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197 records – page 1 of 4.
Accession Number
2003-10-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2003-10-2
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
11 film reels (8 mm and 16 mm)
Date
[195-?]-[196-?]
Scope and Content
This accession consists of home movies documenting the family history of the Bender family. The films document occasions and events such as trips to the family cottage at Balfour Beach which was owned by Lil and Irving Rubin, Jerry Bender's graduation from Osgoode Law School, Brenda Rubin's wedding, birthday parties as well as other family milestones
Administrative History
This accession was donated by Perri Blachowitz (Bender). Her parents were Jerry Bender and Miriam Rubin. Jerry's parents were Fanny and Jack and Miriam's were Lil and Irving. Perri's grandparents arrived from Europe as children and her parents were both born in Toronto.
Jerry Bender is a lawyer who practiced in Toronto. Miriam was a teacher who taught at Cedarvale public school on weekdays at at Holy blossom Hebrew school on Sundays. He and Miriam had 6 children which include: Michelle, Heidi, Sharry, Adam, Emma and Perri.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2003-10-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2003-10-4
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette : b&w, si., VHS
Date
1943
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one VHS videocassette copy of an 8mm silent film that was taken by Hy Rossman of campers at Camp Tamarack in 1943. The film includes scenes of the boys engaged in activities at camp as well as "mess hall" gatherings, training sessions and drills
Administrative History
Hy Rossman was the father of one of the campers. The donor, Dr. Martin Wolfish, was a friend of his son and was a camper in 1943 as well.
Descriptive Notes
A clip of the film can be viewed at: //www.youtube.com/embed/eFGNoca4vkw
Subjects
Camps
Children
Name Access
Camp Tamarack
Rossman, Hy
Places
Bracebridge, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2004-5-87
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2004-5-87
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 film strip : col. ; 43 images
Date
1955
Scope and Content
Accession consists of a U.J.A. film strip narrated by Win Barron, with photography by Graphic Artists, and produced by Bernard Mandel. Images include synagogues and other buildings, children at school, swimmers in a pool, immigrants in Israel, and U.J.A. posters.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1979-4-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1979-4-4
Material Format
graphic material
moving images
Physical Description
18 photographs : b&w (9 negatives)
1 film reel
Date
1959-1965
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs documenting the Workmen's Circle (Arbeiter Ring) Peretz School and Camp Yungvelt. Also included is a film reel of activities at Camp Yungvelt from 1959.
Subjects
Camps
Schools
Name Access
Camp Yungvelt
Matenko, Isaac, 1874-1960
Workmen's Circle (Toronto, Ont.)
Places
Ontario
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1983-5-1
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1983-5-1
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 film reel (ca. 60 mins.) : b&w, si. : 16 mm : 16fps
Date
1929-[194-?]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of a 16mm b&w, silent film reprinted (probably in the 1980s) on modern 16mm sound stock from the original group of individual short silent 16mm films shot by Sol Sky from 1929 through the late 1940s. Among the shots are scenes of: Sol Sky in front of his South Porcupine store Sky’s Specialty Shop; Kovetsky’s Ltd. Men’s Store in South Porcupine; downtown main-street in South Porcupine; family members on skis in winter; a very early propeller-pushed “ski doo”; a July 1, 1929 Dominion Day parade in South Porcupine; a family visit to a city; and a winter scene of a bi-plane on a frozen lake. Many country-side and lake-shore family outings are also included. (Note: a complete shot-list has been created for the contents of this film.)
Administrative History
Sol Sky was born in Russia in 1887 and his family arrived in Canada in 1906. He move to South Porcupine in 1911, and was married to Fanny Rosenbloom in 1912. They were among the earliest Jewish merchants to move to South Porcupine, Ontario, where a gold-mining boom was just beginning. Owner of a successful store, he was able to purchase one of the first 16mm silent Kodak home movie cameras, which he used to film family, friends, other residents, businesses and events during the following two decades. The family lived in South Porcupine until 1960.
Name Access
Sky, Sol, 1887-
Places
South Porcupine, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1986-4-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1986-4-4
Material Format
moving images
graphic material
Physical Description
1 film reel (app. 30 mins) : pos., col., si, ; 8mm
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Date
1 Apr. 1959, 1962
Scope and Content
Accession consist of one film reel of the April 1, 1959 Bar Mitzvah of Hersh Cohen held at the Hebrew Men of England Synagogue, Spadina Ave., Toronto . Also seen is the post-ceremony reception for family and friends at the Barclay Hotel, Toronto. Shots include: removal of Torah scrolls, portions of the service with Bar Mitzva and others reading from the Torah, family members at the Bima, Hersch Cohen and family members walking to car after services, family and friends at post-service reception.
Also included is a photograph of the staff of Camp Winnebagoe, near Huntsville, Ontario.
Custodial History
Film was created by the parents of Hersh Cohen and later maintained by him until donated to OJA.
Subjects
Bar mitzvah
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1990-1-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1990-1-4
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
2 videocassettes (ca. 1 hour) : col., sd. ; VHS
Date
1960
Scope and Content
Accession consists of two VHS tapes documenting UJA Federation's Study Mission to Israel in 1960.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1990-9-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1990-9-3
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette (ca. 30 min.) : duplicate, col., si. ; 3/4"
1 videocassette (ca. 30 min.) : duplicate, col., si. ; VHS
Date
[ca. 1945]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of two videocassette copies of the Shopsowitz family's home movies filmed at Monteith Inn, which was located on Lake Rousseau in the Muskokas.
Use Conditions
Copyright is not held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1992-6-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1992-6-4
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette : col., sd.
Date
14 Jun. 1992
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one videocassette documenting Florence Hutner-Rosichan's memorial held at Holy Blossom Temple on June 14, 1992.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1999-6-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1999-6-4
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette (ca. 10 min.) : col., si.
Date
1958
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one videocassette documenting the dedication of Sefer Torah scrolls held by the Shidlover Shul on D'Arcy Street in Toronto. The scrolls were brought to the shul from 3181 Bathurst Street by Jake and Esther Miltz and Rose and Nathan Weisblatt. They were transported to D'Arcy and Spadina Ave. and marched into the shul from Spadina Ave. going East. The celebration was held at the Weisblatt's home. Footage was originally filmed by Dr. Aaron Weisblatt on super 8 mm.
Use Conditions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Kensington Market (Toronto, Ont.)
D'Arcy Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Spadina Avenue (Toronto, Ont.)
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-5-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-5-8
Material Format
sound recording
moving images
Physical Description
18 sound tape reels (ca. 12.5 hrs.)
1 sound cassette
1 film reel (18 min.; 198 m)
Date
1972
Scope and Content
Accessions consists of interview tapes and films for a project commemorating the Jewish Labour Committee's (JLC) work in rescuing Jewish refugees after the Second World War.
Interviewees include refugees who were assisted by the JLC and former JLC officials who were involved in the project
Custodial History
Materials were donated by Stan Adleman (one of the interviewers for the commemorative project) in 1978 to the Multicultural History Society of Ontario. The MHSO passed on the collection to the Archives of Ontario.
The materials were never accessioned by the Archives of Ontario, but they did create a brief finding aid for the materials in 1985 and identified the collection as Archives of Ontario Audio-Visual Collection #190.
In 1991, the Archives of Ontario offered the collection to the Canadian Jewish Congress National Archives, which in turn notified the Ontario Jewish Archives that the collection was available for acquisition.
The OJA apparently acquired the collection in late 1991 or early 1992, but it was not accessioned at that time.
Administrative History
The Jewish Labour Committee (JLC) was founded in 1936, an offshoot of the American Jewish Labor Committee (AJLC), a trade union umbrella group with roots in the Workmen’s Circle, a radical left Jewish fraternal organization that had its origins in Eastern Europe. At its peak it claimed about 50,000 members, coming largely from such Jewish-dominated trade unions as the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union (ACWU), and the United Cap, Hat and Millinery Workers Union (UCHMWU).
