Now that we took a brief look at the history of Jews in Canada, I want to get back to the history of Jews in Vancouver.
Since the early 20th century, Vancouver has seen the formation of Jewish communities. These include Young Mens Hebrew Association (1909), the Ladies Aid Society (1907; later Schara Tzedeck Ladies' Auxiliary and the Sisterhood), B'nai B'rith(1910), the Hebrew Aid and Immigrant Society (1910), the Zionist and Social Society (1913), and the Hebrew Free Loan Association (1915).
Samuel Davies Schultz was Canada's first Jewish judge; appointed to the Vancouver County Court in 1914. In 1917, Max Grossman became Vancouver's first Jew appointed King's Counsel (a lawyer).
Involved in many community organizations, Grossman was a major force in the Schara Tzedeck Synagogue, the Vancouver Hebrew School, and the first Jewish Community Centre.
Unfortunately, due to World War I and an economic depression stopped the fund raising efforts. In 1917, the congregation stopped services.
Not long after that, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the Treaty of Versailles, European boundaries were reorganized. This brought a wave of Eastern European Orthodox Jewish immigrants.
Vancouver's Jewish population was still too small to support multiple synagogues. In 1919-1921, what was left of the Reform Congregation joined with the Orthodox Schara Tzedeck to build a temple in East Vancouver for all Vancouver Jews. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Temple Emanu-El continued to hold separate charitable events and social gatherings in the West End, as well as a children's Sabbath school until 1932 when the congregation dissolved entirely.
A Hadassah chapter was founded in 1920, Jewish Community Chest and Vancouver Council of Jewish Women in 1924, the Hebrew Athletic Club and early meetings for Congregation Beth Israek(Conservative) in 1925.
The Vancouver Jewish Community Centre, the first Jewish regular newspaper, started in 1923. It became the Jewish Western Bulletin and ran from 1930-2001.The Schara Tzedeck congregation had hosted and the Talmud Torah Hebrew School and in 1928, the congregation took over the school's governance until 1943.
In 1919, Samuel Joseph Cohen opened a surplus and liquidation store called Army and Navy. The location for the store was on Hastings Street. (It is still there, I was shopping in that store last weekend) Sam also developed a mail order catalogue that ran from 1925 to 1986, making it one of Canada's longest running department store catalogues.
Other prominent businessmen, Ben and Morris Wosk started an appliance store called Wosk's in 1923. It later grew into a major publicly traded chain of furniture and appliance stores. The Wosks were also real estate moguls and philanthropists.
Thank you to Wikipedia for the information. I never thought when I started this series last week that there was so much information! I have enough for at least one more entry.
Have a great weekend and I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Judaism, Wosk's, Army and Navy, British Columbia