This item is a copy print of Mr. and Mrs. Zacks with their son, Ronald of Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The photograph may have been taken at a tribute dinner at the Adath Israel Synagogue, in honour of Sam Davis.
Photo by Duke Studio.
Acquired in 1976.
Adath Israel Synagogue (Kirkland Lake, Ont.)
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.
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).
Sometime around 1919, the Family Welfare Committee was set up within the newly created Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto (FJPT) to perform social welfare work with Jewish families. Around 1931, the Committee was reorganized as an independent member agency of the FJPT and renamed the Jewish Family Welfare Bureau (JFWB). At the same time, Dora Wilensky (1902-1959), a professionally-trained social worker, was hired as the agency’s executive director. Throughout its existence, most of its funding came from the FJPT (later the United Jewish Welfare Fund).
Located at 179 Beverley Street, the JFWB’s core activities included: relief provision; helping families meet basic needs, such as medical care, heating and clothing; housekeeping assistance; counseling; and case work. The JFWB’s major concerns shifted over time from a rise of immigration and desertion cases in the 1920s to the dramatic increase of wife abuse, suicide, and unemployment cases during the Great Depression of the 1930s. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the JFWB sought ways of assisting soldiers and their families, such as, investigating special government grants to soldiers.
In an attempt to meet community needs, the JFWB initiated various programs, such as a Homemaking Club to teach women house management skills, and a Clothing Centre to provide families with inexpensive household goods. It also partnered with other local Jewish organizations in the early 1940s in the Liaison Project for troubled Jewish youth. In the 1930s, the Jewish Employment Service and Hebrew Free Burial Society became departments of the JFWB and, in 1941, the JFWB began guaranteeing loans for clients through the Hebrew Free Loan Association. In the same year, the Jewish Big Sister Committee became affiliated with the agency and the Jewish Big Brother Movement followed soon after.
In 1936, the JFWB became one of the first unionized social agencies in Canada when it formed the Staff Association with the Jewish Child Welfare Association (JCWA), another member of the FJPT. Although the JFWB’s focus was work with families and the JCWA’s focus was work with children, both agencies found it necessary at times to work with both children and families. In order to prevent service duplication and reduce confusion over casework responsibility, the Joint Application Bureau was set up within the FJPT to review all case work applications and determine the appropriate agency to provide assistance. However, a merger between the agencies was still believed necessary to improve service to the community and ease confusion. Discussions regarding the co-ordination of services between the JCWA and the JFWB began as early as 1935 and in February 1943, the JCWA and JFWB merged to form the Jewish Family and Child Services (JF & CS).
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of textual records and one architectural drawing documenting the programs, operation, finances, and special studies of the Jewish Family Welfare Bureau as well as its relationships with other organizations. Included are reports, meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, memos, budgets, statistics, theatrical scripts, newsclippings, and one architectural blueprint. A number of the records relate to special short-lived committees and projects that the JFWB participated in with other agencies, such as the Jewish Big Sister Committee, Jewish Big Brother Committee, Jewish Child Welfare Association, the Jewish Community Centre Association, the Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Association, and the Jewish Old Folks' Home.
Records have been arranged into the following 19 series: 1. Board of Directors; 2. Executive Director; 3. Jewish Federation Communal Council; 4. United Jewish Welfare Fund Men's and Women's Service Council; 5. Case Committe; 6. Joint Meetings and Committees; 7. Joint Application Bureau; 8. Homemaking Club; 9. Clothing Centre; 10. Liaison Project; 11. Operational statistics; 12. Finance and accounting; 13. Human Resources; 14. Special projects and studies; 15. Publicity; 16. Liaison with other social welfare organizations; 17. Canadian Association of Social Workers; 18. Welfare Council of Toronto; and, 19. Conferences.
Associated material note: for related records held at the City of Toronto Archives, see also: Welfare Council of Toronto records in the University Settlement House fonds (fonds 1024, series 658); and, Department of Public Welfare records in the Former City of Toronto fonds (fonds 200).
Jewish Family Welfare Bureau
Jewish Community Centre Association
Young Men's-Young Women's Hebrew Athletic Association (Toronto, Ont.) (subject)
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.) (subject)
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto (subject)
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director and the head of Jewish Family and Child prior to accessing some of the records.
See also: Jewish Child Welfare Association fonds (fonds 86); Jewish Family and Child Services fonds (fonds 79); Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto fonds (fonds 66); and, United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds (fonds 67).
Records relating to programs, committees and liaison with other organizations that continued after the formation of JF & CS are arranged with that fonds.