Interview by E. Harris. S. Cytrynbaum (excerpted) and A. Rose describe the project undertaken by Canadian Jewish Congress to aid in the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Canada. Portions of the recording have some confidentiality restrictions. Digitized as WAV and WMA Feb 2015, SDVD 046.
1. Undertaken as a Millennium joint project between the UJA (Va'ad Ha'ir), the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society and the Carleton University Jewish Studies Program. See Ottawa Jewish Bulletin July 24, 2000.
Breif summary includes Wolf and Julia Abelson (Rosenblum of Toronto) arrived in Ottawa in 1900. Both were born in Lithuania. Wolf lived in Syracuse, New York and Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Ottawa. Moses Bilsky encouraged Wolfe Abelson to move to Ottawa where he established the Rideau House Fu…
Breif summary includes Wolf and Julia Abelson (Rosenblum of Toronto) arrived in Ottawa in 1900. Both were born in Lithuania. Wolf lived in Syracuse, New York and Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Ottawa. Moses Bilsky encouraged Wolfe Abelson to move to Ottawa where he established the Rideau House Furnishing Company at 180 Rideau Street. Wolfe and Julia's family included sons Jess, Nathan and Sidney and four daughters, Birdie, Helen, Sarah (Sally) and Ada. The Abelsons were members of the Adath Jeshurun Congregation and Wolf Abelson served as congregation vice-president to A. J. Freiman's tenure as president, (1904-1930).
Jess Abelson (1892-1975), born in Cleveland, Ohio, was an outstanding sportsman. He played football in 1913 - 1914 for the Ottawa Rough Riders and also basketball for the Y.M.C.A.. He was also a member of the 1913 Canadian Champion War Canoe Team. In 1920, he became the first scoutmaster of the 39th Jewish Boy Scout Troop. It was one of the first Jewish scout troops in Canada. While working for Davidson's Furs on Rideau Street, Jess was sent on a buying trip to New York. There he met Miss Mollie Gray whom he married in 1920. Their family included Sylvia (Susan), Duke, Stan, Alan and Bobby. He became a top salesman with the Northern Life Assurance Company. In later years he was active in curling and was the founder of the Tel Aviv Tennis Club. Jess Abelson was the first member inducted into the Ottawa Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1986." His influence on Ottawa and on the Ottawa Jewish community extended well beyond sports, but as a sports personality he was a paragon of excellence for young Jewish athletes". He also owned a clothing store first on BAnk then on Sparks Street in the early 1920s.
All of Jess Abelsons sons excelled in sports. Tragically, Flying Officer Duke Abelson died in a training flight in England November 15, 1943 while serving in World War II. Duke went overseas in the fall of 1942 and was attached to the R.C.A.F. Mosquito Squadron. Alan became a lawyer in Ottawa.