Showing 96 results

Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre

Gilbert Studios (Toronto, Ont.)

  • Instelling
  • 1922-

Gilbert Studios was originally called Elite Studios and was located at 513 Queen Street West, Toronto. The owner, Nathan Gittelmacher, immigrated to Toronto from Kiev, Ukraine after the First World War. He first worked as a photographer at Empire Studios, and then in 1922, opened up his own studio, Elite Studios, at 513 Queen Street West, which serviced a largely Jewish clientele, photographing weddings, bar mitzvahs, as well as Jewish community events. The studio moved to 615 Queen St. West in July 1923
.During the 1940s, the family changed its name to Gilbert and subsequently altered the name of the business to Gilbert Studios. His son, Al Gilbert, was born in 1922, and started working in the family business in 1941, when he was 19 years of age. He eventually assumed control of it after his father retired. He moved the studio to Eglinton Avenue and then later to Davenport Road, its current location. Since that time he has been the only or principal photographer for the studio.
Early on in his career, Al made a name for himself as a portrait photographer. At that time, he mostly catered to the Jewish community, photographing brides, rabbis, businessmen and communal events and celebrations. Over the years, he branched out and photographed prominent individuals from the Italian community of Toronto, as well as well as many of the mayors and councilmen and women from Toronto, due to his multi-year contract with the city. In addition, he has photographed some of the most important people of our time – from Canada and abroad – including artists, politicians, scientists, philanthropists, athletes, and religious figures.
Over the years, Al has won many competitions, awards and accolades. He is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) photographer of the year award. He has also been named a Fellow of the photographic societies in Canada, Britain and the United States. Al was also the first recipient of the Yousuf Karsh award. In 1990, he was recognized for his contribution to the nation as an artist with the Order of Canada award. Finally, in 2007, he was awarded the Professional Photographers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gilbert Studios is still in business today.

Dunkelman, Rose

  • Persoon
  • 1889-1949

Rose Dunkelman (1889-1949) was born Rose Miller in Philadelphia to Mr. Harry Miller and Mrs. Dora (Belkin) Miller. At the age of 13 she moved to Toronto where she received her education and where she resided with her family until her death in 1949 at the age of 59. Rose Dunkelman devoted her life to helping the less fortunate, particularly children and orphans, and to championing the cause of Zionism at home and abroad. She was internationally known and respected for her philanthropic work and for her knowledge of, and dedication to, Zionist causes. She was a leader in the Canadian Jewish community for more than 30 years.
On 19 January 1910 she married David Dunkelman (1883-1978), founder and president of Tip Top Tailors Ltd. The couple had 6 children: Joseph, Ernest, Benajamin, Theodora, Veronica (Annenberg) (Ourisman) and Zelda (Wilner).
Rose was a founding member of the Zionist Organization of Canada, vice-president of the Ontario Zionist Region, and founded and chaired the Canadian branch of Youth Aliyah in 1933. For over 25 years, Rose held various positions within the Hadassah-Wizo Organization of Canada, including president of the Toronto Council of Hadassah (1921), honourary president on the executive board (1938-40), joint chairman of the war effort (1941), president of the Hadassah Organization of Canada Central Chapter of Toronto (1937-8; 1945-6), and honourary national vice-president. Rose also founded the Hadassah Bazaar in 1924. There is currently a Canadian Hadassah day care centre in Neve Sharett named in her honour as well as the Rose Dunkelman Memorial Community Center in Hadassim erected in 1950 in her memory.
In 1930, prompted by the 1929 attack on Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and in Hebron, Rose and David Dunkelman founded the magazine, the Jewish Standard, as a Zionist forum for the English-speaking Jewish population of Canada. She was the periodical's first publisher and managing editor.
After the First World War, Rose worked as an officer with the Canadian Red Cross, bringing war orphans to Canada from Eastern Europe, for which she was presented with the Coronation Medal by King George VI in 1937. She was also active in the rehabilitation of First World War veterans.
During the Second World War, as chair of Ontario Youth Aliyah, Rose helped rescue children from Nazi persecution at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps and helped secure their passage to and resettlement in Palestine. Dunkelman held leadership positions in many domestic and international Jewish and Zionist programs and projects -- many focused on the welfare of Jewish children -- including the Jewish National Fund, Karen Hayesod, Karen Kayemeth, Young Judaea, the Toronto Hebrew Free Schools, and the YM-YWHA. She also served on the Canadian Family Allowance Board after the Second World War.
After a lengthy illness, Rose died on 20 October 1949 in Toronto at the age of 59. She was buried at Goel Tzedec's cemetery on Dawes Rd. and was later re-interred in Israel's national cemetery at Degania on 14 January 1953, as she requested in her will.

