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JHSBC Oral History Collection Canada Migration (human)
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Bertha Baron

Oral history with Bertha Baron who arrived in Canada 1907 from Minsk, Russia; settled in Rumsey, Alberta. In this interview she discusses her involvement in the Victoria Jewish community and reflects on Zionism.

Bernard Victor

Oral interview with Bernard Victor who was born in Gomel, Russia in 1893 and came to Vancouver, on April 15, 1923, from Winnipeg. Bernard was involved with Talmud Torah, B'nai B'rith, and the Jewish Literary Club. He describes living through two pogroms in Russia. He served in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in Europe from 1916 until 1919. His father worked for the Russian Vital Statistics Department and noticed large numbers of Jews leaving, encouraged Bernard and Bernard's brother to leave.

Dr. Jacob Narod

Oral history interview with Dr. Jacob Narod. He was born in Vilna and talks about the antisemitism there while growing up. At 22, he escaped and went to London. Then he went to New York, but he didn’t like it so he with to St. Louis, he worked in Scaffolding there. Next, he went to Portland and then up to Vancouver in 1910. He heard that Vancouver was a beautiful city. He talks about people (names and occupations) who moved to Vancouver during that time. He took a course in Chiropody and opened and office in 1929. The depression hit and he moved to Victoria in 1936. He talks in depth about the Victoria Community with a focus on the Synagogue during the war, entertaining the Jewish soldiers and helping refugees. He moved back to Vancouver in 1949. He was an active member of B’nai Brith.

Elaine Charkow

Oral History interview with Elaine Charkow. Elaine was born in Russia. Her family emigrated when she was 8. They first stopped in Winnipeg where her father worked in the grain business. They moved to Vancouver in 1926. During the 1930's Her mother took in 2 refugees from China. Her father was one of the founders of the Vancouver Free Loan Association. Elaine talks about the importance of the Jewish Community Center on 11th and Oak. Elaine instrumental in finding housing for Polish immigrants. She worked with B’nai B’rith Girls, United Jewish Appeal, and Hadassah.

Sam Heller

Oral history interview with Sam Heller, who was born in Poland, later moving to England than emigrating to Canada in 1940. Sam's father Horace was one of Poland's top lumber producers, Sam tried to get into the lumber trade on the east coast of Canada but was impeded, therefore moved to Vancouver. Besides Sam's involvement in the Forestry industry, he was involved in the Zionist Association.

Susan Quastel

Oral History of Susan Quastel. Mrs. Quastel was born in Amsterdam in 1923. During the early part of WW2 she worked at the Jewish Hospital in Amsterdam. After the war she moved to London, where she had family. While in the UK, she trained to be a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital. She then went to Israel, where her sister lived, and worked at Hadassah Hospital. During her time in Israel, she met her husband, who was from Vancouver, at the Hebrew University. She moved to Canada with him and they got married here. In Vancouver, she worked for many Jewish organizations including Hadassah, The National Council of Jewish Women, the Vancouver chapter of Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University, and the Zack Gallery.

Adele Vernon

Oral History interview with Adele Vernon. Born in London, England. During the war her mother told her and her siblings “don’t let anyone know we’re Jewish” and leaving the Jewish faith for years. Talks about being sponsored to come to Canada by his father's aunt, arriving at Pier 41, arriving during the Calgary stampede. Went back to school as a mature student in 1973 for performing arts. Started the Shalom Dancers in 1978/79. Took Wednesday night classes with Rabbi Victor Reinstein and returned to the Jewish faith later in life.

Dr. Peter Suedfeld

Oral history interview with Dr. Peter Suedfeld. Peter Suedfeld was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1948. After three years of active duty in the US Army, he received his bachelor's degree from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1960 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1963. He taught at the University of Illinois and at University College, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey before moving to The University of British Columbia (UBC), where he was appointed Professor of Psychology in 1972. He served as Department Chairman at Rutgers from 1967-72, and at UBC as Head of the Department of Psychology from 1972-1984 and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies from 1984-1990. In 2001, he was appointed Dean Emeritus of Graduate Studies and Professor Emeritus of Psychology. Suedfeld has held Canada Council and Killam Foundation Fellowships, and sabbatical or concurrent appointments as Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Visiting Fellow at Yale University, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Ohio State University, and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies.

