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Authority record

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

  • Corporate body
  • 1923-

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is an accredited international organization headquartered in Washington, DC. It was founded at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1923 under the auspices of B’nai B’rith, the world’s oldest Jewish service organization. By the mid-1980’s, Hillel had grown too big for B’nai B’rith to support so the parent organization cut its financial obligations to Hillel by 50 percent. During the 1990’s, Hillel underwent a full separation from B’nai B’rith and the organization was renamed Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Today, Hillel is active at over 550 university and college campuses worldwide, making it one of the largest Jewish campus organizations in the world. Hillel supports Jewish campus communities by offering a home away from home for Jewish students. Hillel programming focuses on tzedakah(1) and tikkun olam(2) projects, Jewish learning, and Israel.

The Vancouver branch of the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation was founded in 1946. In that year, David Chertkow, President of Vancouver B’nai B’rith Lodge, lobbied for the establishment of a Vancouver Hillel at a B’nai B’rith convention in California. Rabbi Judah Cohn, Pacific Regional Director for B’nai B’rith, came to the University of British Columbia to meet with community leaders and Jewish students, who had established a Menorah Society(3) on campus. The Society altered its constitution to become a Hillel councillorship. An army hut on campus was purchased from UBC and the refurbished building was dedicated as Hillel House in November 1947. Bud Gurevich was Hillel Vancouver’s first student president and Rabbi David Kogen of Congregation Beth Israel was hired as its first counselor.

In 1952, Cohn announced that Hillel Vancouver would be upgraded from a councillorship to a full-fledged Hillel Foundation, and Kogen became its first Director. Subsequent directors have included Rabbi Bernard Goldberg (1956-1960), Dr. Moses Steinberg (1960-?), Rabbi John Sherwood (1967-1968), Rabbi Marvin Hier (?-?), Daniel Siegel (?-1987), Dr. Mordehai Wosk (1987-1990) and Zac Kaye (1990-1995). As the first full-time director, Daniel Siegel established formal links with the UBC Chaplains and Simon Fraser University. He also expanded Hillel Vancouver’s mandate to include young adults at other post-secondary schools in the Greater Vancouver region, as well as those in the workforce. Hillel Vancouver expanded operations to Simon Fraser University in 2005 and to the University of Victoria in 2006.

1 Hebrew word literally meaning justice or righteousness but commonly used to signify charity, though it is a different concept than charity because tzedakah is an obligation and charity is typically understood as a spontaneous act of goodwill and a marker of generosity.
2 Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world" (or "healing the world") which suggests humanity's shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world.
3 Organized informally in 1923-1924, the Menorah Society became an officially affiliated student club at the University of British Columbia in 1928. The mandate of the society was to stimulate an interest in Jewish culture and the problems of daily Jewish life. The society’s meetings were held in the homes of members and its activities included papers, musical numbers, debates, and banquets. On occasion, debates would be held with other organizations such as the Menorah Society of the University of Washington.

B'nai B'rith

  • Corporate body
  • 1843-

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (Sons of the Covenant) (IOBB) is an international fraternal organization which aims to unite Jews in service to their community and the world at large (1). The organization does not aim to support or draw its membership from any particular Jewish congregation (i.e. reform, conservative) or group of national origin (i.e. Russian Jews, German Jews). It was established in 1843 in New York by twelve German-Jewish immigrants, led by Henry Jones. The Preamble to the first B’nai B’rith Constitution is as follows:

B’nai B’rith has taken upon itself the mission of uniting Israelites in the work of promoting their highest interests and those of humanity; of developing and elevating the mental and moral character of the people of our faith; of inculcating the purest principles of philanthropy, honor and patriotism; of supporting science and art; alleviating the wants of the poor and needy; visiting and attending the sick; coming to the rescue of persecution; providing for, protecting an assisting the widow and orphan on the broadest principles of humanity (2).

Since its inception this statement of principles has guided the work of B’nai B’rith which takes as its motto Benevolence, Brotherly Love and Harmony.

The Constitution also set up a central power, the Supreme Lodge, responsible for issuing charters to new lodges, and enforcing the laws and ordinances of the Order. In the first twenty-five years of operations, several hundred lodges were established with membership in the thousands. Geographic districts were then set up to organize the work of lodges in the regions. District 4 included the U.S. states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and the province of British Columbia.

In 1895, as a result of a recommendation by the delegates at the Constitution Grand Lodge Convention, the District Grand Lodges were authorized to establish auxiliary groups for women, these women’s organizations to be known as ‘Daughters of Judah.’ Membership generally was drawn from the wives and daughters of the members of the men’s lodges. As the number of groups grew, Women’s Districts were organized following the same geographical divisions as the Men’s District Lodges, with the first Women’s District formally recognized in 1922. In 1938 the B’nai B’rith Convention delegates agreed to allow women representatives to attend the Supreme Lodge Convention. In 1940 the next step was taken when representatives of the then existing six Women’s Districts met in Washington D.C. to formally organize the Women’s Supreme Council as a coordinating body. In 1956 the Supreme Lodge officially created the National Organization of B’nai B’rith Women.

The men’s and women’s groups take on both separate and joint program work. These programs include work to preserve Jewish culture, encourage positive interfaith relations, defend human rights, combat discrimination, support scholarship, assist veterans, contribute to institutions that care for the sick, needy, orphaned, and aged, and raise funds for both the Jewish and general community.

A significant segment of B’nai B’rith program work focuses on Jewish youth services. One of these programs starting in 1923 has been the Hillel Foundation, named after an outstanding scholar and teacher in Jewish history. This organization serves the needs of Jewish college and university students. Each Foundation operates through a Hillel House building located on campus, from which a program divided into six main categories: cultural, religious, fellowship, community service, personal guidance, and inter-faith activities is run. The first Hillel House was located on the campus of University of Illinois.

Concurrent with the beginnings of the Hillel Foundation program, another program developed in Omaha Nebraska to give Jewish youth, in grades nine through twelve in particular, an understanding of Jewish history and Judaism and a sense of belonging in the community. The first chapter of Aleph Zadik Aleph, or AZA, was organized in 1924 and within months several more chapters were established in other U.S. cities in the mid- West.

On an informal basis, girls groups have also been organized since 1927 through sponsorship by B’nai B’rith Women’s chapters. In 1944 these groups were joined into a national B’nai B’rith Girls organization.

Alongside these two groups for teens, Young Men’s and Young Women’s groups were also organized to accommodate the more mature youth. Consequently, also in 1944, B’nai B’rith authorized the creation of a Youth Commission with jurisdiction over all four youth agencies. In 1949 the Young Men’s and Young Women’s group merged to form the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO)

The declared aims of these three youth groups; AZA, B’nai B’rith Girls, and the BBYO are as follows:

  1. To help their members feel at home in the Jewish community, identify themselves with the common aspirations of the Jewish People, and make contributions of distinctive Jewish values to the mosaic of their country’s culture,
  2. To afford their members group life experiences which give them an understanding of and loyalty to our democratic heritage.
  3. To offer supervised leisure-time activities in which youth make happy adjustments to real life situations by making friends, exploring and expressing individual interests and developing skills.
  4. To provide learning experiences whereby youth become ethical and altruistic in human relationships, devoted and competent in the fulfillment of family and community responsibilities (3).

