Day 95: Building the Infrastructure for Our City

“God Save the Queen” begins the broadcast. The year is 1958.

From the “Wilds of North York”, Rabbi Feinberg of Holy Blossom delivers the invocation: “Oh thou, G-d, Father of all mankind in whose eyes all people of every race and creed are alike thy children. We ask thee to bless this place and the generations of youth, Canadian youth, who will rejoice and be glad in it throughout the generations to come…”

This occasion is the ground-breaking ceremony for the Northern Y, which the Jewish community is about to sanctify at 4600 Bathurst Street, the location of today’s Sherman Campus.

North Toronto "Y" groundbreaking ceremonies, 1958. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, fonds 61, series 2-2, file 39.

North Toronto “Y” groundbreaking ceremonies, 1958. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, fonds 61, series 2-2, file 39.

On the platform are: Rabbi Feinberg of Holy Blossom; Charles Draimin; Alex Fisher,  Co-Chairman of the YM-YWHA building fund; Samuel Granatstein, President of the YM-YWHA; Honourable A. Kelso Roberts, Attorney General of Ontario; H. Max Swartz Q.C., Chairman of Board of Directors of the YM-YWHA; Norman Goodhead,  Reeve-elect of North York;  Vernon Singer, Reeve of North York Township; Fred Gardiner Q.C., Chairman of Metro Council, His Worship Mayor Nathan Phillips the “social butterfly of Toronto”; Senator David Croll; Ben Sadowski; Lou Posluns; Mark Levy, President of the United Jewish Welfare Fund; John D. Fienberg, United Jewish Campaign Chairman for the coming year; Sarah Godfrey; David Andrews, Executive Director of the YM-YWHA; Lou Borsook, former President and Chairman of the YM-YWHA and instrumental in the building of the Bloor and Spadina building; Gordon Adamson, architect for the Northern YM-YWHA; Dr. Alexander Lipson, President of the Jewish Camp Council who operated Camp Fundale on the Northern site; Teddy Draimin, Treasurer of YM-YWHA; Harvey Blackstein, Vice President of YM-YWHA; Sam Sable, Chairman of Board of the UJWF; and Florence (Faigie) Hutner, Executive Director of the UJWF. The introductions are made by Ellis I. Shapiro, Chairman of the YM-YWHA Building Committee.

This recording from the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre gives a glimpse of the role played by Jewish civic and community leaders and the historic work of UJA Federation in building the infrastructure that would benefit not only the Jewish community, but all Torontonians.

 

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