The National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) was the first national Jewish women's organization in Canada. The council had its beginnings among the urban elite, and played a strong role over the years in influencing public policy in such areas as relations with Israel, national unity, and the plight of world Jewry. The NCJWC is dedicated, in the spirit of Judaism, to furthering human welfare in the Jewish and general communities -- locally, nationally and internationally. It operated around three main pillars: service, education, and social action.
The National Council of Jewish Women was founded in the United States in 1893 by activist Hannah G. Solomon. In 1897, its first Canadian chapter was established in Toronto. In 1925, with seven chapters in Canada, a Canadian liaison position to the National Council of Jewish Women was created. A full-fledged “Canadian Division” of the NCJW was formed in 1934, with rules drafted at the first conference in Winnipeg three years later. Irene Samuel served as the Canadian Division’s first national president. In 1943, the division was renamed the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, and was officially incorporated in 1944, though it did not receive its letters patent until three years later. Even so, the NCJWC still retained some affiliation with the NCJW, whereby they paid per-capita dues to the Americans in return for program and administrative materials. In 1967 the NCJWC ceased these payments altogether, thereby separating from NCJW completely.
The early NCJWC focused on providing service to young girls and immigrants. They also involved themselves in contemporary politics through support for the war effort; the council donated vehicles to the Red Cross, turned Council House into a servicemen's centre, and even built several libraries at Canadian army camps. A national office opened ca. 1950 in Toronto, but until 1966 it moved to the national president's home city with every election. That year the office was permanently anchored in Toronto. In the 1950s and 1960s the council established Good Age clubs, the Irene Samuel Scholarship Fund, and developed the national Higher Horizons child-care and Newer Horizons elder-care programs. It expanded its overseas programs with support for the Israel Family Counseling Association and Ship-a-Box. The Soviet Jewry projects in the 1970s and 1980s reflected the council’s increasing emphasis on social action. Since the late 1990s, the council has focused on women's issues with efforts such as the Breast Self-Examination (BSE) program.
The NCJWC was governed by an executive council, led by a president. Vice-presidents were each responsible for one portfolio, such as membership, public affairs, etc., which were in turn made up of a number of national committees. The national executive was responsible for producing by-laws, guidelines, policies and procedures, as well as developing national service and social action programs. National also provided support and program materials to the sections, and held biennial meetings every other year from 1937 in cities across Canada. Its decentralized structure meant that while the national office remained in Toronto, officers of the executive have resided right across the country.
As of 1997, the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada was an affiliate member of the International Council of Jewish Women, a member of UNESCO Canadian Subcommission of the Status of Women, and a member of the Coalition of Jewish Women Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition for Agunot Rights. Prominent past presidents include Mrs. Harry (Irene) Samuel, Mrs. Lucille Lorie, Dr. Reva Gerstein, Mozah Zemans, Mina Hollenberg, Sophie Drache, Thelma Rolingher, Helen Marr, Bunny Gurvey, Sheila Freeman, Penny Yellen, and Gloria Strom. The council’s national office moved to Winnipeg in November, 1993. As of 2006, the council still had 5 active sections in Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.
NCJWC donated these records to the OJA after they had finished a historical exhibit and catalogue in 1997 called "Faith and Humanity," celebrating 100 years of NCJWC.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents NCJWC’s fundraising, social service and social action work in Toronto, in other cities across the country, and overseas. Records include conference and meeting programs, minutes, hand-written correspondence, speeches and reports, national newsletters, published histories, by-laws and policies, photographs, publicity material, historical subject files and artifacts. The records have been arranged into nine series: National biennial conventions and annual meetings; National Executive Council; National portfolios and committees; National program and event materials; National history research and subject files; International Council of Jewish Women; Toronto Section; Photos and audio-visual material; and National Council of Jewish Juniors, Toronto Section.
