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Accession Number
2010-11-16
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2010-11-16
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
45 cm of textual records
Date
1970-1997
Scope and Content
This accession consists of records related to Rolf Lederer's role with the Canadian Jewish Congress' Chaplaincy Services Committee, JIAS, and Congregation B'nai Torah. The records include meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, reports, financial records, bulletins, invitations, and pamphlets, In addition, there is one document that lists the founders of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto.
Custodial History
The records were in the possession of Rolf Lederer until they were donated to the Archives on 22 November 2010.
Administrative History
Dr. Rolf Lederer was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1934. His family immigrated to South Africa in 1936 and Rolf remained there until 1961, earning his medical degree from Cape Town University. After completing his psychiatric training in Edinburgh and Boston, Rolf settled in Toronto in 1968. There he set up private practice as a General Psychiatrist.
After moving to Toronto, Rolf became actively involved in the Jewish community and served on a number of committees. He was on both the local and national board of directors of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) as well as a number of JIAS sub-committees, including the South African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC), the Local Case File Committee and the Management Committee.
From 1985 to 1988 Rolf was chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress’s (CJC) Chaplaincy Services Committee. He was also a member of other CJC committees; including, the Jewish Cultural Council and the Joint Adult Education Committee. In addition, Rolf co-founded the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) in 1985 and served as the society’s president from 1987 to 1991. Finally, he was an active member of B’nai Torah Congregation, serving as secretary and first vice-president in the early 1980s
Use Conditions
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Lederer, Rolf, 1934-
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2011-6-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2011-6-4
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Physical Description
ca. 25 cm of textual records
1 photograph
Date
1980-2000, predominant 1980-1990
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records documenting Rolf Lederer's involvement with JIAS, the Canadian Jewish Congress's Chaplaincy Services Committee, the Toronto Jewish Congress Ontario Region Archives Committee, SAJAC, and the Jewish Genealogical Society. JIAS records make up the bulk of the accession and include; statistical reports; meeting notices; agendas and minutes for various committees, such as the Executive Committee, Immigrant Case Committee, Integration Committee and the Board of Directors; newsclippings, correspondence, programmes, reports, JIAS Information bulletins, and JIAS News newsletters.
Chaplaincy records include meeting notices, agendas and minutes, bulletins, invitations, brochures, and general correspondence. JGS records include one photograph of a plaque awarded to the agency and correspondence regarding its cemetery project. Archives Committee records include event invitations, correspondence, and documents related to the Sense of Spadina tour. Finally, accession also consists of SAJAC News publications (1989), correspondence with the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists and a Congregation B'nai Torah dedication banquet programme (1984).
Custodial History
The records were in the possession of Rolf Lederer until he donated them to the OJA on June 22, 2011.
Administrative History
Dr. Rolf Lederer was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1934. His family immigrated to South Africa in 1936 and Rolf remained there until 1961, earning his medical degree from Cape Town University. After completing his psychiatric training in Edinburgh and Boston, Rolf settled in Toronto in 1968. There he set up private practice as a General Psychiatrist.
After moving to Toronto, Rolf became actively involved in the Jewish community and served on a number of committees. He was on both the local and national board of directors of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) as well as a number of JIAS sub-committees, including the South African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC), the Local Case File Committee and the Management Committee.
From 1985 to 1988 Rolf was chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress’s (CJC) Chaplaincy Services Committee. He was also a member of other CJC committees; including, the Jewish Cultural Council and the Joint Adult Education Committee. In addition, Rolf co-founded the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) in 1985 and served as the society’s president from 1987 to 1991. Finally, he was an active member of B’nai Torah Congregation, serving as secretary and first vice-president in the early 1980s
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Lederer, Rolf, 1934-
Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Toronto
Southern African Jewish Association of Canada
Canadian Jewish Congress. Ontario Region
Ontario Jewish Archives
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-2-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-2-4
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
[ca. 1960]-1999
Scope and Content
Accession consists of Jewish cookbooks from South Africa and Zimbabwe that were collected and used by Denise Rootenberg and her mother Celia. Included are the following cookbooks: "The Traditional Sephardi recipe book" (cookbook by the Sephardic community in Zimbabwe), "Cooking With Confidence" (South African), "Cavalcade Golden Jubilee" (Zimbabwe), and "The Ambuya Nompi Smith Cookbook". Accession also includes two letters written to Denise from her mother-in-law shortly after her immigration to Canada in 1989. One letter includes a recipe.
Administrative History
Denise Rootenberg was born in 1958 in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) to Celia (nee Hofstein) and Harold Sydney Abrahamson. Her parents had both grown up in South Africa but moved to Rhodesia soon after they married. Harold was a pharmacist and Celia taught commercial subjects at a technical college. Denise moved to Cape Town to go the University of Cape Town. She married Lanny Rootenberg in 1981 and they had one son, Mark, born in 1988. Denise and Lanny moved to Toronto in 1989. Lanny's brother was already living here. They struggled initially, but Lanny eventually found work in customer relations management at Price Waterhouse and Denise initially found secretarial work. Denise eventually became an editorial assistant for the Financial Post. She currently does freelance writing for the web.
Subjects
Community cookbooks
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Rootenberg, Denise
Places
Zimbabwe
Cape Town
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-3
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
34 photographs (tiff)
Date
[between 1914 and 1916?], 1986-1998
Scope and Content
Accssion consists of photographs documenting the Levine family's immigration to Canada and activities in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Included are images of Mark and Bev during their first few years in Melford, Saskatchewan, family holiday celebrations (Chanukah and Pesach dinners), shabbat dinners, the Edenbridge synagogue, trips to Niagara Falls, and images taken during trips Elfreda and Alec made to Canada from South Africa to visit Mark. Of note are images taken of Mark and Bev with other South African immigrants at a ski hill in Saskatchewan and at shabbat dinners in Melford. Also included is a Sweiden family portrait taken in South Africa in the early 1900s.
Administrative History
Leible and Esther Sweiden moved from Lithuania to Capetown in 1890. Leible's brother, Jacob followed him to Capetown around 1902. In 1906, Jacob and his wife Fanny (nee Vickers) immigrated with a small group of other Jewish South Africans to Edenbridge, Saskatchewan. Leible remained in South Africa. Leible's son Israel married Edith (Eadie) in 1934. Israel and Edith's daughter Elfreda (b. 1936) married Alec Levine in 1958. Elfreda was a bookkeeper for various companies and Alec worked for his family's plumbing business. They had three children together: Mark (b. 1959), Carol (b. 1962), and Adrian ( b. 1966).
Mark Levine married Beverley in 1983. They immigrated to Melford, Saskatchewan in 1986. Mark did not know at the time that his great grandfather's brother had immigrated to a nearby area decades earlier and only learned of his story and the Edenbridge Jewish community soon after arriving there. Mark worked as a physician at a local hospital. Beverley had been a pharmacist in South Africa, however, her qualifications were not recognized in Canada and she focused on raising her family. Mark and Bev's daughter, Romi, was born in August 1987. After 18 months in Melford, they moved to Toronto after Mark found work as a pediatric anesiologist at Sick Kids Hospital. In 1998, thier second daughter, Jade, was born. Mark's parents, Elfreda and Alec, immigrated to Toronto in 1999. Mark and other relatives encouraged them to immigrate due to the increasingly dangerous political situation in South Africa. Mark is also an assoicate professor at the University of Toronto. Alec and Elfreda's daughter Carol lives in England and their son Adrian remains in South Africa.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Families
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Levine, Mark
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-10
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-10
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
moving images
Physical Description
ca. 20 cm of textual records
ca. 50 photographs
2 videocassettes : VHS
Date
1985-2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of mixed media material documenting SAJAC Seniors and the SAJAC News. SAJAC Seniors material includes newsletters, certificates, videocassettes, and photographs of events, such as chanukah luncheons and a group trip to 1000 Islands in Gananoque. Also included is one composite photograph with images of all the members in 2002 and a minute book (2000-2010) which contains minutes of general and annual meetings, financial statements, and annual reports. Accession also includes issues of the SAJAC News publication (2010-2014).
Administrative History
Thea was born in Estonia (Liebau) in 1918. She lived with her family in Berlin until they moved to Johannesberg, South Africa in 1923. Thea married Abe Bernard Abramson in 1942 and they had two children: Michael Julian (b. 1964) and Colleen "Chips". Michael passed away at a young age. Thea was a concert pianist and also worked as a bookeeper. She was a first league tennis player in South Africa and also played field hockey. She knits and does needlepoint as a hobby.
Colleen married Paul Klein around 1970. Colleen and Paul immigrated to Guelph in 1975. Thea and Abe immigrated to North York in 1981 (after the passing of Thea's mother). Abe was retired, but Thea continued to work as a pianist and accountant. She became involved with SAJAC Seniors in 1985. She alternated with other members as Chairperson of SAJAC Seniors for a few years, but held the role for over 25 straight years starting around 1990. Abe passed away in 2006.
SAJAC Seniors is a social organization that was formed in 1978 by Nancy Rubenstein for older South Africans who immigrated to Toronto. Many members had immigrated to Canada later in life to join children who had already moved here. The organization raises funds for various causes in Israel, holds luncheons, dinners, lectures and other social occassions, and organizes trips to cities across Canada.
Subjects
Newsletters
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Southern African Jewish Association of Canada
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-2-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-2-5
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
2 folders of textual records
10 photographs
21 photographs (tiff)
Date
1957-2015, predominant 1987-2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Colin and Brenda Baskind. Included are family photographs, such as a wedding portrait of Colin and Brenda, images of family events, graduation portraits of Colin's children, family holiday celebrations, Colin and Brenda running marathons, and the family at a baby naming ceremony for Colin's granddaughter at Darchei Noam Synanagoue. Textual records include thank you letters Colin received from individuals he assisted as President of SAJAC and in other capacities, the CV that Colin used to look for work in Toronto while preparing to immigrate from South Africa, a speech Brenda delivered to a cancer support group regarding her fight with breast cancer and marathon running, newsclippings, certificates, and letters of reference for both Colin and Brenda.
Identified in the photographs are: Colin Baskind, Brenda Baskind, Alan Sandler, Ian Sandler, Lorraine Sandler, Cliff Baskind, Stacey Baskind, Audrey Weinberg, Gerald Weinberg, Solly Simmons, Renee Simmons, Lily Shaie Baskind, Alana Baskind, and Refton Blair.
Administrative History
Colin Baskind was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 20, 1943. As a child, he attended an all boys' school and played a wide variety of sports including, soccer, cricket and rugby. He studied commerce at the University of South Africa and completed a business course through a school in England. While in school he met his future wife, Brenda, on a blind date and they married in 1967. Together they had three children: Stacey, Alana and Cliff.
Colin worked in an import business and Brenda was a nursery school teacher. For a short period of time they cared for the nephew of their maid, whose daughter gave birth at a young age and was still in school. They raised him with their children until his mother was finished school.
Around 1976, Colin and Brenda started to think about leaving South Africa due to the worsening violence and political situation. After first considering Australia, they eventually immigrated to Toronto in 1987. Colin found work in the importing business and Brenda found work at Holy Blossom Temple school. Soon after arriving in Toronto, Colin became involved in the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada. He attended a meeting that had been called to resuscitate SAJAC (the organization, which was formed in 1977, had ceased functioning and there was a need to bring it back to help a new large wave of immigrants). At the meeting Colin was nominated as President and he has held this role ever since. Colin also volunteered with a variety of organizations including, JIAS and JVS. He continued with his athletic pursuits in Canada and jogged, hiked, and cycled in all weather. Around 1998, Brenda started to join Colin and his running group on jogs. Around 2000 they both began running in marathons. By 2015, they had participated in 11 marathons. In 2010, their granddaughter Lily Shaie was born to their daughter Stacey.
Use Conditions
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Subjects
Families
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Baskind, Colin
Places
Johannesburg
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-3-8
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
18 photographs : tiff
Date
1969, 1974-2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the Cohen family, their immigration to Canada from South Africa and life in Toronto. Textual records include photocopies of correspondence and paperwork relating to the Cohen's immigration, certificates, and a typed document containing humorous stories their South African friends shared at a "10 Years Out Of Africa" party relating to their adjustment to Canadian life. Also included are family portraits and photographs documenting family celebrations such as, weddings and bar mitzvahs. Of note is an image of Vivien and John at the "10 Years Out of Africa" party.
Administrative History
John Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1944 to Phil and Flora Cohen. Vivien (nee Lehwess) Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1947 to Henry and Isle (nee Wronsky) Lehwess. John's cousin was in physiotherapy school with Vivien and they were introduced to each other. They married on Dec. 3, 1969 and had three children together: Nicole (b. 1972), Steven (b. 1974), and Jeremy David (1979). Vivien was a physiotherapist and John was a textile sales agent. Due to the unstable political situation in South Africa, they immigrated to North York in March 1977. For the first few weeks, they lived in a rental apartment in North York. They soon moved into a townhouse nearby. In 1980, they bought their first house in Thornhill. They were both able to continue in their professions after immigrating to Canada. Both of their mothers and many of their friends also moved to Toronto. John and Vivien were members of Shaarei Shalom synagogue for twenty-five years and are now members of Darchei Noam.
Subjects
Families
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Cohen, John
Places
Johannesburg, South Africa
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2014-9-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2014-9-5
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record (electronic)
textual record
Physical Description
4 cookbooks (pdf)
1 folder of textual records (pdf and tiff)
1 folder of textual records
ca. 1000 photographs (jpg)
Date
[ca. 1950]-2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of scanned and photocopied material documenting the Hotz family's activities in South Africa and Canada. Included are family photographs, correspondence, invitations, programmes, school report cards, passports, newsclippings, a wedding speech, and certificates. Also included are copies of four South African Jewish cookbooks: Passover "Palatables", International Goodwill Recipe Book (1951 and 1969), and K.D.S. Recipe Book (1964).
Custodial History
Barbara Weisberg is the wife of Darrel Hotz. The material was either inherited by them after Darrel's parents passed away or created by Barbara and Darrel.
Use Conditions
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Descriptive Notes
Language Note: English and Afrikaans.
Subjects
Cookbooks
Families
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Hotz, Darrel
Wiseberg, Barbara
Places
South Africa
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-8
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
ca. 20 cm of textual records
Date
1984-2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records documenting the activities of SAJAC Seniors. The bulk of the material is newsletters and thank you letters that were sent to the organization. Other material includes, general correspondence, meeting agendas, an annual general meeting agenda, a draft constitution, membership lists and directories, financial statements, and newspaper clippings. Also included is a small ledger book which records all the letters sent out members between 2001 and 2014. Information included in the ledger book is the date, name of recipient, and the reason for sending the letter.
Custodial History
Rita Witkin is the Social Secretary for SAJAC Seniors. She created and/or maintained the records. She inherited a small amount of the documents from the previous Social Secretary, Gerald Berley.
Administrative History
SAJAC Seniors is a social organization that was formed in 1978 by Nancy Rubenstein for older South Africans who immigrated to Toronto. Many members had immigrated to Canada later in life to join children who had already moved here. The organization raises funds for various causes in Israel, holds luncheons, dinners, lectures and other social occassions, and organizes trips to cities across Canada.
Subjects
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Southern African Jewish Association of Canada
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-5-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-5-2
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record
Physical Description
98 photographs (tiff)
1 folder of textual records
Date
1932-2014, predominant 1947-1978
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the personal and professional activities of Percy Skuy. Photographs include: family portraits, school photographs, images of Percy as an apprentice pharmacist, images of Habonim camp in Vryheid, images of Frances as a child in Sudbury, images of Percy and Frances's honeymoon, images of Percy with his family in Toronto, images of trips back to South Africa, photos from the cottage, images of Percy receiving awards, and street scenes of Kensington Market (1978).
Also included is Percy's memoir entitled "My Story Unfolds", articles written by Percy for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and a book written by Percy entitled "Tales of Contraception."
Administrative History
Percy Skuy was born in Vryheid, South Africa on February 17, 1932 to Benjamin and Chana (nee Cilevitz) Skuy. Percy is the middle of three children. His siblings are Max (b. 1929) and Rita (b. 1942). At seventeen, Percy began his apprenticeship and education to be a pharmacist. After qualifying as a pharmacist in 1954, he worked for a year at a pharmacy near Johannesburg before starting his travels through Europe, Australia and the United States. He had planned to return to South Africa, however, he did not have enough money for the fare back. Although he did not originally intend to visit Canada, he headed to Toronto to find a job so he could earn money for the passage home. He eventually secured a job with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals as a Medical Sales Representative and decided to stay. In 1959 he completed his requirements to become a liscenced pharmacist in Ontario and was the first South African pharmacist registered in Ontario.
Percy met Frances Goodman in 1960 on a blind date and they married that same year. Frances was a nurse from Sudbury. They had two children together: Beth (b. 1961) and David (b. 1963).
In 1961, Percy began his 34-year long career with the Johnson and Johnson Corporation. He had a variety of roles within the company and was President for 22-years with two Johnson & Johnson affiliate companies, namely Ortho Pharmaceutical (Canada) Ltd and Ortho-McNeil Inc. Percy is also the founder of the only museum devoted exclusively to the history of contraception located at the Dittrick Medical History Centre in Cleveland, Ohio.
Throughout his career, Percy has been appointed to a number of government and research councils including: the Premier's Council of Ontario, the Federal National Advisory Council on Pharmaceutical Research, and the Board of Governors of the Riverdale Hospital. In September 1995, Percy was inducted as a Candian Pioneer in Family Planning. He has also been an active member of the Rokeah Chapter of the Rho Pi Phi fraternity.
in 1977, Frances passed away. Percy eventually re-married to Elsa Ruth Snider on December 16, 1979.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Skuy, Percy, 1932-
Places
Vryheid, South Africa
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-3
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record
Physical Description
8 cm of textual records
140 photographs : tiff
Date
[194-?]-2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Ivor Simmons. Included is personal correspondence and photographs of Ivor's early life in South Africa and his family life and activities in Toronto. Of note are family portraits, Bialik Hebrew Day School class photos, Holy Blossom Temple Religious school images, images of the Toronto Island Yacht Club, images of Camp New Moon, Camp Ahmek, and Camp Walden, an image at Crystal Beach, and images of Ivor and his family visiting South Africa. Identified in the photographs are: Ivor Simmons, Milly Simmons, Jack Simmons, Renee Simmons, Gail Simmons, Alan Simmons, Eric Simmons, Anthony Giffard, Theo Wardaugh, Ruth Gold, Marlene Goldbach, Vicki Feraris, and Kim Bresge.
