For many years prior to 1917 Toronto Jewish community leaders had recognized the need to centralize fund-raising for all local Jewish charities. The 1912 creation of the Associated Hebrew Charities was a partial improvement, but it proved unable to cope with the pre-war rapid growth in immigration, the effects of the 1916 economic recession, and the funding requirements of many still-unaffiliated agencies. The positive experiences of newly established Jewish community federations in several American cities did, however, offer a better example for Toronto, where prominent Jewish leaders Edmund Scheuer, Abraham Cohen, and Ida Seigel provided the leadership that finally did result in the establishment of a Toronto federation.
The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto was chartered as a charitable organization under the laws of Ontario in September 1917. Its central goal was to end the frequent, uncontrolled, and competitive fund soliciting by a wide range of individual Toronto Jewish philanthropic and social service institutions and instead substitute a single coordinated city-wide community fundraising effort. This would ensure adequate and accountable funding for all its affiliated organizations and agencies in Toronto.
Original affiliated agencies of the FJPT were: the Ladies Co-operative Board, the Jewish Orphans' Home, the Jewish Girls Club, the Junior Council of Jewish Women, the Hebrew Ladies Maternity Aid and Sewing Circle, the Hebrew Young Ladies Boot and Shoe Society, the Jewish Branch of the Big Brotherhood Movement, the Hebrew Free Loan Society, the Jewish Dispensary, and the Hebrew Burial Society.
The original officers were: President Edmund Scheuer, 1st Vice-President Joseph Singer, 2nd Vice-President Jay J. Allen, 3rd Vice-President Moses Gelber, 4th Vice-President Charles Draimin, Treasurer Eli Pullan, and Honorary Secretary Abraham Cohen. A board of trustees consisting of 45 members was also constituted, one-third of whose members were to be replaced each year.
Final decision powers of the federation were originally vested in the board, which met monthly and was responsible for funds distribution and the nomination of officers of the federation. The board also had the power to change, by a two-third vote, any federation by-laws, rules, or regulations. The president chaired all board meetings and had, along with the treasurer, signing authority for orders and cheques. In his absence, the president's responsibilities were transferred to the 1st, or other vice-presidents, in order. The treasurer was responsible for receiving all donations and depositing them in the bank. He also had signing authority for disbursals.
A system of committees was also established in order to deal with individual issues such as annual meetings, fund-raising, budgets, day-to-day administration, and policy, constitutional, and regulation changes. Recommendations from these committees were sent to an executive committee. When vetted, they were then forwarded to the board of trustees for final approval. By 1924, a new position of executive director was added to the list of officers in order to provide better management of the FJPT administration and to head up the executive committee. Also, by this time, six further agencies had become affiliated. These were: Mount Sinai Hospital, the Jewish Boys' and Girls' Camps, Jewish Big Sisters, the Family Welfare Bureau, the Federation Health Clinic, and the Federation Employment Bureau.
The first office of the FJPT was at 206 Beverly Street, but by 1924 it was headquartered at 218 Simcoe Street and by 1928 it had moved to 179 Beverley Street, which was renamed Scheuer House after the FJPT's first president.
The 1929 onset of the Great Depression created unprecedented and ever-growing service and monetary demands on the FJPT. Unable to cope, a major change was urgently required. In 1938 the FJPT was thus absorbed into a new and larger organization with an expanded mission and reorganized fund-raising operations, the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Although the FJPT was absorbed into the UJWF in 1938, meetings of the FJPT Board of Management (responsible for funds redistribution to the FJPT's affiliated agencies) continued to January, 1939 when these responsibilities were finally transferred to the UJWF.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the incorporation, public reporting, planning, financial, administration and operational records of the FJPT. Included are: the incorporation certificate, committee meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, budgets, annual reports and special reports. FJPT operational records document fund-raising, fund re-distribution and ongoing dialogues with member agencies. Records of specialized, short-lived committees document specific subjects such as salaries, a new community centre, funding of camps, and policies concerning the future of the organization are also included.
Series within this fonds are; 1. Incorporation, 2. Annual Meetings, 3. Annual Reports, 4. Board of Trustees, 5. Constitution Committee, 6. Executive Committee, 7. Budget Committee, 8. Sub-Committee Studying Salaries, 9. Policy Study Committee, 10. Fund-raising Campaign, 11. Federation and Camp Representative Group, 12. Committee on the Community Centre, and 13. Board of Management.
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto
For records of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, successor to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, see Fonds 67.
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto (1917-1939)
Series consists of the original Province of Ontario letters patent legally incorporating the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto with the powers to collect and distribute funds for charitable or philanthropic purposes.
Item is the original Province of Ontario letters patent legally incorporating the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto with the powers to collect and distribute funds for charitable or philanthropic purposes.
Under the original articles of the FJPT, an annual meeting was to be held in March or April each year, commencing with 1918. The main business of such meetings was the submission of a full report on the previous year's activities, and also to hold the election of a new group of 15 Trustees to replace those 15 which were retiring. Forty members were necessary to constitute a quorum of annual meetings.
Scope and Content
Series consists of the minutes of the annual meetings of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies from 1918 to 1920 and for the 1935-1936 year. Also included are minutes of a special meeting in 1935 and general meetings in 1918 and 1922.
See Fonds 67, Series 1 for minutes of the annual meetings of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
From the beginning of its operation, the FJPT distributed an annual report. Although originally titled an "Annual Statement", it was meant to inform the community about its funding activities and organizational changes resulting from its annual meeting. Its central component, the alphabetical donor lists, was however seen by Toronto Jewish residents as a way of publicly lauding the generosity of donors while by implication shaming those community residents who were not contributing.