B’nai B’rith in British Columbia

  1. Victoria Lodge #365
    Victoria Lodge #365 was instituted September 8, 1886. It was the first B’nai B’rith organization in B.C., and the third Lodge to be formed in all of Canada. In the first year of its operation, the Lodge had difficulty in recruiting members, collecting dues, and there was poor turnout at meetings. The last record of a regular meeting is in August of 1887. At this meeting a new panel of officers was installed. There is evidence (penciled notes upside down at the back of the minute book) of a Lodge meeting taking place more than four years later, on Feb. 7, 1892.

  2. Victoria Lodge #758
    Victoria Lodge #758 was instituted July 19, 1914. Last record of activities is an entry of minutes for Sept. 15, 1925.

  3. Vancouver Lions’ Gate Vancouver Lodge #668 (Samuel Lodge #668 ; Vancouver Lodge #668)
    Lodge #668 was inaugurated as Samuel Lodge on June 26, 1910, with 56 charter members, named in memory of the son of Solomon Weaver, a pioneer member of the Vancouver Jewish community. In appreciation of this honour, Mr. Weaver donated a substantial sum to help fund the startup of the Lodge. Samuel Schultz was the first president.

Samuel Lodge was the fifth B’nai B’rith Lodge to be formed in Canada. In June of 1924 it hosted the first District Convention to be held in Canada. The event was the 61st Annual IOBB District Grand Lodge Convention.

To provide athletic activities for Lodge members, the B’nai B’rith Athletic Association was organized in May 1925. The Association formed a bowling league which was later amalgamated with the Hebrew Athletic Club league. Particularly up to World War II, the annual B'nai B’rith picnic, held at various locations such as Grantham’s Landing, Howe Sound, were important community events.

In 1939 the Lodge officially changed its name from Samuel Lodge #668 to Vancouver Lodge #668.

The Lodge participated financially in building the old Jewish Community Centre in the late 1920s and the new Centre in the late 1950s. It was a major permanent tenant of the old facility at 11th and Oak.and assisted financially in its maintenance. The men held bimonthly meetings there.

Vancouver Lodge #668 changed its name to Vancouver Lions’ Gate Lodge #668 in 1985, with amalgamation of membership from Lions’ Gate Lodge #1716. In 1992 the Lodge opened a senior’s facility, the Haro Park Lodge, in downtown Vancouver.

  1. B’nai B’rith Auxiliary Chapter; Vancouver Chapter B’nai B’rith Women #77; Jewish Women’s International
    The Ladies Auxiliary of B’nai B’rith was instituted on December 7, 1926 with 53 names listed on the charter, including six members of the Samuel Lodge #668. Among the early projects adopted by the group was fundraising for the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre built in 1928, and starting in 1930 scholarships to be awarded to needy Jewish students. Fund-raising projects included an annual garden party and in the early 1930s the group worked with the Hebrew Aid Society to establish a clothing depot, providing used clothing to needy members of the Jewish community. The chapter also provided equipment for a Boy Scout kitchen at Crescent Beach, raised funds for flood victims in the Vancouver suburbs, and furnished a four bed ward at Vancouver General Hospital, a room at the TB hospital, four wheel chairs for Shaughnessy hospital and a transport bus for the armed forces. During World War II, the group raised $6000 for an RCAF training plane. In 1947 the auxiliary became a B’nai B’rith Women chapter, founded as the Louise Mayer Chapter.

  2. B’nai B’rith Youth Organization:
    a. AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) - Chapter 119
    AZA Chapter #119 was installed on 11 November 1929. Dr. Jacob Gorosh, president at the time of Samuel Lodge, was a founder of the Chapter.

b. AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) – Totem #646
No information available.

c. AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) – Churchill
No information available.

d. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) – Tamar #269
No information available.

e. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) - Elana #668
No information available.

f. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) – Exodus
No information available.

g. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) – Chapter 229
No information available.

h. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) - Aviva Girls Chapter
No information available.

i. BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls) - Rishona Girls Chapter
No information available.

j. BBYW (B’nai B’rith Young Women)
No information available.

k. BBYM (B’nai B’rith Young Men)
No information available.

l. BBYA (B’nai B’rith Young Adults)
No information available.

  1. Vancouver B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation
    On November 20, 1946, Vancouver Lodge #668 and Vancouver Chapter #77 unanimously endorsed a petition proposing a Vancouver Hillel program at U.B.C. The next month the petition was granted by the National Hillel Commission. The Vancouver B'nai B’rith Hillel Foundation was then registered as a Society in July of the next year. As a result of efforts led by Lodge #668 member Max Waterman, U.B.C. agreed to sign a contract allowing Hillel the free use of land for a Hillel building on the campus. With fundraising underway construction began behind Brock Hall of a Hillel House, the first in the Hillel network to be purpose built rather than adapted from an existing campus structure. Construction was soon completed and the House dedicated on November 5, 1947. In January of 1948 the first Hillel Night was held at the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre. This event continues as an annual fundraiser for Hillel programs. (Local to the Vancouver Jewish Community, the Menorah Club of B.C., organized in 1925, was a forerunner to the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. The Menorah Club was established for the express purpose of “keeping the younger element of the community together and giving them advanced study on Jewish history and affairs.”)

  2. Lions’ Gate Lodge #1716
    The Lions’ Gate Lodge #1716 was formed in 1947 as a ‘Young Men’s B’nai B’rith.’ Its membership was comprised by a group of young men in the Vancouver Jewish community, many of them soldiers returned from World War II service. For the first two years of its operation the Lodge maintained an age restriction on its membership, with an upper limit of 35. The Charter, granted by District Four of the B’nai B'rith International was presented to the inaugural executive, with Ed Friedman president, by Executive of the long-established Vancouver Lodge #668. The by-laws of the older Lodge were adopted temporarily by the newly-formed Lodge, and a meeting schedule set up for the first and third Mondays of the month in a room at the Jewish Community Centre at 11th and Oak Streets in Vancouver.

In an effort to ensure that there would be no conflict between its service work and that of other organizations in the community, the Lions’ Gate Lodge decided that its first service project would be to take over a non-sectarian scout troop in the process of being formed. As well, the new Lodge helped to support other B’nai B’rith projects such as Hillel House at U.B.C. and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), and to establish a non-sectarian Lions’ Gate Boxing Club for young men of BBYO age.

Planning work done by the Lodge and its committees was divided between service projects and organizing events for the membership, such as stag nights, dinner and dance parties, ‘Monte Carlo nights,’ picnic outings, and sports leagues (golfing, bowling). These were fund-raising events, with the service work of the Lodge being financed primarily by such efforts and secondarily by membership dues.

The membership formed a men’s baseball team, which won the international Softball Championship in the 1955 Tournament of B’nai B’rith Northwest Lodges. In 1966 the Lodge was instrumental in organizing and forming the Brotherhood Interfaith Society of B.C., with the aim of developing and promoting interfaith relations with all organization in the province. (The Society was registered in B.C. in 1990.) In liaison with a number of other groups, such as the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic organization), the Vancouver Chinatown Lions’ Club, the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese (Italian Association), and the Kiwanis Club of the Pacific, the central activity of the Society was an annual dinner honouring a member of the community with a “Man of the Year” award.

