Category: Jewish Toronto

Fond farewell to Frydman-Kohl after 25 years

◊ After the departure of Rabbi Benjamin Friedberg from Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Synagogue in the early 1990s, the congregation turned to Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl to lead it into the future. The following is an excerpt from The History of Beth Tzedec Congregation Toronto Canada (2016). It is being published as Rabbi Frydman-Kohl departs from Beth…

Beth Sholom Profile: Sylvia Banack (1921 – 2015)

Appeared originally in Beth Sholom Bulletin, Toronto, 2013 Sylvia Banack and her husband Henry Banack joined Beth Sholom as founding members in 1946, and their eldest children, the twins Auby and Arlene, had a joint bar-mitzvah and bat-mitzvah in the shul in 1957. It was, Sylvia recalls, the congregation’s first bat-mitzvah ceremony. Next year [2014],…

The Keeping of Jewish Records in Ontario

Above: Current OJA executive director Dara Solomon stands beside image of early Passover seder, the sort of historic photo the OJA has become adept at collecting and preserving. First published in Archivia, 1990 ◊ Note: In this article Dr. Speisman, the founding director of the Ontario Jewish Archives, describes its holdings, policies and activities as…

Samuel Sachs, long-time Goel Tzedec rabbi (1989)

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 22, 1989 TORONTO – Rabbi Samuel Sachs died recently in Santa Monica, California at the age of 96. He was a spiritual leader of Goel Tzedec Synagogue from 1927 to 1946, when the congregation was housed on University Ave. (Goel Tzedec later merged with the McCaul St. Synagogue to become…

Profile: Dorothy Dworkin, nurse & Mount Sinai founder

Dorothy Goldstick (later Dworkin) donned the modest white cap of a maternity nurse in 1909, but her accomplishments ranged into charitable work and philanthropy, business, newspaper publishing, and institution building on a scale that benefitted the entire city of Toronto. A driving force behind the establishment of Toronto’s world-famous Mount Sinai Hospital, Dworkin (1889-1976) was…

M.J. Nurenberger founded the CJN

Although his name may be little known even within the Canadian Jewish community, Meyer Joshua Nurenberger was an internationally-known Jewish writer and publisher who founded the Canadian Jewish News. During a journalistic career that stretched from the 1930s into the 1990s, Nurenberger interviewed Albert Einstein, covered the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, and was editor of…

A ‘robust, new’ history of Jews in Canada

Seeking the Fabled City: the Canadian Jewish Experience, by Allan Levine (McClelland & Stewart) Proficient, prolific, and preternaturally talented, Winnipeg-based historian Allan Levine has produced a robust new history of the Jewish experience in Canada that seems both compelling and fresh. Seeking the Fabled City — the title comes from a line by the late…

Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut: An Appreciation

From the Canadian Jewish News, 2017 From the moment in 1961 that he stepped into the role, Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut was always much more than rabbi of the esteemed historic Reform congregation, Holy Blossom Temple of Toronto. It was entirely Toronto’s gain and St. Paul Minnesota’s loss when Holy Blossom enticed Rabbi Plaut here,…

Obit: Simcha Simchovitch, eminent Yiddish writer (2017)

From Canadian Jewish News, July 2017 Simcha Simchovitch, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor and prominent poet and writer in both Yiddish and English, died in Toronto on July 12, 2017 at the age of 97. The winner of various literary prizes including several Canadian Jewish Book Awards and two I.J. Segal awards for Yiddish Literature, Simchovitch…

A Matzah Factory on Ontario Street

One good thing about matzah is that even after the passage of many months, it often tastes no more stale coming out of the box than when it was first baked. In a parallel vein, I hope the following tales concerning an early matzah factory in Toronto won’t seem too stale even if they go…