Administrative History
Ivor Simmons was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1937 to Milly and Jack Simmons. He has two younger brothers: Michael (B. 1941) and David (b. 1945). Ivor's father owned a printing business. Ivor studied chemical engineering at the University of Capetown and found work at a petroleum refinery near Johannesburg soon after graduating. Around 1961, Ivor moved to London, England where he worked for the Lummus Company. He moved to Canada in 1963 and settled in Toronto. He worked for Union Carbide for a few years conducting industrial market research and then took a job performing the same work for Falconbridge Nickelmines. Around 1970, he opened his own business called A&A Liquid Waste Removal Company.
Ivor married Renee Rothman in 1966. Together they had three children: Alan, Eric, and Gail. Ivor sold his business in 1997. In his retirement, Ivor has volunteered with a variety of organizations including, animal and bird rehabilitations centres, Friends of Cedarvale, the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, and Trinity College (assisting with its annual book fair). Ivor is a member of Adath Israel Synagogue and was a member of B'nai Brith for many years.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Simmons, Ivor, 1937-
Places
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-4-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-4-2
Material Format
textual record
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
14 photographs : tiff
Date
1961-[2014?]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Max Skuy. Included are photocopies of short stories and poems written by Max and photographs of Max and Glenda's wedding, portraits of Max and his family, Max at the closing of the synagogue in Vryheid, and the window displays at Max's pharmacy in South Africa.
Administrative History
Max Skuy was born in Karsava, Latvia in 1929 to Benjamin and Chana (nee Cilevitz) Skuy. In 1930, Max and his mother immigrated to Vryheid, South Africa. They joined Max's father who was already living there. Max is the oldest of three children. His siblings are Percy (b. 1932) and Rita (b. 1942). Max married Glenda Silverstone in 1961. They had three children together. Max owned his own pharmacy in Durban called Check Pharmacy.
Max and Glenda immigrated to Toronto soon after Max's mother passed away in 1985. Max's children and brother Percy had already immigrated here. Max found work managing a furniture store in Richmond Hill. He is a member of a short story club and regularly submits stories and poems to the SAJAC News for publication.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Skuy, Max, 1929-
Places
Vryheid, South Africa
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-6-2
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
39 photographs (tiff)
Date
1923, [1950?]-[2011?]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs documenting Martin Charney and his family. Included are portraits of Martin as a child and young man, wedding photographs of Martin's grandparents in Johannesburg (1923), images of Martin's bar mitzvah and weddings, photographs of Matin's family in London en route to Montreal, images of Martin and his family in Montreal, images of Camp Timberlands (New York), images of the Anglo-African Glass Company, images of Martin with his family in South Africa and images of Martin's family at weddings and bar mitzvah's in Toronto. Of note is an image from the dedication of Chabad Lubavitch in Thornill (2011). Identified in the images are: Martin Charney, Jack Frenkel, Doris Levinstein, Max Charney, Leah Charney, Candy Charney, Rabbi Gansberg, and Norman Charney.
Administrative History
Martin was born in Johannesburg in 1947 to Max and Joan Lena (née Frenkel) Charney. He has a younger brother, Norman. Max owned a glass manufacturing business called Anglo-African Glass. In 1963, the family left South Africa and immigrated to Montreal, Canada. They left South Africa because Max anticipated a future of political uncertainty. The family remained in Montreal for 7 years, before returning to South Africa in 1970. During this time, Martin graduated from high school and attended Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) where he studied for a 4 year Bachelor of Commerce Degree. Max built three office buildings in Sherbrooke, Kingston and Valleyfield and had six One Hour Martinizing laudromats. Joan was a Home Maker - never having done domestic work before.
Soon after returning to South Africa in 1970, Martin married Yaffa (née Franco). They had one daughter, Candyce Jasmine. They divorced in 1980. In 1982 Martin married his second wife, Basia (nee Sztrom). They had four children together: Candy, Leah, Avi Jack and Mirelle Feiga. All 5 children were born in Johannesburg. Martin worked as a real estate broker in South Africa and as a finance resource consultant concentrating on factoring accounts receivable in Toronto.
Due to the worsening violence in South Africa, Martin immigrated to Thornhill with his family in 1999. Martin and Basia divorced soon after immigrating here and Martin eventually re-married to a Canadian Judy Rosenberg. Martin continued in the same line of work once he arrived in Canada; however, he had to build his business back up again from scratch. Martin volunteers with a variety of organizations, including: Circle of Care, Tomchei Shabbos, HOD (Hebrew Order of David - Lodge Ramon) and Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel. He is a member of Chabad Lubavitch at 770 Chabad Gate in Thornhill.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Charney, Martin, 1947-
Places
Johannesburg, South Africa
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-7-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-7-8
Material Format
textual record
textual record (electronic)
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
1 document (docx)
Date
Nov. 2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one memoir written by Muriel Comay regarding her life in South Africa and immigration to Toronto.
Administrative History
Muriel was born to Ellie Goldblatt and Malcah (nee Friedlander) Goldblatt in 1945 in Cape Town, South Africa. She married Stephen Comay. In June 1975, she immigrated to Toronto with Stephen and their three young children.
Subjects
Immigrants' writings, South African (English)
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Comay, Muriel
Places
Cape Town, South Africa
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-9-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-9-2
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
ca. 8 cm of textual records and other material
Date
[ca. 1938]-[ca. 2009]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of material documenting the Silberg family's immigration to Ontario, family life in South Africa and Ontario, education, communal involvement in Hamilton, and pharmacy businesses. Included are photographs, correspondence, ephemera from the pharmacy businesses (such as bags and a name tag), newspaper clippings, certificates, invitations, flyers, school transcripts, architectural drawings for Night-Day Pharmacy on Ryman Road East, cookbooks, and photo albums. Also included is a JNF book for a Negev dinner honouring Hilton and Shirley Silberg as well a copy of Beth Jacob Synagogue's 125th anniversary book (the Beth Jacob Family Album).
Administrative History
Hilton Silberg was born in Durban, South Africa in 1951 to Sam and Brina Silberg. Sam worked in the retail furniture business and Hilton has three siblings: Sheryl, Lynn and Brett. Hilton was very active in sports and played soccer, cricket and swimming. At age 11, he started competing in ballroom dancing with his sister Lynn. At age 16, he and Lynn were the South African Juvenile Ballroom Champions and runners up in the Latin American Championship. In highschool, Hilton started his own DJ business which he continued through his first years of pharmacy school.
Shirley (nee Gitlin) Silberg was born in Durban in 1951 to Max and Isabel Gitlin. Max was a physical medicine specialist and Isabel ran his practice. Shirley has two siblings: Brian and Barbara. Shirley was very active in her school's netball, field hockey and swimming teams.
Hilton and Shirley met at the Natal Pharmacy School in Durban and married in 1974. After marriage, Hilton completed his one-year mandatory service in the South African army as an officer. After his service, he and Shirley went on a ten month long backpacking trip which ended at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. This trip was an eye-opener for them and they realized that they no longer wanted to live in a country with apartaid politics. They didn't want to raise children in South Africa. They chose Canada as their destination and applied three times for entry. Thier application was rejected all three times, but Hilton staged a "sit-in" at the Canadian embassy in Pretoria and an immigration officer eventually met with him and overturned thier rejection. They arrived in Canada in August 1977.
They went to the University of Toronto School of Pharmacy for two years to re-license in Canada. In the evenings they worked in a pharmacy owned by their Canadian sponsor. In 1981, Hilton and Shirley partnered with their Canadian sponsors and opened the Amhurst Pharmacy in Dundas. In 1982 the pharmacy's name was changed to Hilton's Pharmacy. In 1987 Shopper's Drug Mart purchased Hilton's Pharmacy. The Silberg's stayed on to operate two of the franchises in Dundas. In 1992, Hilton and Shirley left Shppers Drug Mart to open the DayNight Pharmacy on the east Hamilton Mountain. This was the first pharmacy in Hamilton to remain open until midnight. Their pharmacy eventually expanded to include five stores. In 2007, they sold their business to Rexall Pharma Plus.
Hilton and Shirley have three children: Mark, Maxine and Brad. Hilton and Shirley were very active in Hamilton's community. Hilton was involved in a variety of organizations including, Beth Jacob synagogue, Shalom Village, and Jewish National Fund Hamilton. Shirley has volunteered with various Hamilton JCC programs, the Hamilton North End Breakfast Program, the 'Out of the Cold' Program, Goldie's Place day program for adults at Shalom Village, and the Jewish National Fund Hamilton.
Descriptive Notes
Physical description note: includes ca. 80 photographs, 4 cookbooks, 1 architectural drawing, 3 bags, and 1 name tag.
Related material note: oral history #419.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Occupations
Societies
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Silberg, Hilton
Silberg, Shirley
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-9
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-9
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
ca. 5 cm of textual records
Date
1989-1996, 2013
Scope and Content
Accession consists of issues of the SAJAC News (publication of the South African Jewish Association of Canada).
Subjects
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-10-6
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-10-6
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
2 photographs (tiff) : b&w
Date
1897-1960, 1993
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Eli Bloch. Included are photocopies of correspondence, newsclippings, Eli's Canadian certificate of naturalization, travel documents, South African licenses, and a genealogical family tree for the Bloch family. Also included are two photographs of Eli in his later years.
Custodial History
The original records are in the possession of Gerry Bloch, the grandson of Eli Bloch. Gerry is the son of Eli's son Norman.
Administrative History
Eli (Elias) Bloch was born in 1872 to Nokhum Tevel Rabinovitch in Kishinev Moldava. He had four siblings: Golda, Joseph, Samuel and Bertha. In the 1890s Eli and his siblings (with the exception of Golda) immigrated to South Africa. Bertha married Theodore Dissler (an importer/exporter). During the Boer War, Eli and his brother Joseph fought with the Dutch. After the war, Dissler employed Eli in his business. In 1907, Dissler sent Eli to sell ostrich feathers in various cities around the world, including: London (England), Montreal and Toronto. While in Toronto, Eli attended the First Roumanian Hebrew Congregation Adath Israel where he met his future wife Leah Madnok and chose to remain in Ontario, without completing his task of selling ostrich feathers in the remaining cities on his itinerary. He married Leah in 1909. From about 1911 until 1922, Eli and Leah lived in Gravenhurst and ran a general store on the main street. They had four children together: Harry (1912-1945), Rose (1914-1994), Rachel (Rae) (1916-2000), and Norman (1916-1989). Rachel and Norman were twins.
In 1922, Elias and Leah moved to Mactier and opened a general store. By 1926, Leah and the children were living in London, ON and Elias continued to operate the general store. He saw the family regularly. Around 1935, Elias left Mactier. He remained in London until he moved to Toronto in 1942. Elias passed away in Toronto in 1960.
Descriptive Notes
Language note: English, Yiddish, and Russian
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Families
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-12
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-12
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Physical Description
60 cm of textual records
ca. 30 photographs
Date
1963-2014
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the career of Peter Held. Included is correspondence, letters of congratulations, event dinner menus, event programs, articles and writings by Held, annual reports, newsletters, reports, newspaper clippings and photographs. The material was originally organized into a series of binders. Original order of the material has been maintained.
Administrative History
Peter E. Held was born in Cape Town, South Africa in Dec. 1937 to Herbert and Hilde Held, Jewish immigrants from Germany. Following Hilde’s death, Herbert moved in with his own mother and stepfather who had also immigrated to South Africa. Speaking only German, Peter grew up trilingual, acquiring German fluency at home and speaking English and Afrikaans at school.
In 1960, after completing his education at the University of Witwatersrand, and five years of clerkship, in Johannesburg, S.A., Held passed the S.A. Public Accountants and Auditors Board Examination. As a newly minted Chartered Accountant, he worked for six months in London, England before arriving in Canada in 1961 as a tourist, intending to stay six months, work his way across North America then head for Australia.
With $24 in his pocket, Held arrived in Quebec and made his way to Toronto where he found work with Dunwoody & Company (now BDO Canada). He quickly proved himself, becoming a partner at the age of 26 years, one of the youngest ever at the firm. He became Toronto Region Managing Partner from 1981 to 1996, and Chief Executive Officer of BDO Dunwoody, where he was responsible for the overall management and leadership of the firm from 1997 to 2001. An employee at BDO Dunwoody for forty years, Held is recognized for his exemplary leadership as he guided it through a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity.
Held was Chairman of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants from 1991-2. He was First Vice-Chairman, Second Vice-President, a member of the Board of Governors, and a participant on various committees for the Canadian Institute. He was also President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1986-87, First and Second Vice-Presidents, and served on various committees for the Ontario Institute. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario awarded Held a Fellowship (F.C.A.) in 1976, Life Membership in 1987, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario Award of Outstanding Merit in 1993, usually awarded to only one individual per year. Held travelled in Canada and abroad on behalf of the Canadian Institute and profession, speaking at various conferences.
Held was also Canada's representative of the International Federation of Accountants from 1995-7 and President of the Toronto Chartered Accountants Association in 1974. He was a Board or Committee member at several other organizations, some are: Ontario Chamber of Commerce, North York General Hospital, University of Waterloo, Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Club, Y.M.C.A., Donalda Club, the Royal Canadian Military Institute, and United Way.
Following training in mediation and conflict resolution, Held worked as a mediator and arbitrator at ADR Chambers, conducting mediations dealing with a variety of commercial disputes. He also mediated on professional negligence issues.
Held is married to Gyneth (nee Gordon) from South Africa, a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. They have two adult children, Heather (married to Gill) and Michael (married to Krista), and several grandchildren.
Use Conditions
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Descriptive Notes
Language note: English and German.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-11
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-11-11
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
14 photographs : col. (jpg)
Date
[1981?]-2009
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs documenting various trips Nicole Cohen took to South Africa as a child and adult. Photographs predominatly document Nicole visiting sites around Johannesburg, particularly her family's old apartment building. Also included are photographs of Nicky visiting her grandparents as a child, reconnecting with her family's maid, and visiting the Nelson Mandela Square with her children. Also included is one photograph of Nicole's brother, Jeremy David Cohen, in front of the Cohen family home in Thornhill (1984?).
Administrative History
Nicole (Nicky) Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to John Cohen and Viviane (nee Lehwess) Cohen in 1972. She has two siblings: Steven (b. 1974), and Jeremy David (1979). Viviane worked as a physiotherapist and John as a textile sales agent. Due to the unstable political situation in South Africa, the family immigrated to North York in March 1977. For the first few weeks, they lived in a rental apartment in North York. They soon moved into a townhouse nearby. In 1980, they bought their first house in Thornhill. Both John and Viviane were able to continue in their professions after immigrating to Canada. The family regularly visited South Africa.
Nicole is a clinical psychologist in Toronto. She married Jordan Kerpinsky on May 16, 1999. They have three children together: Hayley, Justin, and Ryan.
Descriptive Notes
Related Material Note: for an oral history interview with Nicole Cohen see AC 422, for other Cohen family material see accession #2015-3/8.
Subjects
Families
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Vacations
Name Access
Cohen, Nicole
Places
South Africa
Thornhill (Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-1-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-1-5
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
ca. 10 cm of textual records and other material
Date
1957-2015, predominant 1974-2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting Claude Heimann's immigration to Canada, career, involvement with Temple Har Zion and family life. Included are photographs, correspondence, newsletters and journals, writings and presentations by Heimann, certificates, newspaper clippings, event and conference programs, and business cards. Also included are documents with the text used for Totum Research's website.
Administrative History
Claude Heimann was born on 21 March 1944 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Wilhelm (Bill) Otto Heimann and Lotte Heimann (nee Rosenberg). He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Witwatersrand in 1966. In 1969, he married Adele Masail at the Pine Street Synagogue in Johannesburg. They lived in Windsor Park, Johannesburg and had two children together: Nicole Heidi (now married to Marshall Starkman) and Marc Steven.
Claude initially worked for Market Research Africa interviewing farm workers across the country. In 1971 he joined Reader's Digest in South Africa as a Research Director. Believing there would not be a peaceful solution to apartheid, Claude had decided at a young age that he would evenutally leave South Africa. He hoped that Reader's Digest was a company that might be able to transfer him to work in another country. Ten years later, in 1981, an opportunity came up with the Canadian edition of Reader's Digest in a similar role. Claude accepted the position and immigrated with his family to Toronto in May 1981. For their first few months they lived at Glengrove Manor on Yonge Street between Lawrence and Eglinton. In July, they moved into their home in Thornhill. Adele initially stayed home with the family, but eventually worked as a bookkeeper for a variety of different businesses.
Claude left Reader's Digest in 1990 to become a partner in Totum Research. Throughout his career, Claude has served on the Research Committee of PMB and has been a member of the Board of Directors of CARF for whom he served as Technical Director. He has also served on a number of other media research related committees, including the Technical Committee of AMPS and the Magazines Canada Research Committee. Claude was also active on the Board of Temple Har Zion, holding a variety of positions, including: regular Board member, Vice President for Worship, Vice President, Treasurer, President and Past President for two years on the Executive. He also reported Board decisions for the THZ monthly bulletin.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Descriptive Notes
Physical description note: includes 2.3 MB of textual records, 6 photographs, 17 slides, and 26.3 MB of photographs.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Occupations
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Synagogues
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-2
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record (electronic)
Physical Description
92 photographs (jpgs) : col. and b&w
1.55 MB of textual records
Date
1965, 1990-2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities and history of Dr. Mark Friedlander and his family. Included is a family history written by Mark's father, Bertie Friedlander and a personal CV written by Mark. Also included are photographs documenting a wide variety of Mark's activities, including his work as an anesthesiologist, Jewish holiday celebrations, his cottage life in Buckhorn, his outdoor activities (such as skiing, canoeing, hiking, cycling, fishing, and ice hockey), Danny's Bar Mitzvah at Kehillat Shareei Torah, Mark's marriage to Lila, the university graduations of family members, Mark's involvement with March of the Living, his participation in Walk With Israel, and his various trips to Zimbabwe, South Africa and other parts of the world. Of note is a photograph of Mark and his son Danny on Mount Kilimanjaro and images of the Sharon School Reunion which took place at Mark's house in Thornhill. Individuals identified in the photographs include: Dr. Mark Friedlander, Lila Speigel, Alec Amato, Lauren Amato, Eli Friedlander, Bert Amato, Danny Amato, Paul Ciapparelli, Sergio Ciapparelli, Lou Silver, Dennis Scolnik, Bertie Friedlander, Jarred Goldberg, Mike Green, Warren Liebowitz, Sue Holmes, Hilda Cohen, Florence Weinberger, Vickie Campbell, Joe Feldman, and Martha Shemtov.
Custodial History
The material was in the possession of Dr. Mark Friedlander. All the images he has are digital. He does not have the original prints in his possession.
