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13 records – page 1 of 1.
Accession Number
2015-9-23
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-9-23
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
[194-]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of a bound document entitled 'This Is Our Faith'. The subtitle is 'The Religion of the Jews' and it appears to have been presented at a seminar of religions, under the auspices of Community Programs Branch, Department of Education, Province of Ontario.
Custodial History
There is no information on the acquisition of this material.
Subjects
Religion
Politics and government
Name Access
Cohen, Julius
Places
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-12
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-12
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Physical Description
ca. 60 cm of textual records
11 photographs (3 negatives) : b&w ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
Date
1976-[ca. 1990]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic records that trace Natan Sharansky's history as a prisoner of political conscience; the broader Refusenik issue; and the community advocacy efforts of Debby and Stan Solomon from 1976 and into the late 1980s at the local, national and international scales. Included are memos and newsletters from the Committee for Soviet Jewry (Ontario Region and national-level); background information as well as petition templates, speeches and planning documentation produced by the Committee to Release Anatoly Sharansky and the Beth Tikvah Synagogue in conjunction with community organizations, including the CJC and its Soviet Jewry social action committees, to support on-going advocacy efforts; correspondence with Canadian and American political representatives at the provincial/state and national levels; white papers/grey literature from non-governmental organizations about the persecution of the Soviet Jewry; planning documentation from the First Annual Sharansky Lectureship on Human Rights in 1980; correspondence, articles and ephemera associated with the granting of Sharansky's honourary law doctorate from York University in 1982; 1985 Freedom Rally/Weekend in Ottawa planning documentation and correspondence; 1987 National Conference on the Soviet Jewry and Mobilization for Freedom planning documentation; 1987 Community Rally at Massey Hall promotional materials; and promotional materials from Sharansky's autobiographical "Fear No Evil" 1988 book launch. Graphic material includes photographs of Sharansky's release during the February 11, 1986 American-Soviet prisoner exchange on the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.
Identified in the photographs are: Debby Solomon; Alan Solomon; Natan Sharansky; Avital Sharansky; U.S. Ambassador Richard Burt;
Custodial History
Material was collected and/or created by Debby Solomon, Natan Sharansky's cousin. Debby donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Debby Solomon is the cousin of Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, the Soviet born Israeli politician, human activist and author who spent nine years in Soviet prisons. Debby's father Boris Landis (born 1900) and Sharansky's father were first cousins.Their grandfathers were brothers. Debby's father immigrated 1929 to Toronto from Russia as his older brothers were already in Toronto. Debby and her husband Stan Solomon got involved in the community's activism efforts to free Sharansky and other Refuseniks.They were worked for many years on these efforts by planning programs through their synagogue Beth Tikvah and with Sam Filer, a lawyer and volunteer at the CJC who was also a member of Beth Tikvah.
Subjects
Anti-Semitism and discrimination
Politics and government
Civil and human rights
Rallies, demonstrations and protests
Synagogues
Boards and committees
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2017-2-12
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2017-2-12
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
45 cm of textual records and other material
230 photographs : sepia and b&w ; 23 x 30 cm and smaller
8 sound recordings
1 artifact
Date
1937-2004
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records, photographs and audio recordings documenting the lives of Dick Steele, his wife Esther and friend Bill Walsh. The materials are mostly correspondences between Dick and Esther during his internment at the Don Jail and Ontario Reformatory in Guelph, and from Dick and Bill's military service overseas during the Second World War. They also include correspondences between Esther and Bill, Bill and Anne Walsh, "Jack" and Esther, and other family and friends. Some of the letters show evidence of being censored. There are news clippings in English and Yiddish about the family from various newspapers including the Canadian Tribune (a Communist Party paper). There is a letter Esther wrote to campaign for Dick's release from internment, part of women's activism in this period. There is also a photocopy of a memoir written by Moses Kosowatsky and Moses Wolofsky "From the Land of Despair to the Land of Promise" ca. 1930s. The photographs include Dick and Bill in the army during the Second World War, a signed picture of Tim Buck addressed to Esther and the twins and a photo of Dick delivering a speech related to the Steel Workers. Also included is a CD with edited sound clips of Bill and Esther talking about Dick, Esther speaking about the letters, (how she received letters and flowers from Dick after he had already been killed), Bill reading a letter Dick wrote to Esther that he left with friends in England to send her in the case that he was killed (which he was) and CDs "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2 compiled by Leib Wolofsky's (Bill's nephew). There is a microcassette labelled "Joe Levitt." Also included are 5 audio cassettes recorded by Adrianna Steele-Card with her grandparents Bill and Esther. The accession also includes the stripe of a German corporal that Bill captured as a prisoner, peace stamps and an early copy of Cy Gonick's A Very Red Life: The Story of Bill Walsh, edited by Bill.
