Fonds MG 20 volumes 558, 561-565, 1600-1620, 3020; Graphic: 1992-329, 31-2-1, Accession 2008-045. - Jewish Historical Society (Halifax) fonds

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Jewish Historical Society (Halifax) fonds

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NSHP MG 20 volumes 558, 561-565, 1600-1620, 3020; Graphic: 1992-329, 31-2-1, Accession 2008-045.

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3.7 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

The first meeting to organize a Jewish Historical Society in Halifax took place on 2 September 1964 at the request of Noa Heinish, national vice president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The purpose of the society was to research and record material relating to the history of the Jewish community in Halifax and other areas of the Maritimes. The formation of the society was prompted by the re-activation of the historical society of the Canadian Jewish Congress and its request to Jewish communities across Canada to participate in its program. The early activities of the Halifax society included conducting surveys and oral histories of Jewish citizens, and engaging in research at local archives. The society was formally organized on 18 April 1972 and incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act on 9 May 1973. The main function of the society remained to "discover and collect any material which may help to establish or illustrate" the history of the Jews in Atlantic Canada. However, its mandate was broadened to provide for the preservation of archival material, artifacts, monuments, and historic buildings, and to disseminate information and promote public awareness of Jewish heritage through publications, meetings, addresses, lectures, and papers. The society disbanded in 1976 and was re-established when the Canadian Jewish Historical Society met in Halifax in June 1981.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records of the Jewish Historical Society of Halifax, including correspondence, reports, surveys, questionnaires, minutes, and financial records. Also contains research and reference material compiled by society members, including newspaper clippings, journal articles and other published material; court and marriage records; bibliographies; historical and geneological notes on Jewish communities and individuals in Atlantic Canada; community lists; photographs used to illustrate a written history about the society with images of N. Heinish Co. Ltd. store on Gottingen Street, the Heinish's house and local synagogues; recordings of oral history interviews; and cemetery plot plans. Fonds also includes a large portion of correspondence, financial records, and other material created and accumulated by Jewish community leader and former society president Noa Heinish, documenting his community activities over a forty year period in relation to the Second World War and the war effort, Jewish refugees and immigration, United Jewish Appeal fundraising campaign, and Camp Kadimah. Organizations represented in the fonds include the Halifax Hebrew Community Council, Canadian Jewish Historical Society, Canadian Jewish Congress, and Zionist Men's Organization.

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Donated by the society through its officers, president Martin E. Herschorn in 1984 and secretary Sara Yablon in 1989. A further accrual was received from Roseann Rosenthal in 2002.


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Some correspondence and other items in German, Hebrew, and Polish.

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File list available.

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Records relating to the Jewish community of Atlantic Canada are also found in the Sheva Medjuck fonds (oral history interviews, Ac 816-845).

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General note

Film and sound recordings stored in MG 20 volume 3020.

Physical description

Includes 228 photographs (215 b&w prints, 12 b&w negs, 1 col. print), 8 audio cassettes, 6 maps, 2 postcards, 1 audio reel, 1 film reel (16 mm, col.)

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