Administrative History
Dr. Mark Friedlander was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) in May 1958 to Bertie and Selma Friedlander. Bertie was a pharmacist whose career went from retail manufacturing to regulations, and later an academic in learning and teaching.
Mark attended the University of Cape Town Medical School from 1976 to 1981. Between 1982 and 1987, he lived and worked in : Cape Town, South Africa; London, England; Saskatchewan, Canada and New York City, USA. In 1987 he married Lesley Kane (from London) in London, England and moved to Toronto for Specialty Residency in Anesthesia at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. During his four year residency, he and Lesley had two sons: Danny (1989) and Eli (1991).
Since 1992 Mark has worked as a staff anesthesiologist at North York General Hospital, Toronto. He is also a part time consultant at the Chronic Pain Management Allevio and Pinnacle Pain Clinics.
Mark and Lesley divorced In 2011. In 2015, Mark married Lila Speigel. Lila had immigrated to Toronto in about 1986 after living in Israel and before that from Caracas, Venezuela. Mark’s community involvement includes acting as a chaperone and physician on the March of the Living in 1994, as a UJA supporter since 1991 and as host of a Sharon Jewish Day School Zimbabwe reunion. He has also volunteered on numerous surgical missions to various countries including, Ecuador, Peru, Russia and Vietnam. He has been a member of Kehillat Shaarei Torah synagogue since 1996.
Mark has an older sister, Wendy (born in 1956), and a younger brother, Gary (born in 1960). Gary is married to a South African and Wendy is married to Dennis Scolnik also from Zimbabwe and they all live in the Toronto area. Mark’s parents, who moved to Israel with Gary in 1977, immigrated to Toronto in 1992 to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Mark's father passed away in 2012.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Occupations
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Travel
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-3
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record (electronic)
Physical Description
1 photograph (jpg) : col.
44.5 KB of textual records
Date
2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one family history and photograph documenting Les Krawitz and his family. Identified in the photograph (taken in Muskoka) are:
Back row: Son-in-law Shaun Levy, daughter Delia Krawitz Levy, Daughter-in-law Randi Katz Krawitz, son Evan Krawitz (Delia's twin), wife Joan Krawitz, Les Krawitz, son Stan Krawitz, Stan's partner Laura Vasic, grandchildren Chloe and Max (Stan's kids)
Front row: grandchildren Jordana (Delia & Shaun's child), Adriana and Jake (Evan & Randi's children)
Administrative History
Les Krawitz was born in 1940 in Brakpan, South Africa to Abraham and Ella Krawitz. In 1964, he married Joan Marks. They had three children together: Stan (b. 1968) and twins Evan and Delia (b. 1971). The Krawitz family immigrated to Toronto in October 1987. Les initially worked with Tandem International (a marketing and sales consulting firm). In 1994, he joined the Sales Development Group (a human resources firm). After four years, he branched out with his own human resources company, Just Solutions Inc. In 2003 he joined his son, Stan's, real estate brokerage, Real Facilities, as a sales manager and realtor. He retired in 2011.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-12-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-12-5
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
4 folders of textual records
ca. 94 photographs : b&w and col. (44 tiff.) ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
1 plaque
Date
1936-1990, predominant 1951-1990
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records documenting the activities of Ronnie Roth. Included are textual and graphic materials relating to Ronnie's personal life and career such as, photographs of family milestones and events; Ronnie's youth and early adulthood in South Africa, his involvement with Betar; and time as a paratrooper with the Israeli Army; Ronnie and Sandra's wedding; travel; Ronnie's insurance broker license graduation; and condolence letters sent to the Roth family after his passing. Also included are records documenting Ronnie's communal involvement, particularly his involvement with B'nai Brith Raoul Wallenberg - Yorkdale Circle Lodge, Antibes-Torresdale Ratepayers Association, and Forest Hill Ratepayers Association . B'nai Brith material includes photographs of Ronnie's participation in B'nai Brith Canada's 1986 Mission to Israel; photographs of events honouring Ronnie and his work; and an issue of The Orbit that eulogizes Ronnie. Finally, the accession consists of a business card for Ronnie's film and video entertainment company in South Africa and a Prime Minister's Certificate of Appreciation from the Conservative Party of Canada.
Identified in the photographs are: Ronnie Roth, Sandra Roth, Chantal [Roth], Gavin Roth, Elana [Roth], Morris Flicht, Frank Dimant, Ralph Snow, Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Harry Bick, Sam Pacht, Merv Rosenstein, Ralph Cohen, [?] Steinmetz, Colin Baskind, Dr. Meister, Esther Shiner, Peter Roth, Paul Roth, and Annie Guttman.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Sandra Roth, Ronnie's wife. Sandra donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Ronnie Roth was born on December 24, 1938 to Mr. Dezso (Desmond) and Mrs. Erzsi (Elizabeth) Abraham of Johannesburg, South Africa. Throughout his youth, Ronnie was active in a variety of Zionist groups including: the Zionist Youth Movement of South Africa, Betar, the Zionist Revisionist Organization and the South African Zionist Federation. In his late teens, Ronnie went on Na[c]hal Tzonei-ach and joined the Tzanchanim, the elite paratrooper corps of the Israeli Army. Ronnie served in the military for three years. His time in Israel also included work on a kibbutz.
By the age of 25, Ronnie had returned to South Africa and was a director of the Tollman Group of hotels and manager of the famous Johannesburg restaurant, The Colony. Ronnie married Sandra Benn from Port Elizabeth, SA, in August 1964. Sandra was a singer, dancer and entertainer. After their marriage, they settled in Johannesburg where Ronnie continued to work as an hotelier. Their first daughter, Chantal, was born in 1966 followed by Gavin in 1969 and Elana in 1973. During this period, Ronnie’s community involvement grew as he became Executive Director of Tel Hai in 1968 and served in this role until 1970. He then joined the Jewish United Communal Fund and ran their fundraising campaign.
The Roth’s were unhappy with South Africa’s apartheid politics and were eager to emigrate. Ronnie sought employment opportunity abroad and was offered employment as a fundraiser for UJA Federation in Toronto in 1975. Ronnie accepted the position and immigrated to Toronto in 1976. Sandra followed him with their children a few months later. When he completed his UJA assignment, he became an insurance broker. After a year, he founded KRG Insurance Brokers with two partners in 1980.
Upon arriving in Canada, Ronnie became interested in immigration issues and co-founded the South African Jewish Association in Canada (SAJAC) to help other South Africans with immigration and adjustment to Canadian life. He was the organization’s first president from 1976 to 1981 and again from 1986 to 1987. Ronnie’s involvement in assisting newcomers extended to his roles as Member of the Board of Directors and Member of the Integration Committee of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society as well as Chairman of the Sherut Shalom Employment & Integration Assistance to African Jews.
Ronnie was also active in B’nai Brith Canada. He joined the Yorkdale Lodge in 1983 and went on to serve as both Vice-President and President. During his tenure as President, he played a critical role in the integration of the Yorkdale and Circle Lodges into the unified Raoul Wallenberg Lodge. He also served in various positions at the National level with B’nai Brith Canada, including as National Chairman of the Israel Cabinet, Co-Chairman of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the National Executive and Board of Governors. In 1986, the National Leadership awarded him with the B’nai Brith Canada Achievement Award. In the same year, he and his wife and fellow lodge member Sandra (the lodge’s first female full member) were honoured recipients of the Israel Bonds Negev Award.
Ronnie also held important roles in the community at-large as President of the Antibes-Torresdale Ratepayers Association and Forest Hill Ratepayers Association; President and Founder of the Rockford Community Summer Day Camp; Member of the City of North York Condominium Committee; Member of the Board of Directors of Baycrest’s Men’s Service Group; and Member of the Board of Directors of Bank Leumi (Canada).
Ronnie passed away on October 14, 1989 at the age of 50 years.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Societies
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-26
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-26
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Physical Description
4 folders of textual records
ca. 10 photographs : col. ; 22 x 28 cm or smaller
Date
1980-2016, predominant 1982-1994
Scope and Content
Accession consists of material documenting the Herman family's immigration to Ontario, family life in Thornhill, education, communal involvement in Hamilton, and their business endeavours with the Firwin Corporation and Simply Extraordinary. Included are photographs; a family history that was written in commemoration of Paul and Miriam's fiftieth wedding anniversary; a selection of annual family newsletters that detail their life in Canada; correspondence documenting Paul's involvement with Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, Ontario; their childrens' school certificates, secondary school diplomas, and post-secondary convocation programs. Also included is business ephemera, such as, business cards and images documenting Simply Extraordinary corporate gift products.
Identified in the photographs are: Paul Herman, Miriam Herman, Brett Herman, and Adina Ward (nee Herman).
Administrative History
Paul Henry Herman was born on July 3, 1940 to Mr. Leslie Elkan and Mrs. Clare Herman (nee Emdon) of Dunkeld West, Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul is the eldest of five siblings. During his youth, Paul was involved in his synagogue and youth groups as well as the Boy Scouts. He attended Stellenbosch Afrikaans University where he earned a business degree and became fluent in Afrikaans. After university, he joined the family uniform business, H. J. Henochsberg, and was sent to England in 1962 for further clothing industry training.
Paul married Miriam Riva Herman from Wynberg, Cape Town, SA on February 6th, 1965. Miriam worked as a social worker at the Johannesburg General Hospital. Their first son, Stanley, was born in 1966 followed by Rael in 1968, Brett in 1970 and Adina in 1974.
The Herman’s were motivated to emigrate out of a desire to prevent their son from having to enlist in the South Africa army [and thereby become involved in military efforts that they did not support]. After the family business was sold, Paul worked as a quality manager at Edgars Stores while periodically travelling abroad with Miriam to seek out emigration opportunities.
The Herman family came to Canada in 1982 and settled in Thornhill, Ontario. Upon arriving in Ontario, Paul found work at a uniform manufacturer (Saint Hill Levine Uniforms) then at Lady Manhattan and Sunshine T-Shirts. In 1989, Paul and Miriam purchased Firwin Corporation, a high temperature insulation manufacturing company. During the family’s early years in Canada, Miriam started a corporate gift business called Simply Extraordinary.
Use Conditions
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Occupations
Societies
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-60
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-60
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Physical Description
ca. 5 cm of textual records
2 photographs : col. & b&w ; 10 x 15 cm and 5 x 4 cm
Date
1972-2010, predominant 1977-1983
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the Robinson family's immigration to Ontario as well as Morris Robinson's professional history and business activities with Libman and Company.
Included is family correspondence; the Robinson's customs paperwork and travel documents; Morris' curriculum vitae, professional records and some documentation of his business activities; and genealogical accounts of the Robinson family including a history by Lilian Henry. Of note is a letter Morris Robinson sent to Irma when he first arrived in Boston on his way to Toronto as well as letters Morris' parents hand delivered to Irma just before she left with the children to join Morris in Canada.
Identified in the photographs are: Morris Robinson and Phoebe Robinson.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Morris Robinson. Morris donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Morris Robinson was born in Cape Town, South Africa on May 27th, 1948 and grew up in Benoni. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Witwatersrand and graduated as a Chartered Accountant in 1973. On February 25th, 1973. Morris married Irma Startz who was born in Benoni, South Africa on December 10, 1951. Irma earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Witwatersrand and went on to obtain a Post-Graduate Higher Teacher's Diploma. The Robinsons have three sons. Their first son, Marc, was born in South Africa on September 26th, 1976 (just a few months after the Soweto riots). Their sons Frank (b. December 31, 1980) and Daniel (b. March 12, 1985) were born in Toronto.
The Robinsons were motivated by political unrest, which manifested in the anti-apartheid Soweto uprising of June 1976, and the desire for a safe future for their family, to seek opportunity abroad and to emigrate. In February of 1977, Morris heard through friends about an accounting job opportunity in Canada and was officially appointed to the post of comptroller at Libman and Company, then Canadas’ largest jewellery manufacturer. The Robinsons arrived in Toronto in early 1978 and settled in Thornhill, Ontario. In 1989, Morris became a partner of Libman and Company. During his career in the jewellery industry, Morris was involved with the Canadian Jewellers Association and served as the organization's chairman. He was also a founding member and first treasurer of the Diamond Bourse of Canada. Irma pursued a teaching career with the Toronto District School Board, specializing in ESL and eventually becoming the principal at an ESL school for adults. The Robinsons were founding members of Shaar Shalom Synagogue. In 2012 the Robinsons sold the family home in Thornhill and moved into the city to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Business
Immigrants--Canada
Families
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-51
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-3-51
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
2006
Scope and Content
Accession consists of a copy of one family memoir written by Joy Lowenstein, documenting the Lowenstein and Lipinski families.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Joy Lowenstein.
Administrative History
Joy Lowenstein (nee Lipinski) was born in June 1930 to Rose Davis and Teddy (Edward) Lipinski of Johannesburg, South Africa. Joy married Jules (Julius) Lowenstein on October 8th, 1950 at the Yeoville Shul in Johannesburg, The Lowensteins had three children who were all born in SA: David (b. 1952), Larry (b. 1955) and Kim (b. 1960). The Lowensteins were upset with South Africa’s apartheid politics and wanted to leave when David and Larry had finished their university studies.
David finished his studies at the University of Witwatersrand, but did not wish to serve in the SA army, which was mandatory for all young men. David left SA for Toronto in 1977. Kim, Joy and Jules emigrated from SA to Canada in 1977 and settled in North York. Larry worked abroad in the United States as an American Field Scholar; returned to SA to study at the University of Witwatersrand; pursued studies in law at Oxford; and then joined the family in Toronto in 1979. In Toronto, Joy and Jules opened a gift shop on Eglinton Avenue called Present Place which they owned until their retirement in 2004.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Families
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-2-4
Material Format
textual record
textual record (electronic)
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
33.2 MB of textual records
Date
1969-2002
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records documenting the history and professional activities of Cyril "Cy" Charney and his family. Included is an autobiographical family history entitled "My Story" and a variety of documents that trace Cy's career including promotional materials from university courses that he taught; a curriculum vitae; copies of his university diplomas; management-related lecture programs; various certificates of achievement; and newspaper clippings.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Cy Charney. Cy donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Cyril "Cy" Charney was was born on 21 November 1944 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Daniel and Dora Charney. His parents emigrated from Lithuania to SA before the Second World War. Cy's family moved to Bulawayo in 1950 where his father founded the Anglo African Glass company. The family was involved with the community and were members of the Weitzman Country Club. Cy’s family moved back to Johannesburg after the sudden passing of his father in November of 1954.
Throughout his youth, Cy was involved in South African Zionist organizations. During his early years and into young adulthood he was part of Habonim, the Zionist Socialist movement. He then went on to join the Hebrew Order of David.
Cy married Rhona on 26 March 1967. Shortly after the Six-Day War, the couple went to make aliyah in Israel. They relocated to Kibbutz Givat Chaim Bet, close to Hadera, some 50 km north of Tel Aviv. Their stay lasted six months and then they returned to SA where Cy worked in insurance. The Charneys had three chlidren who were all born in SA: Daneal (b. 6 February 1961), Thalia (b. 9 July 1970), and Davin (b. 28 May 1972). The Charneys have two granddaughters, Yael and Limona.
As the political situation in SA began to deteriorate in 1976, the Charneys decided to emigrate to Canada. Cy first arrived in London, Ontario upon arrival to Canada and then chose to settle in Toronto in mid-1980. Rhona and the children arrived three months later and in the meantime, Cy had found work with Loblaws. After a year, Cy sought different work opportunities with the Thorne, Stevenson, and Kellogg management consulting group. He then went on to start his own consulting business. Rhona has a Masters in Social Work and has pursued her profession.
The Charneys have been part of Temple Kol Ami since 1993.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Synagogues
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-5-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-5-8
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
1 photograph : col. ; 20 x 25 cm
Date
1982-1990, 2015
Scope and Content
Accession consists of graphic and textual records documenting the Judelman family and Alan Judelman's involvement with the Men’s Service Group at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Documents include a family photograph (Jan. 2015); two issues of the Baycrest News (December 1982 and May 1990); and an invitation to the 1990 Men’s Service Group at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care Annual Dinner and Installation of Officers.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Alan and Lin Judelman. The Judelmans donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Alan (b. 1939) and Linda (b. 1945, nee Galland) Judelman were born in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were married on January 5th, 1965. Alan was trained as a chartered account and Lin completed a B.A. degree at Witwatersrand University and teacher training. The Judelmans have three children who were all born in SA: Andrew, Vanessa and Greg.
In 1978, political unrest in SA prompted the Judelmans to emigrate. Upon immigration to Canada, the family settled in North York. Alan graduated as a chartered accountant in Canada and eventually went on to start an environmental services company (Diproinduca Canada). Lin re-trained as a teacher and pursued a B.Ed. at York University. She specialized in ESL, history and guidance over the course of her 21 year career at the TDSB.
Alan was actively involved with the Men’s Service Group at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in his capacity as the organization’s president. He volunteered with HAIT (organization that promotes head injury awareness and knowledge) and served on the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living Board of Directors. The Judelmans are members of the Beth Tikvah synagogue and Alan has also volunteered with the congregation.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
Societies
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Synagogues
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-4-20
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-4-20
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Physical Description
ca. 4 cm of textual records
7 photographs : col. ; 10 x 15 cm or smaller
Date
1953-2014, predominant 1965-1995
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic records documenting the history and professional activities of Ismé Bennie. The accession includes: a report card from Vereeniging Medium English High School; a SA identification card; documentation from her early employment history in SA; clippings of her work with News/Check magazine; newspaper articles documenting reactions to the "South Africa Speaks" documentary and her involvement with the production; correspondence received while working in public broadcasting at NET (National Educational Television, later succeeded by PBS [Public Broadcasting Service]) and OECA (Ontario Educational Communications Authority, also known as TVOntario); an invitation to the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) Personal Achievement Award party in 1990 and correspondence related to her receipt of the award; a commemmorative document written by Stuart Foxman entitled "Paragon International: Bennie Celebrates Decade at the Helm"; correspondence regarding Bennie's ten year anniversary at Paragon; an invitation to the CFTPA Jack Chisholm Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Motion Picture and Television Industry luncheon and correspondence related to her receipt of the award.
Identified in the photos are: Ismé Bennie and Veronica Tennant.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Ismé Bennie. Isme donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Ismé Bennie was born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1940. She graduated from Witwatersrand University in 1960 with a B.A. in Library Science. She intially worked as a librarian at the City of Johannesburg Library and briefly left SA to seek opportunity in London. After returning from London, Ismé worked as a writer, researcher and editor with News/Check magazine until the mid-1960s. During this period, she participated in the production of "South Africa Speaks"; a Peabody Award-winning NET/WGBH produced documentary that was critical of the apartheid regime.
Bennie left SA in 1965 in search of professional opportunity and to leave the politics of apartheid. She began working primarily in public broadcasting in the United States. She continued in this field after relocating to Canada 1960s and rose to success in production at OECA,