Administrative History
Richard (Dick) Kennilworth Steele is the name adopted by Moses Kosowatsky. He was born in 1909 in Montreal to Samuel Kosowatsky and Fanny Held. He lived in a laneway off Clark Street below Sherbrooke where his father collected and recycled bottles. He grew up with his siblings Joseph, Mortimer, Matthew, Gertrude and Edward. Bill Walsh (Moishe Wolofsky) was born in 1910, to Sarah and Herschel Wolofsky, the Editor of the Keneder Adler (Montreal's prominent Yiddish newspaper). He attended Baron Byng and then Commercial High School where he met Dick Steele. Bill recalled that Dick denounced militarism in the school when a teacher tried to recruit students to be cadets. Bill moved to New York City in 1927. His brother, who was living there, helped him get a job as a messenger on Wall Street. He also worked in the drug department at Macy's while attending courses at Columbia University in the evening. Dick worked on a ship for a year and then joined Bill in New York City in 1928. Dick worked at a chemical plant called Linde Air Products while also studying in the evenings at Columbia University. In 1931 Dick and Bill boarded a ship together in New York bound for Copenhagen. Together they travelled across Europe, witnessed a Nazi demonstration in Breslau, Germany and found work in Minsk and Moscow, Russia. This trip inspired them to become Communists. In 1933 Bill's father was on a Canadian trade mission to Poland, which he left to "rescue" his son from the Bolsheviks. Bill agreed to return to Canada after being advised to do so by the Comintern. He then changed his name to Bill Walsh to protect his family. In 1934 Bill moved to Toronto. He worked as the Educational Director for the Industrial Union of Needle Trade Workers and the Communist Party where he met Esther Slominsky/Silver, the organization's office manager. Dick joined Bill in Toronto soon after. Bill introduced Dick and Esther who then married. In 1940, Esther gave birth to twin sons Michael and John Steele. Esther was born in Toronto in 1914 to Joseph Slominsky and Fanny (Blackersany?). Her siblings were Bella, Eileen, Morris and step-sister Eva. Her father Joseph was a cloak maker and Esther also worked in the garment industry. Her mother Fanny passed away in 1920 at the age of 26 from tuberculosis. Dick was a metal worker and became a union organizer in the east end of Toronto. He was the head organizer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and the Steel Workers Organizing Committee of Canada (SWOC) until 1940 when he was dismissed for being a Communist. Bill helped organize Kitchener's rubber workers into an industrial union and was also an organizer for the United Auto Workers of Windsor, Ontario. Jack Steele, an alias for Dick's brother Mortimer, fought with the Mackenzie-Papineau Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Jack Steele was recalled to Canada in October 1937 to rally support for the efforts in Spain, returned to the front in June 1938 and was killed in action in August. Some of Dick's letters to his wife Esther are signed "Salud, Jack" and were likely written in 1940 when the Communist Party (CP) was banned by the Canadian Government under the War Measures Act. In November 1941, after Mackenzie King's call for enlistment, Dick wrote to the Department of Justice to ask permission to join the army. He never received a reply. On 1 April 1942 Dick's home was raided and he was interned at the Don Jail until September 1942 when he was moved to the Ontario Reformatory in Guelph. Esther wrote a letter to Louis St. Laurent, Minister of Justice to appeal on his behalf. Major public campaigning by communists and the wartime alliance with the USSR after 1941 shifted public opinion toward the CP and the Canadian Government slowly began releasing internees in January 1942. Dick was released in October 1942 and enlisted at the end of the month. Dick died on August 17, 1944 in Normandy, France. He was a tank driver in the Canadian Army. Bill was similarly arrested in 1941, spending time in jail and then an internment camp with other members of the CP. He joined the Canadian army in 1943 and fought in Holland and Belgium. Bill was first married to Anne Weir who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1943 just before he enlisted. The family believes this may have been due to drinking unpasteurized milk. Encouraged by Dick Steele to take care of his family should he pass in the war, Bill married Esther Steele in 1946. They had a daughter named Sheri and were members of the United Jewish People's Order. For 20 years Walsh worked for the Hamilton region of the United Electrical Workers (UE). Bill remained a member of the CP until 1967 when we was expelled for criticizing another union leader. He died in 2004. Esther passed away in 2010 at age 96.