His research is generally concerned with how human beings adapt to and cope with novelty, challenge, stress, and danger. The research has three major aspects: laboratory and clinical studies on restricted environmental stimulation (for example, in flotation tanks); field research on psychological and psycho-physiological concomitants of working in extreme and unusual environments such as space and polar stations; and the archival and experimental study of information processing and decision making under uncertainty and stress. Archival and interview studies have concentrated on leaders at the national and international levels, but have also included combat officers, prisoners, and students. During the past ten years, he has been conducting an extensive series of studies of the long-term adaptation of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. He is the author of more than 200 journal articles and book chapters. Among books that he has written, edited or co-edited are: Personality Theory and Information Processing, Attitude Change: The Competing Views, Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Clinical Applications, Psychology and Torture, Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Theoretical and Empirical Developments in Flotation REST, Psychology and Social Policy, and most recently (2001), Light from the Ashes: Social Science Careers of Young Holocaust Survivors and Refugees. He has presented invited and keynote addresses at many institutions and conferences in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and New Zealand.

Suedfeld has served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and Book Review Editor of Political Psychology; he is currently Associate Editor of Environment and Behavior. He is also on the editorial boards of Political Psychology, the Journal of Environmental Psychology, and the Interamerican Journal of Psychology. He was the organizer and director of the Polar Psychology Project, a multi-national, transpolar project investigating human adaptation to high-latitude environments, as well as of the High Arctic Psychology Research Station near the magnetic North Pole. He has served as an expert witness in US and Canadian courts, and as a consultant to the Canadian Department of National Defence, NASA, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, the Canadian Space Agency, and the US Peace Corps.

Among other organizational offices, he has been President of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Western Association of Graduate Deans; he was the founding President of the International REST Investigators' Society; and has been Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Antarctic Research Program. In that capacity, he represented Canada in the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). He represents both Canada and the International Union of Psychological Science in the SCAR Standing Scientific Group in Life Sciences. He was the co-founder with M.E.P. Seligman, then President of the American Psychological Association, of the American/Canadian Psychological Associations' Joint Initiative on Ethnopolitical Warfare, and continues as a member of its Steering Committee. He has been Vice President and a member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Political Psychology, and is or was a member of various committees of the American and Canadian Psychological Associations and the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, as well as other scientific organizations.

Suedfeld has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association (6 Divisions), the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the New York Academy of Sciences. In 1994, he was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation's Antarctica Service Medal; in 1996, the Donald O. Hebb Award of the Canadian Psychological Association for distinguished contributions to psychology as a science; in 2000, the Zachor Award of the Canadian government for contributions to Canadian society, and the Just Desserts Award of the UBC Alma Mater Society for service to students; and in 2001, the Harold D. Lasswell Award for distinguished scientific contributions to political psychology. In 2002, he was named as the Monna and Otto Weinmann Memorial Lecturer by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Dr. Ted Cohn

Oral history interview with Dr. Ted Cohn. Theodore Cohn, SFU Professor Emeritus. His research interests include global and regional trade policy, international institutions, theories of international relations, and global cities. He is the author of Canadian Food Aid: Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications (1979), The International Politics of Agricultural Trade: Canadian-American Relations in a Global Agricultural Context (1990), 2 editions of Global Political Economy: Theory and Practice (2000 and 2003), and Governing Global Trade: International Institutions in Conflict and Convergence (December 2002). He is a co-editor of Innovation Systems in a Global Context (1998) and Power in the Global Era (2000). Dr. Cohn has also written many smaller monographs and articles on international trade, foreign debt, international development, crossborder issues, and global cities. Currently he is co-authoring a book on international organization.

Ted is originally from Detroit. He is married To Shirley Cohn.

Ralph Levy

Oral interview with Ralph Levy. Interviewed by Molly Kumar for SLAIS Oral History class. Ralph Levy was born in February, 1934 in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the youngest of four. He describes the language Ladino, which he speaks fluently. He lived in England as a child, where he witnessed the Blitzkrieg and attended post secondary there in Lester. He served in the British Military and was stationed in Egypt for two years. He met his wife in Lester and they were wed in 1957. After closing his marketplace business in England, he lived in the south of France till a storm struck. In 1968, he immigrated to Canada. He initially settled in Melfort, Saskatchewan, then went to Calgary, Fort McMurray and then moved to Victoria where he resided for thirty years before retiring in Vancouver.

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