Physical description note: includes ca. 2470 photographs, 13 architectural drawings, 2 artistic drawings, 3 badges, 3 medals, 1 pin, 28 audio cassettes, and 1 videocassette.
National Council of Jewish Women of Canada
See also: photographs 3207, 3192, 4140, 4067, 4066, 4434; Accession 1977-8-7 for National Council of Jewish Women of Welland; National Council of Jewish Juniors, photographs 458, 459, 460, 463, 464, 465, 466, 468; MG2 B-1K
Records have been arranged by function, in accordance with information gleaned from NCJWC's organizational charts and annual reports
Accession consists of material documenting Pearl Mekler, her family, and her involvement in several Jewish organizations including Na'amat Canada and Bialik Hebrew Day School.
Included are: 41 photographs dating from Pearl's time with Na'amat Canada, 1 photo album that was given to Pearl by Marianne Ross, formerly of Vancouver Na'amat Pioneer Women; which features photographs of Na'amat Pioneer Women; a farewell letter to the Masada Club in Vancouver from the same; a DVD copy of a DVD recording titled Recalling the History of Bialik Hebrew Day School with Pearl Mekler (9 min 36 sec), a DVD produced by Na'amat Canada (Toronto) containing a Masada tribute video (25 min 54 sec) and photo archive, and an mp3 copy of a CD recording of the Freeman seder in 1970. The latter features the donor's father, Abraham Freeman, and two uncles, Israel and Harry, singing at the Pesach seder in 1970. It was recorded at the donor's apartment on Spadina Road.
Pearl Mekler was president of Na'amat Canada from 1981-1984. She and her husband, Peter, had three children: Mimi, Alan, and Jay. Pearl died on February 4, 2019.
Marianne Ross was involved with Vancouver Na'amat Pioneer Women before moving to Toronto. She died on 13 February 2018.
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Location of originals: USB flash drive, from which an mp4 copy of the Living History interview was made, is held by the donor. DVD of the Bialik Hebrew Day School, from which a DVD copy was made, is held by the donor.
General: A pdf copy of the booklet that came with the Freeman seder CD was made. The latter provides information about who sang at the seder.
ca. 70 photographs: b&w and col. ; 10 cm x 15 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records documenting the activities of "Council '63", a branch of the Toronto Section of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC). Types of records include a photograph album, a scrapbook, correspondence, souvenirs, meeting minutes, membership lists, program materials and budgets.
The "Council '63" Branch of the Toronto Section of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) was formed in 1963. Currently consisting of 20 members, the group was initially spearheaded by Barbara Norwich (d. 2011), and they met regularly in homes in the Cedarvale area. The group primarily did volunteer work, although it later evolved into a study group and book club.
Accession consists of records related to the history of the Dora Wilensky Salsberg Memorial Fund at Jewish Family and Child. Included are: a Canadian Jewish News feature ("Legacy of Life") on Dora Wilensky; a Dora Wilensky Memorial Fund pamphlet; correspondence from J.B. Salsberg regarding Sharyn’s ongoing role with the Jewish Communal Service Graduate Studies Scholarship Program; correspondence regarding the Fund between Sharyn Salsberg Ezrin and Richard Cummings, Ron Levin, Gordon Wolfe, and Sam Helfenbaum; fund and endowment statements regarding the Dora Wilensky Memorial Fund; and correspondence between Sharyn and the Toronto Jewish Congress Endowment Fund.
Also includes: records documenting the J.B. Salsberg Tribute Dinner held at Beth Sholom Synagogue on November 13, 1991; Canadian Jewish News and Toronto Life profiles of J.B. Salsberg; an interview of J.B. Salsberg by Sandy Naiman; J.B. Salsberg's eulogy by Irving Abella; and one DVD of a J.B. Salsberg video tribute.
Also includes three photographs of J.B. Salsberg and Dora Wilensky, and four issues of various JF&CS publications.