Use Conditions
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Descriptive Notes
RELATED MATERIAL NOTE: Library and Archives Canada has the William Walsh fonds and MG 28, ser. I 268, USWA, vol.4, SWOC Correspondence, has various letters from Dick Steele ca. 1938. Museum of Jewish Montreal has an oral history with Leila Mustachi (daughter of Max Wolofsky, Bill's brother) where she speaks about Bill, Dick and Esther. USE CONDITION NOTES: For CDs "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2. Some contributors stipulate that recordings are restricted to personal use only. This CD must not be used for any commercial purpose.
Subjects
War and military
Politics and government
Labour and unions
Name Access
Steele, Michael
Steele, Dick
Walsh, Bill
Walsh, Esther Steele
Places
Guelph, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Hamilton, Ont.
Oshawa, Ont.
Ottawa, Ont.
Montreal, Que.
Fort William/Thunder Bay, Ont.
Germany
England
Holland
Source
Archival Accessions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3875
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3875
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1939
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w
Subjects
Rallies, demonstrations and protests
Politics and government
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
1985-11-13
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 3656
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
3656
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[193-?]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w (negative)
Name Access
Arbeiter Ring
Labour Lyceum
Cecil Street
Goldman, Emma
Subjects
Labour and unions
Politics and government
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
1976-12-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 1623
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
1623
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1929
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Notes
Credit: Estate of Max Speisman.
Name Access
Jewish Marxist Youth
Zerubauel, Ch.
Subjects
Children and youth
Politics and government
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
1978-4-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Isaac Matenko fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 89
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Isaac Matenko fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
89
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Date
1911-1971, predominant 1911-1935
Physical Description
6 cm of textual records
17 photographs
Admin History/Bio
Isaac Matenko (1874-1960) was a founder, teacher, and principal of the I.L. Peretz School. He worked tirelessly to preserve and promote secular Jewish culture and the Yiddish language in Toronto. He was also a prominent member of local Jewish organizations, such as the Socialist-Territorialist Club and the Yiddish Kultur Gesellshaft.
Isaac was born on February 1, 1874 in the town of Makarov, Kiev, Ukraine. He married Elke Yelia Moshkevitch (1878- November 19, 1953) on August 4, 1900 in Yakatreneslav. They immigrated from Czarist Russia to Toronto in 1906, passing first through New York with their two children, Percy (June 30, 1901-May 1987) and Theodore (1903-1906, died of measles at Ellis Island), Yelia’s three sisters, Dvora, Bracha, and Celia, and Isaac’s younger half-brother, Paul Frumhartz. They had two more children after arriving: Abraham (August 14, 1908-October 24, 1989) and Shoshana (Sue) (1911-2001). Although he had been a teacher in Russia, Isaac worked as an operator in a cloak factory in Toronto, where he was instrumental in forming the union (likely the Cloakmakers’ Union of Toronto, which later affiliated with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union).
As a child, Isaac received a traditional Jewish education. This, combined with his self-taught secular education and the teachings of Yiddish Nationalist Dr. Chaim Zhitlovski, informed his future career and philosophies. He was described as an idealist by his friends, whose dedication to Yiddish culture and language motivated him to bring this knowledge to a younger generation.
On July 11, 1911, Isaac and his fellow Socialist-Territorialist members established the Toronto Yiddish National-Radical School. By 1916, it had been taken over by the Workmen’s Circle and renamed the I.L. Peretz School, after the well-known Yiddish author and playwright. The school began in a rented room at the Zionist Institute on Simcoe St., moving to larger locations on Richmond St. W., then Beverley St. as it grew. Eventually, several more branches opened, such as the Maria St. school that Isaac was affiliated with. He taught at the school for free in the evenings after working during the day in a shop. His brother Paul was also a founding teacher at the school.