Scope and Content
Series consists of the published annual reports of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. Only four of these publications are still extant; 1917-1918, 1918-1919, 1924-1925, and 1929. Reports contain lists of officers, managers and trustees as well as the names and descriptions of affiliated organizations receiving funds. Information about new by-laws, rules and internal organizational changes are also found here. The largest component of each report was always an alphabetical list of individual and corporate donors, showing how much each contributed.
Of special note are the descriptions of the various charitable organizations supported by the FJPT. Reports from some, but not all, years also contain donor addresses. In several cases these annual reports may be the sole source for information about these early Jewish community charities.
See fonds 67, Series 2 for Annual Reports of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, successor to the FJPT.
File consists of two copies of the first published Annual Report of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. Included within are the by-laws of this new organization, as well as a list of its trustees, officers and affiliated organizations.
File consists of the second annual report of the of the trustees of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. Included within are the by-laws of this new organization, as well as an annual financial report and budget.
The original FJPT Board of Trustees membership was set at 45, with 15 serving at a time and a 15 being replaced annually. With the passage of time, and especially after 1929, new Board members became harder to find, while remaining members rarely attended the occasional scheduled meetings. By the early 1930's finding a quorum became virtually impossible and a 12 member Board of Management reporting to the Executive Committee was constituted to assume the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. A small nominating sub-committee was utilized to select members of the Board of Trustees.
Scope and Content
Series consists of two sub-series. Sub-series 1 contains minutes, correspondence and reports of meeting of the Board from 1919 to 1925. Sub-series 2 contains Minutes of the Nominations Sub-committee of the Board from 1935 and 1936.
For records of meetings of the FJPT Board of Management, see Fonds 66, Series 1.
Sub-series consists of the minutes of meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. Some files may also include related correspondence and reports. Of special note is a report in file 2 detailing the response of the Toronto Jewish Community to the "Jewish needy" made sick by the deadly 1919-1920 influenza epidemic.
File consists of Board of Trustees meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence. Of special note is a report detailing the response of the Toronto Jewish Community to the "Jewish needy" made sick by the deadly 1919-1920 influenza epidemic. This report details the numbers of families which received various sorts of assistance in cash and kind. It alo lists the names of Jewish community donors and the types of assistance they provided.
The Constitution Committee was established in the Spring of 1935 to attempt a revision the FJPT constitution by making it provide a more business-like and efficient environment for Board members. This, it was hoped, would attract greater membership support from the community and also improve the relationship between the FJPT and its membership agencies. The Committee was chaired by Mr. H.G. Goodman and, in meetings in April, 1935 devised a newly-revised version of the constitution to deal with these issues.
Scope and Content
Series consists of two files; Meeting Minutes, and New Constitution.
The Executive Committee of the FJPT was the original management team responsible for the ongoing operations of the organization. It consisted of the officers of the FJPT; the Honorary President, the President (who acted as Committee Chair), all four Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, the Honorary Secretary, and the Executive Director. Regular meetings were held monthly, but occasional special meetings were sometimes called to deal with emergencies or special events. All of its policy and procedures recommendations were passed to the Board of Trustees for final approval. Edmund Scheuer was its first Chair and remained on the Committee as Honorary President throughout the 1920s.
Although this committee was established in 1918 and existed until at least 1934, no meeting minutes remain from the years between 1924 and 1937.
Scope and Content
Series consists of meeting minutes of the Executive Committee of the FJPT.
See Fonds 67, Series 5 for records of the Executive Committee of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
The Budget Committee was formed in 1934 based on a recommendation by the Executive Committee and adopted by the FJPT Board of Trustees in Janaury, 1934. It appears to have been created to deal with the ongoing financial crisis of the FJPT caused by the expanded service demands and vastly reduced collections resulting from the economic collapse caused by the Great Depression. Its mandate was to examine in detail the proposed budgets of its affiliated organizations in order to identify whether adequate value was received in relation to the funds expended and furthermore to evaluate the relative importance of the benefits each affiliate delivered.
Although the FJPT was absorbed into the UJWF in 1938, memos specifying details of internal organization and pay scales continued until January, 1939 when separate FJPT bank accounts and bookkeeping were eliminated and all such responsibilities came under the Budget and Finance Committee of the UJWF.
Scope and Content
Series consists of meeting minutes of, and annual budgets prepared by, the Budget Committee. Included within are the budgets of member agencies financed by the FJPT.
For records created by this committee's successor organization, see Fonds 67, Series 7, the records of the Budget and Finance Committee of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Sub-series consists of minutes of meetings of the Budget Committee from 1933 to 1936. Included are the budgets of member agencies financed by the FJPT. These records document the work of the committee which, because of the FJPT's diminished collections, was forced to limit the budgets of affiliated agencies during the Great Depression. Also included is one file of committee memoranda.
For meeting minutes of this committee's successor organization, see Fonds 67, Sub-series 7-1, minutes of meetings of the Budget and Finance Committee of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
Sub-series consists of annual budgets prepared by the Budget Committee of the FJPT. These documents contain the final detailed budgets of both the FJPT and its affiliated organizations and thus the final outcomes of the financial issues debated in the meetings of the committee and maintained within Fonds 66, Sub-series 7-1.
For minutes of the Budget Committee of the FJPT see Fonds 66, Sub-series 14-1.