Accession consists of original and copies of documents and newspaper clippings pertaining to Lawrence Kert's service as a pilot during the First World War. Included are his graduation certificate from the Royal Flying Corps, his flight log, documents, and press clippings concerning his capture by the Germans.
Lawrence Kert left the University of Toronto to enlist in the 228th Battalion in 1915, and was transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1917. He was listed as missing, but was actually a prisoner of war. He survived and returned to Canada.
Edward Elisha Gelber (1903-1970), known as Eddie, was a lawyer who practiced in both Toronto and Jerusalem. He was born in Toronto in 1903 to Moses and Sophie Gelber. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto in 1925, his Master of Arts at Columbia University in 1929, his Master of Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and was admitted to the Ontario Bar at Osgoode Hall in 1934, and the Palestine Bar in 1937. He married Anna David, a doctor, and they had three children named Edna, Lynn and David.
Edward was very active within the Jewish community, both here and in Israel. He held positions in several Jewish organizations, including president of the Zionist Council of Canada, president of Toronto's United Jewish Welfare Fund, honourary vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and many others. His wife, Anna, was a member of the National Executive Board of Canadian Hadassah.
Edward and his family alternated between residences in Canada and Israel for many years. He died in Jerusalem in 1970.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records created and accumulated by Edward Gelber. The records pertain to his personal life, his professional work as a lawyer, and finally, his involvement with several Jewish organizations, including the Zionist Organization of Canada, Hebrew Schools of Toronto, Canadian Jewish Congress, and Hadassah. These records include correspondence, professional notes, newsletters, memoranda, meeting minutes, bulletins, invitations and financial records.
Accession consists of two volumes of the Canadian Jewish War Memorial Book of Remembrance. The first of these two volumes contains lists of Jewish soldiers who served in the Canadian military during the South African war, the First and Second World Wars and Korea. It also lists current day Jewish peacekeepers. There are photos and lists of Jewish chaplains who served in the military. For each war, it lists awards, casualties, soldiers' positions and identification numbers. The second volume contains lists of American soldiers who served in the Canadian military.
This book was presented by the Canadian Jewish War Memorial Association to the US Consulate who subsequently donated it to the Ontario Jewish Archives.
Accession consists of records documenting Samuel Berger and his family. Included is Sam's marriage certificate, wedding invitation, naturalization certificates, and pay book and discharge papers from the First World War. Also included is a copy of the birth certificate for Sam's wife, Rebecca (nee Rotenberg) and a newsclipping of the obituary for Rebecca's father, Lazar Rotenberg.
The records were in the possession of Goldie Berger, the daughter-in-law of Samuel Berger and wife of Leonard Berger.
Samuel Berger enlisted in the Canadian army in Oct. 1918. He was discharged in Dec. 1918. He married Rebecca Rotenberg in 1917.
Accession consists of two thank-you notes addressed to Morley Wolfe from Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella, as well as a plaque in appreciation presented to Wolfe for inspiring the genesis of CASTS (Canadians Against Slavery and Torture in Sudan), which led to a larger coalition in Canada against the genocide in Darfur. There is also an accompanying photo on printer paper of Wolfe receiving the plaque from Dr. Norman Epstein alongside C. Arthur Dowes. Finally, there is photo scrapbook compiled by Arnold Lipshitz documenting the Advocates Society's trip to Israel. The Advocates Society was made up of judges and lawyers in Ontario. Identified in the photographs are Franz Bowman; Barbara Bowman; Kathy Parkinson; Sandra Newman; Douglas Caruthers; Cecile Goldenberg and Morley Wolfe.
