The accession includes a variety of items such as a bound volume of the Toronto UJWF annual reports (1940-1949), a hagadah from 1911 used by Sol Eisen, a first edition volume of the Naomi Cook Book (1928), ketubot for Sol and Rebecca Eisen and Ethel Soloway to Ben Litvack and scrapbook and diaries produced by Sol Eisen (1915-1943). The scrapbooks include many clippings documenting his own accomplishments, family simchas or other topics that were of interest to him. The diaries are mostly hand written and detail his thoughts and activities from the time that he was a student until he was employed with the Canada Life Assurance Company.
The donor is Sol Eisen's son. He gave Steve Speisman the diaries and scrapbooks to microfilm in 1979 and the OJA has had those copies in their holdings since that time. A copy of the microfilm was also provided to the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
Sol Eisen was born in Toronto on 15 February 1898. He was the son of Abraham and Nettie (Baker) Eisen. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. It was there that he established the Menorah Society in 1917. He graduated in 1918. He then completed a post-graduate degree at Harvard (1919) and completed his law studies at Osgoode Law School (1921).
Soon after completing his studies, he married Rebecca Dunkelman on 14 June 1922. The wedding took place at Holy Blossom and was officiated by Rabbi Brickner. The couple had three children: Morton, Annette (m. Yolles) and Gloria (m. Baskin).
He initially worked as a barister and had an office within the Dominion Bank Building at Queen and Bay. In 1936 he was offered a position with the Canada Life Assurance Company. He became one of their leading sellers in North America. He served on the board of the companies Millionaire's Club for many years.
Eisen was very involved in the Jewish community as well. He was a member of the Primrose Club, the Island Yacht Club, the Palestine Lodge and the Holy Blossom Brotherhood. He assisted in the formation of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Toronto as well as the Canadian Jewish Congress. In fact, he attended the first CJC meeting in Montreal in 1919 as a Toronto delegate. He was also one of the founders of JIAS.
Outside of the community he was involved in and was a founder and president of the Forest Hill Lion's Club (1954) and was active in the Masons, the ROM and the Toronto Board of Trade.
Eisen was also an avid collector of Canadiana. His holdings included books, pamphlets, printed ephemera from across the country. He passed away in 1974 and left his collection or rare books and other items to the University of Waterloo.
Related material note: see accession 1979-9/38 for the microfilm version of the scrapbooks and diaries.