Accession consists of the records of the Ontario Jewish Archives, particularly those originating from former Director, Ellen Scheinberg. The records include programming material, correspondence, memos, reports, meeting minutes, financial records and publicity material relating to the general operations and planning, programming, exhibit curation, special projects, and acquisition of records at the OJA.
The Ontario Jewish Archives (OJA) was established in 1973 and remains in operation today. The OJA’s mandate is to acquire, preserve, and make available records documenting Ontario’s Jewish community. The Archives became a legal corporation on 24 February 1977 with authorization from the Federal Corporations Act and the Provincial Letters Patent.
The Toronto Jewish Historical Society (TJHS) established an Archives Committee in 1971, to preserve the records of Toronto’s Jewish community. This prompted the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) Central Region to work with the TJHS to establish an organization that would preserve records of Jewish communities across Ontario. At a CJC Central Region Officers’ meeting in 1973, TJHS president Victor Sefton proposed that the Historical Society’s Archives Committee become an official arm of the CJC. After approving the proposal, the CJC Central Region allocated a budget for operation of the Archives, and the two Committees merged, forming one archival organization that operated under the umbrella of the CJC Central Region.
After the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC) formed in 1976, the Archives became accountable to the TJC but continued to report to the CJC Central Region. In 1992, the TJC and CJC transferred responsibility for the Archives to the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation, and the Archives remains part of that organization today.
The OJA’s administrative structure includes a Board of Directors, the director of the archives, archivists, an assistant archivist, contract employees, and volunteers. The Board of Directors consists of six to twelve members, each approved by UJA Federation and current Board members. Meetings are held a minimum four times per year and are presided by a Chair or the Vice Chair in the Chair’s absence. The Archives Director manages daily operation of the Archives. From 1973 to around 2000, Stephen Speisman acted as Director of the Archives. Ellen Scheinberg served as Archives Director from October 2002 to January 2011. Dara Solomon began as the OJA's Director in May 2012.