Saul Cowan (1910-2002) was the seventh of nine children born to Zvi Hirsh (Harris) Cohen (1872-1954) and Chana Leah (Annie) (née Gollom) Cohen (1873-1960). His siblings were Woolf Cowan (Colvin) (1896-1987), Kate Cowan (b.1898) (m. Wener), Jack Cowan (1900-1992), Rivka (Reva) Cowan (1902-ca.2002) (m. Lieberman), Moe Cowan (b.1904), Jeanne Cowan (b.1906) (m. Kallman), Norman Cowan (b. 1909) and Miriam Cowan (b. 1919) (m. Rose).
The Cowan family immigrated to Toronto from England with their six oldest children circa 1908. Harris worked as a tailor in England and as an operator in men's clothing factory Tip Top Tailors in Toronto.
Saul graduated from the University of Toronto in 1931 in honours philosophy.
In 1932, Cowan married Lillian Rosenthal (1910-1978), the daughter of Morris (1883-1967) and Nessie (Celia) (née Soren) Rosenthal (1881-1969). Together, they had two children, Michael (b. 1939) and Trudy (b. 1941). The Rosenthal family ran a boarding house on Hanlan's Point and had a place at Belle Ewart. In 1945, Morris and Celia purchased Wapaska Lodge on Muskoka Bay just outside Gravenhurst and ran it as a family resort from 1948-1965.
Lillian, who was a public school teacher, passed away in 1978 and the following year Saul married Libbie Aiken (d. 2006). Libbie had been the head physiotherapist at the Toronto General Hospital during the late 1940s.
Saul pursued a career with the North York Board of Education serving as both trustee and chairman from 1958 to 1976. He was also very involved with the Jewish community and the growing North York community. He was also involved with organizations such as B'nai Brith, Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (CPPNW), and the North York Social Planning Committee. He was a founder of the York Finch General Hospital.
Trudy studied physical and occupational therapy at the University of Toronto but changed career direction when she moved to Calgary in 1969 and became involved in historical organizations such as the Glenbow Museum, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, and the Lougheed House Conservation Society. She married Leonid Luker (b. 1937) in 1982.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the Cowan (Cohen) family and their connected branches including the Rosenthal, Soren, Gollom, Aiken, and Altshuller families. The records originated from Saul Cowan, his first and second wives, Lillian Rosenthal and Libbie Aiken, and his daughter, Trudy Cowan Luker. Records include photographs of family members at graduations, weddings, school, religious events, camping activities, and milestone celebrations. Textual records include traditional and email correspondence, marriage certificates, passports, immigration documents, family histories, theatre and concert programmes, and newspaper clippings. Many of the records document Saul Cowan's personal and professional activities. The majority of the material relates to the Cowan and Rosenthal families.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION NOTE: Includes 386 photographs, 2 audiotapes, and 6 objects.
Four books from the collection have been removed and integrated into the OJA's library holdings. These include titles Have I Ever lied To You Before? by Jerry Goodis, My Outlook by Jack Cowan, When Partners Become Parents by Carolyn Pape Cowan and Philip A. Cowan, and Front Page Challenge - History of a Television Legend by Alex Barris.
Sol Edell had a large family and a large circle of friends and aquaintenances. Consequently, he was invited to many circumcisions, weddings and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. He also set up several memorial funds in memory of his sister and wives.There are also documents in this sub-series that relate to family members.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of correspondence, receipts, diplomas, photographs and films documenting various family celebrations, vacations and home life. There is a selection of invitations, cards and benchers sent by the Edell, Weinstock and Hoffman families as well as ones that they received from family and friends. In addition, there are newspaper clippings and notices of the deaths of Edell family members and friends as well as correspondence and receipts relating to memorial funds set up in their memory. The sub-series also contains films of family and friends taken at home, on vacation and at family celebrations.
Physical description note: includes 10 photographs, 7 film reels, and 1 audio reel.
Gottschall Frankel (1832-1918) and his wife Mina Meyer (1841-1921) were born in Biblis (Hessen) and Aschaffenburg, Germany respectively. Gottschall died in Biblis and is buried in Alsbach, Germany. Mina passed away in Toronto and is interred in the old Holy Blossom Cemetery.
Leo Frankel (1864-1933) was one of nine children born in Biblis, Germany to Gottschall and Mina. His siblings were Salmon (1874-1906), Benno (d. 1921), Ike (d. 1950), Louis (1879-1952), Maurice (1865-1935), Sigmund (1866-1936), Ida (1870-1952) (m. Levy) and Herman (1871-1939). Three of the siblings are buried in Montreal, and the rest in Toronto.
Leo immigrated to Canada in 1881 at the age of seventeen and in 1886 established Frankel Brothers (scrap metal and processing) in association with his brothers. The siblings were eventually succeeded by several sons of the original partners. The company subsequently became Frankel Steel Ltd. and Steel Structures Corporation.
