Webinars with the Ontario Jewish Archives

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June 3, 2020

being jewish

The Ontario Jewish Archives is working with historians, archivists, curators and educators to offer a series of discussions and lectures surrounding Jewish history and Covid 19.


Now You Know: Being Jewish During a Pandemic: What’s Lost | What’s Gained?

On May 25, 2020, the Ontario Jewish Archives hosted a webinar exploring how COVID-19 has impacted Jewish communal life. Stanford University PhD candidate Josh Tapper who is working to document the impact of COVID-19 on the Jewish community will be in conversation with Memorial University folklorist Jillian Gould. Moderated by OJA Executive Director Dara Solomon, Josh and Jillian will discuss how this unprecedented period of social isolation that has disrupted much of Jewish communal life, has also given rise to renewed connections to Jewish tradition and ritual in our homes.


Art Out of the Archives: From Yiddish Theatre to Kung Fu Films to Contemporary Art

On June 2, 2020, the OJA’s Executive Director Dara Solomon and FENTSTER Curator Evelyn Tauben discussed the history of the Standard Theatre (at the north-east corner of Dundas and Spadina), the subject of their 2018 joint exhibition featuring multi-disciplinary Toronto artist Shellie Zhang. The theatre served as a cultural destination for both the Jewish and Chinese communities, opening as a Yiddish theatre in 1922 and five decades later presenting Chinese cinema as the Golden Harvest Theatre. Sharing materials pulled from the OJA collection as well as other private and public archives, the conversation will explore how the theatre connected Chinese and Jewish immigrants with their distinctive cultures and native languages. Discover the surprising backstory of this heritage building and how nearly 100 years after its opening, Zhang represented two significant cultural institutions through a much buzzed-about neon art installation.


Now You Know: Vos Estu – A Conversation About Early Jewish Food in Toronto

The COVID-19 Pandemic has sparked a major return to homesteading. More than ever, we are considering where our food comes from. This approach to food prep shares much in common with the early Jewish community’s way of life in Kensington Market, almost 100 years ago. In this webinar from June 23, 2020, Dara Solomon, Executive Director of UJA’s Ontario Jewish Archives, speaks with UofT Yiddish Doctoral student Miriam Borden and food scholar Joel Dickau about Toronto’s early Jewish culinary infrastructure.

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