John Judah Glass was born in England on 31 October 1897 to Morris and Pearl Glass. In 1907, he immigrated to Toronto—two years after his father. In 1917, he graduated from the University of Toronto. During the First World War, he served overseas in the 58th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery. In 1921, Glass he earned his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. That same year, he was called to the Ontario bar. Glass became a practicing barrister and solicitor and was a member of the Canadian Bar Association.
Glass went on to have a political career that spanned fifteen years. From 1928 to 1930, he served as trustee for the Toronto Board of Education. From 1931 to 1934, he represented the former Ward 4 as alderman in Toronto City Council. From 1934 to 1943, he represented the St. Andrew riding as Liberal MPP in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. In 1943, he left the world of active politics.
A significant portion of Glass' life was devoted to Jewish community work. For more than ten years, he was national president of the Canadian Federation of Polish Jews. He was also a member of Beth Tzedec Congregation's board of governors, a past president of the Toronto Zionist Council, a member of the Zionist Organization of Canada's national and regional executive, a founder of the Canadian Jewish Congress, a past president of Toronto B'nai Brith, and a founder and first president of the General Wingate Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. His affiliations included the Toronto Council of Christians and Jews, the Palestine Lodge, the Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital, the Jewish Historical Society, United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish National Fund, and State of Israel Bonds.
In addition to his involvement in various Jewish organizations, Glass was a Mason and past-president of the Scarborough Liberal Association. He died on 22 September 1973 and was survived by his wife, Anne Ethel Glass (née Horowitz), and two sons, George and Jesse.
Scope and Content
Fonds documents the life of John Judah Glass (1897-1973), including his involvement in the military, politics, and the Jewish community. The fonds is divided into three series: Artifacts, Documents, and Photographs.
Of note are those records documenting Glass' military service in the First and Second World Wars and his progression through the ranks of public service from lawyer to trustee of the Board of Education, Toronto City Council alderman, and Liberal member of the Parliament of Ontario.
Records also document Glass' participation in the unveiling of the Vimy Ridge Memorial as representative of the Government of Ontario and his role in the purchase of a historic building on Spadina Avenue for a new Zionist headquarters. (The chain of ownership of that property since 1883 is detailed in the records.)
Glass, John J., 1897-1973
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.
Some of the textual records are in poor condition and are enclosed in plastic. Panoramic photos are in fragile condition.