Leo married Helena "Lena" Mayer of Florsheim, Germany on July 2, 1890 in New York City. They had three sons: Egmont Leo (1891-1964), Carl Milford (1894-1984), and Roy Hecker (1896-1983). The family lived at 504 Jarvis Street, the former Goodman residence in Toronto, from 1908.
Carl married Dorothy Jacobs (1903-1987) who was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents were Bernard Jacobs of Texas and Henrietta Altheimer of Arkansas. Carl and Dorothy had two daughters: Nancy Jean Frankel (b. 1928) and Carol Nina Frankel (1930-1999).
Carl was a prominent member of the Toronto Jewish community, active in Holy Blossom Temple, several Masonic lodges, and was a founder of the North Toronto Y.M.-Y.W.H.A.
His daughter Nancy attended Jarvis Collegiate Institute and was confirmed at Holy Blossom Temple. She married Darrell (Drapkin) Draper (1922-1992) of Fort William/Port Arthur in 1949. Darrell had studied at the University of Toronto and became a lawyer and judge. The couple's three children are Dr. Paula Jean Draper (b. 1953), a historian; Phillip Jacobs (b. 1954), a real estate lawyer; and Kenneth Lewis (b. 1957). Collectively the siblings have six children and several grandchildren. Nancy Draper has been a long time volunteer at the Ontario Jewish Archives.
Nancy's sister Carol married Mandel Sprachman (1925-2002), the son of a renowned architect Abraham Sprachman of the firm Kaplan and Sprachman. Mandel followed his father into the profession, specializing in cinemas and theatres, including the award-winning restoration of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres (1985-1989).
The Frankel family genealogy is wide in scope, extending from Germany and England to the United States and Canada. One notable ancestor with German lineage is Israel Beer Josephat who changed his name to Paul Julius Reuter and founded the Reuters News Agency.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the Frankel and Draper (Drapkin) families and their connected branches, such as the Jacobs (English in origin), Josephat, Meyer, and Altheimer (all German in origin) families. Records include: photographs of the exterior and interior of the Frankel home at 504 Jarvis Street, Toronto; formal individual and group photographs taken in Toronto and other cities of family members at various gatherings and of Nancy Frankel's confirmation class at Holy Blossom; pictures of Darrell Drapkin (later Draper) and his Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity brothers at the University of Toronto; group photographs of members of the Palestine Lodge of Masons of which Carl and his brother Egmont were members; as well as a variety of candid shots in many locations including outside the Frankel family home in Biblis, Germany.
Textual records include, essays and programmes concerning Holy Blossom, publications from Camp Wabi-Kon and Jarvis Collegiate yearbooks, and material from the Ulyssean Society at Hart House, the Oakdale Golf and Country Club, and the Carmel Chapter of Hadassah documenting Nancy's involvement with these organizations.
Objects include a souvenir matchbook from the wedding of Darrell Draper and Nancy Frankel and a membership coin and badge in a leather case documenting Carl Frankel's involvement with Masonic lodges.
Physical description note: Includes 250 photographs, 3 objects,1 CD, and 1 video cassette.
4 photographs : b&w and col. ; 77 x 57 cm or smaller
1 VHS cassette
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records related to David and Anna Lang. Included are calendars from their pharmacy, two wedding portraits and VHS transfer of their wedding film from 1946, a photograph of Anna and her daughter Karen, a graduation ring and program book for Anna's graduation from the Ontario College of Pharmacy, and a photograph of the Ontario College of Pharmacy in Detroit, Michigan.
The records were donated by Don Perrier, a family friend. They were entrusted to him by Karen Lang upon her death.
David Lang (9 Jan. 1912-11 Dec. 1984) was the son of Abraham Leon Layefsky and Molly Forman. He had three siblings: Fay, Hyem and Sarah. He married Anna Shaw (ca. 1916-17 Nov. 2002) on 16 June 1946 at the Beth Medrosh Hagodol Chevra Tehillim (McCaul Street Synagogue) in Toronto. David and Anna were both practicing pharmacists and jointly owned Lang's Pharmacy on 745 Pharmacy Ave. Anna gradutated from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1939. The couple had one child, Karen Lang.
Accession consists of material documenting the Silberg family's immigration to Ontario, family life in South Africa and Ontario, education, communal involvement in Hamilton, and pharmacy businesses. Included are photographs, correspondence, ephemera from the pharmacy businesses (such as bags and a name tag), newspaper clippings, certificates, invitations, flyers, school transcripts, architectural drawings for Night-Day Pharmacy on Ryman Road East, cookbooks, and photo albums. Also included is a JNF book for a Negev dinner honouring Hilton and Shirley Silberg as well a copy of Beth Jacob Synagogue's 125th anniversary book (the Beth Jacob Family Album).
