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13 records – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
William Stern fonds
Toronto Jewish community photographs series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 33; Series 4; Item 9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
William Stern fonds
Toronto Jewish community photographs series
Level
Item
Fonds
33
Series
4
Item
9
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1936]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 14 x 13 cm and 10 x 12 cm
Admin History/Bio
Both Joseph B. Salsberg and Bill's father, Moishe Stern, were from Lagov, Poland.
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Joseph B. Salsberg and his wife, Dora Wilenksy. They are both seated in a chair.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Subjects
Married people
Repro Restriction
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.
Accession Number
1991-5-6
Source
Archival Descriptions
Name
J.B. Salsberg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Source
Oral Histories
Name
J.B. Salsberg
Number
AC 071
Subject
Labor movement
Labor unions
Women
Demonstrations
Interview Date
Sept. 1985
Quantity
1
Total Running Time
071A: 44:50 minuets 071B: 35:55 minuets
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, newspaper columnist and a man who dedicated his life to Yiddishkeit and the advancement of social justice. He was active in various Jewish organizations, including; the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. In 1938 he was elected as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943. He is well remembered by contemporaries, such as Sam Lipshitz, as a "champion of the people', committed to social justice, the plight of the working-class, and the preservation of Jewish culture.
This oral history includes Salsberg's personal reminiscences on the Toronto Jewish community, the Polish Jewish community and issues related to women's labour and the unions in the garment industry.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
Side 1:
0.0-6.30: Joseph Baruch Salsberg was born in Poland in 1902 to Abraham and Sara Salsberg. Abraham migrated to Toronto in 1910 and Joseph followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913.
6.30-18.39: Prior to 1913 Poland was primarily a peasant and agricultural society with the majority of the Jewish population living and working as tradesmen in the villages. Salsberg discusses the difficult relationship between the Poles and Jews under the power of the Czar.
18:40-24.14: Salsberg discusses the Canadian government’s collaboration with the CP Railroad to launch advertising campaigns attracting potential immigrants to come and live in Canada.
24.22-33.24: Salsberg discusses the experiences of his mother as a young Jewish immigrant and her adjustment to life in Toronto.
33.25-37.30: Salsberg discusses the Ward, an area between University and Yonge as being the heartland of early Jewish settlement. He describes the area as being the natural choice for Jews to live, the rents were cheap, Synagogues and community centers were nearby as were and their places of employment. The center for Jewish shopping was Kensington Market with shops along McCaul and Baldwin Streets, shopping at Eatons was reserved for “special occasions”.
37.32-39.50: Salsberg discusses the hardships faced by Polish immigrant Jews arriving in Toronto after World War One.
39.52-44.45: Salsberg discusses his father an Orthodox man who eventually went into the junk business and became one of the founders of the first Talmud Torah, his mother was active in the Ladies Auxillary of the School and remained it’s President for 50 years.
End
Side 2:
0.03-5.37: Salsberg discusses the religious and cultural divisions that dominated social and communal living in Poland under Czarist rule and the resulting division between Jews and non- Jewish Polish immigrants in Toronto
5.38-8.28: Salsberg discusses the example set by his mother on matters of religious observance and importance of the woman’s role in the family.
8.29-11.08: Salsberg discusses his mother’s activities outside the home. Sarah Salsberg was the first woman to challenge the burial custom of not allowing husband and wife to be buried side by side. Sarah won her challenge and was buried alongside her husband.
11.10-12.28: Salsberg discusses his orientation towards labor Zionism and his parent’s reaction to his political views. Sarah Salsberg was a “broad-minded” woman and friendly with those active in the movement, while his father clung to his own group.
12.29-13.53: Salsberg discusses the garment trade and the organizers who become members of the Ladies Garment Workers Union. Salsberg goes on to speak of his mother’s approval and secret admiration of the women in the Ladies Garment Union.
13.54-14.44: Salsberg discusses the role of Jewish immigrant women using the example of the Eatons strike in 1911 led by Jewish tailors, both men and women.
14.45-15.00: Salsberg discusses the Triangle Fire in New York as the impetus that led to the birth of the ILGWU in America and the ILGWU’s influence on the Canadian Garment industry.
