Collection - Multiple fonds collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Multiple fonds collection

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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Dates of creation area


  • 1865-2015 (Creation)
    Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada

Physical description area

Physical description

9.3 m of textual records
26 photographs
2 DVDs
6 pins
3 ribbons
2 rings
2 crests
1 wallet
1 stamp
1 button
1 leather clutch

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to preserve and share the history of Jews in Western Canada and of the Holocaust. The organization was formed in 1999 when the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, the Ed and Marion Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada and the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre merged.
In 1967 the Canadian Jewish Congress Western Division created the History and Archives Committee to acquire material for and produce an exhibit on “90 Years of Jewish Life in Western Canada” as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations. The History and Archives Committee would become the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada (JHS) in 1968. The objective of the JHS was “to gather, record, preserve and present the history and the religious and cultural heritage of the Jewish People of Western Canada.”
The JHS collected records and artefacts from individuals, synagogues, schools, and a variety of religious and secular Jewish organizations. Additionally, an extensive oral history program produced audio and video recordings of Holocaust survivors, labour activists, athletes, business owners, politicians, veterans, farmers and other individuals. A museum exhibit was produced in partnership with the Museum of Man (now the Manitoba Museum) entitled Journey Into Our Heritage. Other exhibits topics have included the life of Baron Maurice de Hirsch and the Jewish community of Selkirk Avenue. A series of essay collections titled Jewish Life and Times was published beginning in 1968. Three films were also produced by the JHS: "Journey Into Our Heritage: The Story of Jewish Settlement in Western Canada," "It Must Be Told," and "An Hour of Lifetimes."
The JHC is run by an executive board and three permanent committees: Programs and Exhibits Committee, Archives Committee, Holocaust Education Committee. Temporary committees are occasionally created for specific projects.
The Jewish Museum of Western Canada was created in 1995 with the intention of having the opening of the museum to coincide with the opening of the Asper Jewish Community Campus. The name was changed to the Marion and Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada and Holocaust Education Centre in 1997. The museum gallery consisted of a permanent exhibit on the history of Jews in Western Canada, a permanent Holocaust education component and a space for temporary exhibits.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Collection consists of records from a wide variety of sources that were acquired by the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHC) and its predecessors and that were arranged and described on an item or file level rather than at a fonds level. In addition to the numerous sources of the material, the format, subject matter and function of the records varies. Records creators include individuals, organizations as well as the JHC itself and its predecessors.

Corporate records creators represented in the collection consist of numerous secular and religious Jewish organizations. These are mostly Winnipeg based but also include some from other communities in western Canada. These organization include: Hadassah, Histradut, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), Zionist organizations, synagogues, I.L. Peretz school, B’nai Brith lodges, the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council, and Mt. Carmel Clinic.

Individual records creators are equally diverse, including politicians, rabbis, business owners, labour activists and others involved in the Jewish communities of Western Canada. These include Max Steinkopf, Saul Cherniack, Leible Hersfield and others.

Records formats include: correspondence, newsletters, programs, annual reports, handwritten books, minutes and financial statements. Many of the records are photocopies of originals. There are also a small number of artefacts such as pins and buttons.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Nearly all of the records in this collection have been arranged and described in at least two different ways by the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHC) or its predecessor, the Jewish Historical Society (JHS). Generally, neither of these previous arrangements were based on provenance. Some of the records appear to have been arranged by theme, such as farm settlements, religious figures or geographic areas. Many of the files appear to have been arranged by accession. Previous arrangements can be found in paper finding aids that are available at the JHC. These previous finding aids were intended to include the entire holdings of the JHC and JHS. In cases where the provenance was discernible and where it was feasible to do so, many of the records described in the original finding aids were divided into separate fonds and have been arranged and described as such. Many of the records described in this collection properly belong in the separate fonds descriptions but it was not practical to do so.

Language of material

  • English
  • Hebrew
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Yiddish

Script of material

Language and script note

Some of the records are in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian or Romanian. See file list for more details.

Location of originals

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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