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Esther Volpe (née Shulman) was born on 24 February circa 1898. As a child, she and her family briefly lived in Romington, Ontario and Havlock, Ontario. Her family later settled in Toronto. In her youth, she participated in the Herzl Girls' Club. She attended University of Toroonto in the Faculty of Arts. She married Dr. Aaron Volpe in 1921. Esther was involved in several Jewish organizations, including the old Mount Sinai Medical Auxillary, Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, UJA Appeal, JIAS and BBYO and non-Jewish organizations, including Toronto Local Council of Women. She represented the Jewish community of Toronto on the Wartime Price and Trade Board and helped organize the Ontario Food Council.
Ida Siegel (née Lewis) (1885–1982) was born on 14 February 1885 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1894, Ida and her family moved to Toronto. On 14 February 1905, Ida married Isidore Hirsch Siegel. They had six children. An extremely active communal leader, Ida helped found Daughters of Zion in 1899, the Herzl Girls Club in 1904 and Hadassah in 1916. In the mid-1920s, Ida established the Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home,a camp for poor women with young children. She helped organize the first free Jewish dispensary in Toronto, which eventually developed into Mount Sinai Hospital. Ida was also very active in womens peace movements, the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto Bureau (elected to board, 1930-36) of Jewish Education. In 1917, Ida helped to organize Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, which later became the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
National Council of Jewish Women
In 1947, Esther Volpe was elected President of the National Council of Jewish Women. In this clip, Esther discusses how, with the support of the United Welfare Fund, the Canadian Jewish Congress and JIAS, she helped make arrangements for groups of Jewish refugees who settled in Toronto.
In this clip, Esther Volpe explains her involvement in the creation of the "Good Age Club" the first recreational program for Jewish seniors.
In this clip, Ida Siegel relates anecdotes from her childhood growing up in downtown Toronto.