Accession consists of the records created and accumulated by Rabbi Joseph Kelman. The records detail Kelman's involvement with a number of organizations particluarly Reena, She'arim Hebrew Day School and Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue. They also document the numerous awards and tributes he received in his life and detail his personal life. The records primarily consist of personal and professional correspondence, event invitations, photographs, newsclippings, and biographical material. There is also one file folder related to Sol Edell, the brother of the donor, and an oversized photograph of the Harbord Collegiate choral society and orchestra.
001: Portrait of Rabbi Joseph Kelman, (Toronto, ON), ca. 1950s.
003: Rabbi Kelman meets the chief of staff of the Israeli police, Mordecai Gur, [Israel], [197-].
004: Rabbi Joseph Kelman awarded with honorary Doctorate, [198-?].
005: James Harris, Rabbi Joseph Kelman, Liberal leader John Turner and [identified], Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue, 100 Elder St. (Toronto, ON), 1984.
The records were in the possession of Rabbi Joseph Kelman until his death in 2009. They were donated to the Archives by his wife, Sara Edell Shafler Kelman on Feb. 1, 2012.
Rabbi Kelman was born in Vienna, Austria in 1927, the son of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda and Mirl Kelman and the descendent of a long line of distinguished rabbis. He immigrated to Toronto with his family at the age of three in 1930. He attended Harbord Collegiate and was ordained at Yeshiva University in New York. Beginning in 1953, Kelman became seved as a rabbi in Sherbrooke, QC, Beverley, MA, and Suffern, NY vefore accepting the pulpit at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagoge in Torotno in 1959. At the time, Beth Emeth was a small congregation in the fledgling Bathurst Manor neighbourhood. He facilitated its merging with Bais Yehuda to form BEBY, and under his guidance it grew to become the third-largest Conservative synagogue in the GTA with a membership of approximately 1,500 families.
Kelman's life work was dedicated to providing opportunities for the developmentally disabled and learning challenged in the Jewish community. He was the founder of the Ezra and Kadima Schools, the Kadima Centre, the Camp Tikvah program, the Reena Foundation, Chai Tikvah and She'arim Hebrew Day School. He also served as a chaplain in Toronto hospitals and jails.
Rabbi Kelman was the recipeint of numerous awards for his contributions to Jewish education and community service, including a honourary doctorate from Ryerson University and Tel Aviv University. The Kelman School for Jewish Education at Tel Aviv University is named in his honour. Rabbi Kelman died on June 27, 2009 at the age of 82.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Includes approx. 50 photographs, 1 CD and 1 artifact.