Edell, Solomon

  • Persoon
  • 1919-2000

Sol Edell (1919-2000) was a prominant member of the Toronto Jewish community who initially pursued a career as a pharmacist and was later founder and president of the property development company, Elmdale Investments. He held positions as board member or chair in a wide variety of religious, educational and social service organizations and institutions both in Canada and Israel. In Toronto, these included: Clanton Park Synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto (formerly Toronto Jewish Congress, and now the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto).
Edell was born in Toronto on 5 March 1919, the son of Pesach and Molly Edell. He attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the Toronto College of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, in 1943 while on leave of absence from the army. He was enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War and served in the signal corps.
After he completed his army service, he opened Edell’s Drug Store at 1978 Queen Street in Etobicoke in 1948, the first shomer Shabbat drug store in the city. He operated a second store at 494 Spadina Avenue in the late 1940s. In 1955 the Queen Street location was expropriated by the City of Toronto. Subsequently, Edell founded Elmdale Investments, the company which built and managed the Elmhurst Plaza in Etobicoke. He reopened the drug store, which was renamed Elmhurst Drugs in the plaza. He also invested in two retail textile stores, Deltex Drapery and Dodd’s Drapery which had been founded by group of businessmen including his cousin Israel Edell.
In 1952 he married Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock. They lived in the newly developed suburb of North York with their four children: Ethel, Simcha, Malka and Joseph. After 10 years of marriage, Dolly died and in 1966, he married Celia Rogen Hoffman.
Sol Edell was a founding member and first president of the Clanton Park Congregation. He was actively involved in the construction of the synagogue and its development. He continued to be affiliated with Shomrai Shabbos where his grandfather Rabbi Yosef Weinreb had been the rabbi. He was also involved with Adas Israel, the synagogue in Hamilton where his wife Celia had been an active member.
He was chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region -- Toronto Jewish Congress Archives Committee, which subsequently became the Ontario Jewish Archives. During his tenure, the archives was responsible for the reconstruction of the Kiever Synagogue which had been built in the early 1900s but had fallen into a state of disrepair by the 1960s.
Sol Edell was also involved in a number of Zionist organizations. He was the founding chair of the Aliyah Support Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, whose mandate was to assist Torontonians who had moved to Israel and ease their transition into Israeli society. He was also an active member of the Mizrachi organization and its affiliated institutions. Another one of Sol Edell’s interests was ensuring the preservation of local cemeteries. He was president of the Jones Avenue Cemetery and on the board of Pardes Shalom and the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery, Clanton Park section.

Cass, Isadore M., Dr.

  • Persoon
  • 1916-1996

Dr. Isadore M. Cass (1916-1996), a well-known pathologist and practicing mohel--Jewish ritual circumcisor--for the Toronto Jewish community, was born and educated in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto's medical school. After serving with the army during the Second World War, Dr. Cass returned to Toronto to private practice. He began studying pathology in 1953, and performed research at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Connaught Labs and the Ontario Department of Health throughout his career. He was chief of pathology at Ajax and Pickering hospitals for twenty-three years, until his retirement in 1986. In 1945, Dr. Cass began doing ritual circumcisions and was the first medical doctor in Toronto to do so. He performed over 40,000 circumcisions throughout Canada and the eastern United States and trained many physicians to perform them as well. Dr. Cass was a member of the following organizations: New York Academy of Sciences; the Academy of Medicine, Toronto; the Israel Medical Association; General Wingate Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion; and many other associations and societies. Dr. Cass studied Torah under Rabbi Jacob Gordon and was a Torah reader at Goel Tzedec Synagogue and later, Beth Tzedec. He also studied and taught Torah throughout his life, chairing the Canadian Jewish Congress' Tanach study group for many years, and leading weekly Gemara classes at Beth Tzedec. He belonged to Shaarei Shomayim and Beth Lida synagogues, as well as Lubavitch. In 1987, Dr. and Mrs. Cass were honoured as "Couple of the Year" by Machanaim, The Network of Educational Institutions in Kiryat Gat, Israel, for their great contributions to this charity over the years. Dr. Cass was married to Miriam Cass and they had four daughters: Sharon, Hylah, Judy, and Elaine. He had four brothers: the late Rabbi Samuel Cass, Harry, Al, and Elie (who was a Reform mohel), and two sisters: Miriam Cass and Zelda Fink. He also had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Dr. Cass died on January 24, 1996 of cancer.

Lindgren, Betty Goldstick

  • Persoon
  • 1892-1984

Betty Goldstick Lindgren (1892-1984) was a prominent member of several Toronto Jewish social service organizations. She was born in Latvia, the daughter of Sarah and William (Wolf) Goldstick. The couple had ten children. The family came to Canada in 1904 when Betty was a young child. She studied at Phoebe School, and later went on to the University of Toronto and earned her degree in 1919. She began teaching and married a Swede named Karl Tycko Lindgren. They had two children, but only their son, Edward, survived. Betty was involved in the Herzl Girls' Zionist Society as well as the Deborah Chapter of Hadassah. She was also a Toronto delegate to the first Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal, 1919. Her brothers Maurice and Edward owned the E & M Wrecking Building Company. Her sister, Dorothy Dworkin, was a trained midwife and owner of Dworkin Shipping Agents with her husband Henry. Her brother Isadore was a professor at the University of Western Ontario. Her brother David was a lawyer and labour activist. Her other siblings were Emma, Celia, Annie and Jean. Betty passed away on November 6, 1984.

