Bill Gladstone

Restoring Siedleczka’s old Jewish cemetery

  From Canadian Jewish News, 2008 Howard Nightingale, a Toronto lawyer, has been the driving force behind the restoration of an old abandoned Jewish cemetery in Siedleczka, Poland, that will be officially rededicated in a ceremony set for August 17th [2008]. Nightingale and representatives of numerous other Toronto Jewish families plan to be in attendance,…

Howard Jacobson offers post-apocalyptic tale in ‘J’

Max Glickman, the fictional Jewish cartoonist who is the narrator of Howard Jacobson’s 2006 novel Kalooki Nights, freely admits that he views the Jewish people as “an immoderate, overemphatic people, much given to exaggeration” and adds: “So what? I call it giving value for money myself. You prick us so we bleed profusely.” In his…

Shteyngart as funny, self-deprecating ‘Little Failure’

Little Failure, by Gary Shteyngart. Published by Random House From the Canadian Jewish News, May 2015 In this funny, self-deprecating memoir, Gary Shteyngart tells the story of his family’s migration from Russia to America in 1979, when he was seven years old, and his subsequent transformation not only into a fully-grown Americanized Jewish male, but…

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…