Accession consists of material documenting Cantor Harold Klein. Included are audio recordings that belonged to Klein, sheet music, and other textual records.
Cantor Harold Klein was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn in 1929. The child of eastern European immigrants, Klein was the second of three sons. When he was four, the family moved to Williamsburg. It was there that he attended yeshiva.
As a child, Klein was inspired by Rabbi Levi Greenwald, Rabbi Dovid Rabinowitz, and Earl Spero to pursue his vocation as a cantor. He studied with Cantor Noah Schall and [Frederick?] Pugel. In a 1984 interview with author Mark Slobin, Klein credited both with his later success.
In the course of his career, Klein sung for several congregations. The first was Sutton Place Synagogue, aka the U.N. Synagogue, where he introduced congregational singing. In 1968, he moved to Toronto and became cantor at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue. After several years at Beth Emeth, he went to Shaarei Shomayim, where he sung for many years.
In addition to regular singing, Klein occupied a number of important posts within the cantorial community. In the 1970s, he was elected to the executive council of the Cantors Assembly of America. At the time he was elected, Klein was serving as the president of the Toronto Council of Hazzanim.
Klein was also a published author. After a friend encouraged him to write a songbook, he formed Mydas Music Company, which published his Let's Sing and Daven songbook in 1985. The songbook, which was accompanied by a ninety-minute cassette of Klein singing to piano accompaniment, won praise from a number of cantors. A sequel, Let's Sing and Celebrate,was released in 1987.
In 1988, the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary inducted Klein as one of its honourary fellows.
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Harold Solomon Kaplan (1895-1973) was a Toronto-based architect who, in partnership with Abraham Sprachman in the firm Kaplan & Sprachman, was well-known for the design of Art deco and Art moderne movie theatres in the 1930s and 1940s and for designing buildings for Jewish communities across Canada from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Kaplan was born 10 Sept. 1895, in Bucharest, Romania. At the age of three, he and his widowed mother, Tillie Hohan, moved to London, England, and in 1902 they moved to Toronto where his mother subsequently married Frank Kaplan. While in his teens, Kaplan spent time in Philadelphia living with an uncle and studying draftsmanship. Upon returning to Toronto, Kaplan attended Toronto Technical School where he took courses in architecture and building construction. He also served an apprenticeship with the architect Henry Simpson. In 1919-1920, Kaplan worked for the firm of Page & Warrington, before establishing Kaplan & Sprachman with Abraham Sprachman in 1922. In 1923, he married Dorothy Spain. They had two daughters, Phyllis (Pepper) and Ruthetta (Reiss).
Kaplan & Sprachman were best known for their more than 300 movie theatre projects completed from the 1920s to the 1960s, designing and renovating theatres across Canada in progressive "modern" styles and using innovative building materials. In 1937, they were awarded the bronze medal in the Sixth Biennial Toronto Exhibition for their interiors to the Eglinton Theatre (400 Eglinton Ave. W.) in Toronto, considered to be the finest example of their Art deco design work.
Over the course of their careers, they designed many synagogues for the Jewish community, such as the Anshei Minsk and Shaarei Shomayim synagogues in Toronto, Beth Israel Synagogue, Edmonton, and Beth Israel Synagogue in Vancouver. They also designed the new Mount Sinai Hospital, the Oakdale Golf & Country Club, the Jewish Home for the Aged (Baycrest), and the Jewish Community Centres of Toronto and Hamilton. Their design for the Oakdale Golf & Country Club was chosen as a Canadian entrant in the Arts Competition of the 14th Olympic Games in London, 1948.