The charter of Lodge #1716 was retired in 1985, when the membership amalgamated with Vancouver Lodge #668, which then was renamed Lions’ Gate Vancouver Lodge #668.

  1. Vancouver Pacific Chapter B’nai B’rith Women, Lions’ Gate Chapter #763
    This women’s group was established in September 1951, primarily from the membership of the Women’s auxiliary assisting the project work of Lions’ Gate Lodge #1716. In 1954 the Chapter began sponsoring a Brownie Pack.

  2. B’nai B’rith Women’s Council
    The B’nai B’rith Women’s Council was inaugurated in 1952 to coordinate the activities of the three local Women’s chapters. Starting in 1953 the group coordinated participation by these chapters in an annual B’nai B’rith Women’s Brotherhood Night. The Council also organized visits from district and national B’nai B'rith women officers and encouraged support of the various B’nai B’rith youth groups, including the Hillel Foundation at U.B.C. Starting the late 1950s, the Council sponsored a booth at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver and worked with the Fairview Branch of the Canadian Legion to co-sponsor annual outings for veterans at Shaughnessy Hospital.

  3. Centennial Chapter B’nai B’rith Women
    This chapter of the Women’s group was organized in 1958. It provided parties and needed equipment for a ward of boys at Woodland’s School, a facility for mentally challenged children. This work earned them a Sydney G. Kusworm Award from B’nai B’rith International. Members of this chapter also worked with deaf and blind children at Jericho School.

  4. Evergreen Lodge
    Evergreen Lodge was proposed as a young men’s B’nai B’rith Lodge, circa 1960. There is no information yet available as to whether or not it received a charter. It was disbanded soon after first efforts were made at establishing prospective membership.

  5. Regina Philo Chapter B’nai B’rith Women
    Regina Philo Chapter B’nai B’rith Women was a Victoria Chapter named after the mother of Louis Mahrer. Not much information is available. Dates are likely early 1900s.

  6. Shari Chapter B’nai B’rith Women
    Shari Chapter B’nai B’rith Women was established in the 1970s (exact date not known) in Richmond. The Shari Chapter B’nai B’rith Women contributed to the community of Richmond by founding a ‘Family Place’ in Minoru Park through a grant from the Provincial lottery fund.

  7. Vancouver B’nai B’rith Women's Council #57
    The Vancouver B’nai B’rith Women’s Council #57 was established in the 1980s (exact date not known) in Vancouver. It was established as a coordination body for the chapters. Project work included Soviet Jewry Rally, Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank, and the Kosher Food Bank. Members were involved with B’nai B’rith Oakridge Bingo which donated $10,000 towards a Sunshine Bus for Pearson Hospital. They won the Sydney Kusworm Award for best community service.

  8. Lions’ Gate B’nai B’rith Building Society
    In July of 1974 the Lions’ Gate Lodge #1716 established the Lions’ Gate B’nai B’rith Building Society as a B.C. non-profit organization, with the use of the B'nai B’rith name sanctioned by District Four of B’nai B’rith and International B’nai B’rith. The work of this Society focused on two major seniors’ projects offering subsidized housing. The first was a thirteen story high rise residence, Haro Park, in the downtown area of Vancouver. Completed in 1980 the facility includes three floors of Long Term Care.

The second project was a nine story 65 suite residential building for seniors, B’nai B’rith Manor, completed in 1988.

(1) Secondary sources: A.J. Arnold, B’nai B’rith Family in British Columbia is 48 Years Old, Jewish Western Bulletin Centenary Issue, June 30, 1958, pp. 30-38; Rebecca Becker, The B’nai B’rith Family, B’nai B’rith Women, 1985; Maurice Bisgyer, ed., This is B’nai B’rith: A Story of Service, Supreme Lodge of B’nai B’rith, Washington, D.C. 1955; Arthur Daniel Hart, comp. and ed., The Jew in Canada: A Complete Records of Canadian Jewry From the Days of the French Regime to Present Times, Jewish Publications Limited, Toronto and Montreal, 1926; Cyril E. Leonoff, Pioneers, Pedlars, and Prayer Shawls, Sono Nis Press, Victoria, 1978; B’nai B’rith, Celebrating 150 Years of Service: Honoring the Past, Building the Future - Commemorative Journal, Lions’ Gate Vancouver Lodge No. 668, Vancouver, 1993; B’nai B’rith Manor, Lions’ Gate Vancouver Lodge No. 668, Vancouver, 1989.

(2) This is B’nai B’rith: A Story of Service, p. 28.

(3) This is B’nai B’rith: A Story of Service, p. 83.

Bogoch, Abraham

  • Person
  • January 11, 1922 - August 17, 2004

Dr. Abraham (Al) Bogoch was born on January 11, 1922 in Regina and passed away on August 17, 2004. Dr. Bogoch graduated in medicine with honours from the University of Toronto in 1946. He practiced as a gasterenterologist until his retirement in 1998. Dr. Bogoch was also a Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia, as well as an author of numerous medical articles and one of the early definitive textbooks of gastroenterology. Dr. Bogoch was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American College of Physicians. He was also a member of the American Gastroenterological Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, and the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Bogoch was also heavily involved in the Jewish Community. He was President of the Talmund Torah School, Principle Fundraiser of the school's building campaigns and a member of the school's board of governors. He is also a Past President of the Vancouver Chapter and Regional Chairman of the Hebrew University. He served as President and Campaign Chairman of the Vancouver Community Fund and Council. He was on the board of Camp Hatikvah, the Hebrew Assistance and Social Organization, the Vancouver Chapter of the Friends of the Hebrew University, and the Canadian Shaare Zadek Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Jewess Congress. He was also the Local Campaign Chairman for the State of Israel Bonds, as well as the Regional Director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. He was one of the few Canadians who received the "Amudim Award" by the Torah Umesorah Day Schools for his valuable service and support to Hebrew education.

Dr. Margaret Adele Mullinger Bogoch was born October 22, 1921 in Toronto, and passed away June 16, 2012. Dr. Bogoch graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto in 1946. She, and Dr. Abraham Bogoch moved to Vancouver in 1953. She established a pediatric gastroenterology practice. . She was heavily involved in the medical community; she was a researcher, an author of medical articles, and a teacher to University of British Columbia medical students at the Vancouver General Hospital, and the Vancouver Children's Hospital. She was also an active volunteer in secular and Jewish organizations. She married Dr. Abraham Bogoch in 1950. They had three children (Sarah, David, and Ruth) and six grandchildren (Sam, Alexa, Dan, Adam, Hillel, and Benjamin).

Snider, Irving

  • Person
  • 1903-2002

Irving Snider, officially born Isaac Schneider, was born in London, England in 1903 to Annie and Jacob Snider. Annie was born in Warsaw, while Jacob was born in Odessa. Irving’s parents met and married in London sometime around the turn of the century. After the birth of Irving, the Snider’s stayed in England for two years. During that time period, Irving’s sister Jeanette was born. In 1905, the Snider family sailed to Vancouver.

