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Did You Know?

The Ottawa Jewish Bulletin was created as the voice of the Vaad Ha’Ir in 1937. In 1937, Rabbi Morris Margolis of New York City was coming to Ottawa to serve as the new community rabbi. On September 16, 1937, at a meeting of the Vaad Ha’Ir, it was discussed that a “Weekly Bulletin of News be circulated throughout the community.” Supported by the new rabbi, the purpose would be “to give publicity to forthcoming activities of both the Vaad and the various organizations affiliated therewith; as well as a medium via which opinions could be expressed and questions and answers on various religious and spiritual matters given.”

The first copy of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin was published on October 22, 1937. In its early days, the Bulletin was a four-page publication published every Friday and roughly 800 copies were mailed out to the Jewish community, which numbered approximately 3500 people. The paper became the voice of the Ottawa Vaad Ha'Ir and the community's leaders and organizations, and was sponsored and produced by the Ottawa Vaad Ha’Ir. It ran for 84 years and was Ottawa’s only Jewish newspaper.

Did You Know?

One of the earliest supporters of the establishment of the Ottawa Vaad Ha’Ir, the Federation’s predecessor, was the Ottawa Vaad HaKashruth. The Vaad HaKashruth was established in May of 1927 and operated as its own organization supervising Kosher laws in Ottawa. Prior to 1950, Canada had no federal or provincial Kosher laws so when the Vaad Hakashruth was established, it was to manage Ottawa’s Kosher butchers only. In 1934, the Vaad Hakashruth oversaw five butchers in the city and collected tax on meat sold in order to support Talmud Torah, which functioned as a type of community centre where many groups and organizations met.

OJA 2-072 - Bainesh Cantor and Arnold Phillipson in front of Cantor's Kosher Butcher Shop at 470 Street Patrick Street, 1943.
OJA 2-076 - Misha Zbar, a kosher butcher at his St. Patrick Street shop in Ottawa, 1940.
OJA 2-003 - Mr. Louis Dworkin in his delivery wagon in front of his Grocery and Butcher Shop, Ottawa, 1914.

Did you know?

The Vaad Ha'Ir’s first home was in the home of Mr. Louis Harry Goldman, located at 218 Friel Street. Louis Harry Goldman was the first Executive Secretary for the Vaad beginning in 1934 and his role was in the administration of the organization.

Mr. Goldman was born in Ottawa in 1909 to Jacob and Rachel Wolfe Goldman. He was educated at the Kent School for Higher English and Applied Arts, graduating in 1926 and receiving the Stewart McLeneghan gold watch for attaining the highest marks in school. He joined the Government of Canada in 1927 and became secretary to the director of the Board of Transport Commissioners.

His involvement with the Ottawa Jewish community commenced in 1932 as secretary to the Vaad Hakashruth. Harry said, “the following year ... the members from all four synagogues started talking about the prospects of using their body as a nucleus for the establishment of a larger organization - a Vaad Ha’Ir ... All the planning and helping to put it into operation entailed an additional workload but I relished it”. In 1934, this prospect was realized and he began serving as Executive Secretary for the newly formed Ottawa Vaad Ha’Ir. One of the first jobs was compiling a mailing list of the members (families) of the Jewish community in Ottawa. He continued his secretarial work by becoming the General Secretary for the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin when it began publishing on October 22, 1937. He remained very involved in Ottawa’s Jewish community until 1944 when he moved to his wife’s home province of New Brunswick.

Mr. Goldman's personal letter page 1 and page 2.

Did you know...

The first president of the Jewish Community Council, also called the Vaad Ha'ir, (Federation's precursor) was Archibald J. Freiman. He led the council from 1934 until his death in 1944. He was so well-regarded in Canada for his "life of service," that more than 2,500 people attended his funeral, including Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King who took the time to deliver a tribute despite that the ceremony coincided with D-Day and the deployment of thousands of Canadian troops.

Full news article from 1944 here.