6 photographs : b&w : 12 x 17 cm on matte 18 x 25 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
The accession consists of six photographs of the Rosen family of Kitchener. The pictures are all portraits involving multiple generations of the family taken between 1912 and 1944. The people pictured include Aaron J. Rosen, his parents, his children, and one with his brother Israel Rosen. There is also a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued to Aaron Rosen. It is dated 1951, however it makes reference to his naturalization in 1911. Later documents include a copy of the Rosen-Shpizel family tree, and a letter written by the donor recounting her mother's reminiscences of life in Kitchener. The letter was written to accompany photographs that the donor loaned to Mr. Donald Bierstock in Kitchener, who was compiling a history of Beth Jacob congregation for its 75th anniversary.
The photographs belonged to Aaron Rosen's daughter Mary until she passed them on to her son in the early 1990s. He gave them to his sister Phyllis, the donor, in July 2009.
Aaron J. Rosen (1879-1973) was born in Checholia, Russia, the son of Avraham Zvi Rosen and Pesa Cohn. He was the first of his family to come to Canada, in 1903. He came ahead of his wife Sima Leah (1873-1948), and their son Irving (d. 1962). In Kitchener, Aaron established himself in the peddling business, founding Rosen Rag & Metal. After his wife and son joined him, they had two more children, Mary (1908-1996) and Joseph (1906-1916). Joseph died of diphtheria at the age of ten. He was one of the first to be buried in the Beth Jacob Cemetery.
Aaron Rosen was one of the founders of Beth Jacob Congregation in 1908, and was among those who signed the mortgage for the synagogue in 1924. The family rented a house at 156 Church Street, and later lived next to the Rosen Rag & Metal warehouse at 123 Strange Street. In 1927, Aaron brought over his brother Israel with his family and their parents.
In 1938, Aaron's daughter, Mary Rosen, married Ben Coles. They settled in Toronto. They had two children, Alan and Phyllis (the donor). Irving Rosen married Tillie Minsky and his children (in the photos) are Estelle and Gerry.
Sima Leah Rosen predeceased Aaron, and when he was 70 he remarried, wedding Rebecca (usually called Bayla) Kaplan (grandmother of Robert Kaplan, MP and Attorney General). The marriage was religious but not civil. Aaron Rosen died at the age of 93 in 1973. He is buried next to his first wife at Roselawn Cemetery in Toronto.