Our Collections

The OJA’s records span all segments of Ontario’s Jewish community. We have records from businesses, families, labour unions, organizations, and synagogues. These records date from the community’s earliest days to its present. What’s more, they come from all over Ontario and in every format you can think of. If you were to lay out all of our boxes, they would stretch from the foot of Yonge Street to Dundas Square!

Below you can find highlights from our newest acquisitions as well as collections that have recently been processed and added to our website search. If you are interested in donating records to the OJA, let us know.

Acquisition of the Month

On October 18, the OJA received a fascinating document that affords a window into early Jewish gay and lesbian organizing in Toronto. The document in question is the first issue of the Congregation B'nai Kehillah of Toronto newsletter. As its name suggests, Congregation B'nai Kehillah was a religous group, but one whose mission included providing "a voice for homosexual and lesbian Jews." And whereas some might imagine that such groups are a recent innovation, this newsletter provides evidence that gay and lesbian Jews were forming support groups as early as 1978. Those interested in the history of Congregation B'nai Kehillah can find other issues of the same newsletter at the ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives in Toronto.

Other Acquisitions

London Council of Hadassah. This accession consists of records documenting the operations of the London Council of Hadassah-WIZO, predominantly under the direction of Patricia Alpert. The accession also includes Jewish city directors for London, Ontario and a small number of negatives.

Aaron Solsberg. This accession consists of five photographs documenting the demolition of Overbook Plaza, which was located in the heart of the Bathurst Manor neighbourhood in Toronto.

David Wulkan. This accession consists of a photograph taken by David Wulkan, a violinist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and an amateur photographer. The accession also includes documents detailing the post-Second-World-War immigration history of Wulkan and a general history of the Wulkan family in Europe.