15.03-15.40: Salsberg discusses the New York Yiddish Dailies the “Forward” and Tagblat delivered and read daily by Toronto’s Jewish community as another factor in the establishment of the Ladies Garment Workers Union in Canada.
15.41-20.39: Salsberg discusses the introduction by Eatons to changes in production methods that would have tailors, mostly men, taking on the job of women finishers. The refusal by the tailors to take away the jobs of women would lead to the first sit down strike by tailors in Canada.
20.40-21.20: Salsberg discusses the recognition of women’s rights in the early garment workers unions. The Dressmakers section of the ILGWU in Toronto was predominantly women who led strikes and fought on picket lines.
21.21-23.44: Salsberg discusses Union sentiment within the Jewish community and the enforcement by some of the more militant women on community shopkeepers to use Union labels on their products.
23.45-24.39: Salsberg discusses single Jewish women who confronted with financial hardship worked in predominately Jewish factories.
24.40-26.07: Salsberg discusses the economic nature of the garment industry, the competition and undercutting in the industry factories and the continuous strikes and stoppages by employees opposed to wage cuts.
26.08-31.15: Salsberg discusses the important contributions in the areas of the labor force, education and social responsibility made to Ontario by Jewish immigrant women. Women worked alongside men in order to improve their economic position and establish themselves within the community. Jewish women placed a great emphasis on education and as a result a high percentage of their children would graduate from institutions such as Harbord Collegiate and Jarvis Collegiate with scholarships. Salsberg speaks of his late wife Dora Wilensky who graduated from Jarvis Collegiate with the highest mark of any girl student in Ontario earning a five-year scholarship to McMaster University and becoming a prominent Social Worker within the Jewish community.
31.16-33.09: Salsberg discusses the differences in opportunity for young Jewish men and young Jewish women. As the only boy in the family he was expected to set the path by going to a theological school in NY but to the dismay of his parents he became radicalized in leftist politics.
33.10-35.55: Although Salsberg’s parents were never involved in the labour movement and disagreed with his leftist philosophy, they were pleased by his election in 1938 as Alderman on Toronto’s City Council and his election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943.
End
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses the events that led to the birth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in America and the ILGWU's influence on the Canadian Garment Industry.

In this clip, Joseph Salsberg discusses Canada

Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Events and organizations series
Israel Histadrut of Toronto sub-series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 18; Series 3-2; File 6
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gordon Mendly fonds
Events and organizations series
Israel Histadrut of Toronto sub-series
Level
File
Fonds
18
Series
3-2
File
6
Material Format
graphic material
Date
Feb. 1961
Physical Description
3 negatives : b&w ; 10 x 13 cm
Scope and Content
File consists of images taken at an Israel Histadrut meeting, that featured J. B. Salsberg as guest speaker. The images depict Salsberg standing at the podium addressing the audience.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Physical Condition
Segregated due to vinegar syndrome. Item 2 has very slight rippling.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Accession Number
2014-8-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2014-8-4
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
1 m textual records and other materials
Date
1915-2013
Scope and Content
Accession consists of personal and professional materials of Gerald Tulchinsky. Documents include agendas and journals written between 1958 and 2013, clippings, research notes, articles, correspondence and vacation souvenirs. Among the resarch materials are notes, oral histories and films on Joe Salsberg for Tulchinsky's book, Joe Salsberg: A Life of Commitment. Photographs pertain mainly to Tulchinsky's Salsberg research material but there are also personal photographs of Tulchinsky family gatherings. The audio cassettes include several oral histories used for Tulchinsky's research. The stamps appear on empty envelopes addressed to different recipients, including Tulchinsky's parents, Harry and Anne Tulchinsky, with return addresses from all over the world.
Administrative History
Dr. Gerald Tulchinsky was Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, Department of History, and author of several books on the history of Canadian Jewry and labour issues in Canada. His books include: Shtetl on the Grand (2015); Joe Salsberg: A Life of Commitment (2013); Canada's Jews: A People's Journey (2008); Branching Out: The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community (1998); Taking Root: The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community (1992); and The River Barons: Montreal Businessmen and the Growth of Industry and Transportation, 1837-53 (1977).
Tulchinsky was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1933 to Harry and Anne Tulchinsky. He resided in Kingston, Ontario until his death on 13 Dec. 2017.
Use Conditions
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing the records.
