Fonds consists of 1 coat hanger, one newspaper clipping, a greeting card, and two advertisments for Chateau Furs Limited.
1924 - 1990
M. Caplan Furs was established in 1919 by Meyer Caplan (b. unknown - d. August 5, 1968). The store was located at 178 Sparks Street and later moved to Bank Street. His son, John (b. unknown - d. March 26, 2000) entered the business in 1946 after earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University.
The store closed in 1990 due to decreases busineess as a result of what John Caplan described as the "pressure placed on the industry by the environmental lobby”. Five sales staff and five trades workers from the store’s small factory were put out of work. Pat Flesher Furs picked up the after-sales services, storage, and insurance services of Caplan furs.
Fonds consists of 1 box of files; B&W and colour photographs and artifacts including:
File - Minutes 1952 - 1969
File - Legal Documents including incorporation papers dated 1925
File - Financial Statements 1961 - 1963
File - Shares (Various Documents)
File - Chevron Construction
File - Addition to 182 Montcalm Street, Hull.
File - Correspondence 1969 - 1996
File - Newspaper Clippings
File - Memorabilia
File - Product Photographs
File - Family History information
Envelope - Notesbooks
Account Journal 1949 - 1953
File - Artist Michael Chartier
File - Sample of Rachel Catalogues
Artifact - Tray # 1 - Pearl Quality Samples
Artifact - Two stamps
1940 - 2008
Nathan Evenchick was born in 1892 in Minsk, Russia. As a child he attended cheder close to the family’s goose farm in Volma. In 1905, when he was 13 years old, he was sent to live with his aunt, Nechama Evenchick Bakstansky, in New York. Travelling steerage class he used his older brother Meyer’s papers to enter the United States at Ellis Island. From that point on, ‘Nathan’ was known as ‘Meyer.’
Evenchick cleaned bottles for his aunt, who prepared meals for garment factory workers. Later, he got a job driving a streetcar. He spoke only Yiddish and Russian when he arrived in New York, however, within a few years he had learned enough English to pass the entrance exams for university.
Unable to afford tuition, Evenchick decided to travel to Japan with his first cousin Samuel Dorsky in 1914. They established a business selling pearls, jade, fine china and other Oriental products. Evenchick lived in Japan for eight years and then moved to Ottawa where he married Lillian Sugarman from Vilna, Lithuania. They had a daughter, Shirley Fay Lacome (b. 1923 - d. unknown), and then a son, Avrom "Abbey" (b. 1924- d. 2008).
Evenchick started a wholesale business importing mostly artificial pearls from Japan, which he sold to various department stores. M. Evenchick Jewelry Ltd. was established in 1922. The company imported cultured pearls and is purported to be the first company in Canada to do so.
When trade supplies were cut off in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War, his company was the first to produce simulated pearls using finely ground scales of red herring. Evenchick returned to New York to learn how to coat glass beads with pearl coating made from scales and began manufacturing them in a small, cinder block warehouse in the backyard of 232 Chapel Street.
Evenchick designed special dipping and drying machinery, experimented with a variety of dipping mixtures, developed his own dyes and worked out many technical difficulties in order to develop a consistently good product. For instance, the pearls would ‘blush’ and lose their lustre when the dip became cloudy due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. At first, his output was small because of the amount of time spent in research and development, but, eventually, the problems were solved and production increased.
In 1941, Evenchick purchased a large house on Albert Street, where he employed 35 women to string the artificial pearls at a quota of 75 strings per day, producing between 700 and 1,000 strings of Evco Pearls per day, plus earrings and bracelets. By 1946, he had tripled his production and supplied 75 per cent of the manufactured pearl export trade to the United States, the United Kingdom, the British West Indies, Peru and Brazil. Evco Pearls were manufactured according to a closely guarded formula developed by Evenchick, which he shared only with his son, Abbey. The Moonglow pearl that first appeared on the market in the fall of 1946 took a full year to develop.
