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1 record – page 1 of 1.
Name
Sam Lipshitz
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
May 28, 1991
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Sam Lipshitz
Number
AC 285
Subject
J.B. Salsberg
Interview Date
May 28, 1991
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ben Kayfetz
AccessionNumber
2004-1-4
Total Running Time
90 min. or less
Conservation
Copied August 2003
Notes
Apparently dates from the same time as #284 (based on handwriting on label)
Recording is distorted for the first few minutes of side A.
Use Restrictions
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.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Sam Lipshitz (journalist, editor, typesetter, and political activist) was born in Radom, Poland, on 14 February 1910, and was sent by his parents to live with an aunt in Montreal after graduating from high school. He joined the Jewish Cultural Club of Montreal, where several young members promoted communism, based on the belief that the growth of Yiddish literature, schools, and other social institutions in Russia offered new equality for Jews. Sam was drawn to these views by Manya Cantor, who later became his wife. Sam joined the Young Communist League in 1928 and later worked full-time with the Communist Party of Canada (renamed the Labor-Progressive Party in 1941 after the party was banned the previous year by the federal government), becoming editor of its newspaper, "Der kamf," by 1932. He later edited "Vochenblatt" ("Canadian Jewish weekly"). He was appointed secretary of the party's Anti-Fascist Committee in 1933, became head of the Jewish National Committee soon after, and sat on the party's Central Committee from 1943 to 1946. His prominent role in the illegal party led to a warrant issued for his arrest and life in hiding until the communists supported the war after Germany's invasion of Russia in June 1941, and Sam spent several days in the Don Jail with other party leaders in 1942. Sam joined the executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1943, representing the UJPO along with Joseph Baruch Salsberg. His most important work for the Congress occurred in 1945, when he was sent to Poland with Hanane Meier Caiserman to report on the condition of the Jews who had been liberated from Nazi concentration camps just months earlier, and the fate of those who had not survived the experience. Lipshitz wrote and lectured extensively on this experience. Following the exposure of Soviet brutality and anti-Semitism under Joseph Stalin by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, a bitter rift over the Canadian communist party's response to these admissions led to the resignation of hundreds of Jews including the Lipshitzs and Salsberg in 1957. Resignation from the party meant an end to employment for the Lipshitzs (Manya as a Jewish teacher, Sam as a political organizer), but Sam found work as a linotype operator. He founded Trade Typesetting in 1964, and did work for many Jewish organizations in Toronto until his retirement in 1975. The dispute carried over to the work of the UJPO, which was led by members of the communist party. Three years of bitter and occasionally violent argument between factions led to approximately 30 percent of the membership, led by Sam Lipshitz and Morris Biderman, leaving the UJPO in 1960. Two hundred of the membership, including Sam founded the New Jewish Fraternal Association the same year. After taking in an evening course in journalism at the University of Toronto in 1959, Sam assumed the role of editor for the association's magazine, "Fraternally yours," from March 1960 until his death in 2000. Sam also edited "Voice of Radom," the periodical of the United Radomer Relief for the United States and Canada and was a member of the Yiddish committee of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto for 25 years, served on the Yiddish Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and wrote more than 170 bi-weekly columns in Yiddish for the "Canadian Jewish news" until he resigned from this post in September 1999. He suffered a massive stroke only two days after completing the Rosh Hashonah issue of "Fraternally yours," and died in Toronto two weeks later on 14 September 2000.
Material Format
sound recording
Original Format
Audio cassette
Copy Format
Audio cassette
Digital file
Source
Oral Histories

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