Irving attended Strathcona School and Britannia High School. While in High School, he joined the cadets. Irving also attended cheder (after school Hebrew classes), and in 1916 he was bar mitzvahed at the old synagogue. While growing up, Irving attended the “Y” camp at Hopkins Landing.

Irving graduated from Britannia High School in 1919 at the top of his class, and he enrolled at the University of British Columbia. During his second year he became a member of the UBC Junior Hockey Team. While on vacation with his mother and sister, he visited the North Pacific College, a dental college in Portland, Oregon. Although he was only 15, he decided to enroll at the dental college in 1920. Irving’s childhood friend, Robert Franks, was also at the college, and Irving and Robert graduated together in 1924.

After graduating, Robert and Irving heard that there were no dentists in the Yukon, so they decided to try their luck. In 1925, Robert and Irving headed to the Yukon with only $200 each in their pockets. According to Irving in his autobiography, when they reached Whitehorse they only had $1 left between them. After a long journey and several stops, including Juneau, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon, Robert and Irving arrived in Dawson City, Yukon where they stayed until Robert left for California in 1937 and Irving left for Vancouver three years later.

During WWII Irving served for four years as a Captain with the Dental Corp. He mainly served in Vancouver, but he also spent time in Trois-Rivières, Quebec and Prince Rupert. Irving was discharged in 1945. After the war, he bought a practice in the old Medical Dental Building.

Irving met his wife Phyliss Reta Nemetz through her father Harry Nemetz who was one of his patients. Irving and Phyliss married in 1947 in Victoria at the Empress Hotel. Phyliss was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on April 22, 1921 to parents Harry and Ann Nemetz. Phyliss was a journalist, although she spent time in New York working in advertising. When she returned to Vancouver she continued her career in journalism as well as working for Godfrey’s Travel Agency and with her father in real estate.

Irving and Phyliss spent much of their time traveling around the world, including spending time on every continent. On many of their trips they played golf, including playing at the famous St. Andrew’s course.

Irving and Phyliss moved to Whytecliff in West Vancouver where they lived for forty years. Irving and Phyliss did not have any children, but doted on their beloved dogs. Phyliss was also known for her love of animals, and was known for feeding and befriending wild raccoons in their backyard (as seen in many of the slides).

They were known for their philanthropy, including giving a major contribution to the new Har-El building. Phyliss was also an active Hadassah member and she donated all of her real estate commissions she earned to Hadassah. In 1994, Irving and Phyliss established the Phyliss and Irving Snider Foundation, a private charitable foundation, for which Louis Brier Home and Hospital was a major beneficiary. Gifts from the Foundation have supported Hillel, Jewish Family Service Agency, the Jewish Community Foundation, The Jewish Historical Society of BC, Hadassah-Wizo, Ben Gurion University, the Technion in Israel and the Vancouver Talmud Torah school.

Phyliss passed away on July 14, 1999. The couple was married for 52 years. Bequests from Phyliss’ estate have gone to several organizations including the United Way and Children’s Hospital. Irving passed away in January 17, 2002 at the approximate age of 99.

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) Vancouver

  • Corporate body
  • 1918-

The organization known as Hadassah was first formed in 1912 in New York by American Henrietta Szold and the Daughters of Zion. The goal of the organization was to promote the Zionist ideal through education, public health initiatives, and the training of nurses in what was then Palestine, a region of the Ottoman Empire. As the founding of the organization coincided with the holiday of Purim, the group took the name Hadassah, the Hebrew name of Esther, one of the central figures in the celebration of that holiday.

1917 was a significant year in Hadassah and in Canadian Hadassah history. It was the year of the Balfour Declaration, the British Parliament’s recognition of Palestine as the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people. It pledged that Palestine would once again become the Jewish national home. It was also the year in which the first official chapter of Canadian Hadassah was established, with a chapter opening in Toronto. The first Vancouver Chapter, the Lillian Freiman Chapter, was officially recognized in 1918. Mrs. J.B. Jaffe was named first president of the Vancouver Chapter of Hadassah.

In 1920, Dr. Vera Weizmann, wife of Israel’s first president Dr. Chaim Weizmann, founded the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), an internationally recognized organization dedicated to the social welfare of women and children in Israel/Palestine, advancement of the status of women, and Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora. In 1921, she visited Toronto and persuaded National President of Hadassah, Lillian Freiman, to affiliate with WIZO. Thus, in 1921, the Canadian chapter of Hadassah changed its name to Hadassah-WIZO.

The Vancouver Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO was popular from the start. Hadassah-WIZO was one of the first feminist organizations to appear on the Canadian scene as the organization allowed women to organize and participate in events and activities outside of the home. After the Lillian Freiman Chapter was recognized in 1918, a second Chapter, the Rachel Goldbloom Chapter, was formed in 1924. However, Vancouver was unable to sustain two chapters, and the Rachel Goldbloom Chapter merged with the Lillian Freiman Chapter in 1927.

In the early 1930s, in order to accommodate growing membership of Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO, Jessie Allman formed the Menorah, Henrietta Szold and Junior Hadassah Chapters. Over the next few decades, more chapters were formed, including the following: Atid Chapter; Aviva Chapter; Ben Zvi Chapter; Deborah Chapter; Eilat Chapter; Elana Chapter; Hadassim Chapter; Hatikvah Chapter; Herzlia Capter; Kadima Chapter; Maccabian Chapter; Marchar Chapter; Massada Chapter; Naomi Chapter; Nordau Chapter; Royal City Chapter; Ruth Chapter; Sabra Chapter; Shalom Chapter; Tel- Aviv Chapter; Tel-Hai Chapter; Tssabar Chapter; Weizmann Chapter; and the Ziona Chapter.

In 1933, the Youth Aliyah Chapter was founded. Although considered a Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO, it has a slightly different history than the other chapters founded in Vancouver and in Canada. During that same year, Recha Freier, the wife of Rabbi Freier in Berlin, Germany, recognized Hitler’s and the Nazi Party’s malevolent intentions towards the Jewish people of Germany. She organized a movement to send Jewish children, first from Germany, and later from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Russia, to Palestine in order to protect them from Nazi persecution. After World War II, 10,000 child immigrants, mostly Holocaust survivors, arrived in Israel and settled in various Youth Villages. It is estimated that since its creation in 1933, approximately 400,000 children and youth have been rehabilitated and educated within the Youth Aliyah framework. Today, it is estimated that 1 in 20 Israelis are a graduate of Youth Aliyah.

The Youth Aliyah Chapter in Vancouver has been active since its inception in 1933. As early as 1937, the Chapter held their first Men’s Youth Aliyah Drive. They have held many fundraising events over the decades, including events such as fashion shows, canvassing drives, talent shows, and dinners/luncheons.

Membership to Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO reached its peak during the 1950s through to the 1980s, but has been in decline since the 1990s. Many Chapters were forced to close as membership dwindled. In order to attract new members, Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO has attempted to reinvent themselves while maintaining the organization’s original objectives and vision. In 2012, two new chapters were formed in Vancouver: the Kehillah Chapter, a chapter for women in their 20s to mid 30s, and the Gilad Chapter, a Chapter organized by Mimi Grad.