The JLC was social democratic and anti-communist. In the early part of the century, most socialist Jews in Canada were members of the Workmen’s Circle, but in the wake of the Russian Revolution the "left" communists began to move away from the "right" social democrats. By 1926 the two factions had split completely, with the communists leaving to create an organization called the Labour League and the social democrats remaining in the Workman’s Circle. The latter continued to be the social and intellectual home of the JLC labour activists, while the former performed the same function for Jewish communists, even after it changed its name in 1945 to the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO). Over the years these two factions remained bitter rivals.
Not surprisingly, the JLC had close ties with the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), a party that was social democratic on economic matters and liberal on human-rights.11 For example, David Lewis, the CCF’s first National Secretary, was the son of Morris Lewis, a Workman’s Circle socialist, and for many years the Secretary of the JLC. Similarly, Maurice Silcoff, a vice-president of the JLC, was a CCF activist.
During World War II, one of the most pressing issues for the Canadian Jewish community was refugee relief, especially assistance for those few Jews who had managed to escape the Nazi Holocaust. As the war began to draw to a close, however, Jewish activists began to shift from their short-term project of helping victims of foreign antisemitism to the longer-term goal of attacking domestic antisemitism. At the same time, they broadened their scope, viewing antisemitism as simply one part of a larger problem — racial and religious prejudice.13 In the words of an early JLC report, "Anti-Semitism, anti-Negroism, anti-Catholicism, anti-French or anti-English [sentiments] ... and union-smashing are all part of a single reactionary crusade of hatred and destruction.".
Consequently, by 1946 the JLC executive had appointed a national director to combat racial and religious prejudice within the trade union movement in Canada. Their choice, Kalmen Kaplansky, was Polish-born, fluent in Yiddish and English, a war veteran (with the rank of sergeant), a member of the International Typographical Union, Montréal vice-chair of the JLC, and a social democrat with strong ties to the Workmen’s Circle and the CCF.
[Taken from: Ross Lambertson. (2001). "The Dresden Story": Racism, Human Rights, and the Jewish Labour Committee of Canada. Labour/Le Travail Issue 47. http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/47/03lamber.html Viewed May 27, 2005 9:38 EDT
Use Conditions
The archives does not have the release forms signed by interviewees.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-8-6
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-8-6
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette : VHS
Date
1959
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one VHS cassette of approximately 10 minutes of original family home movies of the Weinstock family vacationing in Pontypool. The video begins with an introduction to the home movies by Nathan Weinstock. The video contains scenes of activities including swimming, dancing, fishing, and playing cards.
Administrative History
Nathan Weinstock (b. 1950) is the son of Abraham (b. 1917) and Chanah (b. 1922) Weinstock who were both born in Poland. He has an older brother, Joseph (b. 1946) and a younger sister, Lily (b. 1954). The Weinstock family vacationed in Pontypool between 1956 and 1962.
Subjects
Outdoor recreation
Communities
Name Access
Weinstock, Nathan
Weinstock, Abraham
Weinstock, Chanah
Places
Pontypool, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-11-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2005-11-8
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 film reel ; 8 mm
Date
[197-?]
Scope and Content
Accession is an 8mm home movie reel of Succah at an unknown religious school.
Subjects
Religion
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-6-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-6-3
Material Format
graphic material
textual record
moving images
Physical Description
301 photographs : b&w (1 oversized, 2 albums)
16 film reels : 16 mm and 8 mm
7 cm of textual records
Date
[ca. 1900]-1970
Scope and Content
The accession consists of material documenting the Shedlowsky (later Shields) and Iseman families. The records consist of items such as: telegrams, invitations, photographs and home movies.
Custodial History
The records were donated by Mel Shields, who had them in his apartment. He is planning to donate the business records to the OJA as well.
Administrative History
Melvin Shields was born in 1940 and was raised in Toronto. He was the son of Harry and Esther (née Iseman) Shields. Harry came to Canada after the First World War with his parents and attended school in Toronto. His family name was Sheldlowsky, which was changed to Shields before he married Esther in 1937. They had another son Lorne, who was born in 1943.
During their early years of marriage, the couple lived with Esther's parents, Rose and Harry. During the war, the Iseman's helped bring to Canada two Jewish boys, the Furman's, from England. The boys stayed with friends of the family when they arrived in Canada. The boys' parents wrote to the Iseman's and were very appreciative of the sacrifices they made for their children.
The family took many trips together to Niagara Falls, Pontypool and other camping resorts. The couple also took trips with friends and adult family members to Acapulco and Miami. When they were older, the boys were sent to summer camps such as Camp Tamarack and Camp Rockwood, where Mel was a counsellor.
Harry owned a sportswear business called Shields Sportswear Ltd., which was located at 349 Queen Street West. Esther served on the board of the Mozirer Society for many years.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-5-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-5-2
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 videocassette
1 DVD
Date
[200-]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one video cassette and a DVD documenting the history of Kirkland Lake. The material was originally aired on TV Ontario
Descriptive Notes
The video cassette has been converted to digital format.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-8-16
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-8-16
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD
Date
2006
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one DVD containing Toronto media coverage of the UJA emergency rally and campaign in support of Israel. The television coverage is from July and August of 2006 and was aired on CBC, CTV, City TV (CP 24) and Global.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-8-17
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2006-8-17
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD
Date
Aug. 2006
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one DVD of the United Jewish Communities Israel Emergency Campaign video from August 2006.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2007-10-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2007-10-4
Material Format
textual record
moving images
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
1 DVD ; 20 min.
Date
2007
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one DVD detailing the history of Ralph and Helen Cohen entitled: 1947: Once Upon a Time. The video was created by Alan, the son of Ralph and Helen, in honour of his parents 60th wedding anniversary. It features still photographs of his parents and family friends with a narrative voice-over. As well, the video features several archival photographs from various institutions, including the OJA. Additionally, there is a publicity brochure for Alan's business producing family commemorative DVDs.
Name Access
Cohen, Helen
Cohen, Ralph
Cohen Alan
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-3
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-3
Material Format
textual record
moving images
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records and other material
Date
2007
Scope and Content
This accession consists of material created for the Holy Blossom Temple's 150th anniversary celebrations, held in 2007. Included are pamphlets and a brochure outlining the history of the Temple and highlighting the stained glass windows, as well as a paper copy of the text panels that were on display during the anniversary celebrations. Also included is a colour DVD entitled: Holy Blossom, 150 years of tradition and modernity, a dvd featuring two stories entitled: In the Beginning and the transition from Bond Street to Bathurst Street, as well as a musical cd created in celebration of the Temple's anniversary by Hazzan Benjamin Z. Maissner, entitled: A jubilee celebration.
Descriptive Notes
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION NOTE: Accession includes 3 DVDs, 1 CD, and 1 VHS.
Subjects
Anniversaries
Name Access
Holy Blossom Temple (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-4
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-4
Material Format
moving images
graphic material (electronic)
graphic material
Physical Description
4 film reels (57 min., 32 sec.) : 16 mm
1 DVD
8 photographs (jpgs) : b&w
1 photograph : b&w
Date
[195-]-[196-]
Scope and Content
This accession consists of four 16 mm films and one copy DVD, documenting the Moldaver family in Peterborough. The films were taken during the 1950s and 1960s and include images of a Camp Wahanowin family visit featuring people by the lake, boating, playing badminton and softball and waterskiing, as well as other cottage scenes of kids swimming and jumping off the dock, canoeing, and several families sitting by the lake.
The films also document several family and community events, such as a family vacation to Chicago, fancy parties, Chanukah and Purim celebrations, family dinners, and Bar Mitzvahs, including the Bar Mitzvah of the donor Joel Moldaver. There are also several scenes of family life in Peterborough including people skating outdoors, and group shots of people standing outside of their homes and getting into cars.
