Accession consists of records related to Gordon Kushner's activities as music director of Beth Tzedec Congregation. The accession includes Kushner's compositions for V'al Kulam (1982), Mi Sheberach (1983), and Tikanta (1987) along with a collection of compositions by Srul Irving Glick, Paul Kowarsky, and Sid Robinovitch. Of particular note is a composition commissioned by the Canadian Jewish Congress for the Jewish Music Festival 1960. Recordings of selections from Robonvitch's compositions are included in an audio cassette. Also included are correspondence, meeting minutes, repertoire and music lists, and choir membership lists, and program books related to the activities of the Beth Tzedec choir and its performances, such as its participation in various Jewish music festivals. In addition, there are records related to Mel Sach's resignation from the Toronto Jewish Cultural Council as program coordinator; bulletins of Beth Tzedec Congregation, and Jewish Music Committee meeting minutes.
Gordon Kushner (1916-2007) was the music director of the Beth Tzedec Congregation (previously Goel Tzedec) in Toronto from 1948 to 1999. Born in Winnipeg, Kushner trained as a pianist under Gwendda Owen Davies and appeared with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1940. After serving as a bandsman in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, he resumed his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto under John Weinzweig in theory and conducting in 1946. As music director for Beth Tzedec Congregation, he composed several choral compositions for the synagogue and coordinated the Beth Tzedec Choir's participation in various concerts and events across Toronto, including the Jewish Music Festival sponsored by the Music Committee of the Toronto Jewish Cultural Council of Toronto Jewish Congress. Kushner was active in the cultural activities of the Toronto Jewish community. He was a member of the education and cultural committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1950 and became co-chair of the central region music committee in 1967.
Kushner was also a music educator and during the 1960s taught at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music Summer School, which he became director of in 1969. He served as the Principal and Vice-Principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1978 to 1991.