The aims and purpose of Hadassah-WIZO, even from the beginning, has been to promote the education, health and welfare of women and Children in Israel/Palestine, and to promote the welfare of Jewish women and awareness of women’s issues in Canada. Vancouver Chapters of Hadassah-WIZO have been achieving these objectives since the year they were founded. As early as 1918, women from Vancouver Hadassah met regularly to sew clothes for the chalutizm in Palestine. Some of the projects in Israel and Palestine supported and/or created by the Vancouver Chapters of Hadassah-WIZO include the following:

• Sponsorship of the Agricultural and Secondary School in Nahalal in 1926;
• Youth Aliyah: Canada Hadassah-WIZO becomes the official representative of Youth Aliyah in 1933;
• Hadassim Children and Youth Village, east of Natanya in 1947;
• Hebrew University of Jerusalem, starting in 1948. Some of the projects Vancouver Hadassah WIZO has contributed to include the establishment of the Chaim Weizmann Memorial Biological Laboratories; Canada Hall; Vincent Massey Hall; Canada Research Centre; Canada House Student Dorms; the Rose and Abe Schachter Student Centre; the Library Reading Hall, School of Education, plus more;
• Asaf Harofe Hospital in Sarafond in 1953;
• Child Guidance Clinic and Research Institute in Jerusalem in 1965;
• Magdiel Comprehensive Secondary School and Youth Village in 1968;
• Acco Educational and Vocational Youth Village in 1970;
• Neri Bloomfield Community College, in Haifa in 1971;
• 12 creches, 2 kindergartens, 4 women’s clubs, and various youth clubs.

In addition, Hadassah-WIZO has undertaken projects in cooperation with Magen David Adom, the Jewish Fund of Canada, and various projects in Vancouver and Canada.

In order to raise funds for projects for Israel/Palestine, as well as Canada, an annual Bazaar was organized and held. The first Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar was held in Toronto in 1924. The first Bazaar in Vancouver was held in 1935, but it was a much smaller affair than it would later become. The first Vancouver Bazaar was organized by the Lillian Freiman Chapter, and was held on April 25, 1935 at the Jewish Community Centre. Admission was 10 cents, and the event ran only from 8pm to midnight.

Although annual Bazaars were held, it was not until 1952 that it grew to city wide, multi-day event. Marjorie Groberman, inspired by magnitude of the Toronto Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar, wanted something similar in Vancouver. She moved the location of the Bazaar from the Jewish Community Centre to the Seaforth Armouries, and organized all the Hadassah-WIZO Chapters in the Lower Mainland to contribute to the Bazaar in some way, either by providing baked goods, pickles or preserves, cooking at the cafe, sewing/knitting clothing, donating gently used clothing, shoes or household items, and/or contacting commercial exhibitors and merchants for further merchandise. All Chapters were expected to volunteer their services at the Bazaar. The Bazaar became a day long event, and visitors had a chance to win a new car through a raffle. The new “Big” Bazaar was a success as it netted approximately $10,000.

In 1955, under Anita Waterman, the Bazaar moved to the PNE grounds, where it remained until the 1990s. By 1955, the Bazaar had grown to a day and half event, and also featured an auction and a fashion show. By 1976, the Bazaar grew to be a two day event, and occupied two and a half buildings of the PNE Ground.

The Bazaar remained a popular event throughout the 1970s to the 1990s. However, in the early 2000s, due to the aging population of Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO and a declining membership, the Bazaar became increasingly difficult to organize and run. The Bazaar was downsized in the early 2000s, moving from the PNE Grounds to the Italian Community Centre. By the mid to late 2000s, it was downsized once again, moving to the Hellenic Community Centre. The last Bazaar was held in 2007. Today, Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO’s major fundraising event is the annual Pro-Am Golf Tournament.

On November 10, 1975, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, which, in essence, decreed that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination ”(United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism_is_racism). The resolution was instantly contested, and was condemned by many western nations, including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe. In 1991, Israel made a revocation of Resolution 3379 as a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference, and it was officially revoked in 1991 by UN General Assembly Resolution 4866.

Partially in response to these events, and in order to educate the public about Judaism, Zionism, and the State of Israel, the Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO established a Public Affairs Department who dedicated themselves to this task. From the 1970s through to the early 1990s, they held many seminars and luncheons on interfaith dialogues, and on issues pertaining to Judaism, Zionism, and Israel in the media.

Many women from Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO have held high ranking positions within Canadian Hadassah-WIZO Executive Council. Many of these women have been recognized both nationally and internationally. Some of those women include Lily Frank, who was appointed as National Executive Director of Canada Hadassah-WIZO in 1967, and was also appointed as National Executive Vice President in 1979; Naomi Frankenberg who became National President of Canada Hadassah-WIZO in 1987, and was honoured by the CHW when they named a cultural centre in Hadassim after her; and Judy Mandleman who became National President in 1993 and was honoured by the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO when they named a daycare centre at Kiryat Sharett after her. Other prominent Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO women include Blossom Wine, the first life long member of Vancouver Hadassah-WIZO, Lil Shaperio, the first Council President of Vancouver Hadassah WIZO, Marjorie Groberman, visionary of the Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar in Vancouver, and many other women who contributed tirelessly and selflessly to their community, their country, and to Israel.

Around 2013, Hadassah-WIZO changed their name to CHW (Canadian Hadassah-WIZO).

Keenlyside, John

  • Person

John S. Keenlyside was born and raised in Vancouver and attended UBC and graduated with a degree in economics and political science. In 1973 he founded the investment-counseling firm John S. Keenlyside & Co. which he manages with his two sons.

Keenlyside has been collecting 19th century historical papers and stamps for over thirty-five years with his primary collecting interest being the history of British Columbia with an emphasis on the colonial period (pre-1871). He has also collected documents relating to the fur trade and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Keenlyside collects manuscripts, documents, maps, books and ephemera relating to B.C.

Canadian Zionist Federation. Pacific Region

  • Corporate body

Now operating as a program under the administration of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, CZF is an umbrella organization for all Zionist groups in the community. It also provides information for Israel tourism and trade.

Vancouver Jewish Community Fund and Council

  • Corporate body
  • ca. 1930s-

In the early 1930s The Jewish community of Vancouver was the first in Canada to establish a council of local organizations on which all adult Jewish organizations were represented. It was meant to centrally coordinate and plan all the activities of the Jewish community. After 1962 when the new Jewish community center opened the Jewish council was gradually broken up into separate independent agencies intent to go their separate ways. By 1966 it was felt that decentralizing the community was not efficient and talks began to have a merger between the Jewish Community Council and the Jewish community fund, which culminated in a merger. The result was the establishment of the Jewish Community Fund and Council of Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 19, 1968. It amalgamated the administrative functions of (1) infrastructure coordination between the numerous Jewish community organizations in Vancouver and the lower mainland region, and (2) fundraising to support the work of those organizations. Prior to amalgamation as the Jewish Community Fund and Council, functions were fulfilled by the following organizations:

Coordination
• Jewish Community Centre Society of Vancouver (est. 1924)
• Vancouver Jewish Administrative Council (est. 1942)
• Vancouver Jewish Administrative Organization (est. 1947)
• Jewish Community Council of Vancouver (est. 1950)

Fundraising
• Vancouver Jewish Community Chest (est. 1924)
• Vancouver Jewish Community Fund (est. 19[60])

Vancouver Jewish Community Chest. -- 1924-19[60]
The Vancouver Jewish Community Chest (VJCC) was the first effort in the Vancouver region to create a single integrated, community-wide umbrella organization to collect and distribute funds for local, national and international needs. Although an originating constitution appears to have been drawn up, no copy of that constitution has been located to date. The first five years of the VJCC are recorded in a Souvenir Book and Annual Report: 1924-1929, published in 1929 at Vancouver. Its goal was to unify the fund-raising for major Jewish organizations, which at that time was undertaken separately by each organization, and in so doing succeed in "welding them into a community-conscious unit."

