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5 records – page 1 of 1.
Name
Rabbi Shemen
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
July 1991
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Rabbi Shemen
Number
AC 284
Subject
Salsberg, J.B.
Interview Date
July 1991
Quantity
1
AccessionNumber
2004-1-4
Total Running Time
60 min or less
Biography
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.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
Yiddish
Name Access
Shemen, Nachman
Original Format
Audio cassette
Source
Oral Histories
Address
29 Cecil Street
Source
Landmarks

As early as 1916 the Ezras Noshem Society (a mutual benefit society for Jewish women) started to raise funds to purchase and renovate what would become The Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner) after its members recognized the need for a home in Toronto where the Jewish elderly could receive kosher meals and communicate with staff in their own language. Property at 31 Cecil Street was purchased in 1917 and sometime between September 1918 and January 1920 the Home officially opened there. The Home was run by a small staff and the women of Ezras Noshem who volunteered their time to make beds, cook kosher meals, do laundry and sponsor fundraising events. By 1938 the Home had expanded into its neighboring houses at 29, 33, and 35 Cecil Street and was caring for 115 residents. It provided residents with synagogue services, a hospital ward and social activities.
Address
29 Cecil Street
Time Period
1917-1954
Scope Note
As early as 1916 the Ezras Noshem Society (a mutual benefit society for Jewish women) started to raise funds to purchase and renovate what would become The Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner) after its members recognized the need for a home in Toronto where the Jewish elderly could receive kosher meals and communicate with staff in their own language. Property at 31 Cecil Street was purchased in 1917 and sometime between September 1918 and January 1920 the Home officially opened there. The Home was run by a small staff and the women of Ezras Noshem who volunteered their time to make beds, cook kosher meals, do laundry and sponsor fundraising events. By 1938 the Home had expanded into its neighboring houses at 29, 33, and 35 Cecil Street and was caring for 115 residents. It provided residents with synagogue services, a hospital ward and social activities.
History
At this time the Home also became a member of the United Jewish Welfare Fund. In 1946, the need for a larger and more modern building prompted a fundraising campaign and in 1954, the new building opened at 3650 Bathurst Street.
Category
Organization
Medical
Social Service
Source
Landmarks
Address
340 College Street
Source
Landmarks

The Raxlen brothers were born in Toronto in Cabbagetown, where their father operated a grocery store. The four brothers included Saul, Benjamin, Alexander and Sam. All of the brothers graduated in medicine during the 1930s, except for Sam, who became a dentist. Together, they opened up the Raxlen Clinic in 1937, which was located on Carleton Street.
Address
340 College Street
Time Period
1953-1978
Scope Note
The Raxlen brothers were born in Toronto in Cabbagetown, where their father operated a grocery store. The four brothers included Saul, Benjamin, Alexander and Sam. All of the brothers graduated in medicine during the 1930s, except for Sam, who became a dentist. Together, they opened up the Raxlen Clinic in 1937, which was located on Carleton Street.
History
In 1953, the brothers opened their own private hospital, Doctors Hospital, which was located at 320-340 College Street at Brunswick Avenue. The brothers modernized and expanded the facility so that it could accomodate up to 168 beds by 1955. It soon became the largest privately-held non-profit hospital in North America. By the time the brothers sold it during the late 1970s, it had 554 full-time staff and 500 hospital beds.
Category
Organization
Medical
Source
Landmarks
Address
21 Dundas Square
Source
Landmarks

The six-storey Hermant Annex and 14-storey eastern tower were designed by Benjamin Brown in 1920 and 1930 respectively. The building is named after Percy Hermant and served as the headquarters for his company, Imperial Optical. The Hermant Building was built at Wilton Square - which was later renamed Dundas Square. Benjamin Brown's office was located in the Hermant Building in the 1940s. The offices of the Canadian Jewish Review were housed in the building on Dundas Square. The buildings were designated as heritage buildings in 1990.
Address
21 Dundas Square
Time Period
1930-present
Scope Note
The six-storey Hermant Annex and 14-storey eastern tower were designed by Benjamin Brown in 1920 and 1930 respectively. The building is named after Percy Hermant and served as the headquarters for his company, Imperial Optical. The Hermant Building was built at Wilton Square - which was later renamed Dundas Square. Benjamin Brown's office was located in the Hermant Building in the 1940s. The offices of the Canadian Jewish Review were housed in the building on Dundas Square. The buildings were designated as heritage buildings in 1990.
History
Percy Hermant was born in Mogilev, Russia in 1882. In 1897, he immigrated to Canada, arriving in New Brunswick, where he began working as a dry goods peddler. In 1900, he founded the Imperial Optical Company, the first prescription lens business in the Maritimes. This company eventually grew to be the largest company of its kind in the British Commonwealth. In addition to his successful business, he was very involved with philanthropic and community activities within Jewish and non-Jewish circles. He sponsored academic and musical scholarships.
Category
Architecture
Manufacturer
Medical
Source
Landmarks
Address
254-256 Victoria Street
Source
Landmarks

The six-storey Hermant Annex and 14-storey eastern tower were designed by Benjamin Brown in 1920 and 1930 respectively. The building is named after Percy Hermant and served as the headquarters for his company, Imperial Optical. The Hermant Building was built at Wilton Square - which was later renamed Dundas Square. Benjamin Brown's office was located in the Hermant Building in the 1940s. The offices of the Canadian Jewish Review were housed in the building on Dundas Square. The buildings were designated as heritage buildings in 1990.
Address
254-256 Victoria Street
Time Period
1920-present
Scope Note
The six-storey Hermant Annex and 14-storey eastern tower were designed by Benjamin Brown in 1920 and 1930 respectively. The building is named after Percy Hermant and served as the headquarters for his company, Imperial Optical. The Hermant Building was built at Wilton Square - which was later renamed Dundas Square. Benjamin Brown's office was located in the Hermant Building in the 1940s. The offices of the Canadian Jewish Review were housed in the building on Dundas Square. The buildings were designated as heritage buildings in 1990.
History
Percy Hermant was born in Mogilev, Russia in 1882. In 1897, he immigrated to Canada, arriving in New Brunswick, where he began working as a dry goods peddler. In 1900, he founded the Imperial Optical Company, the first prescription lens business in the Maritimes. This company eventually grew to be the largest company of its kind in the British Commonwealth. In addition to his successful business, he was very involved with philanthropic and community activities within Jewish and non-Jewish circles. He sponsored academic and musical scholarships.
Category
Architecture
Manufacturer
Medical
Source
Landmarks
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