The collection consists of several classes of material, as described in the series descriptions below. While the CJC materials begin in 1919, Series Z, the documentation collection, contains material that precedes this date, a few items going back even as far as the earliest settlement of Jews in C…
The collection consists of several classes of material, as described in the series descriptions below. While the CJC materials begin in 1919, Series Z, the documentation collection, contains material that precedes this date, a few items going back even as far as the earliest settlement of Jews in Canada in the late 18th century.
Canadian Jewish Congress was founded in Montreal in March 1919. "The Parliament of Canadian Jewry," CJC was constituted as the democratically elected, national organizational voice of the Jewish community of Canada, serving as the community's vehicle for defence and representation. Committed to preserving and strengthening Jewish life, CJC acted on matters affecting the status, rights and welfare of the Canadian Jewish community, other Diaspora communities and the Jewish people in Israel. CJC combatted antisemitism and racism, promoted human rights, fostered interfaith, cross-cultural relations and worked towards tolerance, understanding and goodwill among all segments of society in a multicultural Canada. The organization spoke on a broad range of public policy, humanitarian and social-justice issues on the national agenda that affected the Jewish community and Canadian society at large. Through its charitable operations, CJC provided domestic and international relief aid on a non-sectarian basis, following natural disasters and to isolated Jewish communities in need. The Archives department also fell under the mandate of CJC Charities Committee. In 1999 the CJC national office relocated to Ottawa, with three regional CJC offices (Quebec, Ontario and Pacific), as well as affiliated offices across the country. CJC ceased operations in July 2011, when it was absorbed into the newly-created Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), along with the Canada-Israel Committee, the Quebec-Israel Committee, National Jewish Campus Life and the University Outreach Committee. CJC and its charitable wing were formally disbanded in late 2015. Since that time the CJCCC National Archives, renamed the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives as of January 2016, functions under the aegis of Jewish Federations Canada UIA.
Both the national headquarters and the Quebec Jewish Congress (formerly Quebec Region, Eastern Region) offices of the Canadian Jewish Congress were located in Montreal until 1999, when most of the national office relocated to Ottawa. The National Archives is the repository of records created and received in these offices. The collection also includes materials from the National Office in Ottawa, as well as the national records of Manuel Prutschi, Bernie Farber, and other national departments based in Toronto and Vancouver. The regional offices of Canadian Jewish Congress outside Quebec are little represented in the collection, aside from correspondence from across the country and certain publications which were addressed to the national office.
General note: The number of paper records in this collection is subject to change, due to additions to Documentation Series Z as well as the ongoing weeding of duplications. Most of the material was created after 1919, with the exception of Series Z, which includes photocopies and a small number of originals dating back as far as 1765.
Flying Officer Elmer Aaron was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the RCAF in Montreal in March 1942 and received his commission as a flying officer in October 1943 (in England). Flying Officer Aaron had completed 14 missions and had been forced to bail out of his ships twice before his last flight. He was participating in a raid on Tours in France and was about fifteen miles from his objective when his squadron was caught in a concentration of anti-aircraft fire. Four planes were seen to burst into flames, and it was later announced that nine craft of this squadron had failed to return. (Canadian Jews in World War II)
Private Charles Abelson of Montreal, Quebec, was presumed to have died on October 14, 1942, according to an official announcement. He was aboard the S.S. Caribou, which was torpedoed and sank in Cabot Strait. He happened to be aboard the ill-fated ship because he had overstayed his leave and missed the transport on which he had been scheduled to sail. Private Abelson joined the army in Montreal on May 6, 1940.
Flying Officer Lawrence Abelson of Ottawa, Ontario, was killed during a training flight (R.C.A.F. Casualty List No. A-730). He was awarded his Operation Wing posthumously. Flying Officer “Duke” Abelson enlisted in the Air Force on November 6, 1940, and trained at Victoriaville, Quebec, and Regina, Saskatchewan, before graduating as Observer from Mossbank, Saskatchewan, where he was awarded a gold R.C.A.F. disc for leading his class. He was stationed at Rivers, Manitoba, when he was commissioned. After serving as an instructor at Chatham, New Brunswick, and Mountain View, Ontario, Flying Officer Abelson proceeded overseas in the fall of 1942. Before being attached to the No. 418 R.C.A.F. (City of Edmonton) Mosquito Squadron, he took a wireless course in England. Honours and awards: Defence Medal; CVSM & Clasp; War Medal 1939-45; Aircrew Europe Star. (From “There I Was ... A Collection of Reminiscences by Members of the Ottawa Jewish Community Who Served in World War II,” published by the Ottawa Post Jewish War Veterans and the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society.)
Lieutenant Eric Abendana of Port Antonio, Jamaica, was appointed to the Canadian Engineers in 1916 and went overseas with the 4th Divisional Engineers the following June. In England he was seconded for duty under the War Office in charge of the construction of aerodromes. On rejoining the Engineers, 14th Field Company, he went to France in the spring of 1918 and was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, C.E., in July. Three months later he died of pleurisy at No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station. (Source: Veterans Affairs Canada web site)
Pilot Officer Hyman Abrams, R.C.A.F., of Montreal, was killed in a flying accident overseas on August 3, 1941, according to an official report. He had been in England only six weeks when he met his death. He enlisted in the R.C.A.F. in July 1940 and was given a commission as observer after graduating from Rivers, Manitoba, in May 1941. He went overseas the following month, one of the first members of the R.C.A.F. to cross the Atlantic aboard a bomber. A brother, William Abrams, was the first executive secretary of the War Efforts Committee of Canadian Jewish Congress.