In 1950, Abbey Evenchick’s brother-in-law, Bernard Lacome, entered the business after going to the United States to learn how to cast metal for costume jewelry fabrication. The business expanded again in 1958, when M. Evenchick Ltd. moved to 180 Montcalm Street in Hull, Quebec. In 1969, Abbey Evenchick took over the family firm on the death of his father and under Abbey's direction the company produced a full line of costume jewelry that ranged in price from one dollar to $1,500 with exports to the West Indies, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
In 1982, Abbey’s sons, Mark and Brian Evenchick, took over the company, bringing further innovation to the marketplace. They worked with ARC Industries to produce a line of maple leaf pins using copper from the roof of the Parliament buildings when the roof was replaced in 1996. They also started using aboriginal artist Mike Chartier’s unique designs carved first in moose antler then reproduced in pewter and sterling silver. Over time, their Rachel line of costume jewelry expanded to include thousands of broaches, pins, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, which were sold to major Canadian chains including Eaton’s, The Bay and Birks. M. Evenchick Jewelry Inc. offered a full range of services, including in-house design, model-making, casting and plating before the business closed in 2008.
Donated by Mark and Brian Evenchick.
Family History information provided by Sharon Edelson 2009.
8.00 metres of textual records + ca. 125 audio cassettes + ca. 1300 photographs + other material
Shulamis Yelin was born in Montreal on April 12, 1913 to Aaron and Vichna (Dobkin) Bordodensky. Educated at Jewish Peretz Scholl, 1925-1928, Baron Byng High School, 1927-1930, MacDonald College School for Teachers, 1939-1940, Sir George Williams University, B.A., 1954-1957, and Universite de Montreal, M.A. (Cum Laude) 1961. Married Ezra Yelin, 1941. Had one daughter, Gilah. During her 35 years of teaching, she taught every grade from nursery to university, the latter at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Much of her teaching was done with gifted children. In 1968, she was named Master Teacher by the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. She contributed essays, reviews, poems, short stories and literary cirticisms to periodicals such as the Reconstructionist, Zynergy, Viewpoints, Canadian Author and Bookman, Jewish Digest, Montreal Times, Crossroads and Jewish Dialogue. Her published books include; Creative Camping in Jewish Life, 1954; The Jew In Canada 1760-1960; Seeded in Sinai, 1975; Shulamis: Stories From a Montreal Childhood, 1983; Au Soleil de Ma Nuit, 1985; Many Mirrors May Faces, 1986; Une Enfance Juive A Montreal, 1998; Where All Her Wars Are Marked, 2002. Her awards included The Bronfman Graduate Fellowship, 1957; LA Med Literary Prize, 1962; Certificate of Honour from Le Ministre Des Affaires Culturelles du Quebec, 1972; Canadian Confederation Medal, 1993. She served as Vice-President of the Canadian Authors Association, Cultural Chair for the Pioneer Women - Na'amat Organization and Judge of the J.I. Segal Literary Award. She died in Montreal on June 24, 2002.
English, French, and Yiddish
Donated directly by Shulamis Yelin
Arranged by series according to material in fonds.
The fonds consists of newspaper clippings and typescripts written or collected by Sam Maltin over the course of his journalism career, with a special focus on the situation of black athletes in professional sports, including Jackie Robinson. It also includes professional correspondence (incoming), …
The fonds consists of newspaper clippings and typescripts written or collected by Sam Maltin over the course of his journalism career, with a special focus on the situation of black athletes in professional sports, including Jackie Robinson. It also includes professional correspondence (incoming), letters received from Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel (1948-1949), as well as black and white photographs and negatives from both his professional and personal life.
Photographs and negatives, found among the textual material were placed into acid-free envelopes.
Sam Maltin was a Montreal-based sports journalist and bridge columnist. Over the course of his career, which spanned approximately two decades, he worked for several newspapers including the Montreal Herald, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Star, the Toronto Tribune, and the Pittsburgh Courier. In addition to writing, Sam worked as a theatre actor as a member of the New Theatre Group of Montreal between 1936 and 1942.
Sam became an insurance salesman in the late-1950's, but continued to write articles into the 1960's. Other positions he held include President of the Northmount Home and School Association (ca. 1959), Chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee of the Quebec Federation of Protestant Home and School Associations (ca. 1961), Zone Two Director of the Canadian Bridge Federation (1970-1974), and editor of the Bridge Digest (1971-1973).