Isaac was described by family, friends, and community members as a passionate teacher with an iron will: he was well-versed in Jewish knowledge, with a desire to pass it on to a younger generation and his fellow union members. He remained involved in the school and in teaching, even after retirement. He died on June 2, 1960 at the age of 86.
Custodial History
These records were donated to the OJA by Sue Levy, daughter of Isaac Matenko.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting Isaac Matenko's involvement with the Workmen's Circle and other Jewish organizations. Included are photographs, programmes, certificates, I.L. Peretz School jubilee books, a songbook, a yearbook, articles, and newsclippings.
Fonds has been arranged into one series for the Workmen's Circle. There are also two files attached to the fonds-level. The records are described at the series and file-level, with some item-level descriptions.
Name Access
Matenko, Isaac, 1874-1960 (creator)
Frumhartz, Paul
Matenko, Percy
Peretz Shule
I.L. Peretz
Arbeiter Ring
Arbeter Ring
Camp Yungvelt
Junction Shul
Junction
Workman's Circle
Workmen's Circle
Arbeiter Ring Schools
National Radical School
Subjects
Education
Politics and government
Related Material
For additional Workmen's Circle records, see: accessions 1979-4-4, 1980-2-2, 1983-6-3, 1984-10-1, 1986-4-1, 1992-1-2, 1997-2-1, 1998-3-32, 2004-5-41, 2004-5-105, and fonds 30.
For additional Camp Yungvelt records, see: accessions 1979-4-4, 1986-4-1, 1991-12-4, 1993-6-6, 1999-5-1, 2004-5-37, 2005-6-4, 2006-12-3, photographs # 2964, # 4014, # 6021, MG2N1K, Benjamin Brown fonds 49, and Dorothy Dworkin Fonds 10 (item 14).
Creator
Matenko, Isaac, 1874-1960
Accession Number
1987-11-4
1991-4-2
2007-5-3
2007-6-28
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
Salsberg, J.B.
Wilensky, Dora
Communist Party of Canada
Labour Progressive Party
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Subjects
Labour and unions
Politics and government
Zionism
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
Accession Number
1979-9-16
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1979-9-16
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
1975
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records relating to a "Teach-In on Israel" held at the university on 22 January 1975. There is also an announcement of a meeting of the Revolutionary Marxist Group at York.
MG_RG
MG2 P1d
Subjects
Education
Children and youth
Politics and government
Name Access
Jewish Student Federation (York University)
Source
Archival Accessions
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.
Subjects
Politics and government
Zionism
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
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 37; Series 4; Item 26
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
37
Series
4
Item
26
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
2 negatives : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm and 13 x 11 cm
Admin History/Bio
Philip G. Givens, the son of Hyman and Mary Gevertz [Givens], was born in Toronto in 1922. He graduated from the University of Toronto in Political Science and Economics in 1945 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1949. He practiced law at Pivnick, Givens, and Chusid. Philip Givens was married to Minnie Rubin and they had two children named Eleanor and Michael.
Givens was first elected in 1951 as Alderman for Ward 5 in Toronto, serving in that capacity until he ran for Controller in 1960 and won. He was Controller until 1963, when he was appointed Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor in 1964, but was defeated in 1966.
In 1968, he was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for York West, and in 1971, he was elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature for the riding of York Forest Hill.
In 1977, Phil Givens was appointed Provincial Court Judge and Chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission. He served as Chairman until 1985, when he was appointed trial judge in the Civil Division. He retired from the judiciary in 1988.
Philip Givens was active in Jewish communal life. He held offices in many organizations, including the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, B'nai B'rith, the Zionist Organization of Canada, the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim and Baycrest Centre.
He was also the founder and first president of the Upper Canada Lodge of B'nai B'rith. He was general chairman of the United Israel Appeal -Israel Emergency Fund in 1967 and the United Jewish Appeal -Israel Special Fund in 1968. From 1973 to 1985 he was national chairman for the Canadian Zionist Federation.
Philip Givens was the recipient of the Negev dinner award from the Jewish National Fund in 1968, the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1969, and the Award of Honour from B'nai B'rith and the State of Israel Bonds in 1972.