Hilton Silberg was born in Durban, South Africa in 1951 to Sam and Brina Silberg. Sam worked in the retail furniture business and Hilton has three siblings: Sheryl, Lynn and Brett. Hilton was very active in sports and played soccer, cricket and swimming. At age 11, he started competing in ballroom dancing with his sister Lynn. At age 16, he and Lynn were the South African Juvenile Ballroom Champions and runners up in the Latin American Championship. In highschool, Hilton started his own DJ business which he continued through his first years of pharmacy school.
Shirley (nee Gitlin) Silberg was born in Durban in 1951 to Max and Isabel Gitlin. Max was a physical medicine specialist and Isabel ran his practice. Shirley has two siblings: Brian and Barbara. Shirley was very active in her school's netball, field hockey and swimming teams.
Hilton and Shirley met at the Natal Pharmacy School in Durban and married in 1974. After marriage, Hilton completed his one-year mandatory service in the South African army as an officer. After his service, he and Shirley went on a ten month long backpacking trip which ended at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. This trip was an eye-opener for them and they realized that they no longer wanted to live in a country with apartaid politics. They didn't want to raise children in South Africa. They chose Canada as their destination and applied three times for entry. Thier application was rejected all three times, but Hilton staged a "sit-in" at the Canadian embassy in Pretoria and an immigration officer eventually met with him and overturned thier rejection. They arrived in Canada in August 1977.
They went to the University of Toronto School of Pharmacy for two years to re-license in Canada. In the evenings they worked in a pharmacy owned by their Canadian sponsor. In 1981, Hilton and Shirley partnered with their Canadian sponsors and opened the Amhurst Pharmacy in Dundas. In 1982 the pharmacy's name was changed to Hilton's Pharmacy. In 1987 Shopper's Drug Mart purchased Hilton's Pharmacy. The Silberg's stayed on to operate two of the franchises in Dundas. In 1992, Hilton and Shirley left Shppers Drug Mart to open the DayNight Pharmacy on the east Hamilton Mountain. This was the first pharmacy in Hamilton to remain open until midnight. Their pharmacy eventually expanded to include five stores. In 2007, they sold their business to Rexall Pharma Plus.
Hilton and Shirley have three children: Mark, Maxine and Brad. Hilton and Shirley were very active in Hamilton's community. Hilton was involved in a variety of organizations including, Beth Jacob synagogue, Shalom Village, and Jewish National Fund Hamilton. Shirley has volunteered with various Hamilton JCC programs, the Hamilton North End Breakfast Program, the 'Out of the Cold' Program, Goldie's Place day program for adults at Shalom Village, and the Jewish National Fund Hamilton.
Physical description note: includes ca. 80 photographs, 4 cookbooks, 1 architectural drawing, 3 bags, and 1 name tag.
Jewish Family & Child was established in 1943 from the amalgamation of a variety of different social agencies formed as early as 1868. These included the Ladies Benevolent Fund, the Free Burial Society, Jewish Family Welfare Bureau, Jewish Children’s Bureau, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Ladies Maternal Aid Society. Much of its funding and support after its inception came from the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
The first executive director of the agency was Dora Wilensky. She was a trained social worker who served for twenty-eight years, until her untimely death from cancer in 1959. Jerome Diamond took over in 1960 and Gordon Wolfe succeeded him in 1981. Ron Levin briefly replaced Wolfe after his retirement in 2003, and was succeeded in 2006 by Dr. Richard Cummings who then retired in 2015. As of 2017, Brian Prousky is the organization’s current executive director.
During the early years, fees were established, but the agency never refused to assist clients because of their inability to pay. JF&CS became one of the first agencies to rely on trained social workers. It was also the first social agency in Canada to become unionized.
Over the years the agency’s role has changed and it has expanded significantly, in terms of its staff and services. After the Second World War it played a pivotal role supporting the Holocaust orphans who came to Canada as refugees, particularly in the area of locating foster parents for these children. By 1957, the agency hired its first counsellor and became a member of the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto. The year 1968 marked the start of JF&CS’ new program involving the use of a mobile treatment centre to reach out to Jewish street kids and in 1974 they established the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre.
In 1981, JF&CS was mandated by the Province of Ontario as a Jewish children’s aid society responsible for the care and protection of all Jewish youth in the GTA. In 1983 they established the Just-A-Second Shop at 3101 Bathurst Street, which took in used goods from the community to pass on to needy families. Two years later they established the Henry G. Goodman Home for developmentally handicapped children on Wilmington Avenue. The following year marked the opening of the Elm Ridge Group Living Residence for elderly people. In 1988, they opened a special shelter for abused women and children, and in 1994, they introduced their Homework Club for kids.
The current mission of Jewish Family & Child is to support the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education, and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values. Their services include counselling, rehabilitation and support, foster care, family services, and community services. These services are offered in a host of different languages including Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, French, and English.
JF&CS is an independent organization that receives its funding from a variety of different sources such as UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, United Way Toronto and York Region, the Government of Ontario, and individual donations.