Throughout his life, Sam Maltin was actively involved in issues concerning the Black community of Montreal, as well as the segregation of black athletes in professional sports. Most notably, he and his wife Belle became close friends with Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel ("Rae") during Jackie's stay in Montreal as a player in the Montreal Royals during the 1946 season.
The material was donated to the JPL by Sam Maltin's wife, Belle, around 1989.
The fonds was received "unsorted" and had been organized by JPL-A staff sometime following its arrival. As there was no discernable original order, and a large portion of related material had been artifically split among several folders, the fonds was rearranged by McGill practicum student Gina Gönczi on March 22, 2010.
The Fonds contains material reflecting Lea Roback's activity in politics, union organization and activism in addition to personal records that document her relationship with family. Records from her political and activist work include radio addresses, correspondence, fliers, reports, and periodical…
The Fonds contains material reflecting Lea Roback's activity in politics, union organization and activism in addition to personal records that document her relationship with family. Records from her political and activist work include radio addresses, correspondence, fliers, reports, and periodicals. Personal records include correspondence wit her family members, the narrative of the Roback family written in prose, and various pieces of memorabilia belonging to Roback. The majority of the photographs in the collection are of Lea and her family from their time in Montreal, Beauport (QC) as well as Lea's travels in Europe. The series included within the Lea Roback Fonds are the following:
Series 1 -- Professional activity
Series 2 -- Biographical and personal material
Series 3 -- Correspondence
Series 4 -- Bibliographic reference publications
Series 5 -- Videos
Series 6 -- Photographs
Series 7 -- Graphic material
1901-1998 ; predominant 1930-1998
Activist and organizer, Lea Roback was born on November 3rd, 1903 in Montreal. She was the second of nine children of Fanny (1885-1973) and Moses (1870-1935) Roback, both of whom immigrated from Poland. She spent her childhood in Beauport, Quebec where her parents ran a general store.
The Robacks spoke Yiddish at home; outside it was French or English. Léa was able to switch freely between languages, a skill that became useful in work with labour organizations. When Léa was fourteen the family returned to Montreal where, two years later, she began working in the city's factories. It was at this point that she became accutely aware of the inequality between Montreal's affluent English-speaking families and the mostly French and Jewish working class.
In the mid-1920s, Léa spent a two years at the University of Grenoble in France, supporting herself by privately teaching English to students. In 1928, Léa joined her older brother Harry in Berlin where he was studying medicine. She enrolled at the University of Berlin studying Sociology and German. Léa became involved with leftwing student groups and eventually joined the Communist Party.
In 1932 Lea returned to Montreal, finding work as a youth group director at the Young Women’s Hebrew Association, where her mentor was Saidye Bronfman, wife of Sam Bronfman. In 1935 she managed the Modern Bookshop on Bleury Street, the first Marxist bookstore in Quebec, which became a gathering place for local radicals. That same year Lea coordinated Fred Rose's bid for election. Eight years following this campaign, Rose became the first communist elected to the House of Commons.
In 1936 she was recruited by Thérèse Casgrain, legendary women’s suffrage leader, to assist in her work to obtain the vote for women in Quebec. Léa also became involved with the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) during their attempts to improve conditions in the garment industry. In 1937, Léa was a leader – along with organizers such as Rose Pesotta and Bernard Shane – in organizing over 5,000 women who walked off the job from the garment industry factories of Montreal.
During the war years, Lea began working for the Radio Corporation of America (R.C.A.) and became an organizer for the United Electrical Workers, where she was a business agent for the 3,000 R.C.A. workers in Montreal.
Lea was an active advocate for social justice and human rights for the majority of her life. She was affliated with numerous organizations in Montreal including the Québec Aid to the Partially Sighted, the Voice of Women, as well as anti-nuclear and anti-war groups. Lea was a continual presence within the ranks passing out leaflets, demonstrationing, providing support and lending her respected voice to so many causes.
This material was donated to the Jewish Public Library Archives by Lea Roback in 1998. The material of the Fonds was in the possession of Ms. Roback until the date of the transfer.