On September 24, 1924, a Board of Trustees was elected at a community meeting (at the Hotel Vancouver) with Joseph F. Morris as its first president. For the five years documented a revised constitution was adopted (also not found to this date). The first Executive committee included: Messrs E. Gold, W.J. Levin, N.C. Levin, S. Piters, Dr. S. Petersky, H.B. Wagner, L. Rosenbaum, Samuel Gintzburger, Rev. N.M. Pastinsky, Nace Swartz, E.R. Sugarman, Morris Soskin, Julius B. Jaffe, A. Rothstein, W.N. Zimmerman, and Mesdames E.R. Sugarman, Parker, N. Swartz, E. Gold, and Miss Stusser.

The first beneficiaries of the Chest were: Vancouver Hebrew Aid Society, Talmud Torah Hebrew School, The Western Canada Orphanage at Winnipeg, Old Folks Home, Winnipeg, Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (Denver), Consumptive Hospital (Los Angeles) and, added during the first year, "Palestinian Organizations, (Non-Zionist)."

The first year's campaign raised $8,329.62, including income from a bazaar convened at the Navy League Building by National Council of Jewish Women totaling $2241.85.

From 1925-1929 the Chairmen were: M. Soskin (1925-26), E.R. Sugarman (1926-27), W.N. Zimmerman (1927-28), and William J. Levin (1928-29).

In its early days the Chest focused its efforts on the financial affairs of the Talmud Torah and by the third year the Chest had assumed responsibility for 100% of the school's operating fund of over $5,000. It later changed this responsibility to include payment only for those students whose parents could not afford the tuition fees. This was done because while the initial agreement had been that parents would increase their donation to the Chest by the amount of tuition they were paying, in fact "the citizens who were anxious and desirous of this system, did not fully recognize their responsibility by increasing their previous years subscription by the Talmud Torah fees they had been accustomed to pay." So the agreement became one of subsidizing only those students whose families could not afford the regular fees.

In 1929 the Chest added to its responsibilities support for the Educational Department of the Council of Jewish Women. "The time is not far distant," wrote the author of the report, "when the Vancouver Jewish Community Chest will embrace within its fold every type of activity in the Community that is dependent upon the public for its support, and instead of having separate and varied appeals of institutions, they will eventually come within the scope of the Community Chest and one appeal will suffice."

In 1925 the Chest raised $8331.62; in 1929 the Chest raised $11,018.76. Over the five years the largest recipient was the Hebrew Aid and Immigrant Society, which received $14,530, followed by the Talmud Torah at $12,484. At the other end of the range were the Great Palestine orphanage and the Schara Tzedeck Hospital, each receiving $25.

The report concluded, "As we go to press the call has come from our afflicted brethren in Palestine, and within a few days the Community Chest, sponsoring the Palestine Emergency Relief Fund, ably assisted by prominent willing workers of the city, raised over $6,000.00 for immediate relief in the Holy Land, the Community Chest itself leading the list with $1,000.00 contributed out of its reserve fund."

In the report are also contained administrative summaries of the beneficiaries: Hebrew Aid and Immigrant Society; Vancouver Immigration Committee (later absorbed by HAIS), Talmud Torah Hebrew School, Educational Department of the Council of Jewish Women, and the Jewish Orphanage and in Winnipeg the Children's Aid of Western Canada and the Old Folks Home, Western Canada.

The report contains the disbursements for five years, the names of the trustees, and the names of those who pledged amounts and the amount still due as of 1929.

In the absence of a documented mandate, there is evidence provided in the reported activities of the Chest to discern its evolution into the role of central coordinator and umbrella fundraiser for the community.

The Vancouver Community Chest operated above the individual parts of its constituency:
(1) By agreeing to raise and distribute funds from the whole community, and to all its constituent agencies, it assumed responsibility for supporting one general campaign and reducing the numbers of individual campaigns that had previously been conducted.
(2) As a part of this initiative, it grappled with the issue of disclosure. At first agencies were reluctant to share their financial status; but according to the report, by the end of the five years they were willing to do so. That disclosure has now become a standard part of the allocations process of Federation.
(3) Rather than working through an existing agency, the Chest drew its initial representatives from those agencies and formed an independent committee.
(4) By agreeing to fund students of the Talmud Torah Hebrew School whose families could not pay the tuition, a principle was established for school support that still holds today.
(5) Finally, the call of "afflicted brethren" in Palestine necessitated an emergency campaign, one that was immediately able to raise over $6,000 including $1,000.00 from the VJCC out of its reserves.

Unfortunately, no minute books of the Community Chest or its founding documents have been found. Therefore there is a great hiatus in the record, from 1929 to the end of World War II, in the documentation of a central planning and fund-raising body for the Jewish community of the lower mainland.

Vancouver Jewish Community Fund. -- 19[60]-1968
The fundraising function of the Vancouver Jewish Community Chest was taken over by the Vancouver Jewish Community Fund circa 1960. However there is no documentation discovered to date that indicates the reason for the name change or if it was registered.

Jewish Community Centre Society of Vancouver. -- 1929-1947
On February 24, 1928 the Jewish Community Centre Society of Vancouver was registered under the BC Society's Act. (Registration #1650 - That number is still assigned to successor organization, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.) The founding signatories were Julius Jaffe and Sam Kostman (merchants), Abraham Hirshberg (Optometrist) and Abraham Cohen (manufacturer). The objectives of the Society were as follows:
• To build and operate a community centre for the Jews of Vancouver and vicinity;
• To foster athletics and gymnastics;
• To promote the interests of the Jewish population of Vancouver socially and educationally.

To be a member of the society one had to live within 25 miles of the Post Office at Vancouver, and be Jewish. Thus residence in the city of Vancouver (or its surroundings, which meant for a part of the Jewish community the city of New Westminster), and ethnicity/religion (Jewish) gave one membership in the Society. Membership cost $25, payable in five installments. It appears that the society had some difficulties in early years, possibly financial, since it was struck off the register in 1933 and reinstated in 1934 after agreeing to file the necessary papers. The Centre, however, did not take over fund-raising or planning for the community, although the building was a central meeting place for the community on the west side of the city.

Vancouver Jewish Administrative Council. -- 1942-1947
On February 10, 1942, the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre Society changed its name to the Vancouver Jewish Administrative Council, thus, it would appear, transforming the Centre Board into the Administrative Council Board. There are no minutes from this period.