In addition to the projects already mentioned, Kaplan & Sprachman worked on retail stores, warehouses and factories, apartment buildings, and single family residences. Their partnership continued until 1965, when the firm of Kaplan & Sprachman was dissolved as of 30 October 1965. Kaplan continued to work as an architectural consultant for several years after this date. Harold Kaplan died 1 April 1973 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Kaplan was a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Ontario Association of Architects, and the Province of Quebec Association of Architects. Kaplan & Sprachman's contribution to the architecture profession was recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects when both Kaplan's and Abraham Sprachman's names were entered on the Honor Roll for prominent members of the profession, established by the association in 1989.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents Kaplan's work as an architect from the 1930s to the 1960s with Kaplan & Sprachman and some of the consulting work he undertook after the dissolution of the partnership in 1965, primarily through architectural drawings and photographs. The preponderance of the materials relates to a series of renovations of Loew's Yonge Street Theatre (189 Yonge St., Toronto, now the Elgin Theatre) and the Uptown Theatre (764 Yonge St., Toronto, just South of Bloor St.) between the 1930s and 1960s, and Kaplan & Sprachman's design of the Primrose Club (Russell Hill Rd at St. Clair Ave., Toronto) in 1958-1959. There is also a large number of photographs by commercial photographers of movie theatres designed or renovated by Kaplan & Sprachman.
Project records are arranged chronologically, with sub-sub-series defined for successive projects at the same site. Some of the materials document project proposals which were not carried out (e.g., proposed renovations of the Winter Garden Theatre).
Other series in the fonds contain business correspondence and newspaper clippings concerning Kaplan & Sprachman projects, and a small amount of personal material such as family photographs, awards Kaplan received over the years for his design work and a colour photocopy of the invitation to Kaplan's stag party in 1923.
Includes: 132 photographs (131 b&w, including 8 negatives; 1 col.), 8 cm of textual records, and 1 bronze medal.
Kaplan, Harold S., 1895-1973
Kaplan & Sprachman (Firm)
Loew's Yonge Street Theatre (Toronto, Ont.)
Primrose Club (Toronto, Ont.)
Uptown Theatre (Toronto, Ont.)
Winter Garden Theatre (Toronto, Ont.)
Some of the blueprints and drawings are torn or water-damaged. All of the architectural drawings are currently stored in rolls.
Accession 2003-7-1 contains additional photographs of buildings designed or renovated by Kaplan & Sprachman, as well as a copy of a published inventory of Kaplan & Sprachman movie theatre projects, compiled by Mandel Sprachman from Kaplan & Sprachman records
Mina Sprachman, widow of Abraham Sprachman, discusses Kaplan & Sprachman in oral history recording AC-142
Kaplan & Sprachman records can also be found in the Mandel Sprachman fonds, at the City of Toronto Archives
Accession consists of material documenting the personal life and family of Myra Merkur. The bulk of the accession consists of photographs and home movies documenting family activities and an outing to High Park and the Toronto Zoo, holiday celebrations (such as, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and New Year's Eve costume parties), milestones (such as, Myra's wedding and graduation), cottage life at Gamebridge Beach and Camp Wishiwami, and family holidays and travel (such as to Israel, Blue Mountains in Collingwood, and Grossingers in New York).
Also included are sound recordings of a speech made by David Merkur to Nomi Tepperman at her Bat Mitzvah (17 May 1998) and of an interview with David Merkur who explains to his tweleve year old granddaughter what life was like when he was twelve (1 Nov. 2000).
Finally, accession includes a photocopy of a tribute Myra wrote for her late mother Lena Charlotte Gula documenting Lena's life and Myra's memories of her.
Myra (Gula) Merkur was born to Lena (nee Neimen) and Jack Gula in Toronto in 1933. She has one sister, Elaine Wolfish. As a child Myra and her family lived with her maternal grandmother, Betty "Brindel", at 234 Markham Street. They later moved into their own home at 1 Enid Crescent in 1949. Myra's father initially worked as a tailor but later went into the sales business selling furniture and insurance. Myra's mother initially stayed at home, but obtained work in the mid-1950s as a saleswoman at Morgan's department store.
Myra married David Israel Merkur in 1954. David was a civil engineer and lawyer. He later started a family real estate business that involved buying, selling and maintaining properties. Myra and David had three children together: Shauna Tepperman (b. 1956), Lorne Merkur (b. 1957) and Jordan Merkur (b. 1962).
Myra completed her undergraduate degree from Atkinson College (York University) around 1975. She obtained her Master of Education from OISE in 1982. Myra worked as an ESL teacher with the Toronto Public School Board and was involved as a volunteer and leader with the National Council of Jewish Women, JF&CS, and the Jewish Women's Federation (Women's Philanthropy).
Physical description note: includes 1 folder of textual records, 2 sound recordings (wav), and 7 DVDs