Accession consists of material documenting the maternal (Cohn) and paternal (Levy) branches of the donor's family. Included are cards, certificates, death certificates, degrees, diplomas, family trees, letters, an oral history transcript, passports, photographs, reference materials, telegrams, and other records.
Individuals documented in the records include: Al Berns, Etta Cohn, Judah Cohn, Natalie Cohn, Stanley Cohn, Sylvia Cohn, Al Cole, Myer Drazin, Manny Godfrey, Bert Gold, Dan Gold, Jonah Gold, Yenta Kohl, Ann Levy, Corinne Levy, Edgar Levy, Lois Levy, Nancy Levy, Joan Lipton, Joy Matsuzaki, Raymond Mock,Edythe Noss, Harvey Noss, Mark Noss, Walter Lyons, Judy Rubin, Richard Seymour, and Elaine Zimmerman.
Caption (030): Edgar Levy shortly after arrival in Canada, [ca. 1921]. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, accession 2019-12-3.
The Noss family traces its origins to Russia/Ukraine. The patriarch, Avraham Noss, died after contracting typhus after being badly beaten in a pogrom. His wife, Toiba, died of either cholera, typhus, or influenza (accounts vary). They left behind four children: Raisa, Meyer, Joseph, and Moshe. The extended family took care of the four orphans but did not have enough food to feed them, so the three youngest were put in a Jewish orphanage. The eldest, Raisa, was too old but came every day to visit her brothers. One day, she arrived only to be told, "The missionaries took them away." The entire orphanage was brought to Canada. A Mr. Hershman from Toronto was involved as was a congregation of Christadelphians from Hamilton including a Mr. Farrar who owned a good-quality clothing store.
Raisa remained in Russia, where she received an education from the Communist Party and became an engineer. Meyer kept in touch with his sister for as long as possible, but the two eventually lost touch.
The Drazin family took in Meyer, the eldest brother, although the family never adopted him. Despite this, he changed his name to Drazin. Joseph ("Joe") was adopted but was returned to Children's Aid, where he went from foster home to foster home. He eventually took back the Noss family name. As for Moshe, he was adopted by Moses Levy and Marietta Steinert. Moshe's new parents changed his name to Edgar Steinert Levy. Edgar Levy is thus the same individual as Moshe Noss. Marietta was well-known in the Hamilton community, and a chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women was named after her.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Accompanying material: After donating the records in her possession, the donor emailed the archivist a document titled "Noss Family Story," which the archivist used to compose the biographical sketch. The document has been saved with other supporting documentation.