Collection A.2006.001 - Ralph Barer’s Congregation Emanu-El collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ralph Barer’s Congregation Emanu-El collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the collection

Level of description

Collection

Reference code

CA JMABC A.2006.001

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Edition statement of responsibility

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1862 - 2003; primarily 1960s - 2003 (Creation)
    Creator
    Barer, Ralph David

Physical description area

Physical description

81.5 cm of textual records
2 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(July 8, 1922 - August 15, 2004)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds is arranged into 7 series: Congregation Emanu-El board minutes; Congregation Emanu-El financial matters and synagogue constitution; Congregation Emanu-El correspondence; Congregation Emanu-El publications; Fundraising; Victoria BC Jewish Federation; Synagogue matters.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

7-A-4, File 8, Rabbi David Seidenberg and Rabbi Victor Reinstein, is restricted.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright applies; permission to publish must be obtained prior to publishing.

Finding aids

Finding aid available.

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Rules for Archival Description

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

July 18, 2012

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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