As of 2017, JF&CS has nearly 130 staff providing more than thirty community services with a budget of almost $20 million. Their main office is located in the Lipa Green Centre for Community Services at 4600 Bathurst Street. They also maintain offices and run services out of their downtown branch at 35 Madison Avenue, their York Region branch inside UJA’s 1 Open Door at the Lebovic JCC, and their Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre in midtown Toronto.
Jewish Family and Child
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Diamond, Jerome D.
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director and head of Jewish Family and Child prior to accessing the records.
See also: Jewish Child Welfare Association fonds (fonds 86); Jewish Family Welfare Bureau fonds (fonds 87); Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto fonds (fonds 66); and, United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds (fonds 67).
Accession consists of photographs of Sandra (née Title) Samuels; a hanger from Shiffer-Hillman and a published book "The Prominent Jews of Canada" that belonged to Sandra's in-laws, Kate and Alex Samuels.
Samuel (ca. 1882-1929, Russia) and Gussie (nee Moscovitz) (b. ca.1884, Romania) Fishman, immigrated to Welland, Ontario from Romania. Both arrived in the United States as teenagers sometime around the turn of the century. Samuel and Gussie were married in the United States and by 1920 had immigrated with their young family to the historic township of Crowland in Welland County. Here they opened and operated a men's clothing store. Together they had six children; Molly (b. 1909, USA), Abe (b. 1911, USA), Morris (b. 1916, USA), Ruth (b. 1915, USA), Ann (b. 1920, Ontario) and Ethel. Morris married Pauline and lived in St. Catherines, Ruth married Nate Oelbaum and lived in Tucson, Arizona, Anne married Alec Rothman and lived in Port Colborne, Ethel married Eddie Matchtinger and lived in Toronto and Abe never married. Yeva Fishman, the niece of Samuel Fishman married Morris Turk. Her father was (Frank Fishman?) and her mother was Sara Leah Fishman.
Molly Fishman married Harry Title (Teitelebaum) (b. ca. 1903). They had three children, Greta (nee Title) Greisman, Sandra (nee Title) Samuels and Stephen (m. Carole Hillman, niece of Ben Hillman). Harry Teitelbaum was the son of Israel and Frumeth Teitelbaum. He was born in Gdansk, Poland (b. ca., 1903). Harry Title had four younger siblings; Lloyd, Birdie (m. Witlin), Arthur and Lorelle (Lieba) the youngest who was born in Toronto. Harry arrived to Canada shortly after the First World War and worked in the garment industry. He and his brother Arthur founded the Title Dress Company in the late 1920s and operated the business out of 355 Adelaide St. West. In the late 1980s, the business moved from this location to Adelaide and Bathurst.
Sandra Title (b. Oct 27, 1936, Toronto), the middle daughter of Molly Fishman and Harry Title, married Lawrence Samuels. Together they had five children Joanna, John, Noah, Tom and Caroline. Lawrence was the eldest son of Alex Samuels (d. 1966) and Kate (nee Goldberg) Samuels. He had two younger siblings Herbie and Florence (m. Bill Goodman). Lawrence's father Alex Samuels immigrated to Canada from Dubrovna, White Russia (present day Dubrouna, Belarus). He immigrated to Canada with his parents Samuel and Chana Samuels and his younger siblings Sol, Ben, Riva and Polly. Alex and his brothers Sol and Ben established Reliable Toy Company around 1929 on Carlaw Ave. They sold the company in 1990.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
1 folder of textual records and architectural drawings
1 videocassette (ca. 27 min.)
Scope and Content
Accession consists of material documenting the Eker family. Included are: a videocassette of home video footage; a memoir written by P. M. Eker, Glen Eker's father, in 2006; and architectural drawings of Eker residences at 1050 College Street in Toronto and 5034 Esplanade Avenue in Montreal.
Glen Eker was born in Toronto, Ontario to Paul Eker and Dorothy Horwitz. He grew up in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto before moving with his family to Hamilton. He received two master’s degrees (one in sociology, the other in political science) from McMaster University and a third master’s degree (in library science) from the University of Toronto.
Glen's wife, Deborah Pekilis, was born in Montreal and lived there until her parents moved to Toronto. She was the librarian for the Jewish Genealogical Society and sat on the Hamilton Historical Board. She is currently a writer.
Glen has worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant at McMaster and has taught at Ryerson University and Mohawk College. At present, he works as an estate and genealogy researcher.
Glen has published a book on Karl Marx, five indexes of Jews in Canada, and one index of Amish and Mennonites in Canada. His genealogy articles have appeared in various magazines and his short stories and poems have appeared in print as well.
Glen has worked on his family genealogy for a number of years. His paternal family line derives from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland while his maternal line derives from Byelorussia and Romania. He is descended from the Horwitz and Strachman families on the latter.