In 1983, she founded Ismé Bennie International, a media distribution company. After it merged with production company Paragon, Bennie returned to broadcasting. She joined CHUM, (the Toronto-based media company), as Director of Development, rising to Director of Programming and Acquisitions in 1995, and that year won the (CFTPA) Jack Chisholm Award. Previously, she had received the CFTPA Personal Achievement Award in 1990. In 2003, Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT–T) recognized her contribution to supporting and developing women in broadcasting, and she received the WIFT-T Outstanding Achievement Award. Canadian Television Network (CTV) acquired CHUM in 2007 and Bennie was one of the executives retained in the acquisition. Around 2010, Bennie left CTV. Since leaving she has done consulting work and freelance writing. In 2015, she published a memoir entitled, White Schooldays : Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Descriptive Notes
Related material note: oral history AC 429
Subjects
Authors
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Television producers and directors
Name Access
Bennie, Ismé
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-10
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-10
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
12 photographs : b&w and col.
Date
[1969?], 1994-2004
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the activities of Paul and Chips Klein. Included are photographs, newspaper clippings and a report created by Chipco Canada Inc. regarding visits to a steel factory in Russia. Of note, is a page from a program book relating to the spanish dancing career of Chips (Chiquita) in South Africa.
Administrative History
Colleen (Chips) Klein was born in Johannesberg, South Africa in 1947 to Thea and Abe Abramson. Under the stage name of Chiquita Albeniz, Chips was a spanish dancer with the Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Theatre in South Africa. She met her husband, Paul Klein, while she was on vacation in Margate, South Africa.
Paul was born in Johannesburg on October 1, 1945 to Dorothea Klein (nee Erlanger, born in Frankfurt Germany) and Horst Klein (born in Berlin, Germany). Paul received a BSc in Metalurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand BSc and an MBA at the University of South Africa. He found work in the field of Metalurgical Engineering.
Chips and Paul married in 1969 and had two children together: Lazar and Talia. The family immigrated to Guelph, ON in 1975. They were largely motivated to emigrate because they wanted to raise their children in a country without apartheid. Paul worked in engineering sales. Chips turned her focus to entrepreneurship. She designed and developed the Eye Maker line of mirrors. She also founded a business consultant company in 1982 called Chipco Canada Inc. One of her clients was the Women Inventors Project, which was founded in 1986 to support inventive, innovative and scientific projects. Chips has also delivered workshops and seminars to a variety of organizations. She has won numerous awards, including the South African Women for Women's Entrepreneurial Role Model award in 1998.
Around 1980, the parents of both Paul and Chips followed them to Ontario. Paul and Chips moved to Toronto with their children in 1991. After their move, they became involved in the Chabad Lubavitch of Markham and Paul is currently President of the congregation. The Klein family are involved in a variety of sports, including marathon running and water skiing.
Subjects
Habad
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-7-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-7-3
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
5 photographs (jpg)
Date
1953, 2010-2011
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs taken by Jessica Parker documenting the following individuals: Ivan Zarenda, Lucille and Aubrey Groll, and Lynne and David Ginsburg. Jessica took these images after interviewing these individuals for an oral history project related to Jewish immigrants from South Africa living in Kingston, ON.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Descriptive Notes
Related Material note: AC 431, AC 432, AC 433.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-4-1
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-4-1
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
object
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
17 photographs : b&w and col. ; 30 x 25 cm or smaller
1 napkin
Date
1963-2003, predominant 1975-2003
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic materials documenting the Sandler family's life and communal involvement in South Africa and Toronto. Included are photographs documenting family life and community work; Alan and Lorraine's marriage certificate; a commemorative napkin from the Sandler's wedding; correspondence from South African community organizations wishing the Sandlers well as they immigrate to Canada; the September and October 1989 issues of the Central African Zionist Digest; and newspaper clippings. The May 1992 Federation News clipping features Alan's role as chairman of the elder services sub-committee and the September 1989 CJN articles highlight Alan's involvement in planning settlement services for Russian Jews in the immediate post-Soviet years and the growing popularity of the Holy Blossom Temple nursery school.
Custodial History
Material was in possession of Lorraine Sandler. Lorraine donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
Lorraine Sandler (nee Weinstock) was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Alan Maurice Sandler was born to Aaron Morris and Stella Sandler in Cape Town, South Africa (SA). In her early years, Lorraine was involved with Habonim, the Zionist Youth Movement. Alan and Lorraine married on December 15th, 1963 at the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation and resided in Cape Town. Their involvement in the communal life of the SA Jewry grew during their early adulthood years. Lorraine and Alan worked at the Herzlia School (Southern Suburbs) Jewish Day School in Cape Town for 3.5 years in the mid-1970s before leaving for Canada. Alan was vice-chairman of the PTA and on the Governing Body of the school. He was also involved with the SA Zionist Federation Israel Jewish Appeal and the United Communal Fund for SA Jewry.
The Sandlers immigrated with their two sons, Robert and Ian, to Toronto in 1976. Lorraine continued her work as an early childhood educator upon arrival and became Director of the Holy Blossom Temple Preschool for eighteen years. Alan and Lorraine continued their strong involvement in Jewish communal life in Toronto and both took on leadership roles. Alan became President of the UJA Federation of Toronto. Lorraine is the past chair of the Women's Campaign and past chair of the Holocaust Centre of Toronto.
Use Conditions
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Voluntarism
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-8-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-8-8
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
Physical Description
18 photographs : b&w and col ; 14 x 22 cm or smaller
1 folder of textual records
Date
1937-2007
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records related to the personal history of Cyril Shenker and family. The records include Cyril's birth certificate, marriage certificate, South African passports for Cyril, his wife Denise and his 3 daughters. Each passport has a Canadian landed immigrant status report attached, dated 1975. Also included are Certificates of Canadian Citizenship for each. In addition, there are family photographs including 4 photos of Cyril as a young child in South Africa and his children and grandchildren in Canada. Finally, accession includes a short personal history written by Cyril about his life.
Administrative History
Cyril Bernard Shenker was born in 1936 in Sea Port Cape Town to Sonia (nee Feldman) and Harry Shenker. He had two older siblings: Doreen and Lionel. Harry ran a kosher deli in Sea Port called Spotless Foods. Cyril moved to Johannesburg in 1954 and found work as an order picker at Stanley Electrical Wholesales. In 1962 he bought company shares and by 1967 he owned a controlling interest in the company. After the company was sold in 1968, Cyril started two additional businesses before leaving South Africa in 1975: SA Lighting (1969-1971) and Viceroy Hardware (1971-1974).
Cyril married Denise Weinberg in 1960. They had three daughters together: Michelle Hilary (b. 1961), Lauren Ruth (b. 1963), and Gayle Anne (b. 1968). Cyril and Denise decided to move the family to Toronto in 1975 since they did not see a future for their daughters in South Africa because of the political situation.
After working initially as a manager at a screw manufacturing plant in Milton, Cyril embarked on a series of additional business ventures in Canada. In 1977 he bought Irwin Hardware Store with two partners. In 1979, he sold his shares in the business and started Allied Agencies (an import and distribution business of household and kitchen wares) with his business partner Eric Gilbert. In 1988, they sold this business and started Port Style Enterprises in 1991 with Jackie Milner and Harvey Rachman. In 2014, Cyril sold his shares and retired.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Shenker, Cyril, 1936-
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-13
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-6-13
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
3 DVDs
112 photographs : col. (tif)
Date
[ca. 1955]-2005, predominant [ca. 1982]-2005
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual and graphic records documenting the history of the Lurie family. Included are a wide variety of photographs documenting family activities such as Lynne and David's wedding; Jewish holiday celebrations; outdoor activities (such as skating and tobogganing); vacations; the Bat Mitzvahs of Danielle, Lisa and Shira and Asher's Bar Mitzvah at Shaar Shalom Synagogue. Also included are speeches and certificates from the children's Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
Custodial History
Material was in the possession of Lynne and David Lurie. Lynne donated it to the OJA.
Administrative History
David Lurie was born in Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa (b. 1955). He was born to Rose (b. 1924-) and Victor (b. 1920–d. 1997). Victor was born in Capetown, South Africa (Grandfather’s family immigrated to South Africa from Latvia after the First World War. Grandmother’s family is of British origin, immigrated in the pre-1880s). Rose was born in Poland and joined her father in Klerksdorp in 1936. Victor and Rose retired to Capetown in 1980 and then Rose moved to Israel after Victor passed away. David attended dental school at Witz University in Johannesburg. He was subsequently conscripted to the army for two years and practiced dentistry. He then had a private practice in Johannesburg.
Lynne was born in Harare, Zimbabwe (b. 1958). Her parents Patricia (b. 1927) and Harry (b. 1923–d. 2012) were both born in South Africa. Pat was a speech pathologist and Harry was in the milling business for 30 years in Australia before retiring to South Africa in 1980-1. Also, Harry had been detained as a POW during the Second World War. Lynne studied drama. She did freelance directing and stage managing for children’s theatre.
Lynne and David were introduced through mutual friends at Witz University and shared a mutual interest in musical theatre and had both been involved in Habonim. They were married in December 1979 and now have four children: Danielle (b. 1982 in South Africa, is married with two children); Lisa (b. 1984 in South Africa); Asher (b. 1987 in South Africa), and Shira (b. 1990 in Canada).
The Luries considered leaving South Africa for many years and eventually emigrated in 1989 because it was becoming increasingly dangerous in the area where David’s practice was located. After completing the National Board Examinations of Canada in 1989 he joined the partnership at Uptowne Dental Centre and Amberwood Dental Centre. David immigrated in May 1989 and then Lynne followed in July 1989. They settled in Thornhill and Lynne now teaches at a drama school for children.
Lynne and David were members at Shaar Shalom Synagogue. Lynne was on the board as VP and secretary. They are Block Parents. David has been involved as a coach, coaching children’s teams, with the Thornhill Soccer Club.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Name Access
Lurie, David, 1955-
Lurie, Lynn, 1958-
Places
South Africa
Toronto, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-7-9
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2016-7-9
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
3 photographs : b&w and sepia toned (.tiff)
Date
[1900?]-[1909?]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs of Eli Bloch. Photographs include an image of Eli on a horse in uniform during the Boer War, a portrait of Eli, and a wedding portrait of Eli and Leah.
Administrative History
Eli (Elias) Bloch was born in 1872 to Nokhum Tevel Rabinovitch in Kishinev Moldava. He had four siblings: Golda, Joseph, Samuel and Bertha. In the 1890s Eli and his siblings (with the exception of Golda) immigrated to South Africa. Bertha married Theodore Dissler (an importer/exporter). During the Boer War, Eli and his brother Joseph fought with the Dutch. After the war, Dissler employed Eli in his business. In 1907, Dissler sent Eli to sell ostrich feathers in various cities around the world, including: London (England), Montreal and Toronto. While in Toronto, Eli attended the First Roumanian Hebrew Congregation Adath Israel where he met his future wife Leah Madnok and chose to remain in Ontario, without completing his task of selling ostrich feathers in the remaining cities on his itinerary. He married Leah in 1909. From about 1911 until 1922, Eli and Leah lived in Gravenhurst and ran a general store on the main street. They had four children together: Harry (1912-1945), Rose (1914-1994), Rachel (Rae) (1916-2000), and Norman (1916-1989). Rachel and Norman were twins.
In 1922, Elias and Leah moved to Mactier and opened a general store. By 1926, Leah and the children were living in London, ON and Elias continued to operate the general store. He saw the family regularly. Around 1935, Elias left Mactier. He remained in London until he moved to Toronto in 1942. Elias passed away in Toronto in 1960.
Use Conditions
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.
Subjects
Immigrants--Canada
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
South African War, 1899-1902
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-7-1
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2015-7-1
Material Format
textual record
moving images
graphic material (electronic)
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records and other material
Date
1987, 1998-2009
Scope and Content
Accession consists of material documenting the history and events of the Kehillat Shaarei Torah. Included are event invitations, programs, and booklets. Of note is the synagogue's 18th anniversary booklet. Also included are VHS tapes and DVDs of the following events: a Purim celebration featuring a mock wedding (2007), the farewell tribute dinner to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Reuven and Joyce Tradburks and family (2009), the Flo Urbach tribute dinner, the synagogue's 18th anniversary celebrations (1999) and an event honouring Margaret Klompas (2004). Finally, accession includes a CD with images from the Abe Goldberg Torah Dedication (2006).
Administrative History
Kehillat Shaarei Torah is a modern Orthodox congregation that was founded in Toronto in 1980. Most of the early founders and members were recent immigrants from South Africa who had settled in the Bayview-Leslie-York Mills-Shepard area. Unable to find a congregation in their area that reflected their Orthodox traditions from South Africa, they formed their own minyan. They initially met in living rooms and basements and in 1987 opened the synagogue's building at 2640 Bayview Avenue.
Descriptive Notes
Physical description note: Includes 3 videocassettes (VHS), 2 DVDs, and 1 CD (103 photographs)
Subjects
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Synagogues
Name Access
Kehillat Shaarei Torah of Toronto
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Name
Gail Freeman
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
24 Mar. 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Gail Freeman
Number
AC 414
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
24 Mar. 2015
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
52 minutes
Biography
The middle of three siblings, Gail Freeman was born in Johannesburg in 1953. The daughter of committed Jews, she fondly remembers the beautiful seders her parents would host, sometimes having as many as forty-to-fifty people joining them for Pesach. Growing up, she attended a Jewish day school in Linksfield, a positive experience that would later influence her decision to enroll her own children in Jewish day schools in Canada. Overall, it was a happy, almost utopian childhood, which took on a slightly more complicated character when she developed a political consciousness as a teenager.
It was at a cousin’s wedding that Gail met her future husband. Years later, she would joke that they met under the chuppah. The young couple married a short time after meeting and had two children in South Africa before moving to Canada and having two more.
Upon arriving in Canada, the family received a warm welcome from Toronto’s South African community, which she describes as “out of this world.” Gail, who has a master of education degree in educational psychology, found work in the Jewish school system while her husband found work as an accountant. The family’s immigration a success, her parents followed suit, thereby ensuring that her children would grow up with grandparents nearby.
Today, Gail feels proud to be a Canadian, not least because Canada allows her to be proud of her Jewish identity. As she puts it, in Canada “everybody [is] from everywhere.”
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Freeman, Gail, 1953-
Geographic Access
Irving (Calif.)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:19 Gail was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1953.
00:30 Gail discusses her grandparents' immigration to South Africa from Russia. Her maternal grandparents were from (Kadam?) and her paternal grandparents were from Vilna. Her mother was born in Vilna and her father was born in South Africa.
01:17 Gail's mother is the youngest of three sisters. Her father is the eldest of three, with a younger sister and brother. Gail has an older brother, Hilton, living in New York, and a sister, Felicia, living in California.
01:55 Gail's father was born in the suburbs of Doornfontein.
02:14 Gail's parents were married in 1948. They worked in the building industry.
02:26 Gail describes her family's practice of Judaism while she was growing up.
03:39 Gail's parents originally lived in the neighbourhood called Bez Valley but moved to Linksfield, a Jewish neighbourhood where the King David Jewish day school was built.
04:25 Gail attended King David from nursery to high school. She briefly describes the school.
05:22 Gail mentions that another branch of King David later opened in Victory Park. She notes other Jewish day schools in Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria. Later Yeshiva College opened.
06:15 Gail notes that her own school experience influence how she selected schools or her own children, who attended the Associated Hebrew Day School in Toronto.
07:28 Gail notes that there is a King David alumni group on Facebook. She mentions class reunions and a fundraiser spearheaded by former schoolmaster Elliott Wolf.
08:25 Gail earned a bachelor of arts with a major in Hebrew and sociology at the University of Witwatersrand. She earned a teaching diploma at the Hebrew Seminary. She completed her practical work at King David School. She returned to university and earned a bachelor's in social work and a master of education degree in educational psychology.
09:56 Gail discusses her involvement with "Boys Town" as principal in a children's home.
11:30 Gail shares some childhood memories concerning friends and school while growing up in Linksfield.
12:40 Gail notes that she became more politically aware as an adolescent. She identifies some of the issues that challenged her morally as a Jew. She comments that her ability to protest was limited due to the restrictions imposed by the police state.
14:14 Gail describes her warm relationships with her nannies.
15:11 Gail describes Jewish life in Linksfield. She attended weekly Shabbat services with her friends at King David. She recalls fond memories attending holiday services with her family at the Jewish Hebrew Congregation in Doornfontein, where her father was chairman. (Gail has a photo of the synagogue in her home.)
16:26 Gail participated in a group bar mitzvah through school.
17:44 Gail identifies a strong commitment to Israel as a major component of her Jewish tradition. They were encouraged to volunteer in Israel, support Israel and move to Israel. She recalls David Ben-Gurion visiting her school.
18:27 Gail was married in 1977. She describes how she met her husband and where they lived after they were married (Norwood, Berea and Linksfield).
20:34 Gail worked as a social worker for Jewish Family and Child Services and for Yeshiva School. Her husband worked as an accountant.
22:30 Gail discusses how the circumstances in South Africa that contributed to their decision to emigrate. She explains how she and her husband considered applications to the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel. She discusses the trauma involved with leaving family and moving to an unknown, new country.
27:02 Gail's parents moved to Canada two years later.
28:13 Gail describes what they were allowed to take out of South Africa and what they brought.
29:25 Gail shares some of her initial impressions upon arrival in Toronto.
30:15 Gail describes how she was able to secure work as a guidance counsellor with Associated Hebrew Day Schools of Toronto while in Washington for a Tay Sachs conference.
31:40 Gail explains how through family connections they were able to find housing in a neighbourhood with an established South African community. She recalls how she was well-received by the South African community.
34:22 Gail and her family arrived in Toronto in 1988.
34:30 Gail recollects more difficulty fitting into the Toronto Jewish community and having few Toronto friends.
36:30 Gail describes the decision to move to a new subdivision near Associated Hebrew Day Schools on Atkinson in 1993, her current home.
37:50 Gail's family joined the Chabad Flamingo synagogue after the move, but has since returned to the synagogue on Green Lane to be with her parents.
38:48 Gail describes the relative ease of adapting to Canadian society and her pride living in Canada.
40:28 Gail worked as a principal for a Jewish day school in Irvine, California for three years.
41:50 Gail discusses some differences in child-rearing between South Africa and Canada.
43:33 Gail explains that her reasons for teaching her children the values of respect and kindness stem from her personal experience living in South Africa.
44:30 Gail has returned to South Africa twice over thirty years, but her husband has not returned.
45:38 Gail discusses some of the differences, both positive and negative, she observed when she returned to South Africa.
47:00 Gail notes that her children feel a strong connection to South Africa (e.g. history, culture, accent, foods, politics).
50:00 Gail speaks with pride about the contributions made by South Africans who have immigrated to Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Crying on Route to Canada

