Bill Gladstone

Obit: Barnet Markson (1914-2014)

From Beth Sholom Bulletin, Summer 2014 Barnet Markson, who died in March 2014 just three weeks shy of his 100th birthday, was a founding member of Beth Sholom Congregation. Born in Toronto in 1914, Barney became a pharmacist and built a store, Markson’s Pharmacy, at the corner of Westover Hill Road and Eglinton in 1945,…

Landsmanschaft societies stretched forth their helping hands

From the Canadian Jewish News, Spring 2015 In a series of articles in the Canadian Jewish News about four decades ago, the late CJN columnist J. B. Salsberg reminisced with great affection about the “Apter Shteeble” in downtown Toronto that he had frequented in his youth during the First World War. The Apter Society —…

Benjamin Brown: Restoring an architect’s legacy 

From Canadian Jewish News, April 2015 Toronto architect Benjamin Brown (1890-1974) designed many elegant edifices across the city, including the Balfour and Tower Buildings on Spadina Avenue, the former Primrose Club on Willcocks Avenue, the former Beth Jacob Synagogue on Henry Street, the Hermant Building (eastern tower and annex) in Dundas Square, and scores of…

From the DP Camps to Canada via the Tailor Project

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2015 In late 1947 and early 1948, representatives of the Canadian garment industry organized what became known as the Tailor Project, a plan to select more than 2,200 skilled tailors from the Displaced Person camps of Europe and give them jobs and housing in Canada. The Tailor Project had…

My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War

  REVIEW: My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War, by Anne Sinclair (Farrar Strauss & Giroux) Born in New York in 1948, the prominent French-Jewish journalist Anne Sinclair says that while the heroic stories of her paternal grandparents, who had stayed in France during wartime, had always resonated deeply within her, she…

Mount Sinai Hospital had humble beginnings

When Dr. Daniel Drucker of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital receives the US$150,000 Manpei-Suzuki prize for groundbreaking diabetes research this February (2015), he will be only the latest in a long parade of medical researchers at the world-famous institution to be recognized for their excellence. A researcher engaged in a different sort of quest — probing…

Landsmanshaft and Jewish mutual benefit societies of Toronto

The following is an abridgement of a talk that Bill Gladstone gave to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada (Toronto) on March 28, 2012. Definition A landsmanshaft is a group consisting, at least initially, of Jewish immigrants who came from the same village, town, country or region in Eastern Europe or the Russian Empire. The…

Profile: Margie Wolfe of Second Story Press

Born in Germany to Holocaust-survivor parents after World War Two, Toronto publisher Margie Wolfe has for many years been engaged in the pivotal task of exporting published Holocaust books to some 50 countries around the globe, both in their original English and translated into about 40 languages. Holocaust books for young readers are a main…

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…

Obit: William Tutte, mathematician and codebreaker (1917-2002)

William Tutte, the mathematician who deciphered the complex codes by which the Nazi high command encrypted their military communications during World War II, has died in Waterloo, Ontario at the age of 84. Although the accomplishment has been called “the greatest intellectual feat of the war,” and was described as such on the citation for…