Scope and Content
Photograph of former mayor of the City of Toronto Philip Givens wearing the mayoral Chain of Office. Upon inauguration, the Chain of Office is worn by the new mayor throughout the inauguration ceremony and while meeting the Toronto City Council.
Name Access
Gilbert, Al, 1922-
Gilbert Studios (Toronto, Ont.)
Givens, Phil
Subjects
Politics and government
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 Accession 1990-9-7, Philip G. Givens
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 37; Series 4; Item 27
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Gilbert Studios fonds
Al Gilbert portraits series
Level
Item
Fonds
37
Series
4
Item
27
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1965]
Physical Description
1 negative : b&w ; 18 x 13 cm
Admin History/Bio
Philip G. Givens, the son of Hyman and Mary Gevertz [Givens], was born in Toronto in 1922. He graduated from the University of Toronto in Political Science and Economics in 1945 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1949. He practiced law at Pivnick, Givens, and Chusid. Philip Givens was married to Minnie Rubin and they had two children named Eleanor and Michael.
Givens was first elected in 1951 as Alderman for Ward 5 in Toronto, serving in that capacity until he ran for Controller in 1960 and won. He was Controller until 1963, when he was appointed Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor in 1964, but was defeated in 1966.
In 1968, he was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for York West, and in 1971, he was elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature for the riding of York Forest Hill.
In 1977, Phil Givens was appointed Provincial Court Judge and Chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission. He served as Chairman until 1985, when he was appointed trial judge in the Civil Division. He retired from the judiciary in 1988.
Philip Givens was active in Jewish communal life. He held offices in many organizations, including the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, B'nai B'rith, the Zionist Organization of Canada, the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim and Baycrest Centre.
He was also the founder and first president of the Upper Canada Lodge of B'nai B'rith. He was general chairman of the United Israel Appeal -Israel Emergency Fund in 1967 and the United Jewish Appeal -Israel Special Fund in 1968. From 1973 to 1985 he was national chairman for the Canadian Zionist Federation.
Philip Givens was the recipient of the Negev dinner award from the Jewish National Fund in 1968, the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1969, and the Award of Honour from B'nai B'rith and the State of Israel Bonds in 1972.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a studio portrait of Philip Givens.
Name Access
Gilbert, Al, 1922-
Gilbert Studios (Toronto, Ont.)
Givens, Philip
Government
Subjects
Politics and government
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 Accession #1990-9-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Philip Givens fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 51
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Philip Givens fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
51
Material Format
multiple media
Date
[192-]-1990
Physical Description
1.35 metres of textual records (20 vols.) and other material
Admin History/Bio
Philip Gerard Givens (1922-1995) was a municipal, provincial and federal politician, a judge, a police commissioner and an active Jewish communal leader. He is largely remembered as the 54th Mayor of Toronto.
Phil Givens was born in Toronto on April 24th, 1922, the only son of Hyman and Mary Gevertz (Gewercz). As a youth, he attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the University of Toronto in political science and economics in 1945 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1949. In 1947, he married Minnie "Min" Rubin (born February 7th, 1924) and together they had two children, Eleanor and Michael.
Givens graduated as a lawyer from Osgoode Hall; however, shortly thereafter he decided to enter politics, running as a municipal school board trustee in 1950. In 1951 he was elected as alderman for Ward 5, serving in this capacity until 1960, when he was subsequently elected as a city Controller.
Givens was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1962.
Following the sudden death of Mayor David Summerville in 1963, Givens was appointed by City Council as the Mayor of Toronto and was officially elected to the position in 1964, winning a close race against the former mayor, Allan Lamport. As mayor, Givens was automatically a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Executive and Council, the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, the Consumer’s Gas Company Executive, the Toronto Hydro Commission and the governing boards of Toronto’s major hospitals.
Givens was publicly seen as an affable and populist mayor but his tenure was not without controversy. His support for the construction of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and his decision to acquire Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture “the Archer” for the new Nathan Phillips Square were both highly controversial during his term in office. In particular, the Moore sculpture sparked intense controversy and public debate amongst council members and citizens alike. Although ultimately purchased with private solicited donations, the controversy surrounding the statue’s purchase was still partly to blame for Givens’ 1966 election defeat to William Dennison.