Descriptive Notes
Physical description note: Includes textual records, ca. 50 stamps, ca. 20 photographs, 2 video cassettes, 6 audio cassettes
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Tulchinsky, Gerald, 1933-2017
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2017-8-10
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2017-8-10
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
3 cm of textual records
3 photographs : b&w ; 13 x 9 cm and smaller
1 DVD
Date
[ca. 1920]-2012
Scope and Content
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.
Administrative History
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 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. Around 1925, 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.
Subjects
Charities
Charities
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Places
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2018-1-7
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2018-1-7
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
object
Physical Description
6 cm of textual records
100 photographs : b&w and col. (3 slides) ; 30 x 23 cm and smaller
1 banner
Date
1919-1991
Scope and Content
Accession consists of handwritten Yiddish writings from the 1930s and 1940s; newspaper clippings about Salsberg's move away from the Communist Party; tributes to Dora Wilensky including newsletters and journals from the Canadian Association of Social Workers, the Ontario Welfare Council, and the Neighborhood Workers Association; correspondence and a newspaper clipping about the Dora Wilensky Fund; drafts and newspaper clippings of tributes to poet Melech Ravitch; and miscellanea including a banner from the Labour Council of Kiryat Yam commemorating a medical centre named in honour of Salsberg, a floor plan of the 21st legislature of Ontario parliament, and a publication of the story The Young Wanderer by Eliezer Smoli and Moshe Smilansky 1945. In addition, the accession includes letters by J.B. Salsberg to his wife Dora Wilensky and various letters to Salsberg from individuals such as politician Leslie M. Frost, actor Lou Jacobi, and president of the Workmen's Circle Israel Breslow. Of particular note is a letter from the Consulate General of the United States, including a copy of an order from the Department of Justice confirming his defection from the Communist Party and granting entrance into the United States according to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Also included are photographs of an art exhibition by Israel Kaplansky 1983; family photographs and portraits; photographs of J.B. Salsberg at various events; photographs of Dora Wilensky's family; and three 35 mm slides of J.B. Salsberg.
Administrative History
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, insurance salesman, and journalist. He was also active in various Jewish organizations, including: the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. He is well remembered by contemporaries, such as Sam Lipshitz, as a “champion of the people”, committed to social justice, the plight of the working-class, and the preservation of Jewish culture. J.B. was born in Lagov, Poland on November 5, 1902 to Abraham and Sarah-Gittel Salsberg. Abraham immigrated to Toronto in 1910 and J.B. followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913. They settled at 73 Cecil Street. Abraham and Sarah-Gittel had additional children in Canada: Nathan (b. 1915), Reuven (Bob or Robert, b. 1917), Betty, and Thelma. Abraham worked as a peddler in Toronto. J.B. briefly attended Landsdowne Public School, but dropped out around 1915, against his parent’s wishes, and took a job in a leather goods factory to contribute to his family’s income. J.B.’s parents had hoped he would become a rabbi and, despite his full-time employment, J.B. continued to study the Torah with scholars at the synagogue on Centre Ave. In 1917, J.B. decided to pursue the ideas of Zionism and Socialism and, abandoning his plans to become a rabbi, he became involved in establishing the Young Poale Zion organization, a Labour Zionist youth group dedicated to secular aims. Around 1922, J.B. was made Secretary General of the Young Poale Zion of America in New York, where he worked for one year. Shortly after returning to Toronto, he became the organizer for the Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers Union of North America in Chicago. While in Chicago, around 1925, J.B. married Dora Wilensky. In 1926, J.B. joined the CPC. He was an active member of the CPC for 30 years, serving as the head of its Trade Union Department for two decades. In 1929 he was suspended from the Party for one year as a dissenter. In 1932, he became the Southern Ontario District union organizer for the communist Workers Unity League. It was as a member of the CPC that he entered electoral politics. After a series of failed bids in municipal and provincial elections between 1935 and 1937, J.B. was elected Alderman of Ward 4 in Toronto in 1938. He only held the position for one year. In 1943, J.B. was elected to the Ontario Legislature as the representative for the St. Andrew riding. J.B. sat as Member of Provincial Parliament for the Labour-Progressive Party (the provincial wing of the CPC) for 12 years. For several years, he was the only elected communist in North America. As MPP, he helped create legislation banning discrimination in public places and introduced a bill that would ensure fair employment practices in the province. He lost his seat to Allan Grossman in 1955 and unsuccessfully ran in the federal election later that year. Remembered by journalist Gordon Sinclair as “one of the best debaters in the house”, J.B. was well-respected by members of all political parties. Out of admiration for J.B., Conservative Premier Leslie Frost named Salsberg Township in Northern Ontario in his honour. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, J.B. had grown increasingly concerned about reports of Soviet anti-Semitism and privately urged party leaders to pursue the issue. In 1956, when Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev exposed the transgressions of Stalin’s regime, J.B. went to Moscow as part of a CPC delegation. After meeting with Khrushchev himself, it became clear to J.B. that anti-Semitism was indeed a problem in the USSR and that his efforts to probe the situation were being stonewalled. J.B. publicly expressed his concerns about Soviet anti-Semitism in a series of articles published in the Vochenblatt from October 25, 1956 to December 13, 1956. He finally left the Communist Party in 1957. However, he remained a member of the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO), a communist Jewish fraternal organization. Entering the business world, J.B. established the Model Insurance Agency Limited in 1957, where he served as President for several years. In 1959 J.B.’s wife, Dora passed away. Around this time J.B. also resigned from the UJPO, along with other members who felt the organization needed to be more critical of the Soviet Union. They founded an alternative, non-communist left-wing Jewish organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association, where J.B. served as President for several terms and edited its publication “Fraternally Yours”. In his later life, J.B. was active as an executive member of organizations, such as the CJC and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. He was the first chairman for the CJC Ontario Region’s Soviet Jewry Committee and the Committee for Yiddish. He also began writing an award-winning weekly column for the Canadian Jewish News. J.B. was awarded the CJC’s Samuel Bronfman Medal for distinguished service, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto’s Ben Sadowski Award of Merit. A strong supporter of Israel, he was involved in the creation of two Israeli medical centres that are named in his honour. He also helped establish the J.B. and Dora Salsberg Fund and the J.B. Salsberg Fund for Yiddish at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. J.B. passed away in 1998.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Source
Archival Accessions
Level
Item
ID
Item 6023
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
6023
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[between 1920 and 1925]
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Admin History/Bio
J.B. Salsberg was the organizer for the Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers Union of North America.
Notes
For identification, see Jacob M. Budish's, History of the Cloth Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers' International Union, 1901-1925 (NY, 1925).
Name Access
Cloth Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers Union
Montreal
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Subjects
Labor
Labor unions
Repro Restriction
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.
Accession Number
1991-5-4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Joseph Baruch Salsberg fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 92
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Joseph Baruch Salsberg fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
92
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1914-1993
Physical Description
1.2 m of textual records (2 v.) and other material
Admin History/Bio
Joseph Baruch Salsberg (1902-1998) was a labour leader, political activist, politician, insurance salesman, and journalist. He was also active in various Jewish organizations, including: the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, and the New Fraternal Jewish Association. He is well remembered by contemporaries, such as Sam Lipshitz, as a “champion of the people”, committed to social justice, the plight of the working-class, and the preservation of Jewish culture.
J.B. was born in Lagov, Poland on November 5, 1902 to Abraham and Sarah-Gittel Salsberg. Abraham immigrated to Toronto in 1910 and J.B. followed with his mother and two younger sisters in 1913. They settled at 73 Cecil Street. Abraham and Sarah-Gittel had additional children in Canada: Nathan (b. 1915), Reuven (Bob or Robert, b. 1917), Betty, and Thelma. Abraham worked as a peddler in Toronto.
J.B. briefly attended Landsdowne Public School, but dropped out around 1915, against his parent’s wishes, and took a job in a leather goods factory to contribute to his family’s income. J.B.’s parents had hoped he would become a rabbi and, despite his full-time employment, J.B. continued to study the Torah with scholars at the synagogue on Centre Ave.
In 1917, J.B. decided to pursue the ideas of Zionism and Socialism and, abandoning his plans to become a rabbi, he became involved in establishing the Young Poale Zion organization, a Labour Zionist youth group dedicated to secular aims. Around 1922, J.B. was made Secretary General of the Young Poale Zion of America in New York, where he worked for one year. Shortly after returning to Toronto, he became the organizer for the Hat, Cap, and Millinery Workers Union of North America in Chicago. While in Chicago, around 1925, J.B. married Dora Wilensky.