In addition, the accession contains electronic scans of eight family photographs, including the donor's grandparents and great-parents, his parents' wedding which was the first Jewish wedding in Peterborough, and three images of his own bar mitzvah. There is also one oversize photograph of the 1942 Plenary session of the Canadian Jewish Congress, where the formation of Israel was addressed (photo credit: Federal Photos, Montreal).
Photographs are as follows:
1. Annie and Philip Black in Peterborough, ca. 1939.
2. Bar Mitzvah at Reid Street.
3. Bar Mitzvah at Reid Street.
4. Bar Mitzvah at Reid Street with father Irving Moldaver, Aaron Black and Rabbi Babb.
5. David and Faigh Florence possibly on Aylmer St., ca 1939.
6. Irving Moldaver wedding portrait, 1938.
7. Peterborough wedding, Ernie Fine, Annie Black, Ruth and Irving Moldaver, Clara and Oskar Moldaver, 1938.
8. Ruth (Black) Moldaver wedding portrait, 1938.
9. CJC 5th plenary session, Jan. 10-12, 1942, Montreal.
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
Communities
Families
Religion
Name Access
Moldaver, Joel
Moldaver, Ruth
Moldaver, Irving
Places
Peterborough, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-1-5
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
95 video cassettes
Date
Sept. 1998-March 2000
Scope and Content
This accession consists of 95 video cassettes of lectures presented by the Wexner Heritage Foundation at their "Toronto sessions". There are 39 lectures in total, dealing with philosophical and religious based topics as well as one on the history of the Canadian Jewish community. The sessions are set up with a guest speaker at the head of a table facilitating the discussion amongst a group of participants.
The guest speakers and facilitators include Rabbi Norman Laufer, Rabbi Reuven Kimelman, Rabbi Jacob Schacter, Dr. Benjamin Gampel, Dr. Michael Stanislawski, Dr. Steven Bayme, Dr. Michael Brown, Rabbi Shoshana Gelfand, Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard, Dr. Larry Hoffman, Erica Brown, Dr. Michal Chernick and Arna Poupko.
The topics of discussion include:
Genesis: cosmos and covenant.
Genesis: Exodus, Abraham and Moses. The nature of leadership and relationship to the covenant.
Books of Deuteronomy, Joshua. Judges, Samuel 1: land and politics.
Prophets and kings or prophets vs. kings.
Judaism and the destruction of the Temple.
The Temple's end and beginnings of modern Judaism.
Judaism in Middle Ages.
Jews in the orbit of Islam.
Sephardic and Ashkenaz Jews: 11th to 15th century.
Crusades and expulsion of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews: 13th to 16th century.
Jews in Ashkenazi lands.
Roads to modernity: 1550-1789.
Jews in Medieval Spain.
Eastern European Jewry through 1981.
Transitions to modernity
Enlightenment and emancipation and the Jewish response to modernity.
Immigration and acculturation.
Zionism first 50 years.
The rise and decline of civic Judaism and the emergence of Jewish continuity agenda.
Canadian Jewish history.
Who are the hero/ines of Rosh Hashanah?
Priest, prophet and kings: authority and rivalry.
Triumphs and failures in biblical leadership.
Refusing leadership: the complex leader.
Judah, Tamar and the Book of Ruth: autonomy and vision as a foundation for leadership.
Leadership as an outgrowth of faith and kindness.
The risk of a leader in the Diaspora: Joseph and the Book of Esther.
The leader as courtier: the Book of Esther.
Suffering divine justice and personal communal redemption.
The leader as nurturer.
The anatomy of the Siddur.
From Bible to Mishna: the process of Midrash.
Rabbinic "liturature": the Mishna.
The Talmud.
The Mishna and its social context.
Codes and responsa.
The Aggadah: the spiritual world of the Talmudic tale.
Custodial History
These video cassettes were donated to the OJA by the Media Library, however they did not contain the usual coding used by the library. Therefore, their origins are unknown. It is possible that they were once used as a resource by the staff at the Board of Jewish Education.
Administrative History
The Wexner Foundation and the Wexner Heritage Foundation (now part of The Wexner Foundation) were established by Leslie Wexner in 1984. The Wexner Heritage program was designed to provide young American Jewish lay leaders with a two-year intensive Jewish learning program, thus deepening their understanding of Jewish history, values, and texts and enriching their leadership skills. By the end of 2007, over 1500 North American Jewish leaders from 31 cities will have participated in the program.
http://www.wexnerfoundation.org/TheFoundation/HistoryandMission/tabid/61/Default.aspx
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-7-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-7-5
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD (ca. 3 min.)
Date
26 Nov. 2007
Scope and Content
This accession consists of one DVD of Ze'ev Bielski, chair of the Jewish Agency, paying tribute to David Engel on the occassion of his end of term as chair of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto's Board of Directors.
Name Access
Engel, David
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-9-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-9-5
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD (2 hrs. 2 mins.)
Date
[ca. 1957]-[ca. 1958]
Scope and Content
Accession consists of family movies from the late 1950s converted to digital format (DVD). The movies document the Nefsky (?) family of Toronto, their celebrations, vacations at the cottage and in Florida. The DVD runs approximately 2 hours. It was likely originally filmed on 8mm film and there appear to have been 13 reels combined onto this DVD, made over a couple of years ca. 1957-1958.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-11-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-11-2
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD : 20 min.
8 videocassettes : 3/4"
1 videocassette (ca. 20 min.) : col., sd.
Date
1991
Scope and Content
This accession consists of one DVD, copied from an original videocassette entitled J.B.! The DVD features an interview with J.B. Salsberg as well as other individuals sharing their memories of Salsberg. The DVD was produced by Gabov Apor and Company Ltd. and was executive produced by Salsberg's niece, Dr. Sharyn A. Salsberg Ezrin. It was created for a dinner honouring J. B. Salsberg, which took place on November 13, 1991.
Also included are the 8 original broadcast U-matic videocassettes containing the raw footage and interviews as well as the finished product.
Custodial History
The DVD was in the possession of Ethel Cooper, Chair of the Yiddish Committee and was donated to the Archives on behalf of Dr. Salsberg Ezrin. The videocassettes were given to the Archives by the donor on 28 November, 2008 and was added on to this original accession.
The videocassette version of the DVD footage was previously donated to OJA by Dr. Salsberg Ezrin and has been added to this accession.
Name Access
Salsberg, J. B. (Joseph B.), ca. 1903-1998
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-10-7
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-10-7
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
moving images
Physical Description
28 cm of textual records
78 photographs : 24 x 19 cm or smaller
3 videocassetttes
Date
1962-2003
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records documenting the education and professional life of Rabbi Domb. The photos are mostly of the Rabbi, his family, friends and congregational school students. Also included are files containing many of his speeches and sermons, his marriage register, his personal educational and certification records, correspondence and notes concerning his involvement with the B’nai Shalom North Congregation, and VHS videocassettes of a singing audition and a wedding at which he officiated. The accession also includes records containing many posthumous tributes to his life and work, as well as a DVD, brief obituary and personal history by his nephew, Alan Domb, donor of these records.
Custodial History
Donor was Rabbi's nephew.
Administrative History
Solomon Z. Domb was born in Israel on December 2, 1952. He was the fourth and youngest son of Polish Holocaust survivors Joseph and Golda Domb. The family immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1960, where Solomon received his education at Yeshiva Day School Chaim Talmud Torah. His education continued at the Ner Israel Yeshiva and the Bais Medrash L’Rabonim in Brooklyn, New York. He also studied cantorial singing under famed cantor David Kusevitsky. After graduation as a rabbi in May1970 Rabbi Domb began his career at the House of Jacob in Calgary, Alberta. He then became Rabbi and Chazzan of Beth Isiah Congregation in Guelph and later at Toronto’s Beth Torah Congregation. In 1982 Rabbi Domb founded the B’nai Shalom North Congregation, B’nai Shalom Hebrew School, and B’nai Shalom Day Nursery. He was also a founder of the Vaughan Neighbourhood Support Centre. Rabbi Domb died on October 5, 2003.
Descriptive Notes
Language Note: Many of the speech and semon notes are in Hebrew or Yiddish.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-12-1
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2008-12-1
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD (43 min, 55 sec.) : col.
Date
1964-1967
Scope and Content
This accession consists of one copy DVD featuring Rabbi William Rosenthal and his family and other Jewish community members of Sudbury and Toronto. The DVD depicts a graduation at an unidentified Yeshiva in New York, a farewell party for the Rosenthal family thrown by the Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue, the opening of the Carmel nursing home and other family events involving the Rosenthal's, such as playing outside in the snow.
Custodial History
The VHS was loaned to the Archives by the donor for copying into digital format. Lilian Rosenthal is the daughter of Rabbi William and Miriam Rosenthal.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-1-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-1-2
Material Format
textual record
moving images
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
2 videocassettes (each 44 min, 39 sec.)
Date
1969, 1997