Morley S. Wolfe was born in Winnipeg in 1928 to Cecil (b. 1895) and Betty (nee Davidow) Wolfe. He spent his early childhood in various cities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba until moving to Toronto in 1940. Soon after graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1955 he started his own practice as a senior member of the law firm Burt, Burt, Wolfe and Bowman. In 1971 he was appointed Queen’s Council, and from 1973 to 1977 he served as counsel for B’nai Brith Canada. After his retirement from practice in 1993, the Province of Ontario appointed him presiding Justice of the Peace for Ontario and Deputy Judge in Small Claims Court. His first marriage was to Sandra Newman in 1958 and they had three children together: Leslie, Lee, and Melanie. He later married Joan and became the step-father to her daughter, Erin. Throughout his life Morley was passionate about fighting prejudice and discrimination and became involved with organizations, such as the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. He was also a member of the Toronto Police Services Board Committee on Race Relations, served as Chair of the North York Committee on Community, Race and Ethnic Relations, and was appointed to the Canadian Multiculturalism Council. In addition, he was the founding president of Toronto Residents in Partnership (TRIP) from 2003 to 2006. His involvement extended to Jewish organizations. He served as National President of B’nai Brith Canada (BBC) from 1982 to 1983 and was a founding member of its League for Human Rights. He was also President of BBC’s Toronto Regional Council and Wilson Heights Lodge No. 1998, and of the Jewish Camp Council of Toronto as well as many other organizations. Morley’s hard work and involvement in the community earned him many awards, including, City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award, the YMCA Canada Peace Medal, B’nai Brith Canada Service Award, and the Province of Ontario’s Senior Achievement Award. Around 2002, Wilson Heights Lodge No. 1998 began filing a series of appeals with B’nai Brith International (BBI) over concerns that BBC’s national executive was governing undemocratically. Morley played a key role in filing these appeals and was the centre of one appeal filed after BBC censured him without advance notice or the opportunity for a hearing. These appeals were not all successful. Around 2006, Morley became involved in another appeal against BBC that was filed by a group of members who called themselves the Concerned Members of B’nai Brith Canada (CMOBBC). They alleged that BBC’s national executive had too much centralized power, was not governing transparently, failed to provide members with audited financial statements at multiple annual general meetings (AGMs), passed a constitution that members had defeated at the 2005 AGM, and was threatening and harassing some members. BBI’s appeal court rendered its verdict in 2007 in favour of BBC. Soon after this judgment was made BBC took steps to expel all the members of CMOBBC. In response, Morley resigned from the organization. Morley currently resides in Brampton.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: See accession record for page numbers of identified individuals.
4 photographs : b&w and col. ; 19 x 24 cm or smaller
2 folders of textual records
Scope and Content
Accession consists of material documenting Dorothy and Paul Eker, the grandparents of Glen Eker. Included are: four photographs (one of Dorothy, two of Paul, and one of Osgoode Hall Law School Graduating Class of 1952); a document acknowledging the appointment of Paul to the position of notary public in the province of Ontario; a document calling Paul to the degree of barrister-at-law; and a document certifying Paul's swearing in as a solictor general of the Supreme Court of Ontario.
Associated materials: Other accessions donated by Glen Eker include 2018-3-1, 2018-4-1, 2018-4-16, and 2018-5-1.
Glen Eker was born in Toronto, Ontario to Paul Eker and Dorothy Horwitz. He grew up in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto before moving with his family to Hamilton. He received two master’s degrees (one in sociology, the other in political science) from McMaster University and a third master’s degree (in library science) from the University of Toronto.
Glen's wife, Deborah Pekilis, was born in Montreal and lived there until her parents moved to Toronto. She was the librarian for the Jewish Genealogical Society and sat on the Hamilton Historical Board. She is currently a writer.
Glen has worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant at McMaster and has taught at Ryerson University and Mohawk College. At present, he works as an estate and genealogy researcher.
Glen has published a book on Karl Marx, five indexes of Jews in Canada, and one index of Amish and Mennonites in Canada. His genealogy articles have appeared in various magazines and his short stories and poems have appeared in print as well.
Glen has worked on his family genealogy for a number of years. His paternal family line derives from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland while his maternal line derives from Byelorussia and Romania. He is descended from the Horwitz and Strachman families on the latter.
Accession consists of material documenting the life and careers of Morley Torgov. Subjects include his literary career (including drafts of novels), legal career, early years in Sault Ste. Marie, cartoons, poems, and his investiture into the Order of Canada.
Morley Torgov (b. 1927-) is a Canadian novelist and short story writer and former commercial lawyer.
Torgov was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Allan (b. Russia, 8 July 1895-1964?) and Janey (nee Colish) Torgov (b. England, 1901-d. Sault Ste. Marie, July 1926). Allan Torgov owned and operated a clothing store in Sault Ste. Marie named Allan's. Morley married Anna Pearl (nee Cohen) in 1952 and had two children, Sarah Jane Steinberg and Alexander Torgov (b. 1959-d. 2009), and four grandchildren.
