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9 records – page 1 of 1.
Name
Sol Gebertig
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
17 April 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Sol Gebertig
Number
AC 020
Subject
Arts and Entertainment
Interview Date
17 April 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
This is not an interview with Sol Gebertig, but rather is a recording of Stephen Speisman speaking for approximately twenty minutes about Mr. Gebertig. It is unknown whether Steve interviewed Sol and this tape is the result.
Movie theatres
The Beaches
Early Toronto, 1912-
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Sol Gebertig was one of several Jews who were pioneers in the Canadian film industry and helped build the motion picture business in the country.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Gebertig, Sol
Speisman, Stephen, 1943-2008
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Sam and Rivka Hurwich
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
2 July 1974
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Sam and Rivka Hurwich
Number
AC 022
Subject
Education
Organizations
Interview Date
2 July 1974
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side One - 43 minutes
Side Two - 3 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Dr. Sam Hurwich was involved in a number of organzations including the Canadian Jewish Congress, JIAS and several Labour Zionist groups.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Hurwich, Sam
Hurwich, Rivka
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Fred Schaeffer
Number
AC 024
Subject
Small communities
Land, settlement and immigration
Interview Date
11 July 1980
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 31 minutes
Side 2: 9 minutes
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
Fred Schaeffer's wife, Beverley, grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Beverley's grandfather, Hyman Kaplan, emigrated from Vilna, Lithuania in 1907, and after a few years in New York, moved to Toronto. Shortly afterwards he became the first Jew to settle in Kirkland Lake in 1914.
In the 1920s the Jewish community in Kirkland Lake built a permanent synagogue, and acquired the Aron Kodesh of Eastern European design, its lamps, railings, pews and reader’s desk, from the disbanded Ukrainishe Shul in Montreal. In the 1970s the Kirkland Lake Synagogue disbanded and Fred and Beverly Schaeffer acquired the Aron Kodesh, all of its furnishings, the Ner Tamid and the Parochet. They generously donated these Jewish artifacts to Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Toronto, in 1988, in memory of Isadore Kaplan, father of Beverly Schaeffer and Erich Schaeffer, father of Fred Schaeffer.
Fred, married Beverley in Toronto. Like many children from Kirkland Lake, Beverley had moved to the city to attend university. Fred and Beverley are keen collectors of Canadian art. He is a retired civil engineer and a former chairman of the Canadian art historical committee at the AGO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Schaeffer, Fred
Geographic Access
Krugerdorf, Ont.
Timmins, Ont.
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Swastika, Ont.
Ansonville, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Transcript
AC 024: Side A
0.14: Fred discusses the first Jews to settle in Northern Ontario in the area around Krugerdorf/Engelhart. He mentions Edith Atkinson (nee Martin) as a good primary source of information. Edith’s father, a Russian Jew who came to Canada via Scotland was employed by Temagami and Northern Ontario Railway to bring Russian Jews to work on the railroad.
1.11: Atkinson is related to Atkins and Etkins families.
2.25: Jewish families received land patents in the area of Krugerdorf (north of Engelhart).
2.44: Kurtz family started a hotel in Engelhart in 1908.
3.07: Mentions some of the earliest Jewish settlers. Gurevitch, Korman, Martin, Henerovsky, Purkiss
4.18: Women farmed during the week while the men worked on the railroad. Men came home on weekend.
5.05: Mentions a diary written by Mr. Martin, Edith Atkinson’s father.
5.42: Earliest records in Jewish cemetery in Krugerdorf were 1906. Relates a story involving a canoe accident. Tells a brief history of the cemetery.
8.00: Railway started to develop in 1908/9 with the opening of the mines in Timmins. Many Jews followed the railroad.
8.45: Mentions that the Purkiss family opened a chain of stores in every town that opened.
9.25: Mentions that the Bucavetsky family was well-known in Timmins.
9.58: Jews had settled in Cochrane.
10.16: First Rabbi in Timmins was Shulman.
11.15: Fred discusses early community organizations. One synagogue on a farm in Krugerdorf area. One synagogue in Engelhart that burnt down. Synagogue in Kirkland Lake built in 1926. Minyans were held in Cochrane and Ansonville (1918/19). Timmins synagogue dates back to 1910/12.
17.15: Fred describes Iroquois Falls as an Abitibi company town. Jews who ran businesses lived in nearby Ansonville.
18.02: Fred notes that there were many prominent Jews in Northern Ontario. He names several and describes their positions. (e.g.Dave Korman as Mayor of Engelhart, Rothschild was alderman in Cochrane, Barnie (?) Nasoff was on council and was Reeve of Ansonville, Max Kaplan Kirkland Lake council, Nicky Korman was Mayor).
21.11: Fred relates anecdotes about Roza Brown, the first Jew in Swastika / Kirkland area.
23.36: Fred relates anecdotes about Hyman and Max Kaplan (brothers-in-law) who ran businesses in Kirkland Lake.
25.26: Rabbi Rabinowitch was a long-standing rabbi in Kirkland Lake.
27.26: Discusses the demise /closure of the synagogue in Kirkland Lake. Remained open until 1979. Last Rosh HaShana services were held in 1977.
28.05: Discusses the situation with the Timmins Jewish community.
30.05: Discusses the plight of a poor Jewish family, the Mallins.
AC 024: Side B
0.15: Fred suggests some reference material. “Northland Post” – good source for info about Jewish community in Northern Ontario. “Silverland” – book that describes Kurt’s Hotel. Special edition of a newspaper that published an article on the history of the Jewish community.
1.48: The Jews of the North have themselves as self-sufficient community during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. They were represented in the first Jewish Congress.
3.33: Fred notes that there was a Jewish presence in most towns in Northern Ontario. He suggest that Haileybury may have been the exception due to antisemitic sentiments.
4.10: Mentions a fire in Haileybury in 1916/17 and the Jewish contribution to fire relief.
4.25: Relates an anecdote re. Hyman Kaplan and Haileybury.
5.48: Describes the location of a few small communities (Elk Lake, Charlton)
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer and Stephen Speisman discuss some of the earliest synagogues established in Northern Ontario.