Scope and Content
This accession consists of a 1969 letter from Senator A[rthur] W. Roebuck, responding to a thank-you letter sent by Mrs. Sydney Cooper and Mrs. Minden, co-chairs of Crown Gifts division, and Mrs. Allen A. Small, chair of the Women's Division of UJA. The letter refers to the recent visit of a group of women who visited the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and were received by Senator Roebuck. The other items in the accession are a video and guidebook set entitled 'Untying the Bonds... Jewish Divorce: a GET Education Video & Guidebook, Fall 1997."
Custodial History
The records were in the office of Frances Goldstein, Associate Director for Top Gifts at UJA's Centre for Philanthropy, before being transferred to the OJA. Goldstein was formerly the head of Women's Campaign.
Administrative History
The Canadian Coalition of Jewish Women for the GET was composed of all the major Jewish women's organizations, which joined forces in the late 1980s to have the federal Divorce Act amended. The Jewish Women's Federation was one of these organizations; the others were Jewish Women International of Canada, Emunah Women of Canada, Hadassah-WIZO Organization of Canada, Na’amat Canada, Canadian ORT, Women’s Federation CJA, National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Status of Women Committee of Canadian Jewish Congress and Women’s League of Conservative Judaism. In 1990, as part of a lobbying group that included B'nai Brith, Canadian Jewish Congress, and religious groups of all faiths, the Coalition succeeded in having a protective clause added to the Divorce Act, ensuring that no spouse should retain barriers to the religious remarriage of their ex-spouse in a divorce in Canada. The Coalition went on after its successful legislative reform campaign to produce an educational video on Jewish divorce and continue with its activism and public awareness building.
Subjects
Women
Get (Jewish law)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-8
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-8
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
moving images
Physical Description
98 photographs (jpg)
1 optical disc (5 mins.)
Date
[2000?]-2007
Scope and Content
Accession consists of 98 photographs of the arrival in Israel of a Taglit-Birthright Israel group in May 2007. The trip celebrated Toronto's 10,000th participant in the programme, David Stein, and he is the subject of most of the photographs. The images are of the group's arrival at the airport in Israel and in front of their tour bus. Accession also includes a DVD video about Canadian youth's Mifgashim (encounters) with IDF soldiers as part of the Taglit-Birthright Israel program.
Subjects
Israel
Name Access
Canada Israel Experience
Stein, David
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-15
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-15
Material Format
textual record
moving images
graphic material (electronic)
sound recording
Physical Description
4 cm of textual records
3 videocassettes
10 optical discs (196 mins., 38 secs.)
1278 photographs (jpg)
Date
2000-2009
Scope and Content
Accession consists of programmes and invitations for Campaign events including Major Gifts, telethons, missions, the Ben Gurion Society, Women's Philanthropy and other divisions' events. There are also three videocassettes with videos for Campaign 2002 ("Israel is Calling"), Campaign 2000 ("The Campaign For Our Children"), and the Campaign 2000 Launch ("Wings of a Butterfly"). Also included in the accession are 10 DVDs, containing: campaign videos for the years 2003 to 2009; a video conference on Jewish morality held for lay leaders in 2003; an audio-only recording of remarks by Professor Alan Dershowitz in 2002; and a canvasser motivation video produced by Federation. There are additional CDs with photographs relating to Hineni, Vision, L.O.J.E., H.O.T. Toronto (Young Leadership Division), Ben Gurion Society, missions and United Israel Appeal Canada; finally, there are audio recordings of speakers from the 2008 2nd Annual UJA Federation Big Ideas Forum. For a detailed list, click here: file://s-oja01\data\Description\Campaign\Creative%20CDs.doc
Use Conditions
Copyright of campaign videos is owned by the production company and NOT by UJA Federation. Researchers must contact Len Pearl to obtain copyright clearance to reproduce these videos. Researchers must be able to specify the exact video and clip when requesting copyright permission.
Subjects
Charities
Fund raising
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-16
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2009-12-16
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
moving images
textual record
Physical Description
1 optical disc (92 mins., 48 secs.)
1 optical disc (8 mins., 40 secs.)
265 photographs (jpg)
1 folder of textual records
Date
2007-2008
Scope and Content
Accession consists of records relating to UJA Top Gifts events. The 2007 records include a printed invitation; an unfinished promotional Top Gifts video; and a professionally-produced DVD containing the Top Gifts Dinner program, including videos of speakers and the polished Top Gifts video (the two promo videos are similar but not identical). Another CD holds the Top Gifts Reception of the Campaign Launch in September 2007. For 2008, the records consist of a printed invitation to the Top Gifts Dinner and a CD with 120 photos from the event.
Use Conditions
UJA Federation meeting minutes and general correspondence are closed for 10 years from date of creation. Contracts and donor agreements are permanently closed.
Descriptive Notes
Photographs from 2008 by Caley Taylor.
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2010-1-5
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2010-1-5
Material Format
moving images
Physical Description
1 DVD ( ca. 96 min.)
Date
2006
Scope and Content
Accession consists of one DVD recording of the Rally for Truth, Light and Freedom. The DVD covers the entire presentation, including speakers Linda Frum Sokolowski, Father Raymond De Souza, Peter Van Loan, Michael Bryant, Martin Maxwell, Max Eisen, and William McBurney; keynote speaker Professer Alan Dershowitz; and archival footage of a concentration camp liberation that was screened at the rally.
Administrative History
The Rally for Truth, Light and Freedom: Iran Exposed was held at Beth Tzedec Congregation on Thursday December 21, 2006 to express opposition to Iran's Holocaust denial conference. It was sponsored by a coalition of more than 120 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, including the Archdiocese of Toronto's Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs, the National Congress of Italian-Canadians, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and the Hindu Conference of Canada. Organizational support was provided by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto; Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region; and the Holocaust Centre of Toronto. Mark Anshan of UJA coordinated the event.
Subjects
Holocaust denial
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2010-2-2
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2010-2-2
Material Format
graphic material (electronic)
moving images
Physical Description
87 photographs : col. (jpg)
1 DVD (approx. 10 mins.)
Date
1946-1949, 1980-2009
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs of synagogue exteriors, cornerstones, and doorways around Ontario, as well as in the cities of Moncton, Rouyn-Noranda, Saint John, St. John's, Victoria, and Winnipeg. There is one interior shot of the sanctuary of Beth El Synagogue in St. John's, Newfoundland. The accession also contains a DVD with three home movies dated 1946 to 1949. The movies are of a wedding in Goel Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto, a bar mitzvah, and cottage scenes in Beaverton.
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
Some jpg files contain two or three images scanned together.
Subjects
Amateur films
Judaism--Customs and practices
Synagogue architecture
Name Access
Beth El Synagogue (St. John's, N.L.)
Goel Tzedec Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Places
Beaverton (Ont.)
Moncton (N.B.)
Rouyn-Noranda (Québec)
Saint John (N.B.)
St. John's (N.L.)
Victoria (B.C.)
Winnipeg (Man.)
Source
Archival Accessions
Name
Mel Lastman
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Mel Lastman
Number
AC 290
Subject
Religion
Families
Interview Date
June 1, 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Melvin Douglas Lastman was born in Toronto on March 9, 1933, the son of Rose and Louis Lastman. Raised in the Kengsington Market area, he attended Ryerson Public School and Central High School of Commerce where he was president of the school council. Lastman left high school to work at an appliance store and, in 1955, opened his own appliance store. By the late 1960s, he owned a chain of 40 stores, Bad Boy Appliances, throughout Ontario. Lastman lived in North York and, in 1969, ran successfully for the North York Board of Control. In the 1972 municipal election, he was elected as mayor of North York, a position he held for 25 years until North York became part of the newly created City of Toronto on January 1, 1998. With the provincially mandated creation of the new City of Toronto by the amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto and the six local municipalities, Lastman decided to run for mayor against the other major contender, former City of Toronto mayor Barbara Hall. He won the 1997 election and was sworn in on January 1, 1998. Lastman was easily re-elected in the 2000 mayoralty election; however, in February 2003, Lastman announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the November municipal election.
In 1953, Mel Lastman married Marilyn Bornstein. They have two married sons and six grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Anshei Minsk Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Lastman, Mel
Scheinberg, Ellen
Geographic Access
Toronto
Kensington Market
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