Torgov was educated at the University of Toronto, receiving his LLB from Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar in 1954. He became a partner in the law firm, Olch, Torgov, Cohen and specialized in commerical law. While practicing law in Toronto during the 1960s, he turned to writing. Torgov's first book, "A Good Place to Come From" (1974), a comic memoir of growing up Jewish in Sault Ste. Marie, was made into a CBC mini-series and won the Stephen Leacock Award for humor. Torgov continued to write other books including "The Outside Chance of Maximillian Glick" (1982) winning him his second Stephen Leacock award. The CBC produced a television series based on this work and the book was published in several languages. This success was followed by St. Farb's Day (1990) which won The City of Toronto Book Award and the Jewish Award for fiction. Other published works include "The Abramsky Variations" (1977), "The War to End All Wars" (1998), "Stickler and Me" (2002), "Murder in A-major" (2008), and "The Mastersinger from Minsk" (2012).
Torgov's writings also include several screenplays for television and film, numerous essays and articles for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Canadian Lawyer and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Torgov has been honored by the Canadian Institute for the Blind, naming their annual award the TORGI after Torgov, the first receipient of that award in 1984. In 2005, he received the Order of Mariposa, a lifetime recognition award from the Leacock Society and in 2015 received the Order of Canada as an acknowledgement of his contributions to Canadian Society.
10 photographs : b&w and col. ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller
David Vanek (1915-2008) was born on a farm in Whitchurch Township, York County, Ontario in 1915. He was the sixth of seven children to Jacob and Jesse Vanek, Jewish-Russian immigrants from the Ukraine who emigrated to Canada in 1913. The family lived in the Newmarket-Oak Ridges area where they owned a farm and the Vanek Grocery and Confectionary Store in Oak Ridges, and Cedarhom Park in Lake Wilcox, which had a bandstand, cottages and sold refreshments. They opened the park specifically for Jews who were being excluded from other nearby social venues. The family also lived in Toronto.
Vanek completed his elementary school education at Annette Street Public School and attended Richmond Hill High School and Harbord Collegiate. He was admitted to the Honour Law course at the University of Toronto. In 1936, he graduated with a B.A. in Honour Law and went on to law school at Osgoode Hall. While in law school he worked for Carswell’s Canadian Law Abridgement and was editor of Obiter Dicta student publication at Osgoode Hall. He received his L.L.B. in 1939.
During the Second World War Vanek served in the Canadian Intelligence Corps and Field Security in England from 1943 to 1945. Following his military service he returned to Toronto where he tried private practice briefly before beginning a new career as a lecturer in the newly created Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He taught a variety of subjects, including legal bibliography, real property, and public international law.
A community activist, Vanek was the founder of the Lawrence Manor Ratepayers Association. In 1963, he ran for the Ontario Provincial Legislature as a Conservative candidate, but failed to win the seat. He was the founder of the Credit Counselling Service of Metropolitan Toronto, which was established in 1965. Vanek was also actively involved in the new reform congregation,Temple Sinai, and served as its third president.
In September 1968, Vanek was appointed to the Magistrates Court. A few months later, the Provincial Courts Act came into being and he became a judge of the Provincial Court, Criminal Division. Vanek presided over and wrote judgements in many significant cases including Weightman and Cunningham, involving the residual power of a trial judge to stop unfair prosecution, and Squires, involving the lawful exclusion of cameras from the courtroom. His best known case was that of Susan Nelles, a nurse who was charged with the death of four babies at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in the early 1980s. He also served as president of the Ontario Provincial Judges' Association. In 1989, after twenty-one years on the bench, David Vanek retired. A decade later he published his autobiography, Fulfilment : Memoirs of a Criminal Court Judge, which documents his life and career.
David Vanek married Joyce Lester in 1942 and the couple had three children. Vanek died in 2008.
The records were donated to the Ontario Jewish Archives by David Vanek in July 2000. The records were used to help with the researching of his autobiography.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of textual records and graphic material that document Vanek's family history and career as a prominent lawyer and provincial court judge in Ontario. The fonds includes family records from Russia, newspaper articles, correspondence and documentation relating to his military service during the Second World War, press clippings and photographs of his family and community activities. The fonds has been arranged into the following series: Personal records, Military service records, Occupational records, and Community organizations.