soviet activists and relayed their information back to Israeli consuls. She was an advisor to B'nai Brith on Soviet Jewry. She started an Inter-religious Task Force for Soviet Jewry in Canada.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Intrator, Genya
Skapinker, Mindy A.
Canadian Jewish Congress
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Genya Intrator discusses the formation of the "Group of 35", a Soviet Jewry activist group.

In this clip, Genya Intrator describes how information about Soviet Jews was passed on to the Israeli consulate in New York who tracked all the data. She explains how she was appointed as a "secret agent" who would report information from her many phone calls to the Soviet Union.

Name
Frank Schleifer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
June 29, 1976
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Frank Schleifer
Number
AC 084
Subject
Canada--Armed Forces
World War, 1939-1945
Recreation
Personal and family life
Interview Date
June 29, 1976
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Larry Troster
Total Running Time
084A: 46 minutes 084B: 11 minutes
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Frank was born January 4, 1916 in Toronto. His parents were Charles and Mary (nee Noble) Schleifer. At age 3, his family moved to Sturgeon Falls. At age 6 in 1922, his family moved to Brantford where his mother's family lived. Frank left school at age 16 to work at the family Cigar and Soda Fountain store when his father became ill. He opened Frank’s Billiard Parlour from 1941 to 1946. He was drafted into the army in 1943 where he served in the artillery and infantry. He started to work in Unemployment Insurance with the Federal government. Frank married Bertha (nee Maltifer ?) in 1937. They had one son, Charles, born in 1947. As a youth Frank was involved with AZA (B'nai Brith youth organization). He was a member of B'nai Brith and served on the executive of the synagogue in Brantford.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Schleifer, Frank
Troster, Larry
Geographic Access
Brantford
Sturgeon Falls
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Frank Schleifer shares some early memories of growing up in Brantford, Ontario. He mentions some of the original Jewish families who settled in Brantford.

In this clip, Frank Schleifer describes his involvement in a variety of Jewish activities and groups during his youth, including AZA, summer camp and baseball.

Name
Dr. Sydney Wise
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
September 29, 2003
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Sydney Wise
Number
AC 278
Subject
Business
Health services and medicine
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
September 29, 2003
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 min.
Side 2: 30 min.
Conservation
Digital copy made April 11, 2011.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Dr. Sydney Wise was a Toronto physician and was a long-time volunteer at the Ontario Jewish Archives. Sydney was married to Mimi Wise who had been an active member of Hadassah-Wizo for most of her life. Sydney's father, Anshel Wise, opened a cigar store on Dundas street, which later turned into a steamship agency called A. Wise Travel Bureau that helped bring immigrants over from Europe.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Wise, Anshel
Wise, Sydney
Scheinberg, Ellen
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this portion of the interview, Syd describes his father, Anshel Wise’s, cigar store and travel business that opened in the Ward in 1918. Anshel was one of the first steamship agents in Toronto.

In this portion of the interview, Sydney describes his entry into medical school at the University of Toronto. He outlines some of the challenges encountered by Jewish medical students in their search for internship positions.

Name
Bess Maltinsky Shockett
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
November 18, 2004
December 7, 2004
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Bess Maltinsky Shockett
Number
AC 288
Subject
Committees
Labor
Labor unions
Interview Date
November 18, 2004
December 7, 2004
Quantity
4
Interviewer
Jillian Gould
Total Running Time
AC 288A: 31 minutes
AC 288B: 31 minutes
Conservation
Copies made for Bess' son Michael on four 90 minute tapes
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Bess was born in the Ukraine in 1920. She immigrated to Montreal in 1925 with her parents and two brothers. She married Barry Shockett in 1952 and had three children. As an adolescent, Bess became very active in the Jewish community and joined the United Jewish People's Order. She helped organize a union for workers in the knitting industry and later did the same for fur workers. She also travelled to Winnipeg to organize a laundry workers union. She helped found the New Fraternal Jewish Association in 1960 and was actively involved in the organization. She became very active in the Toronto Jewish community, particularly in regards to supporting and launching several innovative Yiddish programs. She staffed the office of the CJC's Committee for Yiddish in its early years, and was Director from 1974 to 1989.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
United Jewish People's Order
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Committee for Yiddish
Geographic Access
Montreal
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

Bess became President of the Youth Division of the United Jewish People’s Order in Montreal in 1946. In this clip, Bess shares some of her memories and experiences as a representative to the First International Conference of Youth held in Prague in 1947.