In this clip, former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman remembers playing as a child at the Minsk Shul in Kensington Market.

Name
Michele Landsberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
August 2006
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Michele Landsberg
Number
AC 294
Subject
Religion
Families
Buildings
Interview Date
August 2006
Quantity
1
Interviewer
Ellen Scheinberg and Aviva Heller
Total Running Time
60 min.
Conservation
Copied November 2006
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
An award-winning columnist, staunch feminist, and tireless activist for social justice and progressive causes at home and abroad, Michele Landsberg was a well-known and prominent Torontonian during the mid to late 20th century. According to a biography posted by the University of Windsor where Landsberg was a Distinguished Visitor in Women's Studies in October 2003, her 'zest for wanting to change the world has its roots in her childhood: growing up as a Jewish girl in 1950s Toronto, where sexual stereotyping and objectification were rampant and overt antisemitism was acceptable.' As a result, Ms. Landsberg tackled a wide-range of related issues, often grounding her columns in events, places, and issues of particular interest to Torontonians.
Born on July 12, 1939, Ms. Landsberg attended Toronto public schools, spent time on a kibbutz in Israel, and graduated from the University of Toronto with honours in English language and literature in 1962. She was dissuaded from pursuing a master's degree by her male professors, and instead became a reporter at the Globe and Mail newspaper and launched a remarkable career as a journalist and writer. In addition to freelance and full-time stints with the Globe and Mail (1962-1965; 1985-1988), Chatelaine magazine(1965-1971), and the Toronto Star (1978-1983 and 1989-2003), Ms. Landsberg frequently appeared on television and radio and wrote three best-selling books She garnered awards, including the first National Newspaper Award for column-writing, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and the 2002 Governor-General's Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case, and received honourary degrees from several Canadian universities. She also served on the boards of many community organizations, such as CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights League) and Opportunity for Advancement.
After her retirement from the Toronto Star in 2003, Ms. Landsberg planned to pursue other writing projects and to spend more time at home in her garden and with her family: husband Stephen Lewis, three grown children, and two grandchildren. In September 2005, she was acclaimed as the new Chair of the Women's College Hospital Board when the Hospital ended its partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Anshei Minsk Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Landsberg, Michele
Scheinberg, Ellen
Heller, Aviva
Geographic Access
Toronto
Original Format
Digital videocassette
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories

Canadian author and journalist Michele Landsberg provides recollections of attending the Minsk Synagogue with her grandfather in the 1940s

Name
Merle Koven
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
Oct. 17, 2007
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Merle Koven
Number
AC 324
Subject
Antisemitism
Education
Synagogues
Interview Date
Oct. 17, 2007
Quantity
2 mini DVs, 2 archival DVDs, 2 reference DVDs
Interviewer
Sharon Gubbay Helfer
Total Running Time
2 hrs
Notes
Part of Ontario Small Jewish Communities Project.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Merle Koven grew up in Kingston and attended Kingston Collegiate. After high school, Merle enrolled in teachers college in Toronto, then later taught school in Kingston. Merle married Philip Koven, a well-known local businessman, philanthropist and community volunteer, who died in 2008. He was owner of Rosen Heating and Cooling, which merged with another old, established city business to form Rosen, Triheat and Anglin, now run by their two sons.
During their 45 years of marriage, the Kovens raised three children - Adam, Kenneth and Rebecca. Both Phil and Merle Koven were prominent in the community. In 1982, Merle Koven broke new ground when she became president of Beth Israel, in Kingston, possibly the first woman president of an Orthodox synagogue in North America. She was vice-chair of Queens 1990s, although she did not have a degree.
The Merle and Philip Koven Bursary in Art History at Queen's University was initially established by Philip Koven in honour of his wife, Merle Koven, both passionate supporters of the arts in Kingston. This fund provides financial support for upper-year students in art history. After Philip Koven passed away in 2008, the fund received many gifts in his memory.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Queen's University
Hadassah WIZO Organization of Canada
Bader, Alfred
Geographic Access
Kingston
Original Format
Mini DV
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Irving Milchberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
July 26, 2007
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Irving Milchberg
Number
AC 333
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Holocaust survivors
Refugees--Canada
Interview Date
July 26, 2007
Quantity
1 mini DV ; 1 archival DVD ; 1 reference DVD
Interviewer
Sharon Gubbay Helfer
Total Running Time
1 hr
Notes
Part of Ontario Small Jewish Communities Project.
Use Restrictions
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Biography
Irving Milchberg, the Holocaust survivor known from Joseph Ziemian's book "The Cigarette Sellers of Three Crosses Square," used to sell cigarettes to Nazis in Warsaw as an orphan Jewish kid during WWII. Milchberg, leader of a group of orphaned Jewish children hiding their identities, used to gather at Three Crosses Square, the center of the German occupation of Warsaw, to sell cigarettes. They wandering around under the very noses of policemen, gendarmes, Gestapo men and ordinary spies. Before joining the cigarette sellers, Milchberg twice escaped from the Nazis. The first time he scaled a fence and fled the Umschlagplatz, where Jews were put aboard trains to the Treblinka death camp. The second time, he managed to break the bars of the train taking him to Treblinka and scramble out. His father, mother and three sisters were all murdered by the Nazis. In 1945, Milchberg made his way to Czechoslovakia, then Austria, then to a camp for displaced people in occupied Germany, where he learned watchmaking, his lifelong occupation. In 1947 he moved to Canada, ending up in Niagara Falls, where he opened his own jewelry and watch business. In 1953 he met his wife, Renee, who had survived the war. They had two children and three grandchildren. Milchberg died in January 2014 at the age of 86 years.
Material Format
moving images
Geographic Access
Niagara Falls, Ont.
Original Format
Mini DV
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Joe Greenberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
18 Oct. 2013
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Dr. Joe Greenberg
Number
AC 412
Subject
Canada--Armed Forces
World War, 1939-1945
Interview Date
18 Oct. 2013
Quantity
2 DVDs
Interviewer
Dara Solomon
Total Running Time
1 hr. 51 min.
Biography
Dr. Joe Greenberg (1922-2017) was born August 30, 1922 in Toronto. He attended Lansdowne Public School, was briefly enrolled at Central Tech and completed grade 9 at Central Commerce. In his youth, he was actively involved in the Jewish Boys' Club and attended B'nai Brith Camp. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War where he earned the ranking of Sergeant Major and was posted to an anti-aircraft squadron. Following the war, Joe had the opportunity to complete his high school matriculation and was accepted into Medical School at the University of Toronto. Upon graduation, he served his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton. He set up a general medical practice first on Grey Street and later on Bathurst Street. He married Pepi (nee Rosenstein) in 1958 and they had 4 children. Joe was a very active member of the Russisher Shul (Shaare Tzedek) on Markham and Ulster Street. Joe spent his formative years growing up on Major Street. With the help of a local historian, Gus Sinclair, Joe was instrumental in the naming of a small lane branching off Major Street "The Boys of Major Street" in memory of the residents who served during the Second World War but did not return. Another lane was named "Greenberg Lane" in Joe's honour. Dr. Joe Greenberg died on 10 April 2017.
Material Format
moving images
Name Access
Greenberg, Joseph, 1922-2017
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
DVD
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Stephen Pincus
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
26 April 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Stephen Pincus
Number
AC 415
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Interview Date
26 April 2015
Interviewer
Jessica Parker
Total Running Time
1 hr. 23 min.
Use Restrictions
Restriction noted by interviewee on video/oral history release form: The foregoing is subject to OJA obtaining my prior written consent prior to placing any of the interview on the internet (other than password protected communications)
Researches should be directed to the access copy created by Stephen Pincus.
Biography
Although he grew up in South Africa, Stephen was born in England where his father was studying. When they returned to South Africa in 1963, they visited Israel on the way, and five-year-old Stephen fell in love with the exotic, young Jewish state.
As a teenager, Stephen was active in Habonim, South Africa’s largest Zionist youth movement and became head of that movement in the late 1970s, running the largest Jewish youth camp in the world. Stephen was also elected chair of South Africa’s Zionist Youth Council, the umbrella body for all-Jewish youth organizations in the country. He and his wife Michelle then moved to Israel with a Habonim group that established Kibbutz Tuval in the western Galilee.
In 1982 Stephen came to study in Toronto. He served as administrator of Bialik Hebrew Day School and as camp director of Camp Shalom, while completing MBA and LLB degrees, and was awarded the Gold Medal at Osgoode Hall Law School. Stephen and Michelle started a family and both their own parents immigrated to Toronto.
Stephen is a senior partner and executive committee member at Goodmans LLP, is widely regarded as one of Canada’s leading business lawyers, and has played a pioneering role in the development of the country’s capital markets. He is is the founding chair of the Canada Africa Chamber of Business, a director of Kew Media Group, a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, chair of the board of Makom, and founder of Kaleidoscope, a unique multi-dimensional Israel engagement program.
He and his wife Michelle; their two married children, Daniel and Lisa; granddaughter Olivia; and therapy dog Mannee all live in Toronto.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Pincus, Stephen, 1958-
Geographic Access
England
Original Format
Digital file
Copy Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:56 Stephen discusses his family background, including notable forebears, his grandparents' immigration in the early 1900s, and the largely Lithuanian composition of the South African Jewish community.
03:04 Stephen discusses his South-African-born parents' backgrounds and how they met.
05:14 Stephen mentions that he was born in England in 1958, while his family was abroad for his father's medical studies. He lived there until they returned to South Africa in 1964.
06:25 Stephen remembers arriving in South Africa and all the family that had come to greet them who hadn't seen his parents for eight years. He mentions that all correspondence happened via mail.
08:01 Stephen describes his family's relationship to Judaism: They were Orthodox in name, but took a pragmatic approach. Stephen went to public school and received a lot of his Jewish education from Habonim.
09:27 Stephen describes his bar mitzvah celebrations. Stephen remembers preparing his speech. He enjoys public speaking and this was a starting point.
10:49 Stephen talks about the Habonim youth movement. Stephen's involvement began in his early teens. He became the head of the movement in the late 1970s and ran the camp for a couple of years. Stephen is organizing a trip this summer to Israel for alumni of Habonim.
14:50 Stephen explains that he has a foot in South Africa, Canada, and Israel.
15:43 Stephen talks about the unique environment in South Africa that contributed to Zionism. He talks about the Soweto Uprising in 1976. Israel was a place where South African Jews could create something better. Stephen finds it ironic that some see in Israel a continuation of apartheid.
19:53 Stephen talks about his parents' view of his involvement in Habonim. He relates a story where his father became upset when Stephen participated in a march protesting a United Nations resolution instead of studying for an exam.
21:37 Stephen's father was risk-averse and practical. He wasn't keen on Stephen moving to Israel and would discourage his son indirectly. Stephen went to Israel anyway.
22:20 Stephen's parents did not give voice to strong political views. Stephen remembers being at a poetry reading at a friend's parents' house when he was eight. It was his first mixed-race experience. Stephen and his friends were politically active in high school and as undergraduate students.
24:27 Stephen explains how Zionism and Israel were his major focus while the South African situation was secondary. Stephen remembers visiting Soweto a number of times.
26:00 Stephen discusses the paradox of under apartheid while opposing it. He sees this as a central issue that white South Africans of his generation faced. He discusses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings of the 1990s.
28:24 Stephen recounts how Israel fell into the arms of South Africa after being pushed away by various African states in the 1970s.
29:03 Stephen describes his involvement in resuscitating Machon Le'Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz, a year-long leadership course for youth leaders in Israel. South African Jews would defer their army service to participate. In 1975, the South African government determined it would not let Jewish students defer for this purpose.
31:16 Stephen discusses his decision to leave South Africa.
32:51 Stephen discusses how not going on Machon is one of his regrets.
33:28 Stephen discusses the places he considered immigrating to. He was focused on going to Israel and was part of a group that went to live on a kibbutz in the western Galilee.
37:24 Stephen discusses previous trips to Israel. The first time he went to the country was when his family went from England to South Africa. This was before the Six-Day War and he remembers barbed wire in Jerusalem. Stephen thinks he probably fell in love with Israel at this time.
38:32 Stephen explains the meaning of the words machon and garin.
39:23 Stephen describes the kupah meshutefet ("common treasury box") economic system. The system didn't last very long.
40:16 Stephen describes how his family and friends reacted to the news that he was making aliyah.
41:09 Stephen discusses a car trip he and his wife took throughout South Africa. He relates how they were caught in a flood and ended up being taken in by a black family. Stephen reflects on the irony of their situation.
44:07 Stephen discusses he and his wife's arrival in Israel. Stephen was accepted by Hebrew University to study law. Ultimately, he and his wife chose to move to Toronto at the beginning of 1982.
45:06 Stephen shares what he brought with him to Toronto from South Africa.
47:20 Stephen discusses his initial trip to Canada in January 1982. He thinks that it was the coldest winter Toronto experienced until 2014. He discusses some of the hurdles he faced adjusting to the new climate.
51:33 Stephen discusses settling in Canada and going to school.
56:25 Stephen discusses opening an issue of the Canadian Jewish News and seeing that a summer camp was looking for a director. He was director for a couple of years and he and his wife would spend their summer at the camp.
57:05 Stephen discusses how Habonim was different from Camp Shalom, the camp he worked at in Canada.
58:24 Stephen discusses his transition from being involved in a Zionist and socialist youth movement to ending up in business and corporate law. He notes that he has shifted in a number of respects in terms of his perspective on economic values, social values, and religious values.
1:02:55 Stephen discusses his experience integrating into Canadian society.
1:05:20 Stephen contrasts his parents' experience coming later in life with his own experience. They had a wonderful time when they came because there was a large community of retired South African expatriates by then.
1:09:54 Stephen discusses the role of the local Jewish community, and local South African Jewish community, played in his acclimatization.
1:11:59 Stephen discusses how he came to work for Goodmans.
1:14:17 Stephen discusses the differences he has noticed between Canadians and South Africans. He feels that South Africans as a group tend to be more direct than Canadians. In his opinion, South Africans lie somewhere between Israelis and Canadians in terms of directness.
1:17:51 Stephen discusses his journey, coming from a secular Zionist background and starting a program of Jewish learning later in life.
1:20:40 Stephen discusses his own approach to keeping Jewish traditions and customs. He is observant, but not dogmatic.
1:26:11 Stephen discusses his two children. His son is a medical resident and his daughter is finishing up a law/business administration program.
1:27:09 Stephen discusses synagogues he is involved with.
1:29:10 Stephen discusses cultural differences he has experienced raising his children in Canada.
1:33:04 Stephen explains the decisions he and his wife made regarding their children's education.
1:35:15 Stephen describes his children's relationships with their grandparents.
1:37:31 Stephen answers the question, "Do you feel Canadian?"
1:41:55 Stephen discusses his involvement with the Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business.
1:42:42 Stephen discusses the differences in being involved with the ex-South African community more broadly and the ex-South African Jewish community.
1:44:58 Stephen discusses his children's connections to South Africa, which he says are quite limited.
1:46:37 Stephen shares food words and expressions that he shared with his children and which they now use.
1:47:55 Stephen offers a few final remarks about his decision to immigrate to Canada and the relationship between Canadian identity, Jewish/Israeli identity, and South African identity.
Source
Oral Histories

