Ben Rose

Handsome Granatstein house was demolished 1999

There is now a vacant lot where the house on 42 St. George Street stood. All that is left of Mendel Granatstein’s home, a property which is now owned by the University of Toronto, is the front portico. According to Heritage Toronto records, the home was the first in Toronto to be owned by a…

From Belarus to Cape Breton & beyond

From the Canadian Jewish News, May 15, 1997 In the early part of the century, our parents sailed to this country from many parts of Europe, and their history is interwoven with Canada. Now along comes a book about Whitney Pier, Cape Breton Island, one of the most fascinating settlements of early Jewish life. The…

The Doctor’s Office: A Secretary’s Memoir

From The Canadian Jewish News, January 14, 1999 Ruth Mather, who for 44 years was secretary to Dr. Sidney Carlen, Toronto’s first Jewish cardiologist, has written a tribute to his pioneering and sensitive medical practice. It is an unvarnished and historically accurate account of the Jewish doctors who started their practices in Toronto in the…

Cornwall maintains minyan despite dwindling numbers (1997)

From the Canadian Jewish News, September 18, 1997 Though the average age in this dwindling Jewish community is 70, there is still a Shabbat minyan at historic Congregation Beth-El. At its peak, the community in the eastern Ontario town consisted of 120 families, but now it is down to 30. For the first time, there…

A visit with the Jews of Kingston

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 7, 1999 Kingston is a city full of surprises for a Jewish reporters from the big city of Toronto. For one thing, the Kingston Jewish Community Council spreads an umbrella over the unaffiliated Jews, as well as those of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform persuasions. The unaffiliated 50 members…

Jewish community thriving in Kitchener-Waterloo

From the Canadian Jewish News, August 5, 1999 If you’re tired of gridlock in Toronto traffic and the high housing costs, and you seek a calmer small city way of life, officials of this community have the answer. In an audacious recruiting drive, they want Jewish families to come to the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo…

Personal thoughts on a bygone era, by Ben Rose

From the Canadian Jewish News, April 28, 2000 In 1937, the vice-principal of Central High School of Commerce came into our graduating accounting class as a visitor to announce that there was a job opening. “There is no reason for any Jewish student to apply for this job because the employer doesn’t want a Jew,”…

Former seamstress featured in Spadina doc

From the Canadian Jewish News, June 29, 2000. Ruth Stein, a spry, 91-year-old grandmother, sewed dresses on Spadina Avenue and can now see herself featured in the film Needle ‘n Tread, which the Toronto Jewish Film Society showed recently. Born in Sachavola, Lithuania (now part of Poland), Stein had no idea that one day she…

Neurosurgeon maintains busy schedule at 63 (2000)

Dr. Charles Tator, one of only 160 neurosurgeons in Canada, still finds time in his 110-hour work week to canvass a few cards for the United Jewish Appeal. Tator, 63, the only living neurosurgeon to hold the Order of Canada, performs 150 to 200 brain and spinal cord operations a year. Brain tumors and spinal…

The Barsh family fondly recalls its musical past

From the Canadian Jewish News, May 16, 1985 The Barsh family is a link between the fascinating worlds of Yiddish theatre and music in Toronto. The family lived in four rooms above their barber shop and pool hall at 305 Spadina Avenue, a few doors north of the old Jewish Standard Theatre at Dundas and…