Accession consists of personal records of Hyman (Ben) Benjamin, and records documenting Arthur Benjamin's miltiary service. Records include ca. 30 photographs of three generations of the Benjamin family, Rosh Hashanah greeting cards, Hyman Benjamin's birth certificate and first aid certificate. Records also include corespondence between several branches of the Canadian government and Arthur's mother, Annie, regarding the circumstances of Arthur's death; his grave site and his army pension.
The records were donated to the Archives by Nancy Rose, daughter of the great-nephew of Hyman (Ben) Benjamin.
Hyman "Ben" Benjamin (ca. 1884-1969) was born in Leeds, England to Lazuras and Annie Benjamin. He married Hilda (Holds) Benjamin, and they immigrated to Canada in 1911. He worked as a car mechanic. They had two daugthers, Laura (b.1911) and Florence (b.1912).
Arthur "Abraham" Benjamin (ca.1882-1917) was Hyman Benjamin's brother. He immigrated to Toronto from Leeds some time after 1911 and worked with Hyman as a car cleaner. He joined the 198th Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1916, and was killed in the First World War.
Accession consists of material documenting the activities of Ben Zion Shapiro and his family. The bulk of the records document the Shapiro family's involvement in Young Judea. Young Judea material includes: yearbooks, photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, event programmes, song books, newsletters, and two Camp Biluim flags made by Bunny Shapiro. One flag contains Camp Biluim's crest (1951) and the other one was created for Camp Biluim's colour war and contains the text "We will try and we will succeed Camp Biluim" (1954?). Also included is a VHS tape containing a copy of the Toronto Zionist Council's video about Camp Shalom (1991?). Of note are minute books maintained by Roy Shapiro for the Toronto Young Judea Administrative Board (1928-1934) and for the Leadership Club (1940-1948).
Accession also contains material relating to Roy and Ben Zion's involvement with the following organizations: the Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care), B'nai Israel Beth David Congregation, Beth Tzedec's Mispacha Program, Beth Tzedec's Israel Action Program, Congregation Beth Haminyan, and Holy Blossom Temple's Department for Jewish Living. These records include, minutes, correspondence, newsletters and publications, evaluation reports and other reports. Also included is a demographic report entitied, "Rapid Growth and Transformation: Demographic Challenges Facing the Jewish Community of Greater Toronto" (1995), material from a conference at the University of Toronto on the university's partnership with Israel, CHAT alumni directories, and a CHAT book entitled, "Voices: Jewish Teens of the 90's". Of note are buttons, photographs, reports and correspondence documenting Bunny and Ben Zion's trip to the Soviet Union on behalf of the CJC's Committee for Soviet Jewry.
Finally accession includes material documenting family activities of the Shapiro and Sherman family. Included is a transcript of Bessie Sherman telling her life story (1978), haggadot, PowerPoint presentations created by Ben Zion for his grandchildren and for a family reunion outlining the family history of his family and Bunny's family. There is also a video of Ben Zion presenting his PowerPoint at the Michalski / Cohen family reunion. Also included are family films and videos containing footage of Bunny and Ben Zion's wedding and honeymoon, Camp Biluim, Young Judea events, Bunny on Machon, family wedding anniversaries and birthday parties, trips to Israel, the United States, and Europe as well as footage of the Cousin's Club. Also included is a VHS tape containing a recorded segment from CityPulse News featuring the family's Pesach festivities in 1995.
Photo identification: Back row, left to right: Ray Markus, Michelle Landsberg, Menachem ?, Frank Narrol. Front row, left to right: Gilda Mitchell, Bunny Shapiro, BenZion Shapiro, Malka Rabinowitz.
Ben Zion Shapiro was born in Toronto in 1931 to Roy and Beck (nee Cohen) Shapiro. He has a younger brother, Morden (Mort) Shapiro (b. 1940). His father worked as an office manager at Rotstein Furniture and Maple Leaf Cleaners and his mother worked as a legal secretary until marriage. Roy was active in a number of organizations including: Young Judea, Sons of Jacob Society, Toronto Camera Club, a founding member of Beth David Synagogue, Coordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (Circle of Care) and President of the Association of Jewish Seniors. Beck was active in Young Judea and Pioneer Women (President of the Golda Meir Club).
Ben Zion received a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and attended the Jewish Agency Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in Jerusalem, Israel (1951-1952). He has worked for a number of organizations throughout his career, including: Young Judea (he was Director of both Camp Shalom (1962-1969) and Camp Biluim (1954-1956)), B'nai Brith Youth Organization, University Settlement, St. Christopher's House and Director of the Novomeysky Centre in Jerusalem (1957-1961). He was also Professor and Associate Dean of Social Work at the University of Toronto and three times Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Ben married Bunny (Bernice) Shaprio in 1955. Bunny was born in 1934 in Noranda, Quebec to Irving and Bessie (nee Consky) Sherman. Bunny attended public school in Noranda, Noranda High School and Forest Hill Collegiate in Toronto, University of Toronto (BA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (M.Ed. in Special Education), and the Jewish Agency Institute for Jewish Leaders from Abroad (1952-1953).
