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Ontario Jewish Archives

oja community parade
Jewish community parade to commemorate the Balfour Declaration (St. Catharines, ON), 1917. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, item 417. Photograph by Franklin Caplan.

The Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre (OJA) is the largest repository of Jewish life in Canada. 

Founded in 1973, the OJA, a department of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, acquires, preserves and makes accessible the records that chronicle our province’s Jewish history. The collection documents organizations, individuals, synagogues, schools, summer camps, leisure, athletes, and businesses. There are many different ways to explore the OJA’s collection and learn about the province’s Jewish past. You can make an appointment to look at photographs, films, Yiddish newspapers, hand-written correspondence, and even an original Superman drawing! Through exhibitions, programs, research assistance, and walking tours, the OJA tells the stories of Ontario’s Jewish community.

Address: 4600 Bathurst St, North York, ON M2R 3V2
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Related Events

Upcoming

October 28, 2021

Join us online for a film screening of the documentary, Periphery followed by a Q & A with Director Sara Yacobi-Harris and Cinematographer Marcus Armstrong.

Archived

April 28, 2021

In conversation with art historian Sara Angel, Toronto-born, Chicago-based artist Jacqueline Kott-Wolle will discuss how candid family photography informs her recent work and explores a personal yet quintessential brand of Jewish identity.

Archived

May 2, 2021

During the late 1800s and early 1900s thousands of Yiddish-speaking Jews arrived in Canada. This talk will explore their first impressions as presented in their own personal Yiddish narratives.

Archived

March 5, 2021

-March 8, 2021

Dr. May Cohen and her husband, Dr. Gerry Cohen, ran a successful medical practice for twenty years in the heart of Toronto’s Bathurst Manor community.

Archived

February 24, 2021

A documentary film about the vibrant Miami Beach community of Jewish retirees and the transformation of South Beach between the 1960s and 1980s.

Archived

February 1, 2021

-February 3, 2021

Morley Torgov is an award-winning writer, who brought to life stories about Jewish communities in small-town Ontario with humour, warmth and a critical eye.

Archived

October 27, 2020

This all-new video podcast brings to life the pages of Mandel’s lovingly researched story, with renowned actor Alon Nashman stepping into the author’s persona as narrator of the original text.

Archived

October 18, 2020

A photo-rich webinar about the history of Jewish life in South Africa and the immigration of Jewish South Africans to Canada.

Archived

August 5, 2020

A for a unique opportunity with the OJA to interview the earliest residents of Bathurst Manor—one of Toronto’s first Jewish suburbs.

Archived

August 27, 2020

A panel discussion as part of The Honest Ed’s Experience with Lulu Wei, Itah Sadu, Franca Longobardi, and Ken Greenberg, Gene Mascardelli.

Archived

August 25, 2020

-September 2, 2020

TJFF and OJA present a special screening series celebrating the life and legacy of Jewish impresario Ed Mirvish and his beloved discount store, Honest Ed’s, a landmark for generations of immigrants upon their arrival in Toronto.

Related Exhibitions

Gallery

October 4, 2021

-November 28, 2021

Periphery will illustrate the ways that Jewish people in Ontario, with intersecting social identities, negotiate a sense of place and recognition and reflect on what periphery means to them.

Virtual

May 1, 2021

-May 31, 2023

A virtual tour of Toronto’s historic Kensington Market. Scroll through all eight stops and watch the streets come to life though guided videos presenting the sights and sounds of the one-time Jewish Market.

Virtual

November 11, 2020

-November 11, 2022

Over 17,000 Canadian Jews enlisted in the military during WWII. Through their personal collections, preserved at the OJA, we can learn about these Canadian Jewish servicemen and women and the Jewish organizations that aided them.

Virtual

May 14, 2007

-May 10, 2021

A selection of historic tzedakah boxes from the holdings of the Ontario Jewish Archives and Beth Tzedec Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum. 

Virtual

May 14, 2007

-May 10, 2021

An online exhibition by the OJA examining the various ways the Jewish community made a living during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Virtual

May 14, 2007

-May 10, 2021

This OJA exhibition explores the heroic participation of the Canadian military’s Jewish servicemen (and later women), who fought side-by-side with other Canadians in the wars of the past century.

Virtual

May 14, 2007

-May 10, 2021

This online project by the OJA that looks at the history of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association.

Virtual

May 17, 2004

-May 10, 2021

This online project by the OJA investigates the rich history and cultural significance of some  of Toronto’s first synagogues that are still located in their original buildings.

Virtual

May 11, 2009

-May 10, 2021

An online project by the OJA including original historic text, photographs, audio and video clips, archival documents, maps and architectural plans.

Virtual

May 13, 2019

-May 10, 2021

The Southern African Legacy Project documents the fascinating stories of Ontario’s Jewish immigrants from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Virtual

May 6, 2019

-May 3, 2021

Storefront Stories tells the history of the Jewish businesses in Kensington Market.
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Copyright © 2021 UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. All Rights Reserved.
Dates and times subject to change without notice.
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