The Canadian Jewish Flashback: a new weekly thing from the archives

Louis Slotin (1910-1946) was born in Winnipeg and educated at the University of Manitoba and King’s College, London. While planning a return to teaching physics, he died 25 days after a Los Alamos National Laboratory accident involving a plutonium core. Slotin’s parents flew in from Winnipeg to visit the New Mexico base hospital before he passed away. Along with sympathy cards from around the world, they received this lapel pin in recognition of their son’s work in developing of the atomic bomb, as part of the Manhattan Project. —Courtesy of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada

Black Tusk

Leonard Frank (1870-1944) was the B.C.-based photographer of this 1932 capture of Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park, with a view that’s remained relatively unchanged. It’s not just today’s Instagram influencers who modify natural images: the original black-and-white snapshot was hand-tinted by Frank himself, which gave it the look of a timeless postcard. So, get outside and keep in mind that wilderness photography played a part in the artistic history of Jews in Canada. —Courtesy of the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia

Tola and Avrum Feigenbaum are in this photograph taken at the Mount Royal Belvedere in 1951, the year after the couple settled in Montreal. Both Holocaust survivors, they married in 1946 in Lodz, Poland. With the help of the Jewish Labour Committee, Tola and Avrum were recognized as political refugees, which allowed them to immigrate to Canada. —Courtesy of the Montreal Holocaust Museum/Musée de l’Holocauste Montréal

NEW at The CJN: Jewish archives will feature items from their collections to challenge your ideas of what history is, who is remembered, and what is celebrated (stay tuned for more!)

Simchat Torah rallies were major focal points for protests in support of the Jews of Soviet Russia, starting in the late 1960s. At this 1985 Canadian Jewish Congress event in Montreal, the crowd outside the Russian consulate was addressed by the late Martin Penn, then executive director of the Canadian Committee for Soviet Jewry. —Photo by Howard Kay, from the CJC collection at the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives

Pure Spring Company Ltd. was originally named the Ottawa Bottle and Trading Co. Started in the early 1920s by David Mirsky, the son of Ottawa’s first rabbi, its first product was water bottled from a local spring. Inspired by the ginger ale craze, Mirsky decided to create a soft drink line that also included cream soda, minted grape, and Gini Bitter Lemon. During decades of business that ended in 1987, Pure Spring had flavours like these consumed across Canada and beyond. —Ottawa Jewish Archives, OJA 2-328

The Henrietta Szold Chapter of Hadassah was, arguably, the most active Jewish organization in Saint John, N.B., in the 1960s. The group had more than 70 members who were active in organizing fundraising events including fashion shows, art exhibitions and sales, thrift shops and annual Youth Aliyah dinners. Meetings were held monthly from September to June in the Shaarei Zedek Synagogue or nearby Jewish Community Centre. Members received postcards in the mail with reminders of the meeting date and special events.

—Katherine Biggs-Craft, Executive Director and Curator, Saint John Jewish Historical Museum, Saint John, N.B.

Shofar blowing demonstration at UJA’s Walk for Israel, Toronto, 1991. The shofar, a ceremonial horn typically made from a hollowed ram’s horn, is sounded 100 times during a Rosh Hashanah service. Additionally, a long shofar blast marks the end of the fast day of Yom Kippur. Blowing a shofar is not an easy task and there are techniques and rules for blowing including when, how and who can blow, and proper sequencing of blasts, so instruction is helpful. This year, Israel’s Health Ministry issued recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including holding services outdoors and ensuring that shofar blowers have received their third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. —Ontario Jewish Archives, fonds 67, series 17-1-17, file 29