In 1926, J.B. joined the CPC. He was an active member of the CPC for 30 years, serving as the head of its Trade Union Department for two decades. In 1929 he was suspended from the Party for one year as a dissenter. In 1932, he became the Southern Ontario District union organizer for the communist Workers Unity League.
It was as a member of the CPC that he entered electoral politics. After a series of failed bids in municipal and provincial elections between 1935 and 1937, J.B. was elected Alderman of Ward 4 in Toronto in 1938. He only held the position for one year. In 1943, J.B. was elected to the Ontario Legislature as the representative for the St. Andrew riding. J.B. sat as Member of Provincial Parliament for the Labour-Progressive Party (the provincial wing of the CPC) for 12 years. For several years, he was the only elected communist in North America. As MPP, he helped create legislation banning discrimination in public places and introduced a bill that would ensure fair employment practices in the province. He lost his seat to Allan Grossman in 1955 and unsuccessfully ran in the federal election later that year. Remembered by journalist Gordon Sinclair as “one of the best debaters in the house”, J.B. was well-respected by members of all political parties. Out of admiration for J.B., Conservative Premier Leslie Frost named Salsberg Township in Northern Ontario in his honour.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, J.B. had grown increasingly concerned about reports of Soviet anti-Semitism and privately urged party leaders to pursue the issue. In 1956, when Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev exposed the transgressions of Stalin’s regime, J.B. went to Moscow as part of a CPC delegation. After meeting with Khrushchev himself, it became clear to J.B. that anti-Semitism was indeed a problem in the USSR and that his efforts to probe the situation were being stonewalled.
J.B. publicly expressed his concerns about Soviet anti-Semitism in a series of articles published in the Vochenblatt from October 25, 1956 to December 13, 1956. He finally left the Communist Party in 1957. However, he remained a member of the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO), a communist Jewish fraternal organization.
Entering the business world, J.B. established the Model Insurance Agency Limited in 1957, where he served as President for several years. In 1959 J.B.’s wife, Dora passed away. Around this time J.B. also resigned from the UJPO, along with other members who felt the organization needed to be more critical of the Soviet Union. They founded an alternative, non-communist left-wing Jewish organization, the New Fraternal Jewish Association, where J.B. served as President for several terms and edited its publication “Fraternally Yours”.
In his later life, J.B. was active as an executive member of organizations, such as the CJC and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. He was the first chairman for the CJC Ontario Region’s Soviet Jewry Committee and the Committee for Yiddish. He also began writing an award-winning weekly column for the Canadian Jewish News. J.B. was awarded the CJC’s Samuel Bronfman Medal for distinguished service, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto’s Ben Sadowski Award of Merit. A strong supporter of Israel, he was involved in the creation of two Israeli medical centres that are named in his honour. He also helped establish the J.B. and Dora Salsberg Fund and the J.B. Salsberg Fund for Yiddish at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. J.B. passed away in 1998.
Custodial History
The records were donated to the OJA in a series of accessions. Material from accessions 1991-5-4 and 1992-9-4 were donated by J.B. Salsberg. The remaining material was donated by his estate after his death.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting J.B. Salsberg's personal, professional and Jewish communal activities. The bulk of the records are textual and relate to his membership in the CPC (later LPP), election campaigns, and Jewish communal work. Included is correspondence; photographs; reports; political writings; certificates; agendas; pamphlets; brochures; booklets; flyers; campaign literature; campaign notes; posters; newspaper clippings; press releases; articles; transcripts; speeches; telegrams; political platforms, briefs and submissions; statements; constitutions; resolutions; newspapers; meeting minutes; bulletins; periodicals; notebooks; notes; course guides and outlines; medallions; pins; plaques; donation receipts; event invitations and programmes; lists; blank employment applications; a school test; a study; a coin; a drawing; a sketch; an audio cassette; and a delegate card.
Records are arranged into the following five series: 1. Personal ; 2. Labour Zionism and union activities ; 3. Political career ; and, 4. Jewish community involvement. There are also four files and one item attached directly to the fonds.