In this clip, Fred Schaeffer relates colourful anecdotes about the first Jewish settler in the Swastika-Kirkland area, Roza Brown.

Name
Dr. Hana (nee David) Gelber
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
29 July 1973
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Hana (nee David) Gelber
Number
AC 013
AC 014
Subject
Israel
Personal and family life
Occupations and professions
Anti-Semitism and discrimination
Interview Date
29 July 1973
Quantity
2
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
013 Side One 30 minutes
014 Side One 30 minutes
014 Side Two 30 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Conditional access. Researchers must receive permission from the interviewee or his/her heir prior to accessing the interview. Please contact the OJA for more information.
Biography
Hana Gelber (nee David) was born in Safed (Tzfat), Palestine in 1907. She studied sciences at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and prepared her thesis at Hebrew University. She graduated from University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1929. Hana moved to Toronto in December 1929 and married Eddie Gelber in March 1930. Hana and Eddie moved to New York where Eddie was completing his final year at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hana conducted research at the Rockefeller Institute. They returned to Toronto in July 1930. Hana graduated from Medical School at the University of Toronto in 1934. She completed her medical internship in Palestine. Hana and Eddie lived in Palestine from 1934-1939. They returned to Toronto in 1939 where they remained until 1954 at which time they made Aliyah. Hana worked at Women's College Hospital until 1954. Hana had 3 children; Edna, Lynn and David.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Gelber, Hana
Gelberg, Eddie
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Belle James
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
21 April 1975
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Belle James
Number
AC 016
Subject
Personal and family life
Religion
Interview Date
21 April 1975
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side One: 46 minutes
Side Two: 5 minutes
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
Belle James (nee Levy) was born in Toronto in 1908. Her father, Rabbi Meyer Levy became chief rabbi of Toronto in 1905/6.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
James, Belle
Levy, Meyer
Weiss, Lottie
Geographic Access
Toronto, Ont.
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Transcript
AC 16: Side A.
0.00 - 1.57: Sound quality is poor.
2.04: Belle refers to an autobiography written by her father, Rabbi Meyer H. Levy. Her father was ordained at age 22 in 1891 in Vilna. He immigrated to New York in 1892. He worked in Syracuse as a rabbi for 5 years. He left the rabbinate and entered business but business failed.
5.58: Rabbi Levy returned to the rabbinate to serve as Chief Rabbi in Toronto in 1905/6.
6.18: While in business, Rabbi Levy worked in Rochester and Detroit and knew Henry Ford.
7.18: Belle’s parents were married in Europe.
7.54: Belle was born in 1908.
7.59: Rabbi Levy came originally to the Chestnut Street Synagogue and then went to the Russishe Shul.
8.50: Belle recalls where the family lived. She was born on University Ave., next door to Mary Pickford. They then moved to 2 homes on Alice Street, 2 homes on Baldwin, 288 Bathurst St. and 2 homes on Palmerston St.
11.35: Belle’s sister is Lottie Weiss.