Dora Wilensky Salsberg was one of Toronto’s earliest professionally trained Jewish social workers and a leader in the Canadian social work field. She was born in Russia on July 28, 1902 to Hyman and Mary Wilensky. She had three younger sisters: Bertha (b. 1903) Jenny (b. 1905), and Fagel (b.1910). In 1907, the family immigrated to Toronto where Hyman worked at a cap factory.
Dora had the highest marks in the province of Ontario upon graduating from high school and graduated as a gold medalist in modern history from McMaster University in Toronto. She initially pursued a career in teaching, but had difficulty securing a job due to discrimination. When her only job offer from Oshawa was given on the condition that she change her last name, Dora decided to become a social worker.
After studying at the New York School for Social Work and working briefly in Chicago, Dora returned to Toronto and took up the position as Executive Director of the Jewish Family Welfare Bureau in 1931. When the JF&CS was formed in 1943 she served as its first Executive Director. Under her leadership, JF&CS gained a reputation as being one of the most advanced and progressive agencies in Toronto. She was among the first to hire a psychiatric social worker and to introduce play therapy as part of treatment; she remained on top of advances being made in the field in other countries and encouraged her staff to regularly engage in professional development activities.
Dora attempted to enter the United States for professional development in the fall of 1948. She was refused entry by the commissioner of immigration and naturalization. Her aim was to attend a postgraduate course in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. In spite of numerous official letters of endorsement, her application for admission was denied.
Dora was also actively involved in various professional organizations. She was a member of the National Board of the Canadian Association of Social Workers, served on the Board of Governors and various committees of the Canadian Welfare Council, and was active on the Social Planning Council (formerly the Welfare Council of Toronto). In addition, she was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Toronto’s post-graduate course in social work. For her service to the field, she earned both the King George V and Coronation medals.
In 1927, Dora married J. B. Salsberg. Although she legally adopted his name, she always used her maiden name professionally. They did not have any children. On March 20, 1959, Dora passed away from cancer at the age of 56.
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).
In 1924 the first official Toronto annual Hadassah Bazaar was held at the Masonic Temple at Davenport and Yonge. Over the years, venues changed with increasing demands for space as the popularity of the event grew. These locations included Varsity Stadium (1945-1948), the Automotive Building at the CNE (1949-1999), and currently the CNE’s National Trade Centre (Direct Energy Centre).Toronto pioneered the mammoth volunteer-run bazaar concept and was followed by other cities – Montreal (ca.1932), Vancouver (1951) and a number of smaller communities.
Admission fees were documented from 25 cents in 1934 to $4 in the 1990s.In most instances throughout the years, reduced or free admission was offered to preschoolers and seniors.
The early bazaars sold used clothing, hand sewn articles and home cooked kosher specialties. The 1930s saw the introduction of “carnival elements” such as fortune telling and bingo, and social events that included dinners, floor shows and dancing to the music of well known bands. The “Beautiful Child Photography Contests”, fashion shows, art exhibits, and the Hadassah Exposition and Bazaar Cooking Schools were inaugurated during the same decade.
During the Second World War, the Red Cross and war efforts were incorporated into bazaar activities. In the 1950s auctions were introduced.1963 saw the first Eilat Lighthouse – a colossal advertising pyramid. From the 1970s to the 1990s, new features such as clothes boutiques, mini-stores, and disco contests appeared.
Proceeds from the fairs and bazaars from the Bazaar’s inception until recent years rose exponentially from a thousand or so dollars to hundreds of thousands. These funds have generally been directed to medical and welfare services for needy women and children in Israel. From 1939-45, some of the monies were directed to war projects in Palestine, England, and Egypt. Recent beneficiaries include Asaf Harofe Rehabilitation Hospital, Nahalal (a co-educational secondary school focusing on farming technology), and medical research at the Hebrew University.
Enthusiastic crowds of up to 60,000 continue to line up at 6 am on the last Wednesday of October every year. The City of Toronto has recognized the Bazaar since 1989 with it’s proclamation of “Hadassah – Wizo Bazaar Day”.
