Jewish Toronto

The CBC’s shame (1987)

From the Canadian Jewish News (editorial), 1987 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Founded half a century…

Recent & Popular

History

Ben Gurion in Nova Scotia

by Dr Stuart E Rosenberg From The Canadian Jewish News, 1972 Here’s an interesting footnote to Jewish Canadiana. A very unusual episode, full of portent and prophecy for the future of Jews everywhere, was played out in a remote corner of the country, at an army base in Windsor, Nova Scotia. It was there that a man who, thirty years…

The Baghdadi Jews of Bombay (Mumbai)

Book Review: Bombay: Exploring the Jewish Heritage, by Dr. Shaul Sapir. Large format, hardcover, 290 pages; full-colour interior, lavishly illustrated with large four-panel foldout map. $50. Published by Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Research Centre, India, 2013.  There are four distinct historic Jewish communities in India — the Cochin or Malabar Jews, the Bene-Israel Jews, the Bene-Menashe Jews of northeast…

Baby born at sea amidst Ukrainian rescue

by Gaye Applebaum From the Canadian Jewish News, 1983 As the SS Hamilton Scandinavian docked at Quebec City on Aug. 21, 1921, a tremor of excitement surged through the rain-drenched crowd. On the ship’s deck huddled 108 frightened but excited Ukrainian Jewish children – all of them rescued war orphans from the devastated Polish Ukraine. Also on deck was Lillian…

Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey

Book Review: Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey, by Mikhal Dekel. Hardcover, 418 pages. Published by W.W. Norton & Company, 2019. In September 1939, as Nazi militias approached their town of Ostrow Mazowiecka in northeastern Poland, the author’s paternal grandparents, like many others, were faced with a momentous decision: stay or flee eastwards into Russian-occupied eastern Poland, then the vast…

Sledgehammer: An ambassadorial account of the Abraham Accords

Book review: Sledgehammer: How Breaking With The Past Brought Peace To The Middle East, by David Friedman, former US Ambassador to Israel. HarperCollins, 2022. In Sledgehammer, lawyer-turned-ambassador David Friedman offers some excellent background to the important story of the Abraham Accords, which stand as the most significant development in Middle East peace since Israel’s treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Representing…

Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews (review)

Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews: A Collection of Biographical Reflections, by Maisie J. Meyer, author and editor. Large format, 480 pages, softcover. Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong, 2015. Shanghai’s community of Ashkenazic Jews, who arrived from Poland and elsewhere in Europe in the early 20th century and in advance of the Holocaust, is already fairly well-known. What is not so well known is…

Rediscovered

Ontario puts new restrictions on birth records (2016)

From Inside Toronto, 2016 As if attaining genealogical records wasn’t already hard enough, genealogists now have to face a steep new barrier when it comes to getting Ontario birth records. Quietly, on the sly and when no one was looking, the Ontario Registrar General changed its longstanding rule about how…

Rhea Clyman chronicled Soviet famine

Rhea Clyman, an accomplished journalist born to a Jewish family in Toronto in 1904, wrote many front-page newspaper stories in the late 1920s and 1930s about political events and their tragic human consequences in Russia, Ukaine and Germany, but died in near-obscurity in New York in 1981. Clyman wrote rare…

A glimpse into the early days of the Queen’s Hotel

Sixty Years’ Changes, As Hotelman Has Seen Them — The Queen’s Has Been “An Institution” of Toronto, Like the Parliament Buildings or St. James’ Cathedral — Glimpses of ‘60s & ‘70s — View of Bay Fetched Topnotch Price for Rooms — Nickel-plated Self-feeder Supplied Luxury of Heating — Tin Bath When Asked — First…

Canadianizing the foreigners with ‘Settlement Work’ (1914)

From the Toronto Star Weekly, July 1914 By Julia K. Lamont “But is she a dainty cook?” “No-o; not especially, but an excellent worker.” “Won’t suit,” declared the settlement superintendent. “The children must have dainty dishes.” “Why, what children?” “Why, the neighbourhood children for our summer camp.” Elegance and simplicity…

North Toronto annexation occurred 100 years ago (1912)

Promise Many Things for New Part of City From the Toronto World, November 25, 1912 Alderman and Controllers Seeking Re-Election Open Campaign for North Toronto Votes — They Say Transportation Problem Must Be Solved at Once — Are All Favourable to Annexation Since North Toronto is destined to become part…