Bunny graduated from the first Camp Biluim Institute for leadership training in 1951 and worked with Ben Zion at Camp Shalom as Camp Mother in 1962 and from 1964-1969. She also worked at Camp Biluim from 1955-1956. In 1983, Bunny and Ben Zion went to the Soviet Union to visit Refuseniks on behalf of the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region.
Bunny and Ben have two children: Ayala and Ilan. Since Ben Zion's retirement in 1996, he and Bunny have been living in Jerusalem for half of each year. In 2015, they moved full-time to Jerusalem.
Physical description note: includes ca. 300 photographs (256 tiff), 2 PowerPoint presentations, 1 textual record (doc), 4 buttons, 2 flags, 5 VHS tapes, and 18 film reels (8 mm).
88 photographs (44 jpgs): b&w ; 12 x 20 cm or smaller and other material
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records, photographs and films that document the Laufer family and Gordon Laufer's military service during the Second World War. Records include an ISCOR program from the Minsker Synagogue, newspaper clippings relating to Gordon's military service, photographs of Gordon's grade school classes at Lansdowne Public School, early life growing up in the countryside, wedding, and military service overseas, including one of a passover dinner for military personnel. The verso of the scanned photographs were also scanned to show the annotations and dates on the originals. The scanned photographs and documents were originally maintained together in an album. The two parchments likely document Isaac Goldman's membership in the Beizetchiner mutual benefit society. Finally, the films document the wedding of Gordon Laufer's step sister Sylvia Snider to Abe Sapoznik (1950), a passover family dinner (1947) and a family trip to Crystal Beach (1949).
Fanny Laufer, daughter of Isaac and Esther Goldman, was born in Toronto in 1920. Her parents immigrated to Toronto in 1903 from Poland after coming here on their honeymoon. Upon arriving in Toronto, Isaac worked for Eaton’s, but soon opened a dry cleaning and pressing store on Teraulay Street, which moved to 469 Dundas Street West in 1922. Fanny married Gordon Laufer (1915-1981) on January 25, 1946 at the Henry Street shul.
Gordon served in the Irish Regiment of Canada during the Second World War. He originally found work as a furrier, but later worked for the liquor board. Together, he and Fanny had two daughters; Gloria (b. 1947) and Sandy (b.1950). Gordon passed away in 1981 and Gloria passed away in recent years.
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Physical Description Note: Includes 5 scanned documents (jpg), 2 parchments, 3 film reels (ca. 20 min.), and 1 folder of textual records.
Accession consists of textual records, photographs and audio recordings documenting the lives of Dick Steele, his wife Esther and friend Bill Walsh. The materials are mostly correspondences between Dick and Esther during his internment at the Don Jail and Ontario Reformatory in Guelph, and from Dick and Bill's military service overseas during the Second World War. They also include correspondences between Esther and Bill, Bill and Anne Walsh, "Jack" and Esther, and other family and friends. Some of the letters show evidence of being censored. There are news clippings in English and Yiddish about the family from various newspapers including the Canadian Tribune (a Communist Party paper). There is a letter Esther wrote to campaign for Dick's release from internment, part of women's activism in this period. There is also a photocopy of a memoir written by Moses Kosowatsky and Moses Wolofsky "From the Land of Despair to the Land of Promise" ca. 1930s.
The photographs include Dick and Bill in the army during the Second World War, a signed picture of Tim Buck addressed to Esther and the twins and a photo of Dick delivering a speech related to the Steel Workers. Also included is a recording of edited sound clips of Bill and Esther talking about Dick, Esther speaking about the letters, (how she received letters and flowers from Dick after he had already been killed), Bill reading a letter Dick wrote to Esther that he left with friends in England to send her in the case that he was killed (which he was), recordings of "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2 compiled by Leib Wolofsky's (Bill's nephew), and 5 audio recordings by Adrianna Steele-Card with her grandparents Bill and Esther. There is also a microcassette labelled "Joe Levitt."
The accession also includes the stripe of a German corporal that Bill captured as a prisoner, peace stamps and an early copy of Cy Gonick's A Very Red Life: The Story of Bill Walsh, edited by Bill.
Richard (Dick) Kennilworth Steele is the name adopted by Moses Kosowatsky. He was born in 1909 in Montreal to Samuel Kosowatsky and Fanny Held. He lived in a laneway off Clark Street below Sherbrooke where his father collected and recycled bottles. He grew up with his siblings Joseph, Mortimer, Matthew, Gertrude and Edward.
Bill Walsh (Moishe Wolofsky) was born in 1910, to Sarah and Herschel Wolofsky, the Editor of the Keneder Adler (Montreal's prominent Yiddish newspaper). He attended Baron Byng and then Commercial High School where he met Dick Steele. Bill recalled that Dick denounced militarism in the school when a teacher tried to recruit students to be cadets.
