Tag: memoir

Growing Up on Dundas Street, by Ben Kayfetz

  From Growing Up Jewish: Canadians tell their own stories (1997) My earlier recollection goesback to the very early 1920s, sitting on the stoop of our dry-goods store on Spadina Avenue and Baldwin Street (southeast corner), watching the Sunday evening church parade go by. These were the strollers emerging from two nearby Christian churches, the Western Congregational Church, just…

Excerpt: ‘The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community’

  The following passages have been excerpted from The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community, by Shmuel Mayer Shapiro (1877-1958), the late editor and publisher of the Toronto Yiddish newspaper, the Hebrew Journal. After surfacing in a synagogue archives in 2009, his unpublished manuscript was illustrated with some 90 rare and historic photographs and illustrations and…

New serial: The Girls I Might Have Married (1919)

Part One in a series of sketches by a prominent Canadian Jewish bachelor By Anonymous (originally serialized in 1919) Foreword I hope that none who read this chronicle of my adventures into the field of pro-matrimony (if I may so call it) will feel that I am writing in a spirit of boastfulness. On the…

Review: “The Juggler’s Children,” by Carolyn Abraham

The late eminent American genealogist Rabbi Malcolm Stern once observed that there is nothing so fascinating to a person as his own genealogical research, and often, nothing so boring as being stuck at a dinner table with a family-tree enthusiast who insists upon endlessly discussing their latest research. With her recent book The Juggler’s Children:…

A memoir of novelist Bernard Malamud by his daughter

My Father Is A Book: A Memoir of Bernard Malamud, by Janna Malamud Smith (Counterpoint Berkeley) One hundred years after his birth in 1914, acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Bernard Malamud has been surprisingly overlooked by biographers — in large part because his family had blocked access to his private papers. But in recent years…

Review: Ride ’em Jewish Cowboy, by Hy Burstein

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 13, 2005 Hy Burstein can’t quite explain his passion for riding horses, only that it first hit him as a teenager and that it’s still going strong six decades later. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in Toronto in 1928, he recently published Ride ’em Jewish Cowboy, a book describing his…

Hard conditions inside a box factory (1913)

Children of the Factory were surprisingly happy From the Toronto Star Weekly, July 12, 1913 by Annie H. Crone When I awoke the second morning it was with an awful thought of the day before me. The weariness of the night before had developed into stiffness of the muscles and the mental fatigue into a…

Review: Joseph Anton, A Memoir, by Salman Rushdie

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 2013 London-based writer Salman Rushdie was happy to sell his novel The Satanic Verses to Viking Penguin in February 1988. But six months after the novel appeared, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him for his blasphemous insult “against Islam, the Prophet and the Qur’an.” Instantly he became…

New book offers pieces by Kayfetz, Speisman on Toronto Jews

Toronto publisher Now and Then Books’s latest title — Only Yesterday: Collected Pieces on the Jews of Toronto, by Benjamin Kayfetz and Stephen A. Speisman — is a prolifically illustrated book featuring 18 evocative articles by two notable historians of Toronto’s Jewish community. Culled from a variety of sources, the pieces in Only Yesterday focus…

Book review: The Dentist of Auschwitz

From The Canadian Jewish News, 2001 SS commander Otto Moll had a tooth-ache, and so visited the dentist of Auschwitz, a Jewish inmate from Dobra, Poland named Berek Jakubowicz. Settling into the chair, the pulled out his revolver and pointed it at the emaciated attendant. “Don’t try anything stupid, dentist,” he warned. “Herr Hauptscharfuhrer,” the…