Notes
Physical Description Note: Includes 53 photographs, 7 medallions, 11 pins, 4 posters, 2 plaques, 1 sketch, 1 drawing, 1 audio cassette, 1 desk name plate, and 1 coin.
Physical Extent Note: Fonds was reduced from approximately 7 metres to 1.5 metres. The culled material consisted primarily of published books, periodicals and pamphlets that had been collected by J.B. Salsberg. For further details about what was culled please view the accession records.
Associated Material Note: Queen's University Archive also has a J.B. Salsberg fonds, 14 hours of interview tapes with J.B. Salsberg and records of the UJPO are held by the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario (MHSO).
Name Access
Communist Party of Canada
Labour Progressive Party
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Wilensky, Dora, 1902-1959
Subjects
Labor leaders
Labor unions
Politicians
Related Material
For additional records in OJA's holdings, see: Ben Kayfetz fonds 62, series 8, file 2 ; accession 2008-11-2 ; accession 2004-1-4 ; and oral histories AC 71 and AC 226.
Creator
Salsberg, Joseph Baruch, 1902-1998
Accession Number
1991-5-4
1992-9-4
1998-2-2
1998-12-5
2004-5-28
2010-4-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Published and unpublished works and research series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 62; Series 8; File 2
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ben Kayfetz fonds
Published and unpublished works and research series
Level
File
Fonds
62
Series
8
File
2
Material Format
textual record
Date
1985-1998
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File contains several articles written in Yiddish and English, regarding the life of J.B. Salsberg written by Ben Kayfetz. Also included are interview transcripts, and other related research materials.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Dorothy Dworkin fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 10; Item 26
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Dorothy Dworkin fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
10
Item
26
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[193-]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 12 x 17 cm
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Subjects
Dinners and dining
Repro Restriction
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.
Accession Number
2005-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region fonds
Committee for Soviet Jewry series
Protest activities sub-series
Human Rights Day file
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 17; Series 3-5; File 31
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region fonds
Committee for Soviet Jewry series
Protest activities sub-series
Human Rights Day file
Level
Item
Fonds
17
Series
3-5
File
31
Material Format
graphic material
Date
11 Dec. 1973
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 20 x 25 cm
Notes
Photograph by Gadi Hoz.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region fonds
Community Relations Committee series
Anti-Semitism Cases sub-series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 17; Series 5-3; File 142
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region fonds
Community Relations Committee series
Anti-Semitism Cases sub-series
Level
File
Fonds
17
Series
5-3
File
142
Material Format
textual record
Date
June 1938
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of correspondence between Alderman J.B. Salsberg and the Canadian Jewish Congress regarding a lumber strike in Timmins, Ontario and the potential for anti-Semitic propaganda to be spread in the region since one lumber company was Jewish (Feldman's).
Notes
Previously processed and cited as part of MG8 S.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 37; Series 4; Item 52
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
37
Series
4
Item
52
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[197-?]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Joe B. Salsberg was born in Lagov, Poland and emigrated to Canada in 1913 at the age of 11. His parents names were Sarah and Abraham. He initially studied to become a rabbi, but at the age of 13 was forced by economic circumstances to begin working the sweatshops. These experiences lead him to a life of activism, fighting to improve the wages and working conditions for labourers. Salsberg married Dora Wilensky.
He joined the Zionist worker's group and in 1926 the Communist Party of Canada. He worked as a Labour Zionist executive, a union organizer, Communist Party union strategist, journalist, activist and was president of Model Insurance Agency Limited. He was also a Toronto Alderman in 1938 and again in 1943 and was voted into parliament as an M.P.P. representative of the Labour Progressive Party in 1943-1955. He was actively involved in introducing the Ontario Human Rights Code in reaction to a decision to disallow Jews and blacks into certain pools as well as other anti-Semitic behavior in Ontario.
After visiting Russia on two occasions to study and discuss with Russian leaders the Jewish problems in Russia, Salsberg renounced Stalin and his own participation in communism.
Scope and Content
Photograph of Joseph B. Salsberg taken by Al Gilbert.
Name Access
Gilbert, Al, 1922-
Gilbert Studios (Toronto, Ont.)
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), 1902-1998
Subjects
Labor leaders
Repro Restriction
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Related Material
See also Joe Salsberg fonds: Accession # 1998-2-2, 1998-12-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
13 records – page 1 of 1.

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