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Dr. Sam Hurwich was involved in a number of organzations including the Canadian Jewish Congress, JIAS and several Labour Zionist groups.
Hospital for Sick Children
AC 22 Side 1:
00:14 Dr. Hurwich explains that while he was in medical school between 1919 and 1926 a number of organizations started Sunday schools to provide Jewish education for children in the community. The earliest schools he recalls were at Holy Blossom established by Edmund Scheuer and at the Zionist Centre. Dr. Hurwich briefly taught at the Zionist Centre.
1:04 The Ladies Group at the McCaul St. Shul asked Dr. Hurwich to organize a school and serve as Principal. Dr. Hurwich list the women involved with the program. 150 students, both boys and girls met once a week on Sundays initially. Later, classes were held twice a week.
3:00 Dr. Hurwich explains that the leaders of the synagogue were very supportive. Outside of Talmud Torah there was no other formal Jewish education.
3:30 Dr. Hurwich list the melameds (private teachers) at the time and discusses his own Jewish education.
4:40 Dr. Hurwich mentions Dr. L.J. Solway (the son of one of Sam’s teachers) and describes his path to study medicine. Dr. Hurwich and Stephen Speisman discuss other members of the Solway family. Two brothers were shochtim (ritual slaughterer) and one brother was a sofer (scribe).
6:39 Dr. Hurwich explains that he was approached to be the school’s principal because of his background knowledge and previous experience as a teacher.
7:20 The students were taught Hebrew, Chumash, tefillah and Yiddish.
8:58 Dr. Hurwich explains that he has no knowledge of school established by Ida Siegal in 1912/13.
9:24 Dr. Hurwich’s family attended the McCaul St. Shul.
9:32 Mrs. Hurwich explains that the National Radical School, the first secular Yiddish school, opened in 1911/12 on Simcoe St. Mrs. Hurwich attended this school.
10:25 The Farband School, Zionistic in spirit, was organized in the 1920’s as an offshoot of the Radical School (which later became the Peretz Shule) that was anti-Zionist. The Farband School taught both Yiddish and Hebrew. Dr. Hurwich briefly discusses the history of the Farband (starting in the U.S., opening first in Montreal and later in Toronto).
12:30 Dr. Hurwich mentions other secular schools and their locations.
13:19 Dr. Hurwich discusses the conflict between the religious community and the National Radical School (later Workman’s Circle). E.g. Religious groups opposed the secular groups because they organized events on Saturday; Workman’s Circle opposed Zionist groups, etc.).
14:58 Dr. Hurwich comments that the signing of the Balfour Declaration had a uniting effect on the Jewish community.
16:19 Mrs. Hurwich describes the inception and growth of the National Radical School between 1911 and 1916. The school was able to revive the spirit of Jewish (Yiddish) revival through the teaching of language, music, literature and folklore. At its peak there were 500 children attending the school 3 times a week.
21:00 Mrs. Hurwich discusses that after the First World War, a school was established by Mr. Morris Goldstick. She explains that each Sunday children would collect money for the school at 194 Beverly.
22:11 Stephen Speisman comments that this type of organization grew into the Canadian Jewish Congress.
23:00 Mrs. Hurwich speaks of the influence this school had on her and other children’s lives. She comments, for example, that the children mourned Peretz’s death as if he were a relative.
24:29 Mrs. Hurwich discusses the leadership and teachers of the National Radical School.
25:58 Stephen Speisman cites an incident in which the National Radical School is accused of attempting to convert children to Christianity. Dr. & Mrs. Hurwich were not aware of this accusation.
26:58 Dr. Hurwich suggests that the signing of the Balfour Declaration was the stimulus for the creation of the Sunday school at the Zionist Centre. The school was designed to augment Jewish education with Zionistic ideology.
28:12 Stephen Speisman cites a second incident involving objections from the religious community to a proposal to hold a picnic in Lambton Park on Shabbat. Dr & Mrs. Hurwich concur that this may have occurred.
29:10 Dr. Hurwich explains that the school at Holy Blossom run by Edmund Scheuer did not have a Zionistic spirit. The Zionist Sunday school was a reaction to this school, as well.
31:10 Dr. Hurwich describes the efforts of Mr. ?Hyman, an engineer turned Hebrew teacher, and Mr. Israel Freeman, a chalutz from Palestine who moved to Canada, to organize a Hebrew Speaking Club for young people at Simcoe St. Talmud Torah.
34:26 Dr. Hurwich discusses the various Yiddish and Hebrew groups available for Jewish youth in Toronto.
36:10 Dr. Hurwich suggests there was no animosity among the Zionists. Young Judea had been founded by that time.
37:16 Dr. and Mrs. Hurwich list people who were active in youth groups and education in that era.
39:30 Dr. Hurwich discusses some shuls from that era: a shul on Richmond St that his grandfather helped found and a shul on Elm St. He recalls learning Gemorah at the Elm St. Shul in 1912.
42:24 Rabbi Yudi Rosenberg was Rabbi at the Elm St. Shul. Dr. Hurwich mentions other Rabbis from that era: Rabbis Weinreb, Gordon and Graubart.
AC 22 Side 2
00:10 Dr. Hurwich discusses his encounters with anti-Semitism while in public school and in an attempt to find a Pediatric internship at Hospital for Sick Children.