3 film reels (ca. 25 min.) : col., sd. ; 16 mm and super 8 mm
Scope and Content
Accession consists of scanned photographs and home movies taken by Dr. John E. Ackerman, which document his personal and professional activities. Included are photographs of family gatherings, the grocery store owned by Ackerman's mother, Jarvis Collegiate, Dr. Ackerman's dental practice, the military involvement of Dr. Ackerman and his brother Al, beach activities, families living in North Bay and Sudbury, and individuals living in Dr. Ackerman's Toronto neighbourhood of Dundas and Elizabeth. Of note are photos taken by Al Ackerman of his military service overseas as well as an image of him arriving back in Toronto in uniform in front of Union Station. Also of note is an image of Dr. Ackerman in military uniform standing in front of Anshel Wise's cigar store at 100 Dundas Street West and images likely of the Hudson Street Tennis Club.
The Home movies include footage of a Jewish War Veterans parade and service in front of a monument at Earl Bales Park (ca. 1980), a Beth Tzedec Sukkot service with the children of its Hebrew school (ca. 1978), other unidentified events at Beth Tzedec (one in its banquet hall), a family seder, and a family trip to Israel. Also included is footage of the seventy-fifth anniversary parade of the Boy Scouts, performances at Camp Shalom for visitor's day (1982), and a film with footage of a trade fair attended by Larry Grossman.
Dr. John E. Ackerman was born in Toronto on December 16, 1921 to Jacob and Mindel Ackerman. John was one of four children. Jacob initially worked as a presser in a factory. Mindel opened and ran a small grocery store at Dundas and Elizabeth Street. Jacob died around the age 57.
Dr. Ackerman went to school at Jarvis Collegiate and later enrolled in dentistry school at the University of Toronto. As part of the school's program, Dr. Ackerman had to enlist in the Canadian Army's General Corp. While in school, he also met his future wife, Frances, at a Hillel lecture on campus. Frances was a graduate student studying psychology. Dr. Ackerman graduated from university in 1946. He initially worked as a dental intern at the Toronto General Hospital, but after a few years he opened his own practice above the Royal Bank at Dundas and Elizabeth Street.
Dr. Ackerman married Frances on September 12, 1954. They had three children together: Martin (b. 1959), Penina (b. 1963), and David (b. 1965).
As a young teenager, Dr. Ackerman took up photography as a hobby and remained passionate about it for the remainder of his life. He took many photographs of family life, Toronto, his military involvement, and other activities. He also shot many family films and even converted part of his house into a darkroom.
Dr. Ackerman became involved in the Jewish Boy Scouts after his son Martin became a cub. He was active in Troop 166 out of Beth Tzedec. Frances initially worked in the outpatient department of the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, but later worked with the Toronto District School Board until her retirement. Dr. Ackerman retired his practice in 1995 or 1996. He passed away on December 13, 2008.
Credit Dr. John E. Ackerman for all photos and films
Contact donor for permission to publish footage of the family seder and family trips. OJA has copyright of other film footage.