From modest beginnings, Toronto’s Hadassah Bazaar has evolved into what is billed as the “largest one day bazaar in the world”.
The 84th was the last bazaar held in October 2008.
Scope and Content
The series consists of records in the form of textual documents, photographs, posters, scrapbooks and audio- visual recordings that document the history of the Toronto Hadassah Bazaar from 1924-2006.These include activities such as social events, meetings, rallies, as well as records including press clippings, memorabilia, correspondence, and financial reports.
028 - [Unidentified], Ella Fleischmann, [Unidentified], Israel Booth at Hadassah Bazaar, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario [ca. 1965].
Physical description note: Includes 2472 photographs, 3 posters, 2 audio recordings, 4 video recordings, 2 artifacts, and 8 scrapbooks.
The textual records are aranged in chronological order and then by activity such as planning, correspondence and publicity.
5541 photographs, 25 x 20 cm and smaller, and other media
The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto was incorporated in Ontario in March 1917 to coordinate the fundraising activities of Jewish charitable, philanthropic, and social service agencies in Toronto. In 1918, ten separate agencies were funded by the FJPT. By 1937, fourteen agencies were funded. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the development of several newer Jewish aid, education, and medical care organizations created both increased need for resources and growing competition for ever-more scarce dollars. Within a very few years this funding crisis forced a major review of the organization.
During 1936 a series of special meetings of leading individuals were held to examine the income and expenditures of all Toronto Jewish agencies and also to speculate about the need for a new Toronto Jewish "Community Chest" as the sole fund-raising organization for a federation of all Jewish agencies including the FJPT. In 1938, the new United Jewish Welfare Fund was formally constituted. Added to the FJPT's previous list of Toronto client agencies in 1938 were: the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Hebrew National Association, the Jewish Immigrant Aid Association, the Mizrachi Society, the Toronto Free Loan Association, the Geverkshaften, and Old Folks Home, and the United Palestine Appeal, raising the total number of agencies to 22.
When the State of Israel was established in 1948, the UJWF's annual fundraising campaign was combined with the CJC's United Palestine appeal to form a new, combined campaign named the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). In 1967, the UJA name was legally changed to the United Jewish Appeal of Metropolitan Toronto.
In mid-1976, the organization's public name was changed to the Toronto Jewish Congress. Although initially thought of as a merger between the UJWF and the CJC, the actual result was the expansion of the UJWF responsibilities to include local education and welfare services previously shared with the Canadian Jewish Congress, Central Region. The UJWF, however, remained the legal senior entity.
In 1991 the public name was again changed to the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto and in 1999, to UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. By this date, over 30 beneficiary and affiliated agencies, 49 affiliated schools and five Federation departments were fully or partly funded by the UJA Federation.
In June, 2010, the organization altered its legal structure, with the senior legal entity becoming the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 25 series: Annual Meetings, Annual Reports, Board of Directors, Constitution Committee, Executive Committee, Officers Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Administration Committee, Social Planning Committee, Committee on Capital Needs and Planning, Central Committee on Scholarships in Aid, Joint Committee of the BJE and UJWF Study on Jewish Education, Nominations Committee, Pension Fund Committee, Coordinating Committee, Special Ad Hoc and Temporary Committees, Annual Campaign, Client Agencies, Joint Committee of the CJC and the UJWF, Committee on Community Organization, Sub-Committee on Construction and Administration of Community Schools, Joint Committee on Fundraising, Personnel Committee, Community Leadership Development Council, and Israel at Fifty Community Celebration.
Over 4500 photographs and a variety of other media are managed within Series 17, Campaign records.
For exact details about the contents of individual series and sub-series, please review their scope and contents notes.
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto
United Jewish Appeal
Toronto Jewish Congress
Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
For records of the predecessor of the UJWF, see Fonds 66, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto fonds.