Scheuer (family)

  • Familie

The Scheuer family dates back to at least the eighteenth century in Germany to Moise Scheuer (1765-1846) and Esther Ackerman (1770-1847). Their son, Isaac Scheuer (1809-1889), married Hannchen (Johanna) Strauss (1815-1878) in 1843. Isaac and Johanna had six children: Gabriel (1844-1922), Camilla (1845-1916), Edmund (1847-1943), Emma (1853-1916), Ida (1855-1902), and Benno (Benjamin) (1857-1921).
While Gabriel, Emma, and Ida remained in Europe, Camilla, Edmund, and Benno immigrated to Canada in the late nineteenth century. Camilla came to Hamilton, Ontario after her marriage in 1866 to Herman Levy, co-founder of the Levy Brothers jewellery business. Edmund became a partner in the business when he first immigrated to Canada in 1871, and lived with Camilla and Herman. Camilla became the acknowledged leader of Jewish women in Hamilton. She served in organizations such as the Deborah Ladies' Aid Society, which eventually became an auxiliary of Temple Anshe Sholom, Canada's oldest Reform congregation, often referred to as the Hughson Street Temple. Edmund established the first Sabbath School in Ontario at Anshe Sholom in 1872 and served as president from 1873 to 1886.
After he was established in Hamilton, Edmund returned to Europe in 1873 to marry Oda Strauss (1854-1913) at Forbach, Lorraine, and then brought her back to Canada with him. The couple moved to Toronto in 1886, where he established a wholesale jewellery business on Yonge Street called Scheuer's under his company Edmund Scheuer Limited. Scheuer's was one of the oldest jewellery firms in Toronto and the oldest established wholesale diamond importer in Canada. Edmund's brother, Benno, also worked for the business as the accountant and then secretary-treasurer. Benno was married to Gatella Strauss (1859-1903) and they had three children: Eddie Jr. (1884-1967), Rhoda (1886-1963) and Isadore (1887-1969). Eddie Jr. and Isadore also worked for their uncle's business. Eddie Jr. started as a clerk and then became vice-president, while Isadore started out as a travelling salesman and jeweller. When their uncle retired in 1922, Eddie Jr. took over as president and his brother Isadore became vice-president of Scheuer's.
In addition to his jewellery business, Edmund Scheuer also taught and supervised the religious school at Holy Blossom Synagogue. He went on to serve in every official capacity at Holy Blossom, including vice-chairman and treasurer of the building committee for the Bond Street building. He also founded The Jewish Free School at 206 Beverley Street for Jewish girls and wrote his own textbook for the school, the first Jewish religious school book printed in Toronto. In 1892, he founded the first Jewish benevolent society in Toronto and was later president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. In 1927, the Beverley Street building, which housed Federation offices, was dedicated in his honour and named the "Scheuer House".

Jewish Community Centre of Toronto

  • Instelling
  • 1919-1994

The Schwartz-Reisman Jewish Community Centre, the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre (formerly the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre or BJCC) and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC) in Toronto are the current incarnations of what began, in 1919, as the Hebrew Association of Young Men's and Young Women's Clubs, later known as the Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Toronto (Y.M.-Y.W.H.A.). The Y.M.-Y.W.H.A., in turn, began as a merger between several other small athletic clubs operating in the city. The original mandate was strictly athletic, but soon broadened to include other areas of interest, in order to provide a sense of Jewish identity and camaraderie through physical, educational, cultural and community based programming. During the 1920s, the 'Y' became known simply as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (Y.M.H.A.) – the name under which it was incorporated in 1930.
For close to two decades, the ‘Y’ had rented rooms in the Brunswick Avenue and College Street area, including the basement facilities of the Brunswick Avenue Talmud Torah. By the mid-1930s, these facilities were overcrowded and unable to support the growing membership, particularly when the young women’s programming was reintroduced in 1936.
As a result, in 1937, the Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. constructed its own athletic building at 15 Brunswick Avenue, next door to the Talmud Torah, to ease the overcrowding. However, the ‘Y’ still had to make use of five scattered buildings to meet its needs, including the Central Y.M.C.A. gym for its basketball teams. The early ‘Y’ was staffed by volunteers who were granted free memberships in exchange for their time and expertise.
On 3 February 1953, a new Jewish Community Centre was dedicated at the corner of Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue. By the end of the 1950s, the ‘Y’ was providing services for all ages, ranging from a nursery school to their Good Age Club for seniors.
As the Jewish community moved northward, so too did the ‘Y’, with the dedication of a new northern branch on 1 May 1961. This new branch, located at Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue, was created in order to address the athletic, educational, cultural and community needs of the expanding Jewish community in the north end of the city. Fourteen years later, an improved cultural and physical education wing was added as part of the completion campaign. This included the addition of the Leah Posluns Theatre and the Murray Koffler Centre of the Arts. In 1978, the Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. changed its name to the Jewish Community Centre of Toronto, in order to better reflect its broader role in the community. A new Northeast Valley branch was also established in Thornhill in the early 1980s and later closed in the late 1990s.
In 1994, the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto took over the operation of the northern branch, due to financial difficulties. At this point, all three branches became independent of one another and were no longer constituted as the Jewish Community Centre of Toronto. They each had independent boards of directors, while still receiving some of their operating funds from the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto

Kayfetz, Ben

  • Persoon
  • 1916-2002

Benjamin Gershon Kayfetz was born on December 24, 1916 in Toronto, graduating from the University of Toronto in 1939, with a B.A. in modern languages. Between the years 1941 and 1943, he worked as a high school teacher in Huntsville and Niagara Falls. In 1943, he joined the war effort, working for the Department of National Defense in Postal Censorship and was responsible for reviewing prisoner of war mail. After the war, Kayfetz traveled to British Occupied Germany where he worked as a censor of telecommunications with the Control Commission until 1947.
Upon returning to Toronto, he was hired as the National Director of Community Relations by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), and as the Executive (National) Director of the Joint Community Relations Committee (JCRC), a CJC - B'nai B'rith cooperative organization. He also served as the Central Region Executive Director of the CJC between 1973 and 1978. During his tenure, he worked with various churches, unions and minority groups to develop anti-discrimination laws and for the protection of minority and religious rights. Kayfetz was also actively involved in promoting the welfare of Jewish Communities worldwide, and made visits to Cuba in 1962 and 1965, and Russia in 1985, to study and report on the state of these Jewish Communities. After his retirement in 1985, he was awarded the Samuel Bronfman Medal by the Canadian Jewish Congress. In recognition of his efforts to promote Human Rights, he was also awarded the Order of Canada in 1986.
In addition to his professional activities, Kayfetz wrote articles for various Jewish publications under both his own name and the pseudonym, Gershon B. Newman, and gave a weekly radio address on CHIN radio addressing various contemporary Jewish issues. He was also actively involved in the Toronto Jewish Historical Society (serving as its president), Canadian Jewish Historical Society and Yiddish Luncheon Circle. Ben Kayfetz died in 2002.

General Wingate Branch 256, Royal Canadian Legion

  • Instelling
  • [193-]-

The Jewish Brigade was a member of the Great War Association in the 1920s. After its first president was installed in the early 1930s, the Royal Canadian Legion granted a charter for a Jewish Veteran’s Branch. The Brigade was renamed the General Wingate Branch in the mid 1940s after the British army officer, Major General Orde Charles Wingate, D.S.O. Although Major Wingate was not Jewish, he was a passionate Zionist.
At first, the Legion Branch met at a Veteran’s Hall at Crawford and College Street in Toronto, but later purchased its own house at 1610 Bathurst Street. In 1968, the branch moved to Eglinton Avenue West. It is currently located at the Zionist Centre on Marlee Avenue.
The Branch holds an annual memorial march and service at the Mt. Sinai Cemetery, and distributes poppies to raise funds for Veterans and their families, hospitals and medical research. Members also give speeches at schools on Remembrance Day.

Stren, Sadie

  • Persoon
  • 1915-2014

Sadie Stren was born on April 19, 1915 in Detroit, Michigan. Her father and mother had come from a small town in Russia. Samuel Goldberg, her father, arrived to stay with family in Brantford, Ontario in 1910 and began working as a peddler. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1912 where he worked for the Ford Motor Company and later owned a confectionary store. Emma, Sadie’s mother, came from Russia to reunite with Samuel after he began living in Detroit and the couple married and started a family there.
Sadie grew up in a predominately Jewish neighbourhood in Detroit with her parents and her sister Sarah. She graduated from what is now Wayne State University and worked as a social studies teacher in Detroit for approximately 10 years, until she married at age 31. Sadie first met her husband, Maurice Strenkovsky (1910-1995), while visiting relatives in Brantford. By the time the two had met, "Maurie" was going by the last name Stren, although it is not certain when he began to do so. He served in the Second World War and corresponded with Sadie during their courtship. The two married in 1947, five years after meeting.The couple initially lived in Detroit, where their son David was born on August 28, 1948, but soon moved to Brantford, where Sadie gave birth to a daughter, Patti, on August 8, 1949. Maurie became a manufacturer of surgical dressing and continued in this profession until his retirement.
When Sadie first moved to Brantford, she joined several Jewish women’s organizations, including Hadassah. She has continued to be actively involved in both Jewish and non-Jewish community organizations since that time. She ran and taught the Beth David Sunday school in Brantford for many years, and in 1976, was honoured for her work as Sunday School Supervisor by the Beth David Sisterhood. During her time in Brantford, Sadie served on the Board of Directors for eight different organizations, and was the president of four. She was a member of the Board of Directors for the Family Service Bureau and was elected president in 1966. She is also a past president of the University Women’s Club and a former board member of the YM-YWCA. Her husband was quite active in the community as well. Maurie Stren’s commitments included serving as President of B’nai B’rith Brantford from 1965-1966 and as District Governor of the Lions Club from 1963-64, among other things.
Upon moving to Toronto, Sadie became a member of the Baycrest Women’s Auxiliary and volunteered at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Aphasia Institute.
Sadie was an amateur historian who served as the Brantford Jewish community's archivist and historian for a number of years. She had been collecting sources of Brantford Jewish history in her home since at least the 1970s in order to assemble the history of Brantford's community. Sadie was also an author who wrote about the history of the Brantford community, spoke at conferences, and was a contributor to the Canadian Jewish Historical Society Journal in 1981. She passed away on December 9, 2014. She was one hundred.