The arrangement of the Lea Roback fonds maintained the order in which it was donated to the archives with the exception of Series 3. In the correspondence series, letters were grouped by sender and when without date or an identifiable author, were grouped together. In 2015, as a result of entering unprocessed material into the database, the intellectual arrangement of this fonds was also updated. To consult the original finding aid please contact the JPL-A directly.
In addition to textual and photographic material, the Lea Roback Fonds contains sound recordings (10 audio cassettes) and graphic material (2 prints, 7 posters)
Some privacy restrictions apply to material within the Léa Roback Fonds. Please contact the JPL-A directly for further information.
Some Copyright restrictions may apply
Detailed finding aid available; file level control.
10cm of textual records; 1 audiocassette; 2 artifacts
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 8 files of textual materials, in addition to one audiocassette and two pieces of clothing making up a uniform. The textual materials primarily concern the Jewish Defense League in the United States and Canada, and the role of Yakov Gafni within the organization. The audiocasse…
10cm of textual records; 1 audiocassette; 2 artifacts
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 8 files of textual materials, in addition to one audiocassette and two pieces of clothing making up a uniform. The textual materials primarily concern the Jewish Defense League in the United States and Canada, and the role of Yakov Gafni within the organization. The audiocassette and uniform are stored with the textual records. The audiocassette contains in interview with Yacov Gafni conducted in March, 2000.
Audiocassette, beret and uniform shirt stored with textual records. Beret and shirt encapsulated in tyvek.
Fonds consists of articles and writings, including lecture notes, by Martin Cohen as well as literary translations of mainly poetry but also one play.
Martin Cohen was born in 1947 in Montreal, Quebec. He graduated from McGill University in 1968 with a degree in English Literature and then went on to Exeter University to earn his Ph.D. in English Literature in 1972. His thesis was entitled, "The Deluded Heros in the Novels of Evelyn Waugh: A Study of His Functions". While in Britain, Cohen also compiled and published a collection of poetry by Victorian poet Digby Mackworth Dolben. Upon his return to Montreal, Cohen returned to McGill University to earn a Master's in Library Studies in 1975.
In 1975, Cohen began his long career in libraries at Concordia University working in various departments there until 1990 when he began working at McGill University. He was also a lecturer and taught the Collections Development course at McGill's then-Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Cohen was forced to retire from library work due to ill health in 2005. Cohen also published articles on various topics of librarianship.
In addition to his work in libraries, Cohen was a proficient translator of poetry and also wrote himself. He spoke English, French, German, Spanish and Italian and also read Latin, Yiddish, Catalan, Portuguese, Dutch, Galician, Romansh, Swedish, Danish and Romanian.
Martin Cohen passed away in 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.
Series 1 includes textual records and photographs, which are arranged following the principle of original order. Files also include scholarly works, handwritten and typed notes and drafts, newspaper clippings, promotional material, and professional correspondence regarding the works written, transl…
Series 1 includes textual records and photographs, which are arranged following the principle of original order. Files also include scholarly works, handwritten and typed notes and drafts, newspaper clippings, promotional material, and professional correspondence regarding the works written, translated, and produced by Aviva Ravel. Series 2 includes textual records of professional correspondence , which detail Avival Ravel's large body of work. The files are arranged following the original order. Files also include newspaper clippings, and promotional material. Series 3 includes textual records of notebooks in Yiddish.
Author of more than 25 plays, numerous short stories, and works of non-fiction, Dr. Aviva Ravel's works concentrates heavily on Jewish life throughout the world and, more specifically, in Montreal. Her works have been featured on the CBC, Kol Isreal, and at the Saidye Bronfman Centre. Two of her plays were also adapted into film.
Born in Montreal, Dr. Ravel holds a Ph.D in Canadian Theatre from McGill University, an M.A from the Université de Montréal, and a B.A from Concordia University. She taught English, drama, and Canadian literature at all three of these universities, including the Royal Military College. Dr. Ravel's work as an educator was not reserved only to college and university; she also taught regularly as an elementary teacher in Montreal as well as on a kibbutz in Israel.