Vancouver Jewish Administrative Organization. -- 1947-1965
On February 27, 1947, the Vancouver Jewish Administrative Council became the Vancouver Jewish Administrative Organization. Its objectives expanded considerably and now included:
• To promote the peace, order and good government of the Vancouver Jewish Community and be the official spokesman on their behalf;
• To administer funds allocated to the Vancouver Jewish Community and by the Greater Vancouver Community Chest and any other funds accruing;
• To erect and operate a community centre for community use and benefit (including athletics, etc.) and to own and operate the existing Jewish Community Centre at 11th and Oak;
• To own and publish the Jewish Western Bulletin as the official publication of the Vancouver Jewish community;
• To supervise the activities of the Jewish Family Welfare Board;
• To conduct an endorsation bureau to regulate the raising of funds for Jewish charitable and communal needs;
• To create, raise, distribute and administer a Vancouver Jewish Community Welfare Fund "which will embrace the requirements of all local and external Jewish charities and communal organizations which may agree to become members thereof and participate thereof."

Any member of the Jewish faith, over 21, living within 25 miles of Vancouver for one year or more could become a member of the VJAO. Upon payment of $2.50 yearly per family one could hold office and vote, and receive the Jewish Western Bulletin (JWB) community newspaper free of charge. The Board would consist of 1 member per organization for every 75 members (maximum of 3) and 10 members elected from the community at large. As well, the constitution authorized the VJAO to acquire the assets of any defunct member organization.

According to minutes from the time, [Minutes of Publications Committee 1962-70] the publications committee looked after the JWB; another reported on the Jewish Family Welfare Board (to become the Jewish Family Service Agency); a third managed the Community Centre; a fourth the campaign; and there may have been a separate budget committee.

Thus, between 1929 and 1947 the community had grown in numbers and in organizational complexity. One event of major significance was the creation of the State of Israel and the continuing drive to collect money for its support through the United Jewish Appeal, as well as continuing to support local organizations.

In 1948 the Zionist Organization of BC (ZOC) and Canadian Congress, Pacific Region (CJC) joined together to run the United Jewish Appeal campaign. In 1949 under the auspices of the Community Council, the joint Welfare Fund was created, but it seems to have failed to garner support for a campaign. In 1950 ZOC and CJC ran the United Jewish Appeal and from the proceeds funded local organizations, [Community Council Annual Report, 1950], which continued to operate on their own.

According to a letter dated Nov. 22, 1965 from Lou Zimmerman, this campaign had, over the years, taken about 90% of funds raised, and local organizations - Talmud Torah, Peretz School, Home for the Aged (Vancouver acquired one in the 1940s) and Hillel are named in the letter -- drew money from the UJA based on a percentage of funds raised in the 1955 campaign. What happened to the local campaign during these years is not clear, nor do we have records of just what organizations were funded.

Jewish Community Council of Vancouver. -- 1950-1966
On November 6 1950, the VJAO became the Jewish Community Council of Vancouver. Its constitution had as its objectives (among others):
• To promote the welfare of the Vancouver Jewish Community;
• To act and speak on behalf of the Jewish Community of Vancouver in local secular matters (but recall that by now Congress had a local office, so that this objective would soon be superseded by CJC's mandate);
• To organize, regulate and administer in Greater Vancouver [the first time this appellation occurs] a voluntary Jewish Welfare Fund for local and non-local Jewish charities;
• To promote inter-group relations within the Jewish community and deal with controversial issues that threaten these relationships [there were obviously issues that had arisen among the proliferating agencies];
• To engage in welfare planning for the Jewish community and implement such planning;
• To foster relationships as will promote better understanding between all groups of citizens regardless of race or creed [another objective which the CJC would later embrace];
• To regulate promotion and raising of funds for Jewish charitable and communal needs and to grant or withhold endorsement of any such fund-raising project;
• To administer funds allocated to the Vancouver Jewish community by the Greater Vancouver Community Chest and other funds accruing to the Vancouver Jewish community;
• Erect, lease, rent, or operate etc. a Jewish Community Centre for use and benefit of the Jewish community of Vancouver and the vicinity;
• To carry on the work of the Jewish Welfare Board;
• To own and publish the JWB and other similar publications.

The requirement for membership now included subscription to the annual campaign, as well as residency requirements.

Standing committees of the Council were as follows: Budget - to examine agency budgets and recommend an amount to be allocated; Campaign - to organize and conduct fundraising campaigns for the Jewish Community Council; Jewish Community Centre - concerned with the management of the building and programs, and expenditures within an approved budget; Publications - to arrange for the publication of the JWB and other publications, and to lay down policies governing presentation of news and editorials; and the Family Welfare Board - to direct operations and administer funds.

Within this administrative structure the Jewish Community Council of Vancouver directly managed and funded several subsidiary organizations: The Jewish Western Bulletin, the Jewish Community Centre, and the Jewish Family Welfare Board. Apparently funds also went to the Home for the Aged and programs of the National Council of Jewish Women. It appears that moneys raised by the Vancouver Jewish Fund were distributed, or at least the distribution recommended, by the Jewish Community Council of Vancouver.

In the Jewish Community Council of Vancouver minutes for 1963 the relationships between the Council and the Jewish Family Service Agency (formerly the Jewish Family Welfare Board), the Jewish Community Centre, and the United Jewish Appeal were spelled out in a number of memoranda. The Centre separated from the Council in 1962.

In 1962-3 discussions began regarding a merger of the Vancouver Jewish Community Council and local fund-raising through what was variously called the Community Chest or Community Fund. It appears that the UJA up to 1963 conducted a campaign that allocated 15% of funds raised up to a maximum of $190,000 to the Community Council, the Talmud Torah, and the Peretz School (and possibly to Hillel as well). The remaining 85% was divided between the Zionist Organization (ultimately destined for Israel) and Canadian Jewish Congress. The discussion revolved around creating a "Jewish Welfare Fund" that would be a central planning and fund-raising body, having aspects of what we now call Federation.

On November 24, 1964 a meeting convened to plan a combined local campaign, separate from the UJA, which would be tried on a one-year basis and have a goal of raising $80,000 [Minutes 1960-1965-66]. Recipients would be the Talmud Torah, Jewish Community Centre, Home for the Aged, Peretz School, and maybe Hillel. Other beneficiaries were turned down, on the assumption that the yearly campaign was experimental and needed to be tested. Led by Joe Cohen and Vancouver Jewish Community Council President William Gelmon, the effort was "designed to eliminate separate campaigns by each institution."

By November 15, 1965 the campaign had raised $76,000, and by February 1966 had reached $91,000. Even before that date, on November 18, 1965, negotiations began to merge the Council and the local "Fund." Other forces were at work. It appears that the UJA had decided to exclude local beneficiaries from its campaign (so noted in July 28/66 minutes). The 1966 campaign had been a success, and the "moribund condition" of the Vancouver Jewish Community Council pushed efforts forward. On February 9, 1966 the local group of fundraisers met and approved the merger in principle, as did the Council on February 9. A joint meeting of the two boards was held on June 6/66 and guidelines established for the Jewish Community Fund and Council:
• Objectives of the new body included: community planning, fund-raising, budgeting and budget supervision of participating agencies, and the establishment of coordination, cooperation and discipline in the community;
• Less weight would be given to organizational representation on the new board than had been on the previous Council (every organization had been represented as per the formulas devised). A "substantial portion" of the board was to be elected by campaign contributors. Allocations were to be "kept free from political influence and retained in the budget committee."

