Tag: toronto

Nestel’s Holocaust memoir

On October 12, 1941, a day of bloody infamy, the Nazis massacred about 12,000 Jews in the Jewish cemetery in the Ukrainian town of Stanislawow, also known as Ivanofrankivsk. But as evening drew nigh, the weary killers halted the carnage, providing an unintended reprieve to another 6,000 Jews, including the author and her infant daughter.…

The ‘Dangerous’ Emma Goldman

In April 2001, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival screened a 42-minute documentary on Emma Goldman, the legendary American-Jewish anarchist and feminist who spent several periods of exile in Toronto. Coleman Romalis’s film Emma Goldman: The Anarchist Guest presented a refreshing and overdue account of Goldman’s productive years in Toronto. A recent book pays more attention…

Barney Danson saga

Barney Danson, who served as the Member of Parliament for York North from 1968 to 1979, has published a book of memoirs, Not Bad For A Sergeant, that is must reading for anyone interested in Canadian politics and the Trudeau legacy in particular. Jewish readers will find the book especially illuminating because of the light…

The Tailor’s Daughter

Writers who dedicate their pens to preserving community history generally do so as a labour of love, knowing their literary efforts will probably not capture a large reading audience nor generate large royalty cheques. Over the last decade, Miriam Bassin Chinsky has revisited the lush vineyards of her north Toronto childhood to write a series…

A Toronto doc’s memoir

Barnet Berris, born in Toronto in 1921, became the first Jewish doctor appointed to the full-time staff of the University of Toronto’s department of medicine in 1951. In Medicine: My Story (U. of T. Press, 2002), Dr. Berris tells the story of his career. The book elegantly details the changes he observed in medicine during 46…

Morgentaler: a ‘difficult hero’

As Catherine Dunphy was in the early stages of researching her newly-published biography Morgantaler: A Difficult Hero, Canada’s well-known abortion crusader asked her over lunch if she would like to “witness a procedure.” A short time later, Dunphy was chatting at Morgantaler’s Toronto clinic with a stripper named Dominique, eleven weeks pregnant, as the doctor…

Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey

Gerald Tulchinsky, professor emeritus of history at Queen’s University in Kingston, has just produced his magnum opus in the form of a new 630-page book, Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey, published by the University of Toronto Press in both hardcover and softcover. “I wanted to describe and analyze the significance of the transitions that Jews…

The City Man: Fine novel of ’30s Toronto

Howard Akler has made an auspicious literary debut with his first novel, The City Man (Coach House Books), a crisply written tale that conjures up the look and feel of Toronto in the ‘30s. The story focuses on Toronto Star reporter Eli Morenz who, freshly returned from a convalescence in the country, writes a riveting…

Consolation: New Glimpses of Old Toronto

If you’re a Toronto lover like me, you’re bound to enjoy and marvel over Michael Redhill’s novel Consolation (Anchor Canada), which delivers a gripping human story, elegantly and poetically told, and a grittily realistic literary portrait of 1850s Toronto that is so well executed that it shines. In alternating chapters, Consolation artfully knits together two…