Fonds consists of Thelma Steinman’s autobiography entitled, Thema Steinman: A Jewish Odyssey, 2002, 159 pages; immigration papers (photocopies); education certificates; volunteer awards;Thelma Rivers and Nathan Steinman's marriage certificate, January, 1937.
Thelma Steinman was born Tanya River (b. May 1, 1912 - d. November 7, 2004) in Mankiefka, a small Russian Ukrainian town. Her family fled the Cossacks for a safer life and arrived in Ottawa in1921. At this time her first name Tanya was changed to Thelma and her surname River was changed to Rivers.
As a youngster, Thelma helped in her parents’ store in the By Ward Market and became the official bookkeeper upon completing her education at the Ottawa High School of Commerce in 1930. Thelma married Nathan (Nat) Steinman (d. August 30, 1988) on January 17, 1937 and worked with her husband in their small grocery store, Economy Dairy, 48 By Ward market, for thirty-eight years. They had three daughters; Elaine (m. Dan Shapiro, 1961), Gail and Adele.
Upon retirement, Thelma became a consummate volunteer within the Ottawa Jewish community and in 1998 she received the Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the Jewish Community Council of Ottawa.
Thelma Steinman; Gail Victor.
1. A Jewish Odyssey donated by Thelma Steinman, August 2002.
2. Other material and photographs donated and identified by her daughter, Gail Victor, November 2007.
The Economy Dairy was located at 48 By Ward Market. Thelma Steinman worked at the shop, mostly on weekends, filling cookie bins, restocking shelves etc. The pay was low and she used to bring her lunch on the street cars.