8 photographs : b&w and col. ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller
2 posters : 36 x 28 cm
Yeshivah Torath Chaim was incorporated in December 1937 and was in operation until the mid-1980s. It was the first yeshivah in Canada. Following the Orthodox tradition, the yeshivah offered rabbinical training and ordination, after-school Jewish education for boys in elementary and high school, and operated Gan Yelodim, a day nursery and kindergarten for boys and girls. The yeshivah had a synagogue and banquet hall. Many graduates of the yeshivah went on to occupy rabbinical positions in the United States and Canada, including Rabbis Erwin Schild of Adath Israel Congregation, Gedalia Felder, Joseph Kelman, and Bernard Rosensweig.
The yeshiva's history can be traced to 1935, when Rabbi Nachman Shemen organized a small class in the attic of the Chevra Shass building on Cecil Street. Soon thereafter, lessons were relocated to a small rented home on College street. Philanthropist Moses Oelbaum, first president of the yeshivah, purchased a building for the yeshivah at 414 Markham Street in 1938. In 1942 the yeshivah took possession of a second building at 399 Markham to use as a dormitory for out of town students and refugees, and a chapel. In 1946 the yeshivah bought a new facility at 709 College Street. In 1949 they opened Gan Yelodim Hebrew Day Nursery and Kindergarten for boys and girls. In September 1959, the yeshivah moved to 475 Lawrence Avenue, where they remained until they closed. Yeshivah Torath Chaim received financial support from the United Jewish Welfare Fund from 1944 to 1960, and was affiliated with the Bureau of Jewish Education for many years.
The yeshivah had a board of directors with elected officers. Moses Oelbaum was the first president, succeeded after his death by his son J. Irving Oelbaum, who served from 1942 until 1946. J.I. Oelbaum served as president from 1942 To 1946. Louis Zuker took over as acting president, until elected to the position of president in 1948. Zuker was president until at least the mid-1970s. Rabbi Abraham Price served as dean of the yeshivah from its founding until his death in 1994.
The yeshivah was involved in several instances of refugee sponsorship. In 1942, Rabbi Price orchestrated the release of around 50 refugee students from European Yeshivas who were being interned at a camp in Quebec, and brought them to Yeshivah Torath Chaim. In 1949 the yeshivah collaborated with the Canadian Jewish Congress to bring over around 55 Holocaust survivors from a yeshivah in Prague. These students worked in Toronto while studying at Torath Chaim.
The custodial history for this fonds is unclear. No accession records exists for this fonds.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents the administrative, educational, and religious functions of Yeshivah Torath Chaim from 1942 to 1977. The 38 files include minutes, financial reports, correspondence, legal documents, and enrollment records. Most of the records relate to the school, but there is some documentation and financial records relating to the yeshivah synagogue, and a very little relating to Gan Yelodim kindergarten. The fonds also includes some personal correspondence of Rabbi Price.
Also included are 8 photographs, including two of the building on College Street.
Yeshivah Torath Chaim Theological Seminary of Canada