In this clip, Bess discusses the events that led up to the formation of a new left-leaning organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association, which broke away from the United Jewish People’s Order in 1960.

Name
Mel Lastman
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mel Lastman
Number
AC 290
Subject
Religion
Personal and family life
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Melvin Douglas Lastman was born in Toronto on March 9, 1933, the son of Rose and Louis Lastman. Raised in the Kengsington Market area, he attended Ryerson Public School and Central High School of Commerce where he was president of the school council. Lastman left high school to work at an appliance store and, in 1955, opened his own appliance store. By the late 1960s, he owned a chain of 40 stores, Bad Boy Appliances, throughout Ontario. Lastman lived in North York and, in 1969, ran successfully for the North York Board of Control. In the 1972 municipal election, he was elected as mayor of North York, a position he held for 25 years until North York became part of the newly created City of Toronto on January 1, 1998. With the provincially mandated creation of the new City of Toronto by the amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto and the six local municipalities, Lastman decided to run for mayor against the other major contender, former City of Toronto mayor Barbara Hall. He won the 1997 election and was sworn in on January 1, 1998. Lastman was easily re-elected in the 2000 mayoralty election; however, in February 2003, Lastman announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the November municipal election.
In 1953, Mel Lastman married Marilyn Bornstein. They have two married sons and six grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Lastman, Mel
Scheinberg, Ellen
Beth Israel Anshei Minsk Synagogue
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kensington Market
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman remembers playing as a child at the Minsk Shul in Kensington Market.

Name
Michele Landsberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
August 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Michele Landsberg
Number
AC 294
Subject
Religion
Personal and family life
Buildings
Interview Date
August 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg and Aviva Heller
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
An award-winning columnist, staunch feminist, and tireless activist for social justice and progressive causes at home and abroad, Michele Landsberg was a well-known and prominent Torontonian during the mid to late 20th century. According to a biography posted by the University of Windsor where Landsberg was a Distinguished Visitor in Women's Studies in October 2003, her 'zest for wanting to change the world has its roots in her childhood: growing up as a Jewish girl in 1950s Toronto, where sexual stereotyping and objectification were rampant and overt anti-Semitism was acceptable.' As a result, Ms. Landsberg tackled a wide-range of related issues, often grounding her columns in events, places, and issues of particular interest to Torontonians.
Born on July 12, 1939, Ms. Landsberg attended Toronto public schools, spent time on a kibbutz in Israel, and graduated from the University of Toronto with honours in English language and literature in 1962. She was dissuaded from pursuing a master's degree by her male professors, and instead became a reporter at the Globe and Mail newspaper and launched a remarkable career as a journalist and writer. In addition to freelance and full-time stints with the Globe and Mail (1962-1965; 1985-1988), Chatelaine magazine(1965-1971), and the Toronto Star (1978-1983 and 1989-2003), Ms. Landsberg frequently appeared on television and radio and wrote three best-selling books She garnered awards, including the first National Newspaper Award for column-writing, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and the 2002 Governor-General's Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case, and received honourary degrees from several Canadian universities. She also served on the boards of many community organizations, such as CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights League) and Opportunity for Advancement.
After her retirement from the Toronto Star in 2003, Ms. Landsberg planned to pursue other writing projects and to spend more time at home in her garden and with her family: husband Stephen Lewis, three grown children, and two grandchildren. In September 2005, she was acclaimed as the new Chair of the Women's College Hospital Board when the Hospital ended its partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Beth Israel Anshei Minsk Synagogue
Landsberg, Michele
Scheinberg, Ellen
Heller, Aviva
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

