JCC davener Reb Abraham Weintraub turns 90

At age 90, Abraham Weintraub was honoured as the elder statesman of a congregation of about 100 people that gathered to daven at the Bloor Jewish Community Centre, the Canadian Jewish News reported in a story on December 2, 1982.

The members, most between the ages of 40 and 65, prayed each Thursday and Saturday mornings, had breakfast together, and sometimes used the gym. Weintraub, affectionately known as Reb Abraham, first learned the art of the “ba’al koreh” at age 10 in his native city of Radom, Poland, where he continued it for 23 years.

He arrived in Toronto in 1925 and became the Torah reader at the Anshe Radom Synagogue on Beverley Street, where he remained for 37 years until the shul moved north. In 1962 he performed the same functions for the Russishe Shaarei Tzedek Synagogue at the corner of Markham and Ulster; he served there for 20 years. He also assisted the JCC congregation for the previous eight years, the article related.

Tributes were paid to Reb Abraham by Kiva Barkin, JCC general secretary, director Irwin Soren, parnes Sidney Greenstein, and others. A long-retired owner of a grocery store on St. Clair Avenue near Bathurst, Weintraub then divulged that the secret of his long and happy life consisted of three ingredients.

“First, honour your parents, so your days may be plentiful. Respect and be kind to your fellow man.

“Finally, never forget that the Torah tells us it is the duty of a Jew to remember always “Boro Elokim” — that everything around us and above us and below us and in us was created by God.” ♦