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14 records – page 1 of 1.
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
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 13
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
13
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1917]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 9 x 6 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr standing with a doll at the family home at 374 Markham Street, Toronto.
Name Access
Mehr, Ethel
Subjects
Children
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.
Places
Markham Street (Toronto, Ont.).
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 21
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
21
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1918]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 9 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Pincus and Ethel Mehr in the backyard of the family home at 374 Markham Street, Toronto.
Name Access
Mehr, Pincus
Mehr, Ethel
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.
Places
Markham Street (Toronto, Ont.).
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 44
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
44
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1923]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 11 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr and Sylvia Brenner with two other unidentified women. They are all wearing fur coats and standing on the running board of a car.
Name Access
Brenner, Sylvia
Mehr, Ethel
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
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 40
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
40
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1923]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 12 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr holding a set of golf clubs and standing next to Rita Cooper in Sutton, Ontario.
Name Access
Cooper, Rita
Mehr, Ethel
Subjects
Golf
Portraits
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.
Places
Sutton (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 22
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
22
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1918]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 10 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr standing in the backyard of the Mehr family home at 374 Markham St., Toronto. She is wearing a fur coat.
Name Access
Mehr, Ethel
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.
Places
Markham Street (Toronto, Ont.).
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
9
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1917
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 7 x 10 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr and Sylvia Brenner standing in the backyard of the Mehr family home at 374 Markham St., Toronto.
Name Access
Brenner, Sylvia
Mehr, Ethel
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.
Places
Markham Street (Toronto, Ont.).
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 45
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
45
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1923]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 11 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This tiem is a photograph of Ethel Mehr (left) and Sylvia Brenner (second from left) seated on the running board of a car with two other women.
Name Access
Brenner, Sylvia
Mehr, Ethel
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.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 46
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
46
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1923]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 11 x 7 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr (left) and Sylvia Brenner (right) seated in a car. Two other friends are seated in the back seats.
Name Access
Brenner, Sylvia
Mehr, Ethel
Subjects
Automobiles
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.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 16
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
16
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1918
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 10 x 15 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of members of the Mehr family, possibly taken on University Avenue. Pictured in the rear, from left to right are: [unknown], Jacob Mehr, Ethel Mehr, Joseph Rosenblatt.
In front, left to right: [unknown], [unknown].
Jacob Mehr and Joseph Rosenblatt were the paternal and maternal grandfathers of Ethel Mehr.
Name Access
Mehr, Jacob
Mehr, Ethel
Rosenblatt, Joseph
Subjects
Families
Portraits, Group
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.
Places
University Avenue (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 43
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
43
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1923]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 7 x 11 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of Ethel Mehr with four friends. They are all wearing fur coats and hats. Pictured from left to right are: Ethel Mehr, Saide Hartman, Sylvia Brenner, [unidentified], [unidentified].
Name Access
Brenner, Sylvia
Hartman, Sadie
Mehr, Ethel
Subjects
Portraits, Group
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
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 18
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
18
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1918]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 20 x 76 cm
Scope and Content
This item consists of a photograph of members of a social club, which may be a sorority, either Alpha Epsilon Phi or Delta Phi Epsilon.
Pictured left to right are: Molly Levinter; Jennie Fremes (m. Isadore Brodey); [unknown]; Sylvia Brenner (m. Lionel Fogler); Mary Wilder (m. Sam Yolles); Ethel Mehr (m. Henry Greisman); Lily Waldman (m. Abe Cass); Bertha Rosenfeld (m. Allen); [unknown]; Ella Fremes (m. Cherniofsky); Rose (m. Rafelman); Dorothy Andrews (m. Silverman).
Name Access
Allen, Bertha
Andrews, Dorothy
Brenner, Sylvia
Brodey, Jennie
Cass, Lily
Cherniofsky, Ella
Fogler, Sylvia
Fremes, Ella
Fremes, Jennie
Greisman, Ethel
Levinter, Molly
Mehr, Ethel
Rafelman, Rose
Rosenfeld, Bertha
Silverman, Dorothy
Waldman, Lily
Wilder, Mary
Yolles, Mary
Subjects
Clubs
Portraits, Group
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.
Physical Condition
This photo is very dirty and cracked in several places.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 35
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
35
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1919]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 15 x 9 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of the finish line of the Henley Regatta. The photograph was sent to Ethel Mehr by Dr. Bainess Goldblatt.
Name Access
Goldblatt, Dr. Bainess
Mehr, Ethel
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
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 68; Item 47
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Ethel Mehr fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
68
Item
47
Material Format
graphic material
Date
15 Dec. 1925
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 19 x 24 cm on matte 33 x 33 cm
Scope and Content
This item is a photograph of the Mehr family taken on Ethel Mehr's wedding day. Pictured from left to right are: Pincus (brother), Lucille (sister), Leonard (brother), Bessie (mother), Ethel, Mendel (father), and Bernice Mehr (sister).
Name Access
Mehr, Pincus
Mehr, Ethel
Mehr, Lucille
Mehr, Leonard
Mehr, Bessie
Mehr, Mendel
Mehr, Bernice
Greisman, Henry
Subjects
Families
Portraits, Group
Weddings
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.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1988-12-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
14 records – page 1 of 1.

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