Bill moved to New York City in 1927. His brother, who was living there, helped him get a job as a messenger on Wall Street. He also worked in the drug department at Macy's while attending courses at Columbia University in the evening. Dick worked on a ship for a year and then joined Bill in New York City in 1928. Dick worked at a chemical plant called Linde Air Products while also studying in the evenings at Columbia University.
In 1931 Dick and Bill boarded a ship together in New York bound for Copenhagen. Together they travelled across Europe, witnessed a Nazi demonstration in Breslau, Germany and found work in Minsk and Moscow, Russia. This trip inspired them to become Communists. In 1933 Bill's father was on a Canadian trade mission to Poland, which he left to "rescue" his son from the Bolsheviks. Bill agreed to return to Canada after being advised to do so by the Comintern. He then changed his name to Bill Walsh to protect his family.
In 1934 Bill moved to Toronto. He worked as the Educational Director for the Industrial Union of Needle Trade Workers and the Communist Party where he met Esther Slominsky/Silver, the organization's office manager. Dick joined Bill in Toronto soon after. Bill introduced Dick and Esther who then married. In 1940, Esther gave birth to twin sons Michael and John Steele. Esther was born in Toronto in 1914 to Joseph Slominsky and Fanny (Blackersany?). Her siblings were Bella, Eileen, Morris and step-sister Eva. Her father Joseph was a cloak maker and Esther also worked in the garment industry. Her mother Fanny passed away in 1920 at the age of 26 from tuberculosis.
Dick was a metal worker and became a union organizer in the east end of Toronto. He was the head organizer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and the Steel Workers Organizing Committee of Canada (SWOC) until 1940 when he was dismissed for being a Communist. Bill helped organize Kitchener's rubber workers into an industrial union and was also an organizer for the United Auto Workers of Windsor, Ontario.
Jack Steele, an alias for Dick's brother Mortimer, fought with the Mackenzie-Papineau Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Jack Steele was recalled to Canada in October 1937 to rally support for the efforts in Spain, returned to the front in June 1938 and was killed in action in August. Some of Dick's letters to his wife Esther are signed "Salud, Jack" and were likely written in 1940 when the Communist Party (CP) was banned by the Canadian Government under the War Measures Act.
In November 1941, after Mackenzie King's call for enlistment, Dick wrote to the Department of Justice to ask permission to join the army. He never received a reply. On 1 April 1942 Dick's home was raided and he was interned at the Don Jail until September 1942 when he was moved to the Ontario Reformatory in Guelph. Esther wrote a letter to Louis St. Laurent, Minister of Justice to appeal on his behalf.
Major public campaigning by communists and the wartime alliance with the USSR after 1941 shifted public opinion toward the CP and the Canadian Government slowly began releasing internees in January 1942. Dick was released in October 1942 and enlisted at the end of the month. Dick died on August 17, 1944 in Normandy, France. He was a tank driver in the Canadian Army.
Bill was similarly arrested in 1941, spending time in jail and then an internment camp with other members of the CP. He joined the Canadian army in 1943 and fought in Holland and Belgium. Bill was first married to Anne Weir who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1943 just before he enlisted. The family believes this may have been due to drinking unpasteurized milk. Encouraged by Dick Steele to take care of his family should he pass in the war, Bill married Esther Steele in 1946. They had a daughter named Sheri and were members of the United Jewish People's Order. For 20 years Walsh worked for the Hamilton region of the United Electrical Workers (UE). Bill remained a member of the CP until 1967 when we was expelled for criticizing another union leader. He died in 2004. Esther passed away in 2010 at age 96.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
RELATED MATERIAL NOTE: Library and Archives Canada has the William Walsh fonds and MG 28, ser. I 268, USWA, vol.4, SWOC Correspondence, has various letters from Dick Steele ca. 1938. Museum of Jewish Montreal has an oral history with Leila Mustachi (daughter of Max Wolofsky, Bill's brother) where she speaks about Bill, Dick and Esther.
USE CONDITION NOTES: For "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2, some contributors stipulate that recordings are restricted to personal use only and must not be used for any commercial purpose.
Accession consists of material documenting the Edell family, Rabbi Weinreb, Paul Edell's printing company, the She'arim Hebrew Day School, and the Edell family's involvement with the Mackziki Hadas Congregation. Accession also includes records documenting Rabbi Kelman's involvement with the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda synagogue. Records include photographs of family gatherings and family members participating in a Balfour Declaration march in 1917, correspondence, flyers, invitations, and genealogical information and family reminiscences collected by Sara Kelman. Also included are two printing blocks from Paul Edell's printing company and one stamp used by Rabbi Weinreb. Of note, is a flyer and correspondence documenting the Husiatyner Klaus Beth Israel synagogue and its closure. The bulk of the material is in English, but a small amount is in Yiddish or Hebrew.