Israel, the Opportunity for New Beginnings

An Indoor Life

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
Hilton and Shirley Silberg
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
3 Sept. 2015
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Hilton and Shirley Silberg
Number
AC 419
Subject
Business
Immigrants--Canada
Families
Occupations
Interview Date
3 Sept. 2015
Interviewer
Naomi Raichyk
Total Running Time
1 hr. 34 min.
Biography
Hilton and Shirley were born in Durban, South Africa in 1951. Although both were involved in the Habonim youth movement, the two did not meet until their first year in pharmacy school. After getting married and serving a brief stint in the military, Hilton left with Shirley on a trip overseas that included Europe and the United Sates, but whose ultimate purpose was the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
Upon arriving in Montreal, the couple decided Canada would be a good place to live. By that point, they had resolved that they did not want their children to internalize the racial norms of apartheid South Africa. Cementing their decision was the fact Shirley’s sister was accepted into Canada shortly after the two returned to South Africa.
Hilton and Shirley’s immigration to Canada was complicated by the fact they were regarded by the government as students, not full-fledged pharmacists. When they came to Canada in August 1977, they therefore had to qualify as pharmacists, which they did by attending university while holding down full-time jobs as pharmacy technicians. Once certified, they moved to Dundas, where they opened a series of pharmacies and raised their children.
In 2007, the couple sold their Day Night Pharmacy chain to Rexall Pharma Plus. In 2014 Hilton and Shirley relocated to Toronto and now spend their time between Toronto and Vancouver to be close to their children and grandchildren.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Silberg, Hilton, 1951-
Silberg, Shirley, 1951-
Geographic Access
Dundas (Ont.)
Durban (South Africa)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
00:38 Shirley was born in Durban, South Africa in 1951.
00:44 Shirley discusses her family history. Her maternal grandparents came to Durban in early 1800s from England. They married in South Africa. Her paternal grandparents came to Durban from Lithuania in the late 1800s. They married in South Africa. Her father was a physician specializing in physical medicine; her mother worked as his secretary.
03:31 Shirley describes her privileged early home life.
04:26 Shirley attended Hebrew day school.
05:06 Shirley describes her education and involvement in sports.
07:28 Shirley attended the Habonim youth movement.
08:13 Shirley discusses her early memories of politics and apartheid.
09:57 Shirley describes the impact an overseas trip to Europe and Israel had on her.
12:34 Shirley explains that she and Hilton considered immigrating to Canada and Israel. Her sister had immigrated to Canada and her brother had immigrated to England.
13:31 Hilton and Shirley attended the pharmacy school in Durban.
14:48 Hilton and Shirley married and moved to Johannesburg. Hilton completed mandatory service in the army.
15:37 Hilton was born in Durban on 26 October 1951. He discusses his family history. His maternal grandparents came from Lithuania. His mother was born in South Africa. His father's family came from Lithuania. His father was born in Lithuania. Hilton shares a story about his paternal grandmother's voyage from Lithuania to Pretoria with five children. When his parents were married they moved to Durban in the mid-1950s.
17:46 Hilton discusses his parents. His mother was an occasional secretary. His father was initially a tool and diemaker. Later, he worked in business. Hilton notes that his father was a semi-professional football player.
20:30 Hilton explains that his mother had a strong Jewish identity, but was not religious.
21:06 Hilton discusses his education in public school and Hebrew school.
21:58 Hilton reminisces about his childhood.
23:25 Hilton discusses how he and his sister became competitive ballroom dancers.
25:50 Hilton discusses his bar mitzvah training.
27:02 Hilton was active in the Habonim youth movement.
27:31 Hilton shares his impressions growing up under apartheid. He discusses discrimination, restrictions, and censorship.
30:33 Hilton discusses his mandatory military service.
36:22 Hilton and Shirley discuss how they met and dated.
37:45 Hilton discusses some of the factors that triggered the couple's decision to leave South Africa.
43:07 Hilton and Shirley describe how they struggled to accumulate money before leaving South Africa.
44:12 Hilton describes the efforts made to secure work and a visa for entry into Canada.
48:31 Hilton and Shirley describe the sentiments that surrounded their departure from South Africa.
49:40 Hilton and Shirley arrived in Canada on 25 August 1977.
50:30 Shirley shares anecdotes about her first experiences with household chores.
54:20 Hilton and Shirley discuss their few acquaintances/contacts when they first arrived in Canada.
55:40 Hilton explains how his outlook has changed since he moved to Canada.
57:41 Shirley describes the challenges of juggling work and pharmacy classes at the University of Toronto. Hilton and Shirley share some examples of cultural differences between Canada and South Africa.
1:01:05 Hilton and Shirley worked as pharmaceutical technicians.
1:03:53 Hilton explains how they became partners in a pharmacy in Dundas, Ontario. Hilton and Shirley discuss how they settled in and were welcomed into the Jewish community.
1:10:05 Hilton and Shirley brought Hilton's two sisters, brother, parents, and Shirley's mother to Canada.
1:11:02 Hilton explains the circumstances that led to a split with his partners. He changed the name of the pharmacy from Amherst Pharmacy to Hilton Pharmacy. He describes the growth of the business.
1:18:00 Hilton describes the expansion and success of the business to five pharmacies.
1:20:12 Hilton discusses his involvement in the Jewish and secular communities in Dundas.
1:20:57 In 2007, the business was purchased by Rexall.
1:21:33 Shirley explains the circumstances that prompted their move to Toronto via Vancouver.
1:23:55 Shirley describes a return visit to South Africa with her two youngest children.
1:25:22 Hilton reminisces about a family trip to London and South Africa in 1980.
1:27:08 Hilton describes his discomfort during a visit to Durban, South Africa in 1986.
1:28:40 Shirley relates an anecdote that occurred during their family trip to South Africa.
1:30:46 Hilton reflects on how much he appreciates being in Canada.
1:32:50 Shirley identifies becoming Canadian citizens as a turning point in their new life in Canada.
Source
Oral Histories

https://vimeo.com/230208590

Immigration Tribulations

Who Has Left Over Matzah Balls?

