The first edition of the Toronto Hadassah Reporter was published in September 1937 by the Toronto Hadassah Council. The mandate of this periodical was stated to be “A new venture to present to members the doings of the chapters, the plans of it’s council, and Jewish news of importance all over the world.” In 1991 the editor’s responsibility was described as “Informing membership of current projects and recording past successes.” In 1998 the readership was reminded that the Reporter functions to make them aware of every activity at every level of WIZO
From the early years of publication, from 1937 through to the end of the Second World War, current events reports from countries and cities around the world kept readers informed about Jewish issues and war efforts. The founding of the State of Israel in 1948, and subsequent developments there was a major theme. Subsequent topics of historical significance included Expo 67 in Montreal, Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and 1980s, the American Bicentennial in 1976, and Camp David in 1978.
WIZO’s strong affiliation with other community organizations is well documented. These organizations include the Toronto branches of Jewish National Fund, Israel Bonds, Hebrew University, and Young Judaea. Activities of the United Jewish Appeal, Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Family and Child Service, B’Nai Brith Women, the Jewish Book Fair, and others were also promoted.
The coverage of internal Hadassah activities was very thorough. Conventions, yearly bazaars, fund raising events, financial reports, listings and biographies of officers and executives, chapter histories, and the development of Hadassah’s own archive, as well as reports from members visiting Israel and other countries around the world, are some of the highlights. Cultural topics include book reviews and advertisements for lectures.
A prominent feature is the listing in almost every issue of the Life Members, and since 1972, Male Life Associates, as well as “Specific Gifts” donors to such projects as Youth Aliyah, Hadassim, Asaf Harofe Hospital, Hebrew University Medical Centre, and Project Enrichment.
The Reporter served a financial role by including ads for local businesses in the early editions, and from 1954 on, by promoting the commercial ventures
Scope and Content
The series consists of a collection of periodicals called the Toronto Hadassah Reporter, covering the years 1937 to 2004.
From 1937 to 1955 the Reporter was published monthly. The collection is not complete for these years, with an average of seven to eight issues missing per year. During the years 1956 to 1969 an average of six editions was published. From 1970 to 2000 the number of issues varied from three to five. During 2000 to 2004 the frequency stabilized at four per year, of which half are missing. Due to the frequently changing publication schedule it is not possible to know with certainty which issues are not included.
Files in this series have been arranged in chronological order.