11.52: Belle recounts the synagogues with which Rabbi Levy was affiliated. Russishe Shul, Adath Israel, Rumainishe Shul, Hebrew Men of England, Berkley Street Shul, Palmerston Avenue Shul.
12.44: Belle explains how Rabbi Levy was remunerated for his services.
13.18: Belle describes her mother’s charitable acts. She was a founder of the Home for the Aged.
14.16: Belle recalls travelling with her father to open synagogues in Niagara Falls, St. Catharine and Welland, ON.
14.51: Belle recalls Rabbi Levy’s visits to Kingston to visit Jewish in-mates and to the jail farm north on Yonge Street.
16.04: Belle recalls the good relationships between her father and other rabbis in the city. e.g. Rabbi Jacob, Rabbi Brickner and Rabbi Isserman.
18.00: Belle describes the controversies concerning kashrut.
20.00: Rabbi Levy gave hashgacha (supervisory overseer) for some products. Belle recalls his relationship with George Weston.
21.07: Rabbi Levy had some political influence.
22.58: Belle describes her father as charismatic and more liberal in behaviour. Other orthodox rabbis tended to be less approachable.
25.58: Belle describes her Jewish education.
29.40: Belle’s brothers studied at the Simcoe Street Talmud Torah with Nathanson.
30.42: Belle recalls that her father was close with other Orthodox rabbis.
31.40: Rabbi Levy remained active in the rabbinate until 1951, when Belle’s mother passed away.
32.43: Belle and Stephen Speisman discuss the names and locations of some of the downtown synagogues.
33.37: Belle relates a story involving Rabbi Levy and a mashgiach, Reverend Margolis.
34.43: Belle recalls the shachtim of the time in Toronto. Mittel Farber, Yankel David Farber, Garfinkel.
35.18: Belle recalls accompanying her father to the cemetery to an event that seemed like a party.
36.18: Belle explains why Rabbi Levy is buried in the Lubavicher section of Mount Sinai Cemetery.
37.08: Belle notes that her parents did not eat meat for many years because they did not recognize the hashgacha. Belle recounts a story involving her mother tempted to eat meat immediately before she died but in the end not succumbing.
41.42: Rabbi Levy was responsible for the Yiddish Hebrew Journal. Helped to bring Hirsch.
42.18: Belle recalls her father dancing on the table in response to the signing of the Balfour Declaration
43.05: Rabbi Levy requested in his will to be buried in Israel.
43.40: Belle reminisces about mishalachim from Rishon LeTzion in Palestine staying with her family.
AC 16: Side B
0.20: Rabbi Levy was instrumental in starting a matzah factory in Toronto on Dundas Street.
1.50: Rabbi Levy secured a permit for Jews to buy Passover wine during the Prohibition. Additionally, he got a wine permit for Rabbi Gordon who later sold the permit to Parkdale wines.
3.49: Rabbi Levy had connections with Hirsch-Manischewitz.
End
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ben Himel
Number
AC 135
Subject
Zionism
Education
Labour and unions
Organizations
Interview Date
Jan 24, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
135A: 26:40 minutes 135B: 29:20 minutes
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Interview does not start at beginning.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Ben Himel was Vice President and founder of the Borochov School and Kindergarten. Himel was affliated with the Poale Zion,Jewish National Workers Alliance (Farband), the Independent Workers Circle and The Board of Jewish Education
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Himel, Ben
Speisman, Stephen
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the ideologies of Canada's Labor Movements during the 1930s and 1940s.