Congregation Beth David, Brantford, Ontario

  • Instelling
  • 1950-2001

The Brantford Hebrew Association, Congregation Beth David’s precursor, was founded in 1907 when Rabbi Backer officiated Brantford’s first public Jewish religious service in an upper hall on George Street. Services had previously taken place in the homes of Jewish families, who had begun settling in the area around the turn of the century. By 1911, services had moved to the old Conservative Hall at Dalhousie and King Street. In 1915, the Congregation purchased a building at 33 Palace Street and remodeled it into a synagogue. This building was also used as a community centre and for the Congregation’s Hebrew School.
On October 13th, 1911 the Congregation was incorporated, and the following year it purchased land for a cemetery in the northeast corner of Mount Hope Cemetery. Due to increasing membership, a new synagogue was built at 50 Waterloo Street in 1948. In January 1950, the Congregation changed its name to Beth David in honour of member David Axler, who died during the Second World War while training as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The Congregation was at its peak in the 1960s with 150 member families. However, membership drastically fell after the children of this generation moved to larger cities and their parents followed after retirement. By 1999, only 28 families remained as members and services were reduced to being held on the High Holidays and special occasions, such as, Bah Mitzvah’s. Dwindling resources and membership forced the Congregation to close around 2001. Throughout its existence, over 30 rabbi's served the Congregation, including Rabbi Saul Wolfe Gringorten (ca. 1910-1923). Its cemetery continues to be looked after by Allan Norris, a past president of the Congregation.

Willinsky, A.I., Dr.

  • Persoon
  • 1885-1976

Abraham Isaac Willinsky (1885-1976) was born March 29, 1885, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Sarah Rebecca (née Vise) and Myer Lionel Willinsky. Sarah had immigrated to Canada as a child in the 1860s and Myer's family was originally from Lithuania. Abraham had seven siblings: Abey (b. 1885), Ida (b. 1886), Faly (b. 1888), Minnie (b. 1890), Gertrude (b. 1893), Lila (b. 1899) and Bernard (“Bunny”) (b. 1900). Abraham’s family moved to the East end of Toronto in 1890 where his father worked as a merchant.
Most of Abraham's siblings eventually married. Ida married Maurice Kamman in 1909. Faly married Sam Mehr in 1912. Minnie married Arthur Jacobs in 1912. Gertrude married Sam Kronick in 1912. Lila married Jospeh Lisson in 1920. Bernard married Florence Samuel in 1930, but divorced soon after.
When Abraham was a child he helped his uncle, Solomon Vise, in his photography business, located at 439 King Street East. Working in the darkroom and studio on Saturdays awakened his interest in photography. Willinsky graduated from Biological and Physical Sciences at the University of Toronto in 1906, and from Medicine in 1908, earning the George Brown Memorial Scholarship. He married Sadie Dobensky, from Bancroft, Ontario, in July of 1911. They had three children: Dorothy, Jack and Myra. Dorothy eventually married Garfield Cass and worked as a social worker. Jack married Cecily Samuel and became a urologist and, later, a radiologist. Myra married Dr. N. Simon, a dental surgeon. As one of the early Jewish doctors in Toronto, Willinsky initially had difficulty launching his career due to discrimination and prejudice. After joining the Academy of Medicine in 1910, he began his first practice as a “lodge doctor”, working out of his office and home at College and Henry Streets.
With other possible internships and appointments denied him, A.I. accumulated his early clinical training with resourcefulness, by performing “ghost-surgery” and by studying abroad in Dublin at the Rotunda Hospital, Paris and Vienna. In 1916, under the adopted name of Wills, and with a claim to Greek Orthodoxy, Willinsky managed to secure a position at the Polyclinic in New York, where he began as an ambulance doctor. He also interned at the Mayo clinic in Rochester. His skill was, in time, recognized in Toronto and he was accepted at the Toronto Western Hospital in 1918, where he pioneered spinal anaethesia and began his work as a urologist. In 1923, Willinsky became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In 1925, all forty practicing Jewish physicians formed the Toronto Jewish Medical Association. In turn, the same members would become the staff of Mount Sinai hospital, which was established in 1923 at 100 Yorkville Avenue. Willinsky was probably the most prominent of Mount Sinai’s original staff, dividing his time between the new Jewish hospital and Toronto Western, where he was the Head of Genito-Urinary Surgery. He became Chief of Surgery at Mount Sinai and produced a number of papers that dealt primarily with spinal anaesthesia. He later opened a practice at 316 Bloor Street West, above which he temporarily resided. In 1928, he set up a clinic and office at 569 Spadina Avenue. His practice remained at this location until his retirement.
Throughout his life, he remained enthralled by photography and prolific in his production of travel movies. In 1934, he became a founding member of the Toronto Amateur Movie Club. Around this same time, he created films to help the Holy Blossom Synagogue fundraise for a new building. In 1941, he gave a lecture on the principles of amateur movie-making before the Royal Canadian Institute, in which he advocated holding the movie camera steady and letting the action move into the frame as a strategy to encourage careful composition. For sound in his early movies, he played records bought in the country where the picture was taken, stacking them in order and playing them at intervals during the commentary. Later on, he manufactured his own gramophone records, and eventually, bona fide soundtracks. Often shooting as much as 3600 feet of film on a single trip, he tended, in his more senior years, to invest long hours editing and framing sequences in the basement of his own home at 120 Madison Avenue. Here, he set up a miniature theatre and often held film evenings for friends. In 1945, Willinsky won an award for a medical film, Cystometrography, in which he used the animation technique of filming drawings. Aortography and advances in X-ray technology provided other cross-overs between medical and filmic experiments, and most of his chronicled travels were the extra-curricular benefits of regular attendance at medical conferences. Towards the end of his life in 1960, Willinsky dictated the stories for A Doctor’s Memoirs to his transcriber, Margaret Avison. He spent the last 14 years of his life at Toronto's Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital, and passed away in 1976 at the age of 91.