Further detailed documentation of the proposed merger between the UJWF and the CJC (creation of the TJC) may be found in Fonds 67, Sub-sub-series 5-5-1, Files 171 and 221.
Further documentation on the United Jewish Welfare Fund may be found within Fonds 9, Series 7, records of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society.
For further detailed records of a key community leader's involvement with the UJWF see Accession 1982-8-8, the records of Samuel Godfrey, 1943-1972.
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.
Accession consists of architectural drawings for the construction of the Northern YM-YWHA at 4600 Bathurst Street (1960) as well as floor plans for the proposed re-development of the site in 1999. Also included are submissions for the competition to design and build the Jewish War Veterans of Canada memorial at the Sherman Campus (2011).
UJA Federation meeting minutes and general correspondence are closed for 10 years from date of creation. Contracts and donor agreements are permanently closed.
Accession consists of records documenting the Coppel and Cooper families of Galt (now Cambridge) and Toronto respectively. Coppel family records include family correspondence, photocopies of Moses Kappel's discharge papers from the Austro-Hungarian military (1884), B'nai Israel Synagogue sisterhood meeting minutes, financial records, photographs, Hadassah booklets and programmes, and a photo album documenting the closing of B'nai Israel Synagogue in 1985. Also included are records relating to Elizabeth Cooper (née Coppel)'s involvement in Canadian Young Judaea and her work as a camp counselor at a Jewish day camp near Kitchener-Waterloo (Judaean Day Camp/Camp Ruach). These records include correspondence, publications, activity schedules, lists of camp counselors, and a Young Judaean scarf. Coppel family records also include marriage and burial records of Aaron Coppel, audio cassettes of an oral history interview conducted with Cy Coppel in 1976, and military records documenting Max David Simonoff's service in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War. Finally, included is a Farband Shule (Folks School) program book (1927) and class photo (ca. 1931). Identified in the photograph is Ethel Raicus (first row, third from the right).
Cooper family records include digital photographs of Sam Cooper and the weightlifting club at the YMHA in Toronto (1930s), portraits of Jacob Cooper (Cooperberg), a school photo of Sam and Max Cooper, and a photo of Hilda Cooper.
Finally accession consists of program books for various events, including a Canadian Jewish Congress song book, an Israel Dance Theatre at the Royal Alexandra, and a Queen Esther Purim play.
Aaron Selig (Archie Aaron) Coppel (Kappel / Koppel / Cappell / Kappele) was born to Moses Kappel and Perl (nee Pistenfeld) in Galicia in 1882. He came to Canada in 1903 and lived with a landsmen family, the Siegels. Mr. Siegel was a horse dealer who took Aaron under his wing and taught him the horse trade. Aaron married Mr. Siegel's daughter, Chaya Geitel (Gertrude) Seigel, in 1905. Aaron and Geitel had seven children: Helen, Rose, Newt, Cyrus ("Cy," born in 1911), Les, George, and Harry. After marrying, Aaron and Geitel remained in Galt, and Aaron continued dealing in livestock. Although he was eager to assimilate into Canadian society (he gave his children British names and spoke with no accent), the family kept kosher and Aaron hired itinerant Hebrew teachers for the children.
Cyrus Coppel married Channa "Anna" Simonoff on 25 August1946. Anna was born in Russia to Avraham Dov and Chashe Bryna Tzaitzeck. Anna had three siblings: Sarah Merle, Faigle (died en route to Canada), and Mordecai Doved. She immigrated to Ottawa in 1914 with her family. An uncle already living in Ottawa had changed his last name to Simonoff and the family decided to change their name to Simonoff as well. Avraham worked as a tailor in Russia and likely continued in this profession in Canada. The family moved to Toronto sometime after 1919 and was actively involved in the Labour Zionist movement. Anna was in the milliner's union and two of her aunts, Slaava Raicus and Esther Cohen, were members of Club One (Pioneer Women). Anna and Cyrus had two children together: Bryna (24 February 1949-12 January 2006) and Elizabeth (b. 16 Dec. 1950). Cyrus initially worked as a mechanic, but later worked in the office of an auto shop and traded in auto parts. He also traded in livestock as a hobby. Cyrus was one of the founders of the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Galt. Initially, synagogue services were held in the homes of local residents, such as the Spring family; however, a building was finally purchased in 1946. After the synagogue closed, the Torahs and plaques went to the synagogue in Kitchener.