In this clip, Benjamin Himel discusses the Zionist movement within the Toronto Jewish community during the 1930s and 40s.

Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Alexander Brown
Number
AC 140
Subject
Education
Interview Date
May 4, 1977
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
Side 1: 46 minutes 22 seconds Side 2: 41 minutes 13 seconds good
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
Dr. Alexander Brown was a leader in the field of Jewish education in Toronto. He held various positions with Toronto's Board of Education and the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. He was actively involved with other Jewish organizations, such as Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Welfare Fund. Dr. Brown was born in the Ukraine in 1909 and was the son of Louis and Bessie Brown.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Brown, Alexander
Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region (Toronto, Ont.)
Board of Jewish Education (Toronto, Ont.)
United Jewish Welfare Fund (Toronto, Ont.)
Associated Hebrew Schools (Toronto, Ont.)
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dr. Brown describes his tenure as Executive Secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), its organizational structure, and the CJC's position within the Toronto Jewish Community.

In this clip, Dr. Brown discusses the Board of Jewish Education, the Welfare Fund and the Canadian Jewish Congress in relation to the subsidization of Associated Hebrew Schools

Name
Mina Sprachman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mina Sprachman
Number
AC 142
Subject
Buildings and structures
Occupations and professions
Interview Date
December 12, 1978
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
AC142: 31:34 minutes
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
Abraham Sprachman (1896-1971) was as Toronto based architect who in partnership with Harold Kaplan in the firm Kaplan & Sprachman, was well-known for the design of Art deco and Art moderne movie theatres during the 1930s and 1940s and for designing buildings for Jewish communities across Canada from the 1930s to 1960s. Abraham married his cousin Mina Sprachman in 1921. They had two children: Mandel and Sheila. Mandel followed in his father's footsteps and also became a nationally recognized and acclaimed architect. Both specialized in theatre design and renovations. Mandel became an architect best known for his restoration of the Elgin Wintergarden.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Kaplan & Sprachman
Kaplan, Harold
Sprachman, Abraham, 1896-1971
Speisman, Stephen
Sprachman, Mina
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Mina Sprachman discusses her husband's architectural firm of Kaplan and Sprachman, its Jewish clientele and the firm's commissions to design and renovate theatres, hospitals and synagogues across Canada.

Name
Dora Till
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dora Till
Number
AC 151
Subject
Land, settlement and immigration
Labour and unions
Women
Occupations and professions
Personal and family life
Interview Date
May 4, 1983
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Stephen Speisman
Total Running Time
46 minutes
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
Dora Till (nee Tobias) was born in New York City in 1896. She came to Toronto in 1900. She married Morris Till in 1918. They had one daughter, Cecile. As a youth, Dora was involved with Herzl Girls and the Boot and Shoe Society. Dora was active in community service and contributed greatly to social service work. She was co-founder and first President for Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home, Vice-President of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society, a board member for the Jewish Family and Child Services, an executive for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Honourary Vice-President of United Jewish Welfare Fund, on the board of Canadian Jewish Congress and past President of the Naomi Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO.
Material Format
sound recording
Name Access
Herzl Girls Boot and Shoe Society, 1920
Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home
Baycrest Hospital
United Jewish Welfare Fund
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
Timothy Eaton Company
Till, Dora
Geographic Access
Toronto
Bronte
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, Dora Till discusses some of the services provided by Hebrew Maternity Aid.

Dora Till was co-founder and first President for Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home. In this clip, Dora describes the efforts to solicit and fundraise on behalf of the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home.

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