Like a Little Kibbutz

A Closed Door

Name
Percy Skuy
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
May 12, 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Percy Skuy
Number
AC 416
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
May 12, 2015
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
1 hr. 19 min.
Use Restrictions
NONE
Biography
The child of Latvian immigrants to South Africa, Percy grew up in the small town of Vryheid, South Africa with his parents and two siblings. Years later, when asked what the population of Vryheid was, Percy’s mother replied, “Forty Jewish families.” Those families formed a tight-knit community that was able to support not only a synagogue and a rabbi, but a Talmud Torah school and a butcher’s shop with a kosher section.
At seventeen years old, Percy began an apprenticeship to become a pharmacist. He qualified in 1954 and worked for a year before leaving South Africa to travel the world. He never planned on visiting Canada, but found himself in Toronto for a stopover and ended up liking the city so much he decided to stay. In 1959, Percy became the first South African pharmacist registered in Ontario.
Percy met his first wife, Frances Goodman, in 1960 on a blind date and married her that same year. Together, they had two children: Beth (born in 1961) and David (born in 1963). In 1961, Percy began his thirty-four-year career with Johnson and Johnson Corporation, taking on a number of roles in the company during that time. In 1977, Frances passed away. Two years later, he married his second wife, Elsa Ruth Snider.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Percy is the founder of the only museum devoted exclusively to the history of contraception. The museum is located at the Dittrick Medical History Centre in Cleveland, Ohio.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Skuy, Percy, 1932-
Geographic Access
Canada
Europe
Israel
South Africa
United States
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:30 Percy was born in 1932 in Vryheid in northern Natal, South Africa.
00:41 Percy's parents emigrated from Latvia to South Africa in 1929.
00:53 Percy discusses his parents and their early lives in South Africa and the Jewish community in Vryheid.
04:10 Percy discusses his family's practice of Judaism while growing up.
05:02 Percy's father ran a small business. Later he worked with his brother-in-law to run a mill. At age fifty-nine his father was killed in an automobile accident.
06:00 Percy discusses his mother. Percy has two siblings: an older brother, Max, and a younger sister, Rita.
07:19 Percy shares some of his childhood memories.
09:29 Percy was involved in the Habonim youth movement.
11:27 Percy reminisces about the establishment of the State of Israel.
13:23 Percy discusses his impressions of apartheid. He discusses his relationships with black men and women.
15:15 Percy discusses his involvement with an anti-apartheid group.
17:19 Percy shares a story that illustrates his opposition to apartheid. His parents were not politically active.
19:06 Percy discusses how he became interested in pharmacy and the training for pharmacists.
21:21 Percy describes his two years of travel following graduation from pharmacy.
26:58 Percy relates how, en route to a pre-arranged job in the Arctic, he serendipitously secured a job with Glaxo as a medical sales representative on a stop-over in Toronto.
29:49 Percy describes his sales route.
30:46 Percy explains how he became the first South African registered pharmacist in Ontario.
32:31 Percy describes some of his early social/business pursuits in Canada.
34:12 Percy married his wife, Francis, originally from Sudbury. She graduated from the University of Toronto in nursing.
34:26 Following travel to Europe, Israel and South Africa, Percy and Francis decided to return to live in Canada.
35:35 Percy discusses the importance of maintaining family connection despite distance.
36:41 Percy describes the slow trickle of relatives who emigrated from South Africa. He notes that he has no close relatives remaining in South Africa and comments on the disappearance of the Jewish community in Vryheid.
38:39 Percy discusses some of the challenges he faced integrating socially into the Jewish community.
40:36 Percy explains how he became involved with working for the company Ortho.
45:15 Percy explains the factors that guided his integration into Canada.
47:08 Percy discusses his involvement in the Jewish community in Toronto.
48:30 Percy contrasts his own upbringing with how he raised his own children in Toronto.
52:00 Percy discusses his grandchildren.
52:26 Percy is the founder of a museum of the history of contraception. He explains how he developed an interest in the history of contraception and how he collected artifacts.
58:18 Percy describes his work history, his involvement in professional committee work, and his pursuits following his retirement in 1995.
1:00:11 Percy explains how he found a permanent location for the museum at the Dittrick Museum at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
1:02:50 Percy married Elsa in 1979. He discusses their range of hobbies.
1:03:38 Percy discusses the three documentaries he created. The topics included the formation of the Jewish pharmacy fraternity, the history of Jewish pharmacists in Canada, and the extracurricular involvement of Jewish pharmacists in Canada.
1:06:47 Percy addresses some of the issues faced by South African Jewish pharmacists who integrated to Canada.
1:09:20 Percy lists the languages he speaks.
1:10:00 Percy reminisces about his mother. He recalls his mother's relationship with their family servant.
1:13:14 Percy describes his training in pharmacy in South Africa.
1:15:27 Percy shares stories about their family's black servants.
1:17:40 Percy reminisces about the opportunities that came his way since his arrival in Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Becoming Canadian

The History of Contraception

40 Jewish Families

Not Long Before the Police Arrived

Name
Darrel Hotz
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Darrel Hotz
Number
AC 417
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Quantity
6 files
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
1 hr. 36 min.
Biography
Born in 1959, Darrel grew up in Victory Park, a predominantly Jewish suburb of Johannesburg. The family—made up of Darrel, his parents, and his young brother—occupied a four-bedroom house on a half-acre of land just a short walk from the local Jewish day school. For Darrel, “Everything was pretty easy . . . growing up.” Although the family was not particularly religious, Darrel’s mother lit candles on Friday night and he attended a Zionist camp every summer. In his final year of high school, he won a Bible quiz sponsored by the South African Zionist Federation, for which he was awarded a trip to Israel to compete against other Jewish students from all over the world. Unfortunately, he did not perform as well in this second competition: Israeli yeshiva students took first, second, and third place.
Darrel’s family moved to Canada when Darrel was in his second year of university. Because there were no direct flights to Toronto from South Africa, the family flew first to Zurich and then to New York. From New York, they made their way to Buffalo, where they stocked up on goods prior to arriving in Canada. Unhappily for the Hotzes, North America was experiencing a terrible year in terms of weather and the winter jackets they had purchased in South Africa (said to be sufficient for surviving Arctic temperatures) proved inadequate. They immediately purchased a new batch of winter coats appropriate for Canada.
The Hotz family’s first few years in Canada were not easy ones. The dental credentials of Darrel’s father, an orthodontist, were not recognized and he was unable to practice for several years as a result. Darrel’s mother, who had not been in the labour force for twenty-odd years, had to return to work in order to help make ends meet. Eventually though, the family got itself settled and Darrel was able to complete his university education, going on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and pass the bar. He worked for two law firms, one Jewish and one not, before starting his own practice.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Hotz, Darrel, 1959-
Geographic Access
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:30 Darrel was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1959.
00:47 Darrel provides a brief family history. His paternal grandfather came to South Africa from Shavl, Lithuania in 1917. His paternal grandmother came from Riga, Latvia with her family in about 1910. His father was born in a suburb of Johannesburg. His maternal grandparents were born in South Africa. His grandfather's family came from Lithuania at the turn of the century. His grandmother's family moved to England in the 1870s. His maternal great-grandfather fought in the Boer War and remained in South Africa.
03:08 Darrel discusses his grandparents' education. His maternal grandmother was educated in a convent.
04:44 Darrel explains how his mother adopted more Jewish practice following her marriage to his father.
05:15 Darrel's father was born in Johannesburg and his mother was born in Benoni.
05:32 Darrel describes how his parents met.
06:00 Darrel's father studied dentistry and specialized in orthodontics.
07:18 Darrel discusses the role of Judaism in his home. Darrel attended King David. Darrel describes his bar mitzvah.
09:03 Darrel describes his family's neighbourhood, Victoria Park.
10:12 Darrel describes his home and home life.
11:48 Darrel discusses the security situation and political leanings of the Jewish community in South Africa during his youth.
14:45 Darrel describes his minor personal involvement in politics.
15:44 Darrel discusses the good relationship between Israel and South Africa.
17:18 Darrel discusses his involvement at Habonim summer camp and the Habonim youth movement.
20:53 Darrel discusses his experience of competing in a Bible quiz in Israel after having won the contest in South Africa.
25:48 Darrel describes three subsequent trips to Israel: in 1984, in 2006, and in 2008.
28:08 Darrel explains his parents' decision to leave South Africa.
29:09 Darrel discusses conscription to the South African army.
30:40 Darrel's maternal uncle immigrated to Canada before his parents.
32:19 Darrel addresses some of the challenges faced by him and other members of his family with starting again in a new country.
36:50 Darrel discusses some of the factors and considerations that contributed to the decision to select Canada as their immigration destination.
38:49 Darrel describes his parents' look-see visit to Toronto before the family moved.
40:37 Darrel describes the application process for immigration to Canada and monetary restrictions imposed by South African government.
42:53 Darrel describes his family's journey to Canada via Buffalo, New York.
44:40 Darrel describes his family's arrival in Canada on 9 March 1979.
46:20 Darrel lists the various places his parents have lived since their arrival.
47:05 Darrel discusses some of the challenges faced by his mother when she arrived.
50:11 Darrel describes his education in Canada.
52:06 Darrel shares his views concerning the differences between Canadian and South African Jews.
55:26 Darrel discusses his son's social circle and religious and secular education history.
1:00:43 Darrel discusses how his family connected with the established South African community in Toronto.
1:03:41 Darrel describes his parents' involvement in the Jewish community.
1:09:14 Darrel discusses his career in law.
1:15:02 Darrel discusses meeting and marrying his wife, Barbara, in 2000 and their early years together. They have one son, Joey.
1:19:14 Darrel discusses Barbara and his involvement in Jewish communal work.
1:23:07 Darrel reminisces about Jewish foods eaten in South Africa.
1:24:24 Darrel explains how they chose Camp Gesher, affiliated with Habonim Dror, for Joey.
1:27:24 Darrel contemplates a return visit to South Africa.
1:31:20 Darrel mentions a few South African expressions and words.
1:32:34 Darrel offers his impressions of the differences between South Africans and Canadians.
1:33:44 Darrel reflects on his family's decision to come to Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

Being raised in South Africa

Name
Denise Rootenberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Denise Rootenberg
Number
AC 418
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--Zimbabwe
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
June 25, 2015
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 418 part 1: 16 min.
AC 418 part 2: 16 min.
AC 418 part 3: 16 min.
AC 418 part 4: 4 min.
Biography
Denise Rootenberg (née Abrahamson) was born in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Rhodesia). One of four sisters, she grew up in a warm Jewish community that was able to sustain an Ashkenazi synagogue, a Sephardic synagogue, and a small Reform synagogue. One of her aunts ran the local chapter of the Women’s International Zionist Organization with her sister. The aunt’s sister, meanwhile, made costumes for the repertory theatre company. Denise’s aunts also did kosher catering for simchas.
Because the Jewish community in Zimbabwe was so small, Jewish parents encouraged their children to attend university in South Africa, where they were less likely to marry outside the faith. Consequently, Denise attended university in Cape Town, living in residence for three years with one of her sisters. Ultimately, the sisters decided Cape Town was not for them and moved to Johannesburg. It was in Johannesburg that Denise met her husband, with whom she had a son. In 1989, they left South Africa to come to Canada.
The couple’s first few years in Canada were difficult ones as Denise and her husband struggled to find work and adjust to Canadian society. Eventually, however, things began to fall into place. Denise found work as an editorial assistant and then became a research analyst. Her husband, meanwhile, secured a job that enabled the couple to send their son to Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto and the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT).
Denise and her husband belong to Aish Toronto. Their son married his wife at the synagogue.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Rootenberg, Denise
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
Harare (Zimbabwe)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:00 Denise was born in Zimbabwe. At age eighteen, she moved to Cape Town to attend University. At age 31, she immigrated to Toronto.
00:23 Denise’s maiden name was Abramson. She tells the history of the family name.
00:55 Denise's grandparents came to Zimbabwe from Poland via Sweden before the First World War.
01:16 Denise describes the jobs of her maternal and paternal grandfathers.
02:09 Describes immediate family.
02:46 Denise discusses the Jewish community of her youth in Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe) comprised of three synagogues. Denise's father was president of the Ashkenazi synagogue several times.
04:24 Denise shares memories about celebrating the Jewish holidays and the involvement of her aunts in the Jewish community.
06:06 Denise attended a small Jewish day school until grade seven. She attended a public high school. She recalls the bar mitzvah party from her youth.
07:26 Denise explains why she left Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). She attended university in Cape Town, South Africa following her older sister. Other Jewish students attended university in Johannesburg.
08:40 After university, Denise and her sister moved to Johannesburg. Her sister later moved to Israel, where she married, and they later moved to the United States.
09:00 Denise discusses her husband's family. Her father-in-law grew up in Lithuania and came to South Africa, where he lived with his aunt and later married his younger cousin. Denise recounts a colourful story about her father-in-law's journey to South Africa. Denise describes her faith-in-law's various business ventures and his dealing with white and black businesses that were segregated at the time.
12:15 There were three sons in her husband's family: David, Allan, and Lennie (Denise's husband). David, the eldest, was adopted. Denise relates stories involving David and his involvement with a racist, right-wing Afrikaans movement.
15:11 Denise and her family immigrated to Toronto in 1989.
Part 2:
01:00 Denise discusses her relationships with blacks while growing up. She attributes her more liberal views to her mother's kindness. She recalls (with shame) the poor living conditions of the blacks.
02:30 Denise discusses mandatory military service in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
03:29 Denise's husband joined the police force as a way of avoiding military service. She relates a frightening incident during the Soweto riots in 1976 involving her husband while he served in the police force.
05:52 Denise recounts her husband's constant fear that he would be required to arrest someone he knew.
06:05 Denise explains why she did not get directly involved with anti-apartheid groups and politics. Her first strong awareness of apartheid rose when she entered university.
06:57 Denise moved to Johannesburg after earning degrees in English and French at university. She describes her jobs in psychometric testing and as a proofreader for manuals for military equipment.
07:41 Denise recounts a story about the father of a boyfriend who was arrested for entering the townships without a permit and was represented by Nelson Mandela.
08:33 Denise describes how she met and eventually married her husband. Their son Mark was born in South Africa.
08:56 Denise's brother Allan and his family had already moved to Toronto.
09:37 Denise reports taht her husband's family in South Africa had the tradition similar to her own of having large holiday meals and seders.
10:00 A large contigent of her husband's family immigrated to Australia and a small segment immigrated to Canada.
10:07 Denise explains her reasons for coming to Canada. She considered Australia. She discusses early regrets for having chosen Canada rather than Australia. She discusses how in hindsight, and for a variety of reasons, she made the best choice.
13:19 Denise discusses her worries stemming from being a much pampered child growing up.
14:30 Denise describes how unsettled they felt when they first moved to Canada. She recounts a story about returning to South Africa to visit family after they had been in Canada for eighteen months. Her relatives' home was vandalized.
Part 3:
00:00 As a result of this traumatic incident, Denise and her sisters made a decision not to return to South Africa.
01:28 Denise describes some of the struggles she encountered when she initially moved to Toronto and she discusses some of the factors that contributed to feeling more settled and welcomed. Specifically, she shares a story about the efforts made by a Canadian family whose son was in her child's daycare.
04:40 Denise identifies some of the differences in religious observance between South Africa and Toronto.
06:50 Denise explains her choice of education for her son.
07:35 Denise discusses her husband's educational training and lists his work history in Toronto.
08:49 Denise explains that other than education subsidies she was unaware of other services offered by Jewish agencies to assist new immigrants and those struggling financially.
09:28 Denise outlines her work experience in Toronto and some of her work experience in South Africa.
11:19 Denise expresses appreciation for the benefits and treatment she received at her workplace. Specifically, she notes how she was accomodated after returning to work following cancer treatments.
12:18 Denise discusses the evolution of her religious observance.
15:00 Denise discusses her husband's mental health. She addresses associated issues and impact of his mental health on work and family. She identifies his experience with the police in Soweto as a factory contributing to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Part 4:
02:25 Denise identifies some of the factors that have enabled her to deal with the many life challenges she has encountered.
Source
Oral Histories