Since 1984 Aviva Ravel has been Artistic Director of Cameo Productions. She is also founder and director of the popular Performance Playreading Ensemble of the Cote St. Luc Library that has presented over 150 plays, both classical and modern, in the theatre auditorium.
Dr. Ravel is the recipient of many awards including the Women Write for Theatre Award, J.I. Segal Award, Women's Press Club Award for Humour, Québec Drama Festival Award, Women's Federation Honoree for Contribution to Montreal Theatre, and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Québec Award. Recently, she was honoured by the Association for Canadian Theatre Research.
Contains copyright material. Consult JPL Archives for more information.
Born in Montreal, ca1921, Dan Daniels began writing at thirteen and became a social activist at seventeen. Daniels also developed a career as a storyteller beginning in 1972.
In 1938 Daniels joined the Communist party and remained an active member until 1955. Under the party Daniels worked as a trade union organizer with warehouse workers, in the textile industry, aircraft industry, glass workers and with seamen. Daniels worked on Canadian merchant ships and was later an organizer for the group. According to his biography in "Paranoia and Dirty Feet", published by White Dwarf Editions in 1995, during his work with the merchant seamen he was, "thrown off one freighter after being accused of mutiny (of which he admits he was technically guilty: he refused to obey an officer's order) and was arrested eleven times during the seamen's strikes of 1946, 1948, and 1949.
Daniels left the Communist Party in 1955, at which point many Canadian members also did, because he felt the Soviet regime was oppressive and no longer serving the working class. When the Canadian Labour Party did not split from Soviet influence, Daniels left the party.
In addition to his trade union work, Daniels was instrumental in numerous other organizations and social movements, including: Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Montreal (which helped to found), resistance efforts against the Vietnam war, the non-Communist peace movement, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He was also one of the leaders of Operation St-Jean-Baptiste, a group devoted to removing the nuclear missiles held in La Macaza, Quebec.
Daniels had stories, essays and articles published in periodicals and journals in Canada, the United States, England, Australia and Mexico. He had plays produced for the stage in Canada and the United States and had works broadcast on radio and television. Daniels created his persona, "Dan the Storyman" to bring storytelling to elementary school classrooms in primary schools for both the Protestant and Catholic schools boards of Montreal. He was a founding member of both the Playwrights' Workshop of Montreal and the Playwrights Circle of Montreal. Daniels wrote three novels; one written at thirteen, which was destroyed by the author, a second novel was confiscated by the Quebec Provincial Police during the Padlock Law days and a third entitled, "Waiting to be Buried". None of the novels were published.
During the 1960s, Daniels worked as an educator in Tanguay women's prison under the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. He also received a master's degree in Environmental Studies from York University and later taught at College Marie-Victorin.
Fonds consists of:
Military and family photographs;
Nathan Levitin was born in 1917, the youngest son of Meyer and Bryna Levitin, and grew up in the Lowertown area of Ottawa on McGee Street. The family had a grocery store on the corner.
He was a member of the A.Z.A. fraternity (Aleph Zadik Aleph) who enlisted in the air force on July 1, 1940. Eventually he became a navigator, and later a Squadron Leader, and was assigned patrol duty over the Atlantic Coast. Nathan Levitin received the Distinguished Flying Cross for exemplary service on May 23, 1945. His citation reads as follows:
"Now on his second tour of operational duty, this officer’s work has always been of the highest standard and he has navigated his aircraft through many long and arduous sorties. In February 1945, he paricipated in a series of special sorties which called for great navigational ability. Throughout his operational career, Flight Lieutenant Levitin has displayed outstanding enthusiasm and devotion to duty."
Nat Levitin married Miriam Feinstein in Montreal in 1948. When the war was over, Nat stayed in service and was connected to the British War Ministry. Nat and Miriam had two children, Dr. Bryna Pearl and Sandy Cole.
Nat worked with Senator Jack Marshall to form a Jewish War Veteran's Association in Ottawa. He served as its first president.
Nathan Levitin died on October 19, 1995 in Ottawa.
1. Description of Nathan's military service: http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/LevitinN.htm