Ladovsky (family)

  • Familie
  • 1888-

Aaron Ladovsky (1888-1960) was born in 1888 in Kielce, Poland. He immigrated to Toronto in 1906 at the age of 18. Soon after arriving, Aaron Ladovsky worked to help form a Jewish bakers’ union to advocate for collective rights among Jewish Bakers. In 1911 he married Sarah Eichler who was from his home town of Kielce, Poland. In 1912 he opened the United Bakers Dairy Restaurant at Dundas and Bay Streets (known then as Agnes and Teraulay Streets respectively) in the heart of the Ward. That same year, the couple had twin sons Herman and Samuel, who were born on September 23, 1912. Only a short time later, in 1920, Aaron moved the location of his restaurant to 338 Spadina Avenue, just north of Dundas. He and his family lived in an apartment upstairs. Herman and Samuel attended Hester How Elementary School until 1919, Lord Lansdowne Public School once the family moved to Spadina, and later Central Commerce. The twins worked in the family business in the 1920s delivering fresh breads and buns by horse cart.
Aaron Ladovsky was involved in a number of community organizations. He was instrumental in founding the Kieltzer Society of Toronto in 1913; a community based immigrant-aid association extending aid to Kielcers in Poland and around the world. Ladovsky remained an active member of the organization until his death on April 5, 1960 . His restaurant provided a welcome gathering place for the Jewish community, serving traditional dishes and maintaining a friendly open-door policy. Aaron Ladovsky was known for his generosity and claimed that no one, whether they had money or not, left his restaurant hungry. The United Bakers' menu was mainly based on Sarah’s original recipes, and continues to be so to this day.
During the Second World War, Herman served overseas as an electrician in the Canadian army show with comics Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster. After returning from the war, he married Dora Macklin in 1947, a registered nurse from Regina. He also began to take over management of the family business. Later, his son Philip and daughter Ruth would follow in his footsteps, helping to run the restaurant with him and later taking over managment. United Bakers remained on Spadina Avenue for 66 years – until 1986 when it moved to its current location at 506 Lawrence Avenue West, off of Bathurst Street. Herman was an active fixture in restaurant until his death on January 6, 2002. He also supported and was involved in the work of the Ontario Jewish Archives over the years. Today, Philip and Ruth carry on the family tradition of running United Bakers Dairy Restaurant. In May 2012 the restaurant celebrated it's 100th anniversary.

Sharon Chapter, Hadassah WIZO Organization of Canada

  • Instelling
  • 1918-2001

Canada’s third chapter of Hadassah was organized in Brantford on January 2, 1918 by Mrs. Anna Selig (later Mrs. Anna Raginsky) and sponsored by Mrs. Leah Lazarus primarily to assist with Canada’s war effort. In 1919, it joined with other Canadian chapters to form the Hadassah Organization of Canada. By 1921, Hadassah Canada had merged with the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) and changed its name to Hadassah-WIZO. In 1929, the Brantford chapter adopted the name Rose of Sharon, but abbreviated it to the Sharon Chapter of Hadassah.
As a member of Hadassah-WIZO, the Sharon Chapter shared its mandate of financially and socially supporting the peoples of Israel and promoting Jewish culture and ideals in Canada. Following the national organization’s mandate, its administration consisted of two levels: a general membership and an Executive Committee. The general membership voted on all issues and activities, while the Executive Committee ensured all tasks were completed. Although the chapter initially only elected one president, it began electing three presidents in 1943.
Mrs. Sam Fox served as the chapter’s first president over the charter membership of 30 women. Membership initially remained fairly constant, but grew to 92 members by 1962. All members paid annual dues, of which a small portion was used to pay the chapter’s expenses with the remainder being forwarded to the regional Hadassah council to pay administrative costs and donations.
Some of the fundraising activities Sharon Chapter organized include; an annual birthday party (started in 1925), an annual Bazaar (started in 1952), sewing circles, pot lucks, tea and garden parties, rummage and auction sales, and showers. The funds and other goods accumulated from these events were forwarded to the regional Hadassah council to support various Hadassah-WIZO projects, such as Youth Aliyah and the Acco Baby Creche. The Sharon Chapter also supported local projects, such as, assisting new immigrants, and entertaining servicemen at the local canteen during the Second World War.
The population of Brantford’s Jewish community began declining after the 1960s as younger generations moved to larger cities and were followed by their parents after retirement. By 1999, the Sharon Chapter’s membership had fallen to 24 women and meetings were being held only once a year. The Sharon Chapter likely closed around 2001; the same year that dwindling resources and membership forced the closure of Brantford’s synagogue, Congregation Beth David.