In 1967 Givens entered national politics for the second time, the first being a failed 1957 bid in Toronto’s Spadina riding, winning a seat as a Liberal in Toronto’s York West riding. In 1971 he stepped down before the end of his term to campaign for a seat in the Provincial Legislature. Again running under the Liberal banner, Givens won his seat in York-Forest Hill and after the elimination of this riding in 1975, was re-elected in the new riding of Armourdale. In 1977 he retired from politics. He also worked briefly as a current affairs commentator for local radio broadcaster CHUM 1050 AM.
In 1977, Givens was appointed as a provincial court judge and chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, serving in both capacities until 1985, when he left the Commission but continued in the judiciary as a civil trial judge until officially retiring from public life in 1988.
An ardent Zionist, Givens was also a prominent leader of several Jewish communal organizations. He was the founder and first president of the Upper Canada Lodge of B’nai Brith and sat on the executives of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim, the Zionist Organization of Canada, the Toronto Zionist Council, Jewish National Fund, State of Israel Bonds and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. He was chairman of the United Israel Appeal-Israel Emergency Fund in 1967 and the United Jewish Appeal-Israel Special Fund in 1968. From 1973 to 1985 he was the national president of the Canadian Zionist Federation and in the 1990s was the national chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress’ Committee for Yiddish.
Givens was honoured by Jewish community organizations, including the Jewish National Fund’s Negev Award in 1968 and the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews’ Human Relations Award in 1969. As well, in 1972, he received the Award of Honour from the Toronto Regional Council of B’nai Brith.
Givens was also known to be a passionate sailor and was a member of both the Royal Canadian and the Island Yacht Clubs in Toronto. He died on November 30th, 1995 at the age of 73.
Custodial History
The records were in the possession of Phil Givens until they were donated to the Archives in September 1990 by his wife.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the personal, professional and communal activities of Phil Givens. The bulk of the material is graphic and most of the photographs relate to his tenure as Mayor of Toronto and to his Jewish communal work. The records also include general correspondence, speeches, campaign material, scrapbooks, cartoons, certificates and awards, biographical writings, audio and visual materials and artifacts. The records have been arranged into nine series representing Givens’ various roles and activities and have been described to the file level and item level when necessary. These series are: 1. Personal life; 2. City of Toronto Alderman; 3. City of Toronto Controller; 4. City of Toronto Mayor; 5. Metropolitan Toronto Police Commissioner; 6. Provincial politics; 7. National politics; 8. Legal career; 9. Jewish communal service.
Notes
Physical Description Note: Includes ca. 915 photographs, 14 drawings, 1 print, 1 presentation piece, 27 objects, 4 DVD’s, 4 videocassettes and 1 audiocassette.
Physical Extent Note: Fonds was reduced from 5.5 m of records to 2.6 m of records. Please see accession record for further details regarding the records that were culled.
General Note: Previously cited as MG6 B
Associated material note: City of Toronto Archives: “Philip Givens fonds” (fonds 1301) and Series 363, Sub-series 2 “Mayor' Office journals” (fonds 200). Library and Archives Canada: “Correspondence and subjects” series (R4942-1-1-E) in the Stuart E. Rosenberg fonds (R4942-0-X-E); Henry S. Rosenberg fonds (R3946-0-9-E); Jewish National Fund of Canada fonds (R4347-0-1-E), “Subject series: Givens, Judge Philip G. – Toronto” (R4347-7-4-E); “Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports” series (MG31-H67), Zdzislaw Przygoda fonds (R6257-0-0-E) [Sir Casimir Gzowski monument committee records –chaired by Phil Givens]; B'nai Brith Canada fonds (R6348-0-9-E); Canadian Zionist Federation fonds (R9377-0-6-E).
Name Access
Givens, Phillip, 1922-1995
Givens (nee Rubin), Min
Subjects
Politics and government
Law and justice
Community service
Related Material
See Fonds 2: Benjamin Dunkelman fonds
See Fonds 18: Gordon Mendly fonds
See Fonds 28: Zionist Organization of Canada fonds
See Fonds 37: Gilbert Studios fonds (Negev dinners series, Zionist Building series, Portraits series).
Creator
Givens, Philip, 1922-1995
Accession Number
1990-9-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
13 records – page 1 of 1.

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