Interim co-chairs for the organization were Joe Cohen and William Gelmon and in July 1966 a temporary board took office. In addition to fundraising coordination, funders would get involvement in community planning. The beneficiaries for that year were to be Talmud Torah, Peretz, Hillel, the Home for the Aged and the JCC, with small allocations to Camp Miriam and the Hebrew school in New Westminster. The campaign goal for 1966-67 was set at $110,700. Despite the reluctance of several organizational representatives, who worried that their agencies would not receive adequate funding, the second campaign went ahead.

Vancouver Jewish Community Fund and Council. -- 1968-1987
On July 19, 1968 the formal change to the Vancouver Community Fund and Council was registered. Each beneficiary agency appointed one representative, with an additional thirty elected members. An additional 10 members could be appointed by the Executive, and all congregational Rabbis were Board members automatically.

The objectives for the Fund and Council were stated as follows:
• To promote the welfare of the Vancouver Jewish Community;
• To coordinate activities and foster cooperation among the organizations of the Jewish Community in the City of Vancouver, "having due regard to their autonomy";
• To conduct an annual campaign for local Jewish charities, causes and agencies as JCFC determines;
• To review and assess obligations, responsibilities and effectiveness of all agencies requesting money and make allocations to those agencies;
• To review and determine the need for all fund-raising campaigns in the Vancouver Jewish community and endeavor to control the dates and duration of such campaigns and programs; to give approval to such campaigns and programs when they are deemed to be "worthy of community support":
• To engage in welfare planning and implement such planning;
• To own and publish the JWB and other like publications.

Committees: Campaign (conducts campaign); Budget and allocations (1 representative from each beneficiary and an equal number of Board members to study and evaluate requests and allocate by a majority vote); Nominations (proposes slate); Endorsation (endorses local individual agency and program campaigns); and Publications and PR (responsible for the Jewish Western Bulletin and "shall determine its policies", as well as for other publications).

The locality had also been altered from "chiefly in the city of Vancouver" to "the Greater Vancouver Area." Seeing that the suburban communities had begun to growth and create their own institutions, this was a necessary concession for what had been a largely Vancouver-centric organization.

In 1968 the campaign raised $107,127 for 8 agencies. By 1975 there were 22 beneficiaries and $295,000 had been raised.

At first, the JCFC had no professional staff beyond the time given to it by Lou Zimmerman, Director of the Jewish Community Centre and for some time also staff for the UJA campaign. The demands of these positions would make it necessary to hire professional staff. Morris Saltzman was hired between 1967 and 1970 to direct both the Canadian Jewish Congress Pacific Region and the JCFC.

From 1965, the JCFC operated alongside the annual UJA in a 2-line campaign. It worked through subcommittees which met annually to review agency budgets and make recommendations on an amount to be allocated from the campaign. Some years the goals were not met and agencies did not receive their full allocations. As a result, the goal of preventing separate campaigns was not met, as more organizations needed bigger budgets than could be met by the JCFC. Endorsed separate campaigns became harder to coordinate, as some agencies' campaigns collided with others. Community planning was thus done largely through the mechanism of budget and allocations control, rather than as a separate function taking long-term community needs into account beyond the immediate and pressing needs of annual budgets.

In the early 1980s some community members began to press for a federated community. By 1986, Vancouver was the only major community in Canada not operating as a Federation. As the idea of Federation grew stronger, leaders began to look at what benefits a federated community could bring to Jewish agencies and individuals, now spread across the lower mainland with over 80 organizations and a population of nearly 20,000 (according to the 1991 census).

The first interim Board meeting was convened in January 1983, and 3 committees (Constitution, Nominations, and Structure) were to explore these aspects of federation. On November 21, 1983, the UJA Board approved the interim Federation Board's discussion paper on structure, prepared by a special Task Force headed by Malcolm Weinstein.

The Interim Federation Board: Co-Chairs Lois Raphael and Arthur Fouks; Rabbi William Altshul, Arnold Barkoff, Shirley Barnett, Brent Belzberg, Frances Belzberg, Rabbi Phillip Bregman, Zoe Gropper, Morris Harowitz, David Huberman, Larry Izen, Howard Karby, Gail Lemish, Risa Levine, Ken Levitt, Norman Miller, Michael Moscovich, Ira Nadel, Leslie Raphael, Ruth Ross, Larry Rossoff, Elaine Schwartzman, Irving Sirlin, Harriet Spiro, Malcolm Weinstein, Ted Zacks, Nate Zalkow.

Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. -- 1987-present
On January 14, 1987 the Jewish Community Fund and Council became officially the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. The constitution and by-laws of the JFGV are in the files of the Jewish Historical Society of BC.

Barer, Ralph David

  • Person
  • July 8, 1922 - August 15, 2004

Ralph David Barer was born July 8, 1922 to parents Michael and Fanny Barer. He had one brother, Harry Barer, and one sister, Thelma Stein (nee Barer). Ralph grew up in Vancouver, attending Magee Secondary School before going on to UBC, where he received a BASc in Engineering in 1945. This was followed by varied industrial and academic experiences, including a period as an assistant professor at UBC. He completed a Masters degree in Metallurgical Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948. Ralph married Aileen (nee Gordon) in Sarnia, Ontario in 1950, after which he spent over a year working for Cominco in Trail, B.C. He then accepted a position in Victoria to head up a new material science and engineering group for Defence Research Canada in the fall of 1952. This group focused on material failures in naval, aircraft and military equipment. He led this group for 36 years, until his retirement in 1988. Ralph enjoyed raising a large family, and was particularly proud of the achievements of each of his children in their own pursuits. Ralph and Aileen had five children: Morris, Denise, Daniel, Philip and Steven. He was able to enjoy the early years of all ten [at the time of this publication in 2004] grandchildren: Justin, Naom, Michael, Ariana, Lisa, David, Benjamin, Elliot, Amichai and Simon. Ralph was an avid hiker, and spent some of his happiest times tramping through the woods of southern Vancouver Island. Walking the woods with him was always an education, as he had extensive knowledge of all things that move and grow in the Pacific Northwest. He was a passionate supporter of many of the environmental groups struggling to protect the dwindling wilderness places in British Columbia and the rest of Canada.

When Mr. Barer arrived in Victoria in 1952, the Emanuel Congregation had a lay rabbi who led infrequent services and a Jewish community which was run by a few individuals. Due mainly to his and his wife’s desire to create a Jewish environment for their growing family of five, Ralph became actively involved in the Jewish community with special emphasis on the revival of the synagogue. This led to over 50 years of dedicated work on many different committees, serving on the board, serving as a president and editing for 12 years the synagogue’s bulletin “Koleinu” (Our Voice). The results of his work were spectacular. Professional Rabbis were hired and took care of the spiritual life of the growing congregation, funds were raised to improve and enlarge the physical structure of the synagogue, Jewish teachers grew the Hebrew school, and as a result membership grew larger.

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