We Thought we were Orthodox

Name
Lorraine and Alan Sandler
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
12 May 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lorraine and Alan Sandler
Number
AC 420
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
Jews--Zimbabwe
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
12 May 2015
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
1 hr. 30 min.
Use Restrictions
Partially closed.
Biography
Lorraine, the daughter of European immigrants to Africa, was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) where she grew up with her three siblings. For his part, Alan was born in Cape Town, South Africa where he grew up a single child, his only brother passing away at a young age.
Alan first met Lorraine while on vacation in Bulawayo with some friends. The two dated while Alan was doing his accounting exams and Lorraine was attending teacher’s college. They married in Bulawayo after dating several years.
After their honeymoon, Alan and Lorraine began their new life in Cape Town, where they started their family. One incident in particular prompted the couple to seriously consider leaving South Africa: Their eldest son requested to attend a movie with his nanny, which would have been illegal under apartheid.
Not seeing a future in South Africa, the family looked to immigrate. Initially, Lorraine wanted to make aliyah, but Alan felt the language-barrier would be an obstacle to finding work. Eventually, they made their way to Toronto where they attended a Shabbat dinner that persuaded them that Jewish life could flourish in Canada.
The family—Alan, Lorraine, and their two sons—arrived in Canada on August 5, 1976. Unlike many subsequent Jewish South Africans who came to Toronto, the family chose to live downtown, enrolling their children in Jewish day school. Both Alan and Lorraine took on leadership roles within Toronto’s Jewish community. Alan is a founder of the South African Jewish Association of Canada and was president of the UJA Federation of Toronto. In turn, Lorraine was chair of both the Women’s Campaign and the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre. Today, their children are married and Alan and Lorraine are proud grandparents.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Sandler, Alan
Sandler, Lorraine
Geographic Access
Bulawayo (Rhodesia)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:09 Lorraine's maiden name was Weinstock. Her mother came from Lithuania. Her father came from Poland.
00:38 Lorraine describes her parents' histories and their respective journeys to Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe).
04:56 Lorraine describes her parents' courtship and decision to marry. Together they saved enough money to bring Lorraine's aunt to Rhodesia. Lorraine's father was a carpenter; her mother was a seamstress.
06:48 Lorraine describes her parents' early years together. Initially, they lived outside of Bulawayo, where her father worked for a mine. Lorraine's two older siblings, Mickey and Fay, were born there.
07:47 Lorraine's parents moved to Bulawayo. Her father and a partner started a lumber business, which flourished over time. Lorraine describes the business.
08:51 Lorraine was born. Her younger sister, Sheila, was born five years later.
09:11 Lorraine explains how despite financial struggles, life was good. She cites the weather, education, sports, friends, and fruit trees.
10:08 Lorraine describes the critical role Habonim played in her life.
11:09 Lorraine describes the Jewish community in Bulawayo. She addresses the important role the synagogue played in their lives, especially the Friday-night service.
12:30 Lorraine explains that her parents spoke Yiddish at home with one another and English with the children. The children were able to understand Yiddish, but not speak very much of it.
13:10 Lorraine attended Hebrew school but learned very little Hebrew. She learned Hebrew vocabulary at Habonim.
14:00 Alan's maternal great-grandfather came to South Africa from England. His maternal grandmother and her three sisters and four brothers were born in Cape Town. His maternal grandfather came to South Africa from Germany in 1908.
14:54 Alan's paternal grandparents came from Lithuania with other members of their shtetl. His grandparents tried (unsuccessfully) to farm. Alan explains how his father's four sisters enabled the only brother to attend university. Alan's three younger sister and father were born in South Africa. His oldest aunt was born in Lithuania.
16:35 Yiddish was not spoken. The majority of Cape Town's Jewish community came from Lithuania at the turn of the century. English was spoken at home. Alan learned Afrikaans and French at school.
17:50 Alan describes the vibrant Jewish community in Cape Town. he notes that there has been a Jewish presence in Cape Town since 1652 with the arrival of the Dutch.
19:30 Alan recalls that the meeting place for Jewish children in Cape Town was Muizenberg Beach.
19:58 Alan explains the reasons he did not have a strong Jewish education. In contrast, his Zionist education was very strong.
21:05 Alan explains that his father developed Zionist leanings while in university and he grew up in a Zionist household. He recalls meeting David Ben-Gurion and fundraising events for Israel.
22:42 Alan shares memories from his bar mitzvah. He recalls that he did not have a close connection with synagogue, but was actively involved with Zionist and Jewish community needs.
25:22 Alan contrasts the Jewish community in Cape Town with Toronto.
28:05 Alan's father was an accountant. He notes that in the 1930s and 1940s the large accounting firms did not hire Jews. The situation changed after the war as Jews became more affluent.
30:35 Alan and Lorraine describe how they met and dated.
36:20 Alan and Lorraine discuss their wedding.
38:40 Alan shares an anecdote about his aufruf (calling to the Torah) before his wedding.
40:30 Lorraine discusses their early years of marriage living in Cape Town. She discusses her and Alan's active involvement in the Jewish community.
43:17 Lorraine identifies an incident that served as a trigger for their decision to leave South Africa.
44:22 Alan discusses the inception and practice of apartheid in South Africa. He describes his personal dissonance with the situation.
47:26 Both Lorraine's father and Alan's parents supported their decision to South Africa.
48:40 Alan explains that the only people who were leaving South Africa were forced to leave because of their political activism or Zionists making aliyah. Lorraine wanted to move to Israel.
50:09 Alan and Lorraine discuss their exploration of English-speaking countries in 1974. They explain the factors that facilitated their decision to choose Toronto.
54:08 Alan discusses the financial implications of leaving a "blocked-currency state."
54:38 Alan explains his reasons for not going to Israel.
55:34 Alan discusses the sequence of events that delayed their departure until August 1976.
57:07 Lorraine discusses their difficult circumstances upon arrival in Toronto. She explains why they chose to settle in the Bathurst-Eglinton area and their decision to buy a house.
1:02:07 Alan discusses his initial involvement with the Toronto Jewish community and how he attempted to promote the needs of new Jewish South African immigrants.
1:04:00 Alan explains how he was able to integrate into a new country.
1:04:22 Once Lorraine started to run Holy Blossom Temple's preschool, she felt less isolated.
1:04:38 Alan describes the shock of a Canadian winter.
1:05:14 Alan discusses the impact of the influx of Jews from Montreal during the same period.
1:11:50 Alan describes their involvement in the Toronto Jewish community.
1:13:00 Lorraine cites her reasons for reaching out and persevering despite the obstacles.
1:14:28 Alan compares his experience to other Jewish families who remained in South Africa. He contrasts himself as an immigrant to the majority of immigrants who leave their home country.
1:16:28 Alan discusses the success of the next generation, more specifically their own children.
1:17:58 Lorraine discusses her career as a Jewish educator in early childhood education in Toronto.
1:21:24 Lorraine discusses her volunteer work in the Jewish community.
1:23:04 Alan comments that the establishment of Leo Baeck Day School was a direct result of the success of Holy Blossom Temple's preschool.
1:24:39 Lorraine displays and discusses some family mementos: heirloom candlesticks and some photographs.
1:27:38 Alan describes some family photographs and shares some family anecdotes. He discusses some of the barriers to Jews at university when his father was a student and some of the successes of Jewish students.
1:30:09 Alan and Lorraine share a photograph of their children, their spouses, and grandchildren.
Source
Oral Histories

Teacher of Teachers

It

Impact of Habonim

A Reconnaissance Mission

Name
Brenda and Colin Baskind
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Brenda and Colin Baskind
Number
AC 423
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
1 hr. 52 min.
Biography
Brenda met Colin on a blind date while attending teacher’s college in Johannesburg. The two dated for one year before getting married at the Pine Street Shul in 1967. Together, they raised three children—Stacey, Alana, and Cliff—and helped bring up the nephew of their maid, whom they regarded as family.
Around 1976, Colin and Brenda began thinking about emigrating as a result of the country’s worsening political situation. At first, their daughter was unwilling to move, but after a riot broke out at her university, she declared she had had enough. Initially, the family considered moving to Australia, but soon settled upon Canada, immigrating in 1987. Although they found the prospect of starting over intimidating, they received a warm welcome from both the South African Jewish community and the larger community.
Brenda and Colin purchased a khaloupe (a fixer-upper) that they transformed into a beautiful home, planting trees in its large garden. Brenda found employment with Holy Blossom Synagogue while Colin became president of the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada. In their free time, they took up running, a hobby that introduced them to many friends. By 2015, they had participated in eleven marathons.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Yiddish
Name Access
Baskind, Brenda, 1944-
Baskind, Colin, 1941-
Geographic Access
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:13 Brenda (née Bebrow?) was born 29 October 1944 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Brenda discusses her parents’ divorce and the death of her brother from polio in 1956.
01:25 Brenda explains the reasons her mother sent her to boarding school in Grahamstown.
02:12 Brenda’s father drowned in the ocean in Port Elizabeth at age eleven.
03:41 Brenda’s mother worked as a bookkeeper in Johannesburg.
03:50 Brenda discusses her limited Jewish education and practice while living in Grahamstown.
05:40 Brenda reminisces about her experience at boarding school.
06:43 Brenda discusses how she was able to cope while dealing with her parents’ divorce, followed by the deaths of her brother, father, and grandmother.
07:36 Brenda’s maternal grandparents and great-grandmother were from Russia. They were observant Jews.
09:12 Brenda moved to Johannesburg at age eighteen to attend teacher’s college. She describes living with her great-aunt, great-uncle, and cousin.
10:21 Brenda describes how she met her husband, Colin.
11:37 Colin was born on 20 April 1941 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lived with his parents and younger sister.
12:03 Colin reminisces about his early years. He discusses his friends and interest in sports.
13:50 Colin’s father was a butcher. His mother assisted his father.
14:18 Colin discusses the high quality of his education.
15:32 Colin’s father practiced Orthodox Judaism.
16:26 Colin discusses his Jewish education. He reminisces about his bar mitzvah.
18:43 Colin describes how he helped with his father’s business.
20:21 Colin’s father was born in Lithuania at age 11. His mother was born in Latvia. Both came to South Africa in the 1920s.
21:39 Colin attended university in Johannesburg.
23:21 Colin discusses work experience.
25:12 Colin and Brenda reminisce about their initial meeting, courtship, and marriage.
29:30 Colin and Brenda’s eldest daughter Alana was born.
29:36 Colin and Brenda discuss their close relationship with their nanny and her family. They describe the living conditions for nannies in general.
33:23 Colin and Brenda recount how they helped raise the baby of their nanny’s sister.
36:50 Brenda’s mother remarried a third time.
39:18 Brenda discusses her work as a nursery school teacher in Johannesburg and Toronto.
41:06 Colin and Brenda explain the reasons that triggered their decision to emigrate. They describe the Soweto riots in 1976.
45:08 Colin explains how they chose and were accepted to immigrate to Canada. Colin and Brenda discuss the distinct advantages of living in Canada relative to South Africa and Australia.
52:33 Colin only considered leaving South Africa after his parents passed away.
53:10 Colin and Brenda discuss their children’s points of view about leaving South Africa.
55:23 Colin and Brenda describe how they got ready for the move to Canada. They discuss what they were and were not allowed to bring out of South Africa.
57:27 Colin explains how some South Africans left the country without going through the steps of formal immigration.
57:26 Brenda describes her fears concerning the move and explains the reasons some of her friends have remained in South Africa.
1:00:04 Brenda shares early memories of moving to Toronto: buying a house and a car.
1:03:09 Colin and Brenda contrast the quality of living between Johannesburg and Toronto.
1:05:04 Colin and Brenda discuss how they formed their early social connections.
1:07:46 Colin discusses how he maintained interest in sport, both as a participant and as a spectator. Sport was another means of making friends.
1:10:0 Colin volunteered with the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) for five years and became involved with the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC).
1:10:40 Colin discusses his involvement with SAJAC.
1:12:44 Brenda and Colin discuss some of the language and cultural challenges they encountered when they arrived in Canada.
1:16:17 Colin and Brenda discuss the achievements of their children.
1:20:42 Colin and Brenda discuss their daughter Stacy’s decision to be a single mother. Brenda discusses their involvement with baby Lily’s care and their decision to buy a house with private quarters to share with Stacy and Lily.
1:28:18 Brenda discusses two trips back to South Africa to care for her mother in 1998.
1:32:28 Brenda discusses the changes she noted in South Africa during her visit.
1:34:43 Colin discusses his volunteer work with JIAS, SAJAC, Jewish Family & Child (JF&CS) and JVC. He explains his desire to enable others to prepare themselves for and find work.
1:43:33 Colin discusses some of the challenges faced by his sister.
1:46:50 Colin and Brenda share their views on the current and future situation in South Africa.
Source
Oral Histories

The Way Things Were

A khaloupe!

A Scholarship Based on Need

Name
Laurie Manoim
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Laurie Manoim
Number
AC 424
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
16 July 2015
Interviewer
Gail Freeman
Total Running Time
AC 424 part 1: 40 min.
AC 424 part 2: 9 min.
Biography
Lorraine “Laurie” Manoim (née Stern) was born on 21 June 1945 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She spent a happy childhood growing up with her two brothers and many cousins. Her parents were founding members of Temple Emanuel, a Reform synagogue.
Laurie’s family is a rich tapestry of nationalities. Her paternal grandparents were from Austria and Germany; her maternal grandfather was from Morocco; her maternal grandmother was from Poland; and her mother was born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). In addition, Laurie is a descendant of Solica Hachuel, a Moroccan-Jewish martyr who was killed in the early nineteenth century. This background made Laurie’s family stand out from other Jewish families in South Africa, many of whom originally emigrated from Lithuania.
After earning her bachelor of arts, Laurie married and had a son, Gary. She and her husband opened a restaurant, which Laurie ran by herself for the first two years, but ended up divorcing. Not wanting her son to internalize the values of apartheid South Africa, Laurie made the decision to immigrate to Canada with her son.
Laurie and Gary arrived in Canada in 1978. Laurie managed to raise Gary without family support and while holding down multiple jobs. She worked in the restaurant industry for a number of years, even owning a deli at one point, but ultimately decided to go back to school, earning a master’s degree in industrial relations (MIR). After graduating, she worked at the Government of Canada for twenty-eight years. During this time her parents immigrated to Canada and she supported them by having the additional income from students residing in her home for fifteen years. Laurie graduated from Guelph as a master gardener. (Gardening is her major hobby.)
Laurie has a large and diverse social circle and a broad range of interests. She has been back to South Africa many times as her son returned to work there for twenty years before returning to Canada. She has no desire to move back, commenting that she couldn’t go back to an empty life, to being a prisoner of luxury and discrimination.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Manoim, Laurie, 1945-
Geographic Access
Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:00 Laurie's maiden name was Stern. She was born on 21 June 1945 in Johannesburg. She immigrated to Canada in 1978.
00:55 Laurie's paternal grandparents came from Germany and Austria. Her father was born in South Africa. Her maternal grandfather came from Morocco. Her maternal grandmother came from Poland. Her mother was born in Rhodesia.
01:19 Laurie discusses how her maternal grandfather from Morocco came to Bulawayo in Rhodesia.
02:20 Laurie discusses her childhood. She had two brothers. One brother died at age twenty-two. Her younger brother is married and lives in South Africa.
03:18 Laurie discusses her family's religious observance. Her father came from a small farming town, Schweizer-Reneke. Her parents were founding members of Temple Emanuel, a Reform synagogue.
04:50 Laurie outlines her education: elementary grades at Rosebank (a public school), secondary grades at King David (a Jewish day school).
06:22 Laurie earned a bachelor of arts in sociology and economics at university. She studied computers and market research.
07:53 Laurie got engaged and married. In 1970, she and her husband decided to immigrate. Laurie discusses some of their reasons and their plan. They ran a restaurant to get a cash business.
09:07 Laurie discusses the breakdown of her marriage that ended in divorce. She needed to get court's permission to bring her son with her to Canada.
10:06 Laurie explains her decision to immigrate to Canada.
11:00 Laurie describes her disappointment when her son, Gary, returned to South Africa.
12:38 Laurie considered and abandoned the options of living in Israel and San Francisco.
13:35 Laurie describes her struggles with finding suitable housing, finding stable employment, and raising her young son during her early years in Canada.
17:57 Laurie mentions preparation for her son's bar mitzvah.
18:50 Laurie returned to university to earn a master's degree in industrial relations. She found a government post, where she remained for twenty-six years.
20:30 Laurie shares some of her initial impressions of living in Canada. She compares and contrasts the Jewish communities in South Africa and Toronto, and specifically highlights how the needs of the South African Jewish immigrants differed from other Jewish immigrant groups.
24:43 Laurie identifies some of the challenges she faced when she came to Toronto.
25:34 Laurie describes the circumstances that triggered her parents' immigration to Canada in 1996.
27:04 Laurie describes her mother's artistic training and endeavours.
28:53 Laurie discusses some of the South African traditions she has maintained while living in Canada.
31:06 Laurie rediscovered seven South African childhood friends in Canada, but most of her friends are Canadian.
32:13 Laurie describes her passion for gardening.
34:05 Laurie identifies an incident when she first felt Canadian. She describes how her family in South Africa became dispersed.
35:17 Laurie shares an anecdote about one of her Moroccan ancestors.
37:33 Laurie shares memories of her move to Canada.
Part 2:
00:20 Laurie explains how she was able to secure housing at Bayview Mews after some initial challenges.
03:00 Laurie offers tribute to her work colleagues and gives some examples to justify her admiration.
06:05 Laurie speaks of her relationship with a friend during her life and during her terminal illness.
08:24 Laurie discusses her travel plans for retirement.
Source
Oral Histories