The First Midnight Store

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
Richard Stern
Material Format
moving images
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2016
Source
Oral Histories
Name
Richard Stern
Number
AC 426
Subject
Immigrants--Canada
Occupations
Interview Date
23 Feb. 2016
Interviewer
Lisa Newman
Total Running Time
AC 426 part 1: 22 min.
AC 426 part 2: 22 min.
AC 426 part 3: 21 min.
AC 426 part 4: 1 min.
AC 426 part 5: 4 min.
AC 426 part 6: 3 min.
AC 427 part 7: 10 min.
AC 428 part 8: 2 min.
Use Restrictions
Waiting for Richard to Sign Waiver
Biography
The firstborn twin (he insists he and his brother are not competitive), Richard grew up in the small town of Muizenberg in an old house on the seafront with his parents and four siblings. Born in 1937, Richard’s childhood was untainted by apartheid, which came into effect eleven years later in 1948. As a child, he played with children of colour on his grandfather’s farm; by adolescence, those same childhood friends were obliged to call him Boss on account of his race.
After completing high school at Kingswood College, a Methodist boarding school five hundred miles from where he grew up, Richard returned to Muizenburg where he worked on a farm before going back to school to obtain a diploma in agriculture. Around this time, he had a small mishap working at a winery. He had been warned not to fall asleep while the grapes were fermenting; sure enough, he did just that and the next morning the winery found itself with ten thousand gallons of vinegar.
Richard gained more experience in different wineries after completing a tour of Europe with the National Union of South African Students. He stayed in England and worked at a winery located under the Tower of London and later at wine farms in Bordeaux and the Champagne region of France. While in Europe, his twin brother told him about agriculture in Israel, which prompted him to go there. It was in Israel that he met his first wife with whom he had three children.
Richard worked at several jobs in Israel and opened three of the first Supersol supermarkets there. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces. Eventually though, he decided to come to Canada, which he did with his family in 1963. In Ottawa, he operated a supermarket for a short time before going to work for the head office of Loeb. Through this position, he got to see a good deal of Canada and developed a sense of its geography and a feel for its people.
In the early 1970s, Richard made a living as his own boss in a brokerage business before the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce recruited him to market Canadian grocery and alcohol products. It was while working for the department that he became a Canadian citizen.
Today, Richard is retired and married to Doris. They have four children and eight grandchildren. He considers himself a Canadian Jew, but retains a strong affection for South Africa and its natural beauty. Since leaving, he has been back to South Africa between twenty and thirty times with Doris.
Material Format
moving images
Language
English
Name Access
Stern, Richard, 1937-
Geographic Access
Cape Town (South Africa)
England
France
Israel
Muizenberg (South Africa)
Ottawa (Ont.)
Original Format
Digital file
Transcript
0Part 1:
00:00 Richard was born in Muizenberg, South Africa on 5 January 1937. He was the first of a set of twins.
00:57 Richard discusses his grandfather's business in Cape Town.
01:38 Richard reminisces about his childhood in Muizenberg. He shares memories about school, after-school activities, and his school performance.
04:06 Richard discusses his siblings: Robert, Maxwell, Peter, and Jean.
06:11 Richard studied viticulture. He describes the challenges he faced realizing his dreams after leaving his country and support system.
08:37 Richard reminisces about growing up in Muizenberg.
09:30 Richard discusses Jewish life and education in Muizenberg.
10:23 Richard discusses his bar mitzvah.
11:11 Richard describes the history of his parents' home.
12:07 Richard recalls his family celebrating Jewish holidays.
12:42 Richard discusses his affiliation with the Second Muizenberg Jewish Boy Scout group and camp.
13:15 Richard notes that his father was a leader in the Habonim youth movement, but did not want his children to participate in Habonim.
14:18 Richard discusses his father's involvement with the scouting movement in Cape Town. His father was involved in Jewish communal affairs. He describes his father's involvement with an entertainment group.
15:59 Richard discusses the make-up of the Jewish community in Muizenberg.
16:30 Richard shares stories involving his personal relationships with black or "coloured" Africans. He relates an incident that occurred during his first work experience.
19:40 Richard discusses the changes that arose with the introduction of apartheid in 1948. He refers to the risks associated with political involvement against the government.
22:09 Richard discusses Klingswood College, the boarding school he attended.
Part 2:
00:00 Richard continues to reminisce about attending boarding school. There were about twelve Jewish students.
03:42 Richard mentions the Sharpeville massacre.
04:12 Richard describes the student mix at Kingswood College. He describes exemptions made for Jewish students as well as mandatory church services.
06:33 Richard describes his pursuits after graduating from Kingswood College. He describes working on farms and vineyards. He earned a diploma in agricultural science from the College of Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch. He relates stories from his college years.
11:44 Richard speaks of his travels and work experience in England, France, and Israel after graduating from college.
14:19 Richard speaks of his contact with Israel's first ambassador to Canada, Michael Comay, and his first marriage to Michael's daughter, Jill. They had two children.
15:49 Richard discusses his decision to remain in Israel and his early work experience in Israel.
17:22 Richard describes suffering from jaundice while completing his army training in Israel.
18:14 Richard was in Canada for six months and then returned to Israel.
18:18 Richard describes some of the challenges he encountered as manager of some of the newly-opened chain of Supersol supermarkets in Israel.
21:26 Richard discusses his decision to apply for immigration to Canada.
Part 3:
00:00 Richard discusses the breakup between the Bronfsmans and Bert Loeb.
00:58 Richard describes his ten years of work for Loeb's in Ottawa.
02:50 Richard opens up a brokerage business in 1971.
03:11 Richard describes how and why he was approached by the government of Canada to work in industry, trade, and commerce.
03:57 Richard explains how he became a Canadian citizen.
04:45 Richard describes his involvement in marketing alcoholic beverages and grocery products on behalf of the government of Canada.
06:01 Richard discusses his post chairing Canada-Israel agreements.
06:29 Richard describes the events that led to his wife and children returning to Israel in 1967. He notes the likelihood of his moving back to South Africa had his wife not decided to return to Canada.
07:06 Richard discusses his attachment to South Africa and offers his impressions of the country.
11:37 Richard praises the liberal political position taken by Jews in South Africa.
12:30 Richard discusses his ancestry. His paternal and maternal grandfathers came from Germany to South Africa. His paternal grandmother came from New York. He tells some stories about his grandparents.
14:42 Richard muses about his lack of awareness of different Jewish groups while growing up.
16:50 Richard discusses his identity as a Canadian Jew.
18:30 Richard discusses some of his philanthropic support.
19:55 Richard recalls memories about his grandparents.
Part 4:
00:00 Richard displays and describes two photographs of himself and his siblings.
Part 5:
00:00 Richard displays a photograph of the opening of the Voortrekker monument commemorating the Afrikaner scouting movement. Richard discusses his involvement with the movement and his attendance at the opening of the monument.
01:45 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of his school cadets band.
03:03 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of his rugby team.
03:49 Richard displays a photograph of himself and his brother-in-law, Yochanan, while serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Richard discusses how Yochanan was killed in the Golan Heights in 1967.
Part 6:
00:00 Richard displays and discusses a plaque that was present to his grandfather, Max Sonnenberg, for his service in parliament for twenty years.
01:38 Richard displays and discusses a book that was written by his grandfather.
Part 7:
00:00 Richard discusses his work with Agriculture Canada as director of processed food and later director of international marketing. He took early retirement in 1990.
01:23 Richard displays and discusses a photograph from the International Dairy Congress in 1994. He shares a story about Stephen Lewis, who was a guest speaker.
03:14 Richard displays and discusses a photograph of Richard presenting a cheque to the deputy minister of agriculture repaying the grant for the Dairy Congress.
04:12 Richard displays and discusses a photograph that related to his work with the sheep council in 1997.
05:44 Richard displays and discusses a photograph that related to his work with the cervidae industry.
06:50 Richard displays and discusses a trophy honouring his father for his contributions to the Community Chest Carnival. Richard shares some stories related to the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg that was started by his father.
09:56 Richard displays and discusses a program relating to the re-opening of the Masque Theatre in 1999.
Part 8:
00:00 Richard displays and discusses a photograph from his parents' wedding.
Source
Oral Histories

Scouting

Racism?

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

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