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Ontario Jewish Archives
OH 441 Part 1
0:22 Cyrel outlines her academic background and discusses her volunteer & professional positions, including Chair of the OJA, Chair of Cultural Planning & Allocation, served on the Board of the Canadian Jewish Congress & Ontario Jewish Congress and currently serves on the Board of OJA.
0:53 Cyrel discusses the history of the Ontario Jewish Archives. Cyrel. & Susan Cohen obtained federal grants to create a local initiative project with the initial focus to collect information on prominent members of the Toronto Jewish community. Cyrel identifies the organizations & individuals who assisted them initially (e.g. Toronto Jewish Historical Society,Victor Sefton) . She discusses the staff, including Steven Speisman, Bess Shockett & Ruth Ladovsky and the location in Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue.
4:53 Cyrel describes the creation of the Sense of Spadina Walking tours which were an offshoot of a living exhibit designed for the Triennial for the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1974. She discusses the contributors to the project, including Steven Speisman, Bess Shockett, Marty Mendelow, Charlie & Peggy Goldsbie and Mrs. Langner, the wife of the Rabbi from the Kiever Synagogue.
6:05 Cyrel describes the successful Sense of Spadina Walking Tours held in June 1974.
7:47 Cyrel discusses the formation of day & evening volunteer committees to help catalogue material in OJA’s new location in the basement of 150 Beverly St. She discusses some of the archival donations e.g. Sidney Harris, Ben Kayfetz.
9:12 Cyrel recalls the move to Lipa Green building in early 1980’s.
9:48 Cyrel describes the OJA office at 150 Beverly. St. She describes some of the historical documents that were discovered in the basement. She discusses the volunteers’ responsibilities.
11:27 Cyrel discusses the function of the OJA committee. She discusses Photo Committee.
13:00 Cyrel discusses early efforts to acquire material for the OJA.
15:56 Cyrel explains why an archive specific to the Ontario Jewish community was established. The effort to establish the OJA arose from a small group of researchers, including Steven Speisman, who recognized the importance of preserving ethnic Jewish history.
17:18 Cyrel explains how the material collected by OJA is unique to & valued by the Ontario Jewish community.
18:48 Cyrel discusses some of the challenges faced by OJA in the early years.
19:58 Cyrel discusses the end result of the Toronto Jewish Historical Society.
20:45 Cyrel discusses the evolvement of the Sense of Spadina Walking Tours. She explains how Ellen Scheinberg, archivist, was pivotal in the advancement of the walking tours. Spadina Walking Tours became a part of “Jane’s Walk”.
24:02 Cyrel shares an amusing story about Henry Papernick, retired lawyer & OJA volunteer.
25:35 Cyrel discusses the contributions made by Brooky Robins, assistant to Steven Speisman. She spearheaded the collection of material from northern Ontario. Also involved was Fred Schaeffer.
26:46 Cyrel discusses OJA hosting various community events to donate materials to the archives.
27:41 Cyrel explains that due to the volume of donated material, off-site storage facilities were used at Yonge & Eglinton.
28:04 Cyrel describes the changes and improvements that occurred after moving to the facilities at Lipa Green.
28:55 Cyrel discusses her responsibilities as Chair of OJA between 1983 and 1998. She mentions that she also served on the Ontario Jewish Congress, Ontario Region Executive & the Toronto Jewish Congress.
30:11 Cyrel explains that Jewish Communist papers were passed on to the collection of Multicultural History at St. Michael’s.
30:36 Cyrel discusses some of the projects and exhibits that OJA pursued.
32:05 Cyrel discusses the efforts made by Sol Edell & Marty Mendelow to fix up the Kiever synagogue in the early 1980’s.
34:25 Cyrel explains why the Kiever synagogue was chosen as a focus for an OJA project.
35:25 Cyrel discusses the special projects & direction of the OJA during the period she was Chair.
36:19 Cyrel discusses the biggest challenges faced by the OJA during her sevice as Chair.
OH 441 Part 2
00:00 Cyrel discusses the changes in leadership and operation at the OJA ca 2000. Staff included Brooky Robins, Susan Jackson and Ellen Scheinberg.
1:54 Cyrel discusses the major projects that occurred while Ellen Scheinberg was Director.
3:09 Cyrel discusses her role with the OJA while Ellen served as Director.
4:07 Cyrel discusses the challenges faced by OJA while Ellen served as Director.
5:23 Cyrel discusses the relationship between OJA and other archives and agencies.
8:00 Cyrel addresses the factors that contributed to the success of the Sense of Spadina Walking Tours.
11:13 Cyrel points that out the general groups participating in the Sense of Spadina Walking Tours tend to be Jewish but Jane’ Walk groups are varied & drawn to the neighbourhood.
11:53 Cyrel discusses why the OJA has played a major role in her life.
12:25 Cyrel shares a story from her personal life in order to illustrate the importance of preserving oral histories.
13:51 Cyrel relates a story told to her by Ben Kayfetz about the Strettiner Rebbe on Cecil Street.
OH 441 Part 3
00:00 Cyrel describes the efforts of Sol Edell, Susan Brown and Cyrel to put together an audio-visual presentation to mark the opening of the archives.
2:17 Cyrel describes a conceived project that was not realized.