Shapiro, Fanny

  • Persoon
  • 1910-1991

Fanny Enushevsky (1910-1991) originally from Guelph, married Ellis I. Shapiro in 1934 and had two children, Elaine (Glassman) and Barry. Fanny was involved with a number of community organizations and held various positions on the auxiliary boards of the Jewish Home for the Aged, Baycrest Hospital and the New Mount Sinai Hospital. She was also on the board of the Jewish Camp Council and the Mothers and Babes Summer Rest Home, on the executive of Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, and B'nai Brith Women. She was co-president of the UJWF Women's Service Council and campaign co-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Women's Division.

National Council of Jewish Women of Canada

  • Instelling
  • 1897-

The National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) was the first national Jewish women's organization in Canada. The council had its beginnings among the urban elite, and played a strong role over the years in influencing public policy in such areas as relations with Israel, national unity, and the plight of world Jewry. The NCJWC is dedicated, in the spirit of Judaism, to furthering human welfare in the Jewish and general communities -- locally, nationally and internationally. It operated around three main pillars: service, education, and social action.

The National Council of Jewish Women was founded in the United States in 1893 by activist Hannah G. Solomon. In 1897, its first Canadian chapter was established in Toronto. In 1925, with seven chapters in Canada, a Canadian liaison position to the National Council of Jewish Women was created. A full-fledged “Canadian Division” of the NCJW was formed in 1934, with rules drafted at the first conference in Winnipeg three years later. Irene Samuel served as the Canadian Division’s first national president. In 1943, the division was renamed the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, and was officially incorporated in 1944, though it did not receive its letters patent until three years later. Even so, the NCJWC still retained some affiliation with the NCJW, whereby they paid per-capita dues to the Americans in return for program and administrative materials. In 1967 the NCJWC ceased these payments altogether, thereby separating from NCJW completely.

The early NCJWC focused on providing service to young girls and immigrants. They also involved themselves in contemporary politics through support for the war effort; the council donated vehicles to the Red Cross, turned Council House into a servicemen's centre, and even built several libraries at Canadian army camps. A national office opened ca. 1950 in Toronto, but until 1966 it moved to the national president's home city with every election. That year the office was permanently anchored in Toronto. In the 1950s and 1960s the council established Good Age clubs, the Irene Samuel Scholarship Fund, and developed the national Higher Horizons child-care and Newer Horizons elder-care programs. It expanded its overseas programs with support for the Israel Family Counseling Association and Ship-a-Box. The Soviet Jewry projects in the 1970s and 1980s reflected the council’s increasing emphasis on social action. Since the late 1990s, the council has focused on women's issues with efforts such as the Breast Self-Examination (BSE) program.

The NCJWC was governed by an executive council, led by a president. Vice-presidents were each responsible for one portfolio, such as membership, public affairs, etc., which were in turn made up of a number of national committees. The national executive was responsible for producing by-laws, guidelines, policies and procedures, as well as developing national service and social action programs. National also provided support and program materials to the sections, and held biennial meetings every other year from 1937 in cities across Canada. Its decentralized structure meant that while the national office remained in Toronto, officers of the executive have resided right across the country.

As of 1997, the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada was an affiliate member of the International Council of Jewish Women, a member of UNESCO Canadian Subcommission of the Status of Women, and a member of the Coalition of Jewish Women Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition for Agunot Rights. Prominent past presidents include Mrs. Harry (Irene) Samuel, Mrs. Lucille Lorie, Dr. Reva Gerstein, Mozah Zemans, Mina Hollenberg, Sophie Drache, Thelma Rolingher, Helen Marr, Bunny Gurvey, Sheila Freeman, Penny Yellen, and Gloria Strom. The council’s national office moved to Winnipeg in November, 1993. As of 2006, the council still had 5 active sections in Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.