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Includes 9 photographs (tiff), 2 photographs, 1 stamp, and 2 printing blocks.
Accession consists of textual records and photographs pertaining to the interrelated Bogomolny and Greenspan families of Niagara Falls. Included is correspondence and speeches relating to Hadassah, a 1957 Sisterhood cookbook, a Hadassah-WIZO 75th anniversary Commemorative Book, a syngagogue yearbook 1960-1961, B'nai B'rith certificates of Abe Bogomolny's, programmes and invitations to special events, two picture postcards and other family photographs, newspaper clippings relating to the Bogomolnys, and immigration documents from 1928. Also included is a senior undergraduate research paper written by Gerald Enchin (originally of Kitchener), entitled, "A Locational Analysis of the Kitchener-Waterloo Jewish Community," 1971.
Many of these records were collected and created by Jennie Greenspan Bogomolny, mother of the donor. They were passed to Brenda upon Jennie's death and kept until they came to the OJA.
Brenda Bogomolny Enchin is the daughter of Jennie Greenspan and Abe Bogomolny. Jennie was 8 years old in 1928 when she came to Canada with her mother and three brothers. Jennie's mother, Faige Bracha Pomerantz, posed as a widow coming to marry Morris Greenspan, even though they were already married. Morris had come ahead to Ontario where his brother Samuel was already settled. The accession includes documents from the rabbi in Poland attesting to Faige's widowed status so that she could get into Canada. Jennie's older brother was Joseph (father of Eddie and Brian Greenspan). Her younger brother, Abram, is living in Dundas as of 2008. The youngest child was Samuel, who was born in Sept. 1927 just a month after Morris had left Poland, so he met his youngest son a year later. Samuel died at age 48 in 1975.
Brenda’s mother Jennie married Abraham Bogomolny in 1946. He came to Niagara Falls in the 1930s, and with his brother Hymie opened the Niagara Rug Company, with braided and woven rugs. They were the biggest suppliers to department stores like Woolworths and Eaton’s. There was a fire in May 1968. Jennie was an elementary school teacher, she taught at Memorial School where the Greenspan children went, and Battleford Elementary School, which now gives out the Jennie Bogomolny Citizenship Award every year.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Accession consists of material documenting the Act to End Violence Against Women organization. Included are: meeting minutes of the executive board; a ledger containing executive board waivers of notice; meeting minutes and resolutions from the yearly conventions; photographs of Act to End Violence Against Women members; correspondence with other organizations; correspondence, research material, public reactions, and ephemera from various campaigns; a commemorative booklet for a B'nai Brith cantorial concert; a scrapbook on the formation of the B'nai Brith Women Claire Morry Chapter; constitutions, constitutional amendments, reports, budgets, resolutions and other records of Act to End Violence Against Women; member lists and honour roll of past chapters; material and correspondence with B'nai Brith Washington; UJA material concerning assimilation and intermarriage and 2001 Jewish census data results.
The first Canadian chapter of B'nai Brith Women International was formed in Windsor, Ontario in 1923. Other chapters were soon formed throughout Eastern Canada and additional chapters were established in Winnipeg and British Columbia after 1949. The organization was initially administered by the American B'nai Brith Women. In 1976, it finally became autonomous (although still affiliated with the American agency) and changed its name to B'nai Brith Women of Eastern Canada. In 1981, its name was changed again to B'nai Brith Women of Canada. In 1995, the organization became known as Jewish Women International of Canada (JWIC). In November 2011, the organization underwent a final name change to Act to End Violence Against Women.
JWIC is committed to social change, with a particular focus on improving the lives of women and their families. In the 1980s, the agency initiated programs to counter domestic violence and began operating safe housing for Jewish women and children known as ASTEH (Alternative Safe Temporary Emergency Housing). JWIC also runs the JWI Residential Treatment Centre for emotionally disturbed youth.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Language note: Material in English, Russian and French.
Accession consists of records related to the life and career of David Green and the Jaffey family. Records include sound and video recordings of events, Goodwill Sales accounting ledgers, meeting minutes from the Jewish Canadian Military Archives and Museum, David Green's military ephemera, manuals and reports of the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees and Bequest and Endowment Fund, and Jaffey family correspondence and photographs. Records also include certificates of appreciation awarded to David Green, mainly from UJA Federation.
David Green (1919-2014) was born in the Junction in west Toronto. He served as a private in the Canadian army as part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was captured and designated MIA when he was held as a POW in Belgium. He became a member of General Wingate Branch 256 Jewish Canadian Legion. In the mid-1940s he married his wife, Sylvia (nee Jaffey) (d. 2010) and they had a daughter, Miriam. He was a longtime volunteer for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. In 1990, he was one of the first individuals to establish an Endowment Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto.
The Jaffey family consisted of Kaby Jaffey, his wife, Nellie, and their children Sylvia, Jess and Albert.
Physical description note: Accession also consists of photographs and textiles.