Jacob Cooperberg (Kupferberg, Cooper) came to Canada around 1910 from Kielce, Poland. His wife and children (Max, Sam, and Aidel or Ida) remained in Poland, waiting for Jacob to earn enough money for them to come to Canada as well. His family was unable to join him until after the First World War had ended, arriving in 1920. Jacob and Sarah had three more children in Canada: Irving, Joey, and Hilda. Jacob worked as a peddler in Toronto and later opened a scrap yard, Cooper Iron and Medal. The family lived on Oxford Street in the Kensington Market area.
Sam Cooper married Kay Gernstein in 1948. They had two children together: Neil and Donna (married name is Speigel). Sam initially worked as a tailor, but later worked as a scrap dealer. Neil married Donna Coppel and also works in the scrap trade. Donna is a librarian.
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 1 photo album, 7 photographs (tiff), 3 photographs, 2 audio cassettes, and 1 scarf.
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.
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; and a variety of candid shots in many locations including outside the Frankel family home in Biblis, Germany.
Textual records include: essays and programs 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 personal and professional activities of Janice Benatar. Personal records include a family tree, speeches Janice delivered at the Lipa Lippers Toastmaster's Group meetings, a Sephardic cookbook, immigration papers, and a Sharon School Reunion invitation for alumni living in Toronto. Also included are photographs of Janice with her family, performing in a ballet production with the Academy of Ballet and Jazz, with her newborn son, at her son's bar mitzvah at Chabad Flamingo, and with the keys to her first home in Thornhill. Also identified in photographs are: Elan Levitan, Viviane Benatar, Michael Benatar, Claudia Benatar, Rachel Pasternak, and Samuel Pasternak.
Also included are speeches, invitations, event programs, and video recordings of Book Of Life events as well as a bookmark that was designed by artist Enya Keshet for Book of Life honourees. Finally, accession also includes Professional Advisory Committee meeting minutes (2009-2015) and breakfast seminar presentations (2014-2015).
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical description note: includes 7 photographs, 4 DVDs, 200 KB of textual records, and 1 bookmark.
In addition to his ongoing involvement with Clanton Park, the Canadian Jewish Congress Archives, the Aliyah Support Group, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Shomrai Shabbos and Adas Israel, Sol Edell undertook special projects on behalf of a wide array of Jewish organizations. These include cultural (Toronto Cantorial Scholarship Fund), educational (Netivot Hatorah and Yeshivat Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot), religious (Union of Jewish Orthodox Congregations), social welfare (Association of Jewish Seniors and Co-Ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly) and Zionist (Canadian Friends of Yeshivat Hakotel and State of Israel Bonds) organizations.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting Sol Edell's involvement with a wide variety of Jewish educational, social and religious organizations and institutions in Canada, the United States, and Israel. Included are meeting minutes, publications, reports, photographs, correspondence, invitations, programmes, financial records, an architectural drawing, and a sound recording. While many of these organizations such as Eitz Chaim, Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot (educational), Mizrachi Organization of Canada, Emunah Women (Zionist) and Beth Jacob V’Anshe Drildz (synagogue) are orthodox, others such as Associated Hebrew Day Schools (educational), State of Israel Bonds (Zionist) and Co-ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (social welfare) have no religious affiliation.
Physical description note: includes 26 photographs, 1 audio cassette, and 1 architectural drawing.
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
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.