Flashback: A late December party for Jewish immigrant kids in Montreal

Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Montreal held a Hanukkah party on Dec. 27, 1959, in co-operation with the Menorah Chapter of the B’nai Brith Women’s Organization. More than 40 recently immigrated children participated, according to a JAIS bulletin the following March, from which this image is taken. —Courtesy of CJArchives (Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives)

Freimans celebrated its 22nd birthday in 1922 with tokens that shoppers could redeem for prizes. Ottawa’s first major department store was owned by A.J. Freiman (1880-1944), who was a prominent presence in the Jewish community and beyond. The store was owned and operated by his family until 1971—when it was sold to The Hudson’s Bay Co. The original building still stands as part of the Rideau Centre. —Courtesy of Ottawa Jewish Archives

Abraham Calp opened his Saint John, N.B., store in 1933, and the entrances on both Charlotte Street and Kings Square made it the most prominent in the city. Calp’s sold clothing and shoes for men and women along with specialty departments like a wedding boutique, a make-up counter, and a bargain basement. The landmark was known for the quality of its merchandise, annual bridal shows and elegant window displays—as evident in this 1950s photo of the Charlotte side decorated for Christmas. More about this New Brunswick history can be found in an online exhibit, Open for Business. —Courtesy of the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum

The Association of Former Concentration Camp Inmates in Montreal issued this 1966 membership card in to Michel Mielnicki, who moved west to become a founding member of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Bialystok to Birkeneau: The Holocaust Journey of Michael Mielnicki, published in 2000, collected the stories he shared for decades as an outreach speaker. (The VHEC has launched its annual membership drive with an invitation to join its Holocaust-based anti-racism education and commemoration.) —Card donated by Michel Mielnicki to the VHEC

The Tivoli Theatre in Calgary opened in 1936 as a first-run movie house at 2015 Fourth St. SW, built in the Moderne style by Winnipeg architect Cecil Blankstein. It would go on to screen everything from art films to second-run releases, and eventually Chinese-language and “blue” movies—until Lionel and Mitch Ravvin converted the building into the Tivoli Shops, which opened in in 1991. Currently, over a dozen Jewish locals make their living in the film industry, while prior generations worked for the Calgary Film Exchange, and as independent theatre owners and managers. While just a few of those early cinemas still serve the function they were built for, the 21st annual Calgary Jewish Film Festival has been carrying their torch—even if 2021 requires watching the movies at home. —Photo by Jack Switzer/The Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta

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 (keep scrolling for more!)

Aline Gubbay (1920-2005), a Canadian photographer, art historian and writer, added to her travel diary during a 1983 visit to Petra, Jordan. Before a 1994 peace treaty opened up the stone-carved city of the Nabataeans to Israelis, it lured adventurers who visited secretly. “The combination of awesome natural scenery, the grandeur of that narrow gorge, the intense colours of the rocks,” wrote Gubbay, “is really powerful and unlike anything else we have seen the world over.” —Courtesy of the Jewish Public Library Archives, Montreal

Hadassah Bazaar at the Automotive Building at the Canadian National Exhibition.

The Hadassah Bazaar was first held in Toronto in 1924, initiating a mammoth volunteer-run concept later followed by other cities across Canada. The earliest events sold used clothing, hand-sewn items and home-cooked kosher specialties. Subsequent years introduced “carnival elements” and social events like fortune telling, bingo and floor shows. The war effort became a major focus in the early 1940s—while disco contests appeared in the latter 1970s. Proceeds were directed to medical and welfare services for women and children in Israel. Crowds of up to 60,000 lined up on the last Wednesday of October—like in this photo from 1970—until the final bazaar took place at Exhibition Place on Oct. 29, 2008. —Courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre

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

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. jewishmuseumsj.com

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