Canadian author and journalist Michele Landsberg provides recollections of attending the Minsk Synagogue with her grandfather in the 1940s

Part Of
Mimi Wise fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 16; Item 11
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Mimi Wise fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
16
Item
11
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Date
[ca. 1969]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w (jpg)
Scope and Content
This item is an electronic copy photograph of Dr. Sydney Wise meeting Prime Minister Golda Meir in Jerusalem on a Hadassah tour to Israel. Dr. Wise is receiving an autographed photo from Golda Meir.
Name Access
Meir, Golda, 1898-1978
Subjects
Prime ministers--Israel
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Accession Number
2006-9-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
1
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1960]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Jacob Adler was born circa 1896, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Adler. He was married to Rose Adler. Adler was originally from Guelph, Ontario where he worked in the clothing business, and was a founding member of Guelph's Beth Isaiah Synagogue. In the 1950s, Jacob and Rose moved to Toronto. He was the Gabbai of Beth David Synagogue in Toronto for over twenty-five years and a supporter of Jewish and non-Jewish charities, schools and hospitals. Adler died on 15 November 1989, at the age of 93.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Jacob (Jack) Adler.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 2
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
2
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Jacob Adler was born in circa 1896, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Adler. He was married to Rose Adler (ca. 1899-1998). Jacob was originally from Guelph, Ontario where he worked in the clothing business, and was a founding member of Guelph's Beth Isaiah Synagogue. In the 1950s, Jacob and Rose moved to Toronto. He was the Gabbai of Beth David Synagogue in Toronto for over twenty-five years and both Jacob and Rose were supporters of Jewish and non-Jewish charities, schools and hospitals. Jacob died on 15 November 1989, at the age of 93, and Rose died on 30 October 1998, at the age of 99.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Jacob (Jack) and Rose Adler.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
3
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1960]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Rabbi Isaac Aronoff was born in Bialistock, Poland in 1908. He came to Canada in 1933 and was active in the Toronto Jewish community until his death in December 2004.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Rabbi Isaac Aronoff.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
5
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Irving Chapley was a North York city councillor and member of Metropolitan Toronto Council from 1974 until his death, making him one of the city's longest running representatives. He was born in 1924 and was married to Norma (née Levinson) and had two children: David and Rosanne. He was an active member of B'nai B'rith before entering into the political sphere. The Irving Chapley Community Centre and Park is located in his former North York ward on Wilmington Avenue. Chapley died on 21 June 1992, at the age of 68.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Irving Chapley.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
4
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1955]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Isadore Caplan was born on 4 February 1888, in Russia, to David and Ida Caplan. He settled in Canada in 1905. He married Sophie (née Gold) in 1910 and had four children: Arthur, Harold, Leonard and Evelyn (Herschorn).
Isadore was president of I. Caplan Limited, his realty company, which was located in the Caplan Building on Duncan Street. He was a founding member of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation and was on the board of directors for the Toronto Talmud Torah and the Mount Sinai Hospital. He was president of the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Toronto, and was affiliated with other organizations such as the Jewish Home for the Aged, Baycrest Hospital, the Primrose Club and the Mount Sinai Lodge AF & AM.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Isadore Caplan, which was used in the 1967 edition of the Who's Who in Canadian Jewry.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 6
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
6
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1960]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Jacob Egit was born 27 August 1912, in Poland, the son of Moses and Shindel Egit. He married Clara (née Schwartzbard) and had three children: Mary (Betel), Ryszard and Mark.
After completing his schooling in Poland, he became a journalist and was a staff member of the Polish and Jewish press and active in communal work in pre-war Poland. After the Second World War, Egit became associated with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRA) and the Joint Distribution Committee, and took part in the rehabilitation of Jewish persons from DP camps. He later became director of a book publishing firm.
