Jewish Toronto

Resources for Genealogists All searchable/viewable on this site (links below)   Searchable Databases >> Births (1907-1917) Marriages (range 1905 to…

Toronto

Judische Familienforschung: World’s first Jewish genealogy society?

by Henry Wellisch In the early 1920s Dr. Arthur Czellitzer, a Berlin ophthalmologist, founded the Gesellschaft fur Judische Familien Forschung, the “Society for Jewish Family Research.” It is now recognized as the world’s first society dedicated to Jewish genealogy in the modern era. The society had regular meetings in Berlin and published a newsletter entitled, Mitteilunngen…

The oldest family tree in the world

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 24, 2004 You may not find Dr. Neil Rosenstein’s new book listed on national best-seller lists, but the noted genealogist — with his tongue halfway in his cheek — compares it to the popular thriller “The Da Vinci Code.” Both books, the noted American genealogist and surgeon said, deal in…

Toronto’s Jewish ‘Unknown Soldier’ from WWI

◊ An item in the Toronto Star from 1936 explains a certain inscription on a tombstone found at the Pape Avenue Cemetery, Toronto’s oldest Jewish cemetery. George Sorblum, Toronto’s “unknown soldier,” died in 1919 but his family only learned what happened to him in 2007.   * * *  From the Toronto Star, November 7, 1936 Some…

Review: Alison Pick’s Between Gods

Seven years ago, as Toronto author Alison Pick began researching and writing what would become her prize-winning novel Far to Go, she realized that the seeds of two different projects — one a fictional manuscript, the other a closely allied memoir — were struggling for dominance within her mind. Giving priority to the novel, she…

Two views of Bristol house, 1911 & 2014

Angell and Janey Lester (nee Alexander) were living in this house at 4 Radnor Rd., Bristol, in 1911 when this photo was taken. Janey is standing outside the house holding her infant son, Lionel Lester, with her four-year-old daughter, Ida, standing in front. Janey’s younger sister, twelve-year-old Dora Alexander, stands beside them in the dark…

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…

Silas Hardoon, richest man in Asia

­Silas Aaron Hardoon was born into a poor Jewish family in Baghdad in 1851, but when he died in Shanghai China 80 years later, he was regarded as the wealthiest man in Asia, leaving behind a fortune worth as much as $15 billion in today’s dollars. When Hardoon arrived in Shanghai as a youth of…

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…

The Most Tenacious of Minorities: the Jews of Italy (review)

Review: The Most Tenacious of Minorities: The Jews of Italy, by Sara Reguer. Hardcover, 190 pages. Boston: published by Academic Studies Press, 2013. www. academicstudiespress.com The Jews have been booted out of so many places during their history, it seems only natural that they should have a long and colourful past in the Italian “boot.”…

A Moravian Tax List of 1808

The Neu-Raussnitz Tax Book by Dr. Heinrich Flesch, translated, adapted and with an introduction by Patrick Gordis & Henry Wellisch Some 90 years ago, a Moravian rabbi and historian, Dr. Heinrich Flesch (1875-1942), annotated a list of Jews from Neu-Raussnitz, Moravia, who paid taxes in 1808, then used the annotated list as a basis for a…