Immigrating Solo to Canada

Name
Ivor Simmons
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ivor Simmons
Number
AC 425
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
9 Feb. 2016
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 425 part 1: 21 min.
AC 425 part 2: 20 min.
AC 425 part 3: 21 min.
AC 425 part 4: 1 min.
AC 425 part 5: 2 min.
AC 425 part 6: 4 min.
Biography
Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judicial capital, in 1937, Ivor had a pleasant childhood alongside his two brothers. Because his family lived on the “wrong side” of Naval Hill (the other side was considerably more Jewish), he counted both Jews and non-Jews among his friends. This did not mean he lacked for Jewish culture: Ivor participated in a Jewish youth movement and was sent to a nearby cheder ahead of his bar mitzvah, which he celebrated in the communal hall. Unfortunately, the cheder teacher, a European immigrant who spoke halting English, was not the best teacher and Ivor finished his education with only a partial ability to read Hebrew.
As a young man, Ivor studied chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town. He worked in South Africa for a time before leaving to go to London. At the time he left, he did not have plans to live outside South Africa, but he ended up meeting several Canadians in England who encouraged him to give Canada a try. Obtaining work without any great difficulty and finding the locals friendlier than those in England, he decided to make Canada home.
Ivor worked in marketing for a time before coming to the conclusion that he wanted to be his own boss. With a loan from his father-in-law, he purchased a small company, which he ran for twenty-seven years. He looks back on those years fondly on account of having overcome a number of obstacles along the way and treated his employees fairly. In 1997, he sold his business and decided to devote his time to travel and volunteering.
Ivor and his wife have three children, all of whom live in Canada. They also have several grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Simmons, Ivor, 1937-
Geographic Access
Bloemfontein (South Africa)
Cape Town (South Africa)
England
Sasolburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:25 Ivor was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1937. His maternal grandparents' birthplace was Russia. His paternal grandfather was born near the Lithuanian/Latvian border. His paternal grandfather travelled to England and in 1886 moved to South Africa. His paternal grandmother came to South Africa from Cardiff.
02:24 Ivor's maternal grandfather was a jeweller in Cape Town. He remarried after Ivor's maternal grandmother died. The grandfather and second wife died in a vehicular accident in the 1920s.
03:45 Ivor discusses his parents: how they met and married. Ivor's father ran a printing company and his mother was a music teacher with an interest in the arts. Ivor's mother was involved in Jewish communal affairs.
05:55 Ivor discusses his two younger brother, both of whom moved to Sydney, Australia.
09:20 Ivor describes his youth in Bloemfontein.
10:34 Ivor participated in a B'nai Brith youth movement and attended cheder until age thirteen.
12:05 Ivor had a bar mitzvah in the communal hall.
13:24 Ivor discusses his education and extracurricular activities while he attended Grey College, a boys' school in Bloemfontein. Although Afrikaans was taught in school, Ivor did not gain fluency in Afrikaans until he worked in an oil refinery in Sasolburg.
15:40 Ivor describes his Jewish education.
16:20 Ivor discusses his family's religious and cultural observance.
17:47 Ivor shares his perspective on the impact of politics in South Africa on the Jewish community and on him personally.
19:40 Ivor discusses his reasons for leaving South Africa and how he decided to move to Canada. He found a job with Union Carbide in Toronto and decided to stay.
Part 2:
00:20 Ivor shares his first impressions of living in Toronto and addresses the ease of transition for him.
02:57 Ivor arrived in Toronto on 2 June 1963 after having spent one month in Montreal.
03:40 Ivor discusses the small South African community in Toronto at that time.
05:40 Ivor discusses his family's reaction to his decision to move to Toronto. His parents remained in South Africa. Ivor describes his parents' lifestyle.
08:45 Ivor describes his professional education and career. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town. He discusses his work history in South Africa, England, and Canada.
13:20 Ivor discusses how he met his wife. He discusses his family: his two sons and one daughter. Ivor discusses his daughter's career.
Part 3:
01:15 Ivor discusses the adoption of his two sons. Ivor discusses the children's education.
06:15 Ivor's mother came to visit regularly. His father came for several visits. Ivor and his family visited South Africa.
07:35 Ivor discusses how his family celebrated Jewish holidays.
08:24 Ivor discusses his wife, Renee.
09:08 Ivor discusses the similarities between Renee's family and his family with regards to Jewish practice and values and their Jewish practice in their home.
11:10 Ivor discusses his limited participation with any organizations within the South African Jewish community in Canada.
12:10 Ivor offers reasons why it would have been difficult to raise his children had they been living in South Africa.
13:40 Ivor discusses some of his family visits to South Africa and the impressions of the children.
15:36 Ivor offers his impressions of current day South Africa.
18:16 Ivor comments on the ease with which he integrated into Canada.
19:06 Ivor discusses his volunteer involvement following his retirement and his personal interests.
Part 4:
00:00 Ivor continues to discuss his personal interests.
Part 5:
00:00 Ivor fondly reminisces about his extended family in Cape Town: his mother's sister and her husband, his mother's brothers, their wives and children, and his father's twin cousins.
Part 6:
00:00 Ivor continues to reminisce about extended family.
02:42 Ivor discusses his pleasure in travel since his retirement.
Source
Oral Histories

What was planned as just a short trip...

Watching What you Say in South Africa

Name
John Brotman
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
5 Apr. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
John Brotman
Number
AC 427
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
5 Apr. 2016
Interviewer
Gail Freeman
Total Running Time
AC 427 part 1: 17 min.
AC 427 part 2: 22 min.
AC 427 part 3: 9 min.
AC 427 part 4: 2 min.
Biography
A musician by training, John arrived in Fort McMurray in April 1977. The very next day it snowed. He immediately regretted not picking Australia. “Canada was freezing cold,” he recalled. “But the people are the friendliest people I’ve ever known.”
John’s journey to Canada was anything but straightforward. Born in 1945, he grew up with his parents and two younger sisters in Saxonwold, a suburb of Johannesburg. After graduating high school and studying at the Wits University, he left for England in order to study music. It was there that he met his first wife, Jenny, who was born in Zimbabwe. The couple had two children: a son and a daughter. About a year after their second child was born, the couple decided to move to Australia. First though, they would stop in South Africa to visit with family. That visit, which was meant to last one month, ended up lasting a number of years.
While home in South Africa, John began having second thoughts about Australia. Back in London, he had met a Canadian musician who had encouraged him to move to Canada. When he returned to South Africa, he found an enormous parcel from Edmonton, Alberta that contained invitations from various towns and cities in Alberta encouraging him to come with his family and make a life there, even going as far as to promise housing. The offer being too good to pass up, the family made the move in 1977.
John initially worked as musician in residence at a college in Fort McMurray, a job he thoroughly enjoyed. It was during this time that his first marriage ended and he met his second wife, Sara, a Canadian who grew up on a farm in Alberta but was now teaching in Fort McMurray. The two moved to Edmonton where John worked for the provincial government for a time before being offered a job by the Canada Council. This job, in turn, took him to Ottawa. While in Ottawa, he and Sara had two children: another son and daughter.
John’s final job was with the Ontario Arts Council, of which he eventually became director. He retired several years ago, but continues to take pride in the accomplishment of Canadian artists and composers around the world.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Brotman, John
Geographic Access
Australia
Edmonton (Alta.)
Fort McMurray (Alta.)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
London (England)
Ottawa (Ont.)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
01:15 John discusses his parents. His father was Isadore and his mother was Doris. Doris was born in Manchester. His father was a radiologist. Two younger sisters: Linda and Angela.
02:00 John briefly outlines his history. He was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. At age twenty, he moved to London, England to study music. He remained there for ten years, where he married and had two children.
02:37 John discusses his neighbourhood, Saxonwold, and his education from elementary school to high school through university.
03:45 John moved to London to study with several music teachers.
04:45 John married in 1970 in London. He discusses his wife's early history. She was born in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and later moved to Cape Town. Their two children were born in England.
05:50 John explains his reasons for deciding to move to Australia. He explains how a short visit stretched into three years.
06:54 John explains how his plans changed and how his first destination in Canada was Alberta.
08:59 John lived in Alberta for four-to-five years. He describes his work as musician-in-residence at the newly founded college in Fort McMurray.
12:17 John explains how, after his first marriage broke up, he moved to Edmonton with his second wife. He worked as cultural music officer for the Alberta government.
13:37 John describes the job he took with the Canada Council in Ottawa. He remained in Ottawa for five years.
15:10 John discusses the job he took with Jeunesse Musicale (Youth in Music), a position that brought him to Toronto.
16:29 John took a position with the Ontario Arts Council. He explains how he advanced from music officer to director of the Ontario Arts Council, where he remained until his retirement in 2013.
Part 2:
00:00 John discusses his first wife, Jennifer Strong, and their children, Matthew and Lauren. They divorced while living in Fort McMurray. He discusses his second wife, Sarah, and their two children, Nicholas and Anna.
03:09 John recounts how he has reconnected with childhood friends from South Africa.
05:31 John discusses the role of Judaism in his life. His father came to South Africa from Prague.
08:24 John discusses his view of politics in South Africa and its impact on his decision to leave to study in England. He recalls South African friends in England who were anti-apartheid.
11:30 John recalls how he briefly contemplated moving to Israel but reconsidered when he was advised that his non-Jewish wife would be required to convert in order to ensure that his children would have full Israeli status.
15:54 John shares his first impressions of Canada and Canadians.
18:06 John discusses his children's education.
19:25 John discusses his family's observance of Jewish holidays.
20:40 John discusses his views on Israel and his connection to Judaism.
Part 3:
00:00 John discusses his reaction to criticism from various interest groups (Jewish, Palestinian, Polish), who objected to certain arts decisions by the Arts Council of Canada.
03:20 John discusses his adjustment to England and Canada.
05:12 John notes some changes in the South African Jewish community that have occurred since he left.
06:56 John recalls experiences that have made him feel "Canadian."
Part 4:
00:00 John relates a meeting with an old South African friend living in Israel and shares some of his views about Israel.
Source
Oral Histories

A Mandate for the Whole Country

The Inevitability of Leaving

Name
Adele and Alan Farber
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
13 Apr. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Adele and Alan Farber
Number
AC 428
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
13 Apr. 2016
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 428 part 1: 18 min.
AC 428 part 2: 19 min.
AC 428 part 3: 22 min.
AC 428 part 4: 3 min.
Biography
Adele and Alan met when she was fifteen and he was seventeen years old. They married a few years later, and lived in Johannesburg until Alan qualified as a chartered accountant. In 1975, they immigrated to Toronto.
Adele arrived in Canada with an honours degree in psychology. She initially completed a one-year program at a Canadian teaching college. After having three children, she went back to university, and obtained an honours degree in social work from York University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toronto. She worked with teenagers for several years at an agency and in 2001 opened a private practice as a psychotherapist. Today she works part-time.
Alan requalified as a chartered accountant in Canada, and became a trustee in bankruptcy. In 1979, he founded a firm, which is currently called Farber Group. The firm provides business advisory services from eleven business units and operates in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.
Adele and Alan are members of Kehillat Shaarei Torah and have engaged in philanthropy through the United Jewish Appeal, Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other Jewish and community charitable organizations.
Their oldest son, Jonathan, lives in Israel while their two younger children, Steven and Sherri, live in Canada. They have seven grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Farber, Adele, 1952-
Farber, Alan, 1951-
Geographic Access
Israel
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:02 Adele was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1952. She has one brother, ten years her junior.
00:32 Adele explains why her family moved several times during her childhood: to London, England in 1962; to Herzliya Pituach, Israel in 1964; and back to Johannesburg in 1967.
02:55 Adele discusses her parents' family histories. Her paternal grandfather came from Lithuania at the turn of the century. Her paternal grandmother came from England. They married in South Africa. Her father was the youngest of five children. Adele's maternal grandparents came from Poland prior to the Second World War. Her mother was the middle of six children, all born in Poland.
05:26 Adele discusses her extended family, their cloneness, and regular family get-togethers.
07:17 Adele outlines her Jewish education.
08:13 Adele speaks Hebrew fluently and majored in Hebrew and psychology at university.
08:41 Adele has a son who lives in Israel.
09:07 Adele discusses how she met her husband, Alan. They married young: Adele was nineteen; Alan was twenty-one. They lived in Johannesburg for three years before moving to Canada.
11:10 Adele discusses the reasons they decided to leave South Africa.
14:40 Adele explains why they chose to immigrate to Canada.
16:36 Adele discusses the rocky start to their immigration due to her father's illness and death. They entered Canada in June 1975, returned to South Africa for six months, and returned to Canada at the end of 1975.
17:59 Adele's mother immigrated to Canada in 1980. Adele's brother moved to the United States.
18:12 Adele discusses return trips to South Africa.
Part 2:
00:00 Alan was born in 1951 in Johannesburg. Alan has two older sisters.
00:20 Alan briefly outlines his primary and secondary education.
00:54 Alan fondly reminisces about a friendship he has maintained since childhood.
02:43 Alan discusses growing up in Johannesburg: his neighbourhood, his friends, and his interest in sports.
03:44: Alan discusses his family's origins. Alan's father was born in South Africa. His paternal grandparents came from Lithuania. Alan's mother and maternal grandfather were born in South Africa. His maternal grandparents came from Latvia.
04:35 Alan describes his observance of Judaism while growing up.
06:15 Alan discusses his bar mitzvah. He had a private Hebrew teacher.
07:54 Alan explains that he and his family had limited involvement in Jewish community activity.
09:00 Alan explains how he became more involved in Jewish community organizations in Toronto. He describes his involvement.
11:38 Alan describes his professional training to become an accountant in South Africa, a chartered accountant in Canada, and a trustee in bankruptcy.
13:52 Alan discusses his career development in Canada. He describes his business, the Farber Financial Group.
17:09 Alan discusses the optiosn he considered before ultimately choosing Canada as an immigration destination.
Part 3:
00:03 Adele discusses her post-secondary education, including an honour's degree in psychology earned in South Africa, a teaching degree, a bachelor of social work, and a master's of social work earned in Canada. Adele discusses her various jobs and her private practice.
03:20 Adele discusses their young family: Jonathon (1978), Steven (1980), and Sherry (1983).
05:34 Alan warmly describes raising his children.
06:31 Adele discusses their family's Jewish life when they first arrived in Toronto: the neighbourhood, Shabbat observance, and synagogue attendance. Adele and Alan explain that, for financial reasons, they sent their children to public school, with the exception of Sherry who attended the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT).
09:29 Alan and Adele discuss how they established social connections when they first arrived in Canada, welcomed by distant cousins and with other young Jewish couples who had recently immigrated from South Africa.
11:13 Adele and Alan discuss how they were received by Canadians.
12:26 Alan describes their efforts to help other immigrants including sponsoring a family from Vietnam in 1981, sponsoring a Russian Jew through Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS), and helping sponsor Syrian refugees through their synagogue.
14:29 Adele discusses the supports offered by South African Jews in Canada to South African immigrants, specifically through the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC).
15:57 Alan explains how he served as a contact person for other South African accountants when they arrived in Canada. Also, many of his business employees are from South Africa.
18:03 Alan and Adele belong to Kehillah Shaarei Torah.
18:48 Adele and Alan discuss their grown children. Their oldest son, Jonathon (Israel) is a rabbi in Bet Shemesh, Israel. Steven is a professor of urban geography at the University of Toronto. Sherry, who studied medicine at Ben-Gurion University, returned to Canada to practice medicine.
20:37 Alan shares his hopes for the future.
Part 4:
00:39 Adele expounds on her appreciation of living in Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

The Kensington of Johannesburg

Maybe Canada?