In 1958 he came to Toronto with his family and became the associate executive director of the Israel Histadrut Campaign, a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Canadian Jewish Congress, secretary of the Organization of the Jews from Poland and a member of the Executive of the Toronto Jewish Cultural Association.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Jacob Egit.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
7
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1960]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Samuel Factor was born 26 October 1892, in Russia to Morris Factor and Rivka (née Sprincen) Factor. He came to Canada in 1902 with his family and attended McCaul Street School, Jarvis Collegiate Institute and went on to study law at Osgoode Law School. In 1917, he left his law practice to enlist in the University Officers' Training Corps and served with the Canadian Army in the First World War, attaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1918.
In 1922, he married Ida (née Levine) and had two children: Martin and Shera (Abrams). After Ida's death in 1953, he married Florence Factor.
In 1923, he was elected as a trustee to the Board of Education and was subsequently elected Alderman for Toronto's Ward Four in 1926, and again in 1929. In 1930, he became Ontario's first Jewish M.P., winning the Spadina riding for the Liberal Party. He was re-elected in 1935 and 1940. In 1945, he was appointed County Court Judge for York County, after serving as squadron leader during the Second World War. He died while still a practicing judge on 21 August 1962 at the age of 69.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Judge Samuel Factor, Q.C.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 8
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
8
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1955]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Max Federman was born 18 September 1902, in Poland, the son of Issie and Hinda Federman. His father moved to Canada in 1911, but it wasn't until he finished his education in Germany in 1920 that Max joined his family in Toronto. He later married Evelyn (née Raisberg) and had one child, Lillian (Skopit).
A union leader, labour Zionist and ardent anti-Communist, Federman was the manager of the Fur Workers Union of Toronto, Local 82 and Local 68. He was involved in a twenty-year battle with the Communist leadership of the International Fur and Leather Union, until they disbanded and merged with the International Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. He then became a member of the Board of the Fur and Leather Department, International Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union. He was an executive of the Toronto District Trades and Labour Council and the Trade Union Committee, and an active leader in the CCF, and later, the New Democratic Party.
Federman was involved with many Jewish community organizations and held several positions such as board member of Histadrut; board member of the Jewish Labour Committee; board member of the Borochov School; chairman of the Achdut Avodah Poale Zion in Toronto and actively involved with the State of Israel Bonds. In 1948, he was instrumental in bringing to Canada over 500 furriers and their families from displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria and Italy.
Federman died on 8 August 1991, at the age of 88.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Max Federman.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Related Material
See oral history #149 and #150 and CJC fonds 17, series 1 and 2, for more information on Federman's efforts in helping bring refugees into Canada following the Second World War.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
9
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Carl Fenwick was born to Sam and Dora Fenik. He had four brothers: Joseph, Martin, Earl and Reuben.
Scope and Content
Item is a portait of Carl Fenwick.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 18; Series 1; Item 10
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
18
Series
1
Item
10
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Reuben Fenwick was born on 15 March 1925, to Sam and Dora Fenik. He had four brothers: Joseph, Martin, Carl and Earl. In 1952, he married his wife, Florence, and had five children: Gordon, Karen (Unterman), Paul, Stanley, and Joel. He was the founder and president of Fenwick Automotive Products, a manufacturing company founded in 1949. He was instrumental in developing the family-owned organization into one of North America's leading remanufacturers, with a production facility employing 800 people in Toronto, as well as six Canadian satellite warehouses and one in the United States. As a philanthropist, he supported over forty charities, including Baycrest Hospital and the Starlight Foundation.
He was a founding member of Beth Torah Congregation in Toronto. Fenwick died on 17 March 2004, at the age of 79.
Scope and Content
Item is a portrait of Reuben Fenwick.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
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