Rabbi Nachman Shemen was a Talmudic scholar, journalist, scholar, teacher, “mediator par excellence” and the author of more than 20 books. His contribution to Jewish scholarship included interpretations on Biblical, Talmudic, rabbinic and literary studies. The two volumes, published in Tel Aviv In Yiddish, discuss issues that date back to the creation and the Book of Genesis, up to more recent current day controversial issues as conversion and assimilation.
The rabbinic scholar was born in Chodel, Poland, a small town near Lublin, just before the outbreak of the First World War. Shemen's great-grandfather was a disciple of the founder of Chassidism in Poland, the “Seer of Lublin.” Both his parents were descendants of chassidism and scholars. When he was just over 17 years old, he received rabbinic ordination, and In 1930, moved to Canada with his family.
A founder of COR the Kashruth supervisory body, Shemen made COR one of the largest and most respected kosher organizations in North America. For over 40 years, Shemen served as director of the Kashruth Council and Rabbinical Vaad Hakashruth of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Toronto Jewish Congress. He was one of the founders of Congregation Torah V’Avoda and was associated with the Eitz Chaim Schools where he taught for over 25 years. He was a longtime contributor to Yiddish newspapers and wrote many articles, sometimes using the pseudonym “A Reporter,” on Jewish issues and about the early Jewish community of Toronto. He died in 1993.
Apparently dates from the same time as #284 (based on handwriting on label)
Recording is distorted for the first few minutes of side A.
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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.