Bill Gladstone

Only Yesterday (Jews of Toronto)

ONLY YESTERDAY: Collected Pieces on the Jews of Toronto by Benjamin Kayfetz and Stephen Speisman In this collection of 18 evocative pieces, the authors, both notable historians, recall the old synagogues, rabbis, communal leaders, politics, daily life, Yiddish press and theatre in  Toronto’s old downtown “Ward” and Spadina neighbourhoods. Features lively articles on J. B. Salsberg,…

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],…

“HE WAS THE CZAR’S GUEST”

Herman Kempinski was evidently a first cousin once removed to my great-great-grandfather, Rafael Glicenstein, and both came from the town of Konin, Poland. Herman, born about 1854, was one of the many thousands of Russian-Polish Jews to emigrate to the United States in the late 1800s: he left Konin at age 17 in 1872. He…

Herman Wouk (1915 – 2019)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) ◊  Note: This review of Herman Wouk’s memoir was first published in 2016. Herman Wouk died on May 17, 2018, age 103. This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in…

Jordan Peterson offers ‘constructive wisdom’

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2019 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson (Random House Canada) Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology, most recently at the University of Toronto, with a thorough grounding in scientific literature, particularly in the biological sciences, psychology, and the nature of the human…

Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World

In his book Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World, Montreal author Marc Raboy points out that Guglielmo Marconi was the Bill Gates or Steven Jobs of his day, and was the world’s first champion of and visionary for not just global wireless communications, but two-way global wireless communications. Although associated primarily with the development…

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…

Incident in Opatow (Poland)

August 2018 We arrived in Opatow in early evening and I took my bags upstairs to my hotel room, which directly overlooked the city gate. The next day as we looked around, I thought of the many Torontonians whose parents and grandparents had left the town before the war, and the many more Jews from “Apt” (at least 7,000) who perished…