Givens, Philip Gerard

  • Persoon
  • 1922-1995

Philip Gerard Givens (1922-1995) was a municipal, provincial and federal politician, a judge, a police commissioner and an active Jewish communal leader. He is largely remembered as the 54th Mayor of Toronto.
Phil Givens was born in Toronto on April 24th, 1922, the only son of Hyman and Mary Gevertz (Gewercz). As a youth, he attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the University of Toronto in political science and economics in 1945 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1949. In 1947, he married Minnie "Min" Rubin (born February 7th, 1924) and together they had two children, Eleanor and Michael.
Givens graduated as a lawyer from Osgoode Hall; however, shortly thereafter he decided to enter politics, running as a municipal school board trustee in 1950. In 1951 he was elected as alderman for Ward 5, serving in this capacity until 1960, when he was subsequently elected as a city Controller.
Givens was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1962.
Following the sudden death of Mayor David Summerville in 1963, Givens was appointed by City Council as the Mayor of Toronto and was officially elected to the position in 1964, winning a close race against the former mayor, Allan Lamport. As mayor, Givens was automatically a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Executive and Council, the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, the Consumer’s Gas Company Executive, the Toronto Hydro Commission and the governing boards of Toronto’s major hospitals.
Givens was publicly seen as an affable and populist mayor but his tenure was not without controversy. His support for the construction of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and his decision to acquire Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture “the Archer” for the new Nathan Phillips Square were both highly controversial during his term in office. In particular, the Moore sculpture sparked intense controversy and public debate amongst council members and citizens alike. Although ultimately purchased with private solicited donations, the controversy surrounding the statue’s purchase was still partly to blame for Givens’ 1966 election defeat to William Dennison.
In 1967 Givens entered national politics for the second time, the first being a failed 1957 bid in Toronto’s Spadina riding, winning a seat as a Liberal in Toronto’s York West riding. In 1971 he stepped down before the end of his term to campaign for a seat in the Provincial Legislature. Again running under the Liberal banner, Givens won his seat in York-Forest Hill and after the elimination of this riding in 1975, was re-elected in the new riding of Armourdale. In 1977 he retired from politics. He also worked briefly as a current affairs commentator for local radio broadcaster CHUM 1050 AM.
In 1977, Givens was appointed as a provincial court judge and chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, serving in both capacities until 1985, when he left the Commission but continued in the judiciary as a civil trial judge until officially retiring from public life in 1988.
An ardent Zionist, Givens was also a prominent leader of several Jewish communal organizations. He was the founder and first president of the Upper Canada Lodge of B’nai Brith and sat on the executives of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim, the Zionist Organization of Canada, the Toronto Zionist Council, Jewish National Fund, State of Israel Bonds and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. He was chairman of the United Israel Appeal-Israel Emergency Fund in 1967 and the United Jewish Appeal-Israel Special Fund in 1968. From 1973 to 1985 he was the national president of the Canadian Zionist Federation and in the 1990s was the national chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress’ Committee for Yiddish.
Givens was honoured by Jewish community organizations, including the Jewish National Fund’s Negev Award in 1968 and the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews’ Human Relations Award in 1969. As well, in 1972, he received the Award of Honour from the Toronto Regional Council of B’nai Brith.
Givens was also known to be a passionate sailor and was a member of both the Royal Canadian and the Island Yacht Clubs in Toronto. He died on November 30th, 1995 at the age of 73.

Melamed, Gordon

  • Persoon
  • 1927-2004

Gordon Melamed (6 Apr. 1927-16 Nov. 2004) was born to Morris and Zena Melamed. The Melamed family was originally from Russia. Morris Melamed served in the Russian army during the Russo-Japanese War. He was married to Zena Melamed and they had eleven children, Gordon being the only boy. Morris Melamed owned a dry goods store and the family were active members of the Toronto Jewish community.

Jewish Family and Child Services

  • Instelling
  • 1943-

Jewish Family & Child was established in 1943 from the amalgamation of a variety of different social agencies formed as early as 1868. These included the Ladies Benevolent Fund, the Free Burial Society, Jewish Family Welfare Bureau, Jewish Children’s Bureau, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Ladies Maternal Aid Society. Much of its funding and support after its inception came from the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
The first Executive Director of the agency was Dora Wilensky. She was a trained social worker who served for 28 years, until her untimely death from cancer in 1959. Jerome Diamond took over in 1960 and Gordon Wolfe succeeded him in 1981. Ron Levin briefly replaced Wolfe after his retirement in 2003, and was succeeded in 2006 by Dr. Richard Cummings who then retired in 2015. As of 2017, Brian Prousky is the organization’s current Executive Director.
During the early years, fees were established, but the agency never refused to assist clients because of their inability to pay. JF&CS became one of the first agencies to rely on trained social workers. It was also the first social agency in Canada to become unionized. Over the years the agency’s role has changed and it has expanded significantly, in terms of its staff and services. After the Second World War it played a pivotal role supporting the Holocaust orphans who came to Canada as refugees, particularly in the area of locating foster parents for these children. By 1957, the agency hired its first counsellor and became a member of the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto. The year 1968 marked the start of JF&CS’ new program involving the use of a mobile treatment centre to reach out to Jewish street kids and in 1974 they established the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre.
In 1981, JF&CS was mandated by the Province of Ontario as a Jewish children’s aid society responsible for the care and protection of all Jewish youth in the GTA. 1983 they established the Just-A-Second Shop at 3101 Bathurst Street, which took in used goods from the community to pass on to needy families. Two years later they established the Henry G. Goodman Home for developmentally handicapped children on Wilmington Avenue. The following year marked the opening of the Elm Ridge Group Living Residence for elderly people. In 1988, they opened a special shelter for abused women and children, and in 1994, they introduced their Homework Club for kids.
The current mission of Jewish Family & Child is to support the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values. Their services include counselling, rehabilitation and support, foster care, family services and community services. These services are offered in a host of different languages including Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, French and English.
JF&CS is an independent organization that receives its funding from a variety of different sources such as UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, United Way Toronto and York Region, the Ontario Government, as well as individual donations.
As of 2017, JF&CS has nearly 130 staff providing more than 30 community services with a budget of almost $20 million. Their main office is located in the Lipa Green Centre for Community Services at 4600 Bathurst Street. They also maintain offices and run services out of their downtown branch at 35 Madison Ave, their York Region branch inside UJA’s 1 Open Door at the Lebovic JCC, and their Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre in midtown Toronto.

Toronto Cloakmakers' Union

  • Instelling
  • 1909-

The Toronto Cloakmakers Union was established in 1909 as an organized effort to assist and protect workers in the women's garment industry. Two years later they became affiliated with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (I.L.G.W.U.) in Toronto and became Local 14. Today they are the oldest local still in existence and are now called Unite Here Canada.

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