First half of an 89 minute long interview, on 2 cassettes. In a 5 minute series of clips from this portion, Professor of Theology Gregory Baum speaks of his early history and his internment experience upon arriving in Canada in 1939.
Interview by Leslie Lutsky. Digitized as WAV and WMA, Oct. 2016. In this short interview (5 min. 47 seconds), Evelyn Brook discusses the plight of Agunot (women whose husbands refuse to grant a Jewish divorce), and her organization's work helping these women obtain their Get certificates.
Interview by Leslie Lutsky. In a 5 minute excerpt from this 19 minute interview, Bryna Wasserman discusses the challenges of presenting Pirates of Penzance in Yiddish. The complete interview is available in digital format on request.
Isak Cieply was born on February 1, 1924 in Starachowice, Poland. He had five siblings and the family was very poor. In the fall of 1939, soon after the German invasion, the Jews of Starachowice were ordered to move into the ghetto. Isak was selected to work in a steel factory and his work pass protected him from round-ups. At the beginning of 1943 he was sent to the Bugaj camp to work in a supplies warehouse. In the summer of 1944 the camp was liquidated after rumours of the approach of the Soviet army had spread. The prisoners were taken to Auschwitz. Isak was sent to work in an electric supplies warehouse in Buna/Auschwitz III. There he met a German soldier who proposed a deal that Isak accepted. Isak was to supply this soldier with electric materials and, in return, he would get a loaf of bread every day. In January 1945 Isak was sent on a death march to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. Sometime later he was sent on another death march but succeeded to escape with some fellow prisoners. They eventually met American soldiers. After liberation Isak worked as the chief supplier of the Pfarrkirchen and Eggenfelden DP camps. He immigrated to Canada in 1948 and married the late Regina Cieply who was also a survivor. They had four children and several grandchildren, among them Jamie Benizri.
Interview by Leslie Lutsky, digitized February 17, 2020. In this 16 minute interview, David Fraser talks about the Jewish school question, difficulties faced by Jewish students and the discrimination from the Protestant School Board. A 7 minute excerpt is available for viewing on YouTube.
Elie Dawang was born on January 4, 1934 in Paris, France, to Lithuanian parents. Elie has good memories of his early childhood, being raised by loving and well-off parents. In May 1940, the Dawangs left Paris for a small village near the Spanish border. Despite the great danger, they went back to Paris to liquidate the business of Feivish, Elie’s father. The three of them were arrested in September 1941 and while Feivish managed to get Elie out of prison, he couldn’t do anything to save himself or his wife. They were both sentenced and sent to jail for possessing false papers. They both ended up in Auschwitz, but Elie’s mother was gassed upon arrival whereas Feivish survived the war. Meanwhile, Elie was being taken care of by a Jewish woman. Elie and his caretaker almost got arrested during the roundup of Vel d’Hiv but managed to hide. After a few months hiding in the suburbs of Paris, they moved to the country where they stayed until liberation. When Paris was liberated, they moved back there and Elie returned to school. He reunited with his father in May 1945. They moved to Canada in 1951 with Elie’s stepmother. Elie describes the process to immigrate, his first impressions of Montreal and Canada and his involvement in Holocaust education.
Video : VCR tape : English : duration: 16.88 seconds
Mrs. Millie Lande discusses the events of September 11th in relation to the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation. Mrs. Lande states, “We must have faith that we can go forward and we can still do and fulfill the dreams that all of us have for the synagogue.”
20 minute interview by Leslie Lutsky for Radio Centreville. In a six and a half minute excerpt, Wendy Eisen speaks about the activity of the Group of 35 and her 1995 book about the history of the Soviet Jewry movement in Canada. The complete interview is available in digital format (WAV and WMA).
Video : VCR tape : English : duration: 18.11 seconds
The Congregation offers elderly people a range of socializing activities. One woman explains them in the following way, “Sunday can be the loneliest day in the week, so we are able to get up, get dressed, put on your makeup and away we go.”
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.