2024 Acquisition Highlights

March 2024

Cover of Nazi propaganda booklet for workersAs part of its work, the Toronto Holocaust Museum (THM) showcases artifacts that have the potential to educate visitors about one of history's darkest episodes. Since it is not a collecting institution, the museum relies upon its sister department, the Ontario Jewish Archives (OJA), to acquire artifacts on its behalf.

In March, an individual contacted the THM to offer several pieces of Nazi propaganda, including a propaganda booklet from 1935 titled "Adolf Hitler" and two booklets, one for workers and one for army members. Having clarified the custodial history of the items—an important step for establishing their authenticity—an OJA archivist reached out to the donor to acquire the items.

While the OJA's main work continues to be the documentation of Ontario's Jewish communities, we are pleased to be able to assist our friends at the THM in doing their work to advance Holocaust education. If you have artifacts that may be of interest to the THM, please fill out this online form, and an archivist from the OJA will be in touch.

February 2024

In February, the OJA was delighted to receives a portfolio of lithographs created and signed by Toronto artist Aba Bayevsky. Titled Tales from the Talmud, the portfolio includes eighteen lithographs depicting various scenes from the Talmud. In addition to the stories and illustrations, the work also features a foreward by Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut. Translations of the stories were provided by David E. Newman, making the portfolio for individuals who may not be able to read the stories in their original language.

 Illustration from Tales of the Talmud

Shown above is one of Bayefsky's lithographs. On the opposite page, there is a translation of the tractate Baba Bathra 74b by Newman: 

he said to me:
"come I will show you
where heaven and earth meet!"
when our destination we reached,
I placed my food basket in
an alcove in the sky,
my prayers I recited,
sought my food, but
it had vanished.
"are there thieves about?"
I asked
"this is the wheel of heaven
ever turning."
my companion replied.
"wait, the morrow your pannier
will store."

January 2024

Print publication featuring a photograph of a young David SadowskiIn 2023, David Sadowski retired from UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, where he oversaw UJA properties in and around Toronto. Before that, he served as director of youth services for the Canadian Jewish Congress in 1972 and associate director of community relations for the Joint Community Relations Committee circa 1974. And despite officially retiring, David continues to be a regular and welcome presence on UJA premises.

In January 2024, David donated some 40 cm of records documenting both his family and his career. As many as half of the records document his work on behalf of Soviet Jewry with groups such as the Student Council for Soviet Jews at York University. Among these records are newspapers related to Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin's visit to Canada in 1971, in the course of which Kosygin met with then prime minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau.

Shown here is a print publication featuring a photograph of David Sadowski sans signature red baseball cap. The text notes that Sadowski was "involved in the Freedom Caravan for Soviet Jews program last summer."