Immigrants Sponsoring Immigrants

Kiss the Ground

Name
Ismé Bennie
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
26 Apr. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Ismé Bennie
Number
AC 429
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
26 Apr. 2016
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
AC 429 part 1: 21 min.
AC 429 part 2: 21 min.
AC 429 part 3: 21 min.
AC 429 part 4: 9 min.
Biography
For someone who went on to become an influential figure in Canadian broadcasting, it is perhaps surprising to learn that Ismé Bennie grew up without television. Born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1940, Ismé knew from a young age that she wanted to travel. After graduating from Wits University in 1960, she moved to London, England, which is where she saw television for the first time.
Although happy in London, Ismé decided to return to South Africa after two years, mostly as a result of her parents’ urging. While participating in the production of an American documentary about South Africa, she met a Canadian man who lived in the United States. In 1964, she moved to Los Angeles to be with him and eventually the two moved to New York, where they lived for five years.
Ismé’s partner eventually grew unhappy in New York and decided to return to Canada. At the time, many young men were making their way to Canada in order to dodge the draft. Ismé followed their guide about entering Canada. Upon arrival, she completed the questionnaire with flying colours and was allowed to stay.
Once in Canada, Ismé quickly put together an impressive resume, holding senior positions at CHUM and CTV. She has been honoured by the Canadian Film and Television Production Association with a Personal Achievement Award in 1990 and a Jack Chisholm Award in 1995. In 2003, Women in Film and Television – Toronto recognized her with an Outstanding Achievement Award.
In 2010, Ismé left CTV in order to focus on freelance writing. In 2015, she published a memoir of her childhood entitled White Schooldays: Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Bennie, Ismé, 1940-
Geographic Access
London (England)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
New York (N.Y.)
South Africa
Toronto (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
00:24 Ismé was born in South Africa in 1940.
00:36 Ismé immigrated to Enland in 1962. She shares some of her memories from her stay in London. She explains how her views of apartheid changed.
02:40 Ismé discusses her personal and political reaction when she returned to South Africa in 1964.
05:09 Ismé discusses her job with a news magazine in South Africa.
06:48 Ismé discusses her involvement with the production of a film.
08:15 Ismé explains how she met and followed a man to the United States in 1965. She discusses his influence on her intellectually and politically.
10:43 Ismé outlines her first years in North America, initially in Los Angeles, then in New York, and finally in Toronto.
12:32 Ismé explains how she prepared for her move to Canada and discusses her initial arrival in Canada in December 1969.
15:56 Ismé shares her first impressions of Toronto.
18:02 Ismé discusses the friends she made in Toronto.
19:42 Ismé discusses her involvement with her local residential association.
Part 2:
00:00 Ismé discusses her impressions of Canadians' views of South Africa.
01:11 Ismé discusses her process of integration into and adjustment to Toronto.
03:10 Ismé explains that she had minimal contact with other South Africans when she arrived in Toronto. She suggests that her circumstances differed from other South African immigrants.
06:42 Ismé discusses her Jewish life growing up in South Africa.
09:45 Ismé discusses her involvement with the Jewish Genealogical Society in Toronto due to her personal interest in genealogy.
10:57 Ismé discusses her pursuit of her family history.
14:24 Ismé graduated from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. She discusses the efforts of an alumni group in Toronto.
16:11 Ismé discusses her successful career in broadcasting.
Part 3:
00:00 Ismé continues to discuss her career in broadcasting.
01:46 Ismé discusses her current work involvement as a consultant and writer.
03:16 Ismé discusses challenges she has faced as a woman and as a Jew.
06:50 Ismé discusses people who have influenced her in her professional life.
08:31 Ismé discusses some of her most rewarding professional achievements.
10:28 Ismé discusses her avid, longstanding interest in reading.
12:07 Ismé discusses her family and friends in South Africa and how she has maintained connection with them.
16:10 Ismé discusses her impressions of recent visits to South Africa.
19:23 Ismé discusses the challenges her sister would face if she considered immigration to Canada.
Ismé considers the notion of moving back to South Africa.
Part 4:
00:00 Ismé continues to discuss the notion of living in South Africa.
01:30 Ismé recalls some of her memories of South Africa.
05:40 Ismé discusses the process of pursuing her Canadian citizenship.
Source
Oral Histories

Toronto Fashion

A Very Loose Jewish Background

Welcome to Canada

Two South Africas

Name
Anthony Lipschitz
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
10 May 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Anthony Lipschitz
Number
AC 430
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
10 May 2016
Interviewer
Melissa Caza
Total Running Time
1 hr. 4 min.
Biography
Like many South African boys, Anthony Lipschitz’s life revolved around sports. He grew up in Victory Park, a Jewish neighbourhood in Johannesburg whose claim to fame was that it had a Jewish day school. Though not especially devout, the neighbourhood had a strong traditional Jewish identity and Anthony fondly remembers walking across the street with his sister to attend Shul on holidays.
As a child, Anthony played sports with a diverse group of friends that included Jews, Italians, Greeks, and Lebanese. It was through sports, and especially soccer, that Anthony came to view athletic pursuits as “the ultimate equalizer” because it brought people together from different backgrounds. This was especially true as he advanced in his career as a soccer player and began playing in mixed-race teams.
As an adult, Anthony lived and studied in several countries including Israel and the United States. He studied Media Arts at Long Island University on a full soccer scholarship and co-founded a software business called Advanceware Solutions with a childhood friend, which they sold in 2006. Since then, Anthony has held leadership roles at numerous companies including Brightspark Ventures, iStopOver, a peer-to-peer vacation rentals marketplace that he co-founded, and StubHub, an eBay, Inc. company. Today, he is a Partner at FirePower Capital, where he runs their Private Equity practice.
In 2000, Anthony met his future wife, Lisa, whom he married in March 2003. In 2004,the couple moved to Toronto which is where Lisa grew up. Anthony has two sons, both of whom attend Bialik Hebrew Day School.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Lipschitz, 1973-
Geographic Access
Israel
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Toronto (Ont.)
United States
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:33 Anthony's grandparents came to South Africa from Vilnius, Lithuania in the late 1800s to escape pogroms.
01:02 Anthony was born in Johannesburg on 17 October 1973.
01:15 Anthony's parents were born in Johannesburg. His father was a lawyer. Anthony's mother was a legal secretary. They divorced when Anthony was five. Anthony has a brother in Johannesburg and a sister in Sydney, Australia.
02:28 Anthony discusses Victory Park, his neighbourhood in Johannesburg.
03:22 Anthony discusses the make-up his childhood friends.
03:55 Anthony shares memories from his childhood in Johannesburg.
05:34 Anthony discusses his involvement in soccer.
08:03 Anthony describes the make-up of his soccer teams. He discusses the impact of playing on a mixed-race sports team on his personal growth.
10:28 Anthony explains why, with political changes in South Africa, the make-up of his team became more mixed-race.
11:20 Anthony discusses the role of Judaism in his youth while growing up in Johannesburg. Anthony attended a Jewish day school.
12:50 Anthony describes his bar mitzvah.
14:28 Anthony discusses the impact of apartheid in his life. He describes the challenge of filtering out propaganda while growing up in a liberal home.
16:45 Anthony describes his education. He attended Jewish nursery and Jewish day school.
17:43 Anthony attended Betar summer camp for seven years.
18:55 Anthony explains some of the factors that contributed to his decision to leave South Africa.
20:30 Anthony briefly attended Boston University in South Africa.
21:05 Anthony left South Africa at age nineteen for Israel with the intention of soccer.
22:55 Anthony describes his mother's reaction to his decision to leave South Africa.
23:00 Anthony describes his five month stay in Israel and the factors that influenced his decision to move to the United States.
25:47 Anthony discusses his travels to London and the United States.
26:45 Anthony received a scholarship to play soccer at a university in the United States.
27:15 Anthony discusses his first impressions of the United States.
29:30 Anthony attended Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York to study media arts. He discusses his university stay.
33:50 Anthony discusses his first job after graduation.
37:27 Anthony explains how he partnered with a childhood friend to start their own web design business in 1998. He discusses the growth and metamorphosis of the business. They sold the company in 2006.
40:30 Anthony describes how he met his wife, Lisa, in July 2000. They married in March 2003.
42:33 Anthony explains their decision to move to Toronto in January 2004.
43:55 Anthony shares his impressions of Toronto.
44:50 Anthony explains why they chose to live in the Annex.
45:40 Anthony has two sons: Zachary and Matthew.
46:28 Anthony discusses their decision to send their children to Bialik Hebrew Day School.
47:53 Anthony describes his sons' involvement in sports.
48:50 Anthony discusses his own involvement in sports.
49:40 Anthony discusses his business pursuits in Toronto.
54:50 Anthony shares points of pride from his career.
55:26 Anthony describes his Jewish life in Toronto.
57:10 Anthony explains why his family chose to become members of the Temmy Latner Centre in Forest Hill.
58:40 Anthony describes South African traditions that he has passed on to his children.
1:01:00 Anthony discusses his ongoing connection with South Africa. He notes that his mother, brother, father, and grandmother continues to live in South Africa.
1:01:58 Anthony discusses his impressions of current day South Africa.
1:03:00 Anthony muses about what it means to be Canadian.
Source
Oral Histories

Sport as an Equalizer

Jewish Day School

Raising Jewish Children

Food and South African Identity

Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Lynne and David Ginsburg
Number
AC 431
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
19 Nov. 2010 and 17 Dec. 2010
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
South African Oral History 2, Part I: 1 hr. 34 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part II: 1 hr. 8 min.
South African Oral History 2, Part III: 1 hr. 9 min.
Biography
David and Lynne both come from medical families: All four of their parents were doctors and all four attended University of Cape Town Medical School at the same time. As for David and Lynne, they began dating while Lynne was in medical school and David was completing his residency program.
South Africa’s political situation was one of the main reasons David and Lynne began thinking about leaving as neither of them wanted to raise children under the apartheid regime. Their first son was born in 1965 and by 1967 they had left. The family spent a year in Glasgow before moving to Boston, where David worked at Harvard Medical School. It was during this time that they had their second child.
Because of the fact David was eligible to be conscripted if he immigrated to the United States, the couple took out student visas, which expired after three years. If the Vietnam War had not been taking place, it is conceivable that the family would have remained in the United States, David and Lynne having already adjusted to American culture and made friends in the area.
With their visas set to expire, the couple considered immigrating to a number of countries, but settled on Canada. After their arrival, their third child was born. Once David and Lynne were settled in Canada they were joined by several other family members.
David and Lynne are now retired and enjoying the best years of their life. Their son and two daughters live in Toronto and they have ten grandchildren ranging in age from twenty-four to ten years as of November 2018.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Ginsburg, David
Ginsburg, Lynne
Geographic Access
Boston (Mass.)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Durban (South Africa)
Glasgow (Scotland)
Kingston (Ont.)
London (England)
Pretoria (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part I:
00:27 Lynne discusses how she and David met, courted, and married.
00:46 David and Lynne and their respective parents graduated from medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
01:45 Lynne and David's son Neil was born in Cape Town in 1965.
01:50 Lynne explains their reasons for leaving South Africa in February 1967.
02:25 Lynne and David spent one year in Glasgow and three years in Boston.
02:58 Lynne and David have a second child.
03:22 Lynne explains why they were forced to leave the United States.
05:07 Lynne explains how she and David moved to Canada, specifically Kingston.
08:48 Lynne and David discuss the warm community of Kingston.
09:00 David and Lynne describe the positive and negative features of living in Boston.
11:14 Lynne was born in Pretoria, moved to Durban, and then moved to Cape Town.
12:25 David and Lynne reminisce about Cape Town.
13:10 David's brother and sister and Lynne's sister emigrated. Lynne's brother left for a short time but returned to South Africa.
13:40 David and Lynne muse about some of the changes that have occurred in South Africa.
15:42 David's father's family was from Lithuania; his mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne's father's family was from Lithuania; her mother's family was from Latvia. Lynne cites a trip made by her sister to Lithuania.
16:47 Lynne and David discuss safety concerns and high level of crime in South Africa and how it affected them personally.
19:24 Lynne addresses the inefficiency of modern-day South Africa.
21:30 Lynne discusses some of her family's history, including her grandparents and parents. Her maternal grandfather came from Lithuania and married her South-African-born grandmother. They lived briefly in the United States, where her mother was born. Her maternal grandparents came from Lithuania but were married in Cape Town. Her father was born in Cape Town. She discusses the challenges faced by her father as well as his accomplishments in the field of medicine.
25:55 Lynne describes her family's experiences during the Second World War: her father's role as a surgeon enlisted with the British army and her pregnant mother evacuated out of London to South Africa.
28:24 Lynne addresses the role of living near a Jewish community impacted her family.
31:12 David discusses some of his family's history. He shares a colourful story of how his maternal grandparents fled from Russia (Lituhania). They settled in a small town, Sterksstroom, South Africa. David shares a few stories about his father and family.
34:15 David and Lynne reminisce about the apartheid situation in South Africa during their childhood. David discusses the link between the nationalists and Israel He notes that the current South African government is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
36:47 David and Lynne cite incidents of antisemitism during their childhood.
38:17 David discusses the risk of making political comments during his university years.
39:14 Lynne discusses some of the restrictions imposed by the apartheid regime.
42:43 Lynne comments that her family had minimal contact with Israel and Zionist movements.
46:50 Lynne's parents spoke Yiddish with one another. David's mother spoke Yiddish, not his father. Lynne and David speak Afrikaans.
52:33 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism.
55:05 David discusses his family's practice of Judaism.
56:52 Lynne and David continue to discuss Jewish practices and the customs of their grandparents.
59:46 Lynne and David describe some of the struggles faced by their grandparents' generation and the sacrifices they made for their children. They relate some stories about David's grandfather.
1:04:44 Lynne and David recall some Jewish memories while living in Glasgow and Boston.
1:10:47 Lynne discusses her experience of becoming a bat mitzvah at age fifty-three.
1:15:26 Lynne describes their involvement with the Jewish community in Kingston.
1:18:52 Lynne and David describe some of the recent changes in practice in the Kingston synagogue.
1:20:59 Lynne and David describe their children's Jewish education and practice.
1:22:42 Lynne and David share some of their views about Judaism and practice.
1:28:48 Lynne and David relate a story involving a kiddush cup brought from Europe by David's grandfather.
1:30:16 Lynne's maiden name was Heselson.
1:30:32 Lynne presents and discusses her father's military service and medals.
1:32:20 David and Lynne list their and their parents' medical specialties.
Part II
00:00 David describes his family's religious practice, including his paternal grandfather and father. David describes his own observance.
07:50 Lynne discusses her family's practice of Judaism. She recalls celebrating Jewish holidays with neighbours, the Gelfands. David and Lynne reminisce about Jewish foods.
Source
Oral Histories

A Two-Cent Stamp

A Way to Meet People

Racial Segregation

Name
Aubrey and Lucille Groll
Material Format
sound recording
Interview Date
28 June 2011
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Aubrey and Lucille Groll
Number
AC 432
Subject
Canada--Emigration and immigration
Jews--South Africa
South Africa--Emigration and immigration
Interview Date
28 June 2011
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
South African Oral History 1, Part I - 30 min.
South African Oral History 1, Part II - 21 min.
South African Oral History 1, Part III - 1 min.
Biography
Aubrey and Lucille both grew up Jewish in South Africa, but in many respects their experiences of Yiddishkeit were quite different. The son of Orthodox Eastern European parents, Aubrey grew up in a kosher household that took religion very seriously, even if his parents, who owned a small business, had to work Friday evenings in order to make ends meet. Lucille, on the other hand, was the daughter of German immigrants to South Africa who belonged to a Reform synagogue; as a result, she was less familiar with the nuances of kashrut. After meeting Lucille, Aubrey’s mother made several phone calls to verify that her future daughter-in-law was, in fact, Jewish.
Lucille tells a story related to her lack of familiarity with kashrut that illustrates several aspects of Jewish life under apartheid South Africa. When Aubrey was fourteen years old, his family employed a servant of the same age who went on to work for the family for decades. Years later, when Lucille was staying with Aubrey’s family, the servant, despite being non-Jewish, would inquire whether Lucille would be giving her child meat or milk that night and would then proceed to put out the food along with the appropriate plates. Immediately after doing so, he would tell Lucille not to touch anything until he returned in the morning lest she inadvertently violate kashrut!
Aubrey and Lucille left South Africa in 1965, ending up in Kingston after a two-year stay in Birmingham, Alabama. Aubrey became one of the first Jewish academics to teach at Queen’s University while Lucille found interesting jobs in social work, ending her career at Kingston General Hospital. Initially, they had some difficulty integrating into the local Jewish community, but the situation improved as they slowly became more integrated into the Jewish community and more Jewish academics settled in Kingston. Aubrey and Lucille have four children and are the proud grandparents of ten grandchildren. Aubrey passed away in February, 2018.
Material Format
sound recording
Language
English
Name Access
Groll, Aubrey
Groll, Lucille
Geographic Access
Kingston (Ont.)
South Africa
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
Part 1:
01:07 Lucille Groll (née Godfrey) shares some of her family history. Her parents were born in Germany. Her father (né Gothelf) came to South Africa in the late 1920s as an adult. Her mother came to Johannesburg as an infant and was educated in a convent.
02:36 Lucille describes her Jewish upbringing as Reform and liberal with minimal Zionism.
03:10 Lucille's brother attended a Reform summer camp with Zionist leanings.
03:34 Lucille discusses her Jewish education, practice of Jewish holidays, and her Jewish social life.
06:50 Lucille's parents and other elders spoke German at home.
07:14 Lucille recalls the German-style food eaten at her home.
09:34 Lucille's maternal grandfather came to South Africa in 1910, returned to Germany, and then returned to South Africa after the First World War.
10:41 Aubrey shares some of his family history. His parents were married in Lithuania and migrated to Furrow, a farming community. His parents ran a general store. He had two brothers.
13:38 Aubrey discusses his upbringing in Somerset West such as going to school and Jewish practices (Shabbat, kashrut, holidays, Zionism).
15:44 Aubrey discusses her father's affiliation with the Revisionist Zionism. He relates an anecdote involving a visit by Menachem Begin to their town.
16:35 Aubrey discusses her parents' involvement with the synagogue.
17:28 Aubrey reminisces about his education, bar mitzvah, foods, the Jewish community, synagogue life, Hebrew school, and keeping kashrut.
22:00 Aubrey notes that his parents did not discuss the Holocaust or their family's history, despite losing all of the family that remained behind in Lithuania.
23:20 Aubrey's parents spoke Yiddish with one another and friends but not with their children.
25:35 Lucille recalls first meeting Aubrey and his family.
26:45 Aubrey discusses antisemitism during his school years.
27:48 Lucille relates a humorous about Aubrey's mother confirming Lucille's Jewish background.
28:38 Lucille and Aubrey discuss how they met.
Aubrey explains how they ultimately moved to Kingston, Ontario in 1967 via Birmingham, Alabama.
Part 2:
01:36 Lucille discusses her work as a social worker in psychiatry.
02:10 Aubrey and Lucille discuss their relationships with Lynne and David Ginsburg and their role in helping David find work in Kingston.
03:24 Lucille explains how she assumed there would be a Jewish community in Kingston. She shares her impressions of the Jewish community when they arrived. Aubrey shares his impressions as well.
06:20 Aubrey and Lucille were the first Jewish South Africans in Kingston. Other South Africans came to Kingston in 1969 and the 1970s. Aubrey discusses the involvement of South African Jews in the Kingston Jewish community.
08:23 Lucille discusses her family's involvement in the Jewish community in Kingston.
09:22 Lucille discusses her children and grandchildren and their practice.
14:10 ?Joyce (Aubrey's relative?) relates an anecdote about finding and repairing some old candlesticks.
15:45 Lucille discusses changes in Jewish practice over time in Canada versus South Africa.
16:50 Aubrey shares comments about the strong sense of Zionism and Jewish identity in South Africa during his youth.
19:35 Lucille notes that most South African Jews in Toronto have been affiliated with an Orthodox synagogue on Bayview Avenue and the Reform Temple Emanu-El.
Part 3:
00:00 Aubrey briefly discusses the prominence of Zionist movements and camps in South Africa.
00:48 Mention some prayer books.
Source
Oral Histories

Holiday Celebrations

Not Marrying Jewish

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