JGS Toronto Library Collection

The JGS Toronto’s Library Collection is located at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street (at Bloor Street). The collection is a reference, non-circulating collection, and is housed in closed stacks on the 2nd floor, in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. The collection includes many volumes of local Jewish family history, Who’s Who in Canadian Jewry, genealogical research guides, titles on Jewish surnames, numerous Yizkor books, and chronicles of the Holocaust. In addition, items relevant to Jewish communities in Canada, United States, and Europe enhance the collection. The Branching Out column appears regularly in Shem Tov, our Society’s quarterly bulletin, where I feature new acquisitions to the library collection, book reviews, and articles of genealogical interest. To view the holdings of the JGS Toronto’s Library Collection, click on the Author, Title, and Subject tabs. However, to appreciate the full extent of the important genealogical resources that are available, plan a visit to the JGS Toronto’s Library Collection.
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Past Presentations and Workshops

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This presentation was delivered on July 21, 2021 by Henry Wellisch (President Emeritus of JGS Toronto).  Henry was born in Vienna in September of 1922.  He escaped with his parents in 1940 via an illegal transport on the Danube and then by steamship on the Black and Mediterranean Seas, only to be sent to a British prison in Mauritius shortly after landing in Palestine. Click here to view the video of Henry's Presentation Click here for Henry's notes.
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Rotenberg Ledger

https://jgstoronto.ca/resources/rotenberg-ledger-inserts/Link to Rotenberg LedgerThe Rotenberg Ledger are turn of the 20th century records of passengers who had their steamship tickets purchased by relations in Toronto. A large percentage of the names that are recorded in this Steamship Agent's books are Jewish.
From evidence in the annually published city directories, Louis Rothenberg arrived in Toronto about 1899, and first earned a living as a junk dealer, at 145 Elizabeth Street.In 1902, his eldest son, Henry joined him in the family business. Presumably, on Henry’s initiative, the firm of L. Rothenberg & Son, junk dealers, increased its scope in 1904, operating as L. Rottenberg & Son, steamship agents, at 157 Queen Street West.About 1908, in a short-lived partnership with Samson and Charles J. Garfunkel, the firm of Garfunkel & Rottenberg, steamship agents, opened at 141 Queen Street West, while Louis continued to operate the junk dealership.Listed at the Queen Street address in the 1911 city directory simply as Louis Rottenberg & Sons, insurance agents, the firm had further diversified; and also expanded with the inclusion of sons Max and Louis Jr. in the business. By 1916, they were advertising themselves as L. Rotenberg, bankers, steamship and insurance agents, apparently with the departure of son Henry. However, in the following year the Rotenberg family abandoned their steamship agency.The surviving Rotenberg Ledger is a register of steamship passengers who had their tickets purchased for them by relatives in Canada—generally living in the Toronto region. The majority of the names are of Jews who were emigrating from Eastern and Central Europe.  Thanks to Cyril Gryfe for providing the above provenance to the Rotenberg Ledger.
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Special Interest Groups

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and networking forums allow members with particular interests to share knowledge, ideas and information. Our SIGs help you connect with other members of JGST who have similar goals and challenges. At this time, five SIGs have been established: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, DNA and Central Europe. Special Interest Groups are available only to members of JGS Toronto.  First, make sure that you, as a member, create an account so that you can to log in to the Members area of the JGS Toronto website.  If you need to create a website account,  click here     [email protected] Then you can subscribe to the Forum for the SIG(s) you are interested in. That will enroll you to your chosen SIG(s). Also, you can join a SIG by sending an email to Mel and/or Deana Fishman: [email protected] Please note that you may join as many SIGs as you like. SIGSs hold meetings periodically, allowing for networking and presentations.    Meetings are held either at Shaarei Shomayim, 470 Glencairn Avenue, Toronto, or at the Family History Center, 24 Ferrand Drive, Don Mills (map: near Eglinton Ave. East, just east of Don Mills Rd.)  Meeting dates are established by the SIG leaders.  Please be sure to check the Event Calendar for dates and locations and watch for emailed announcements of meetings! SIG members are encouraged to communicate through the Forums.  This is a great opportunity for SIG members to ask and answer questions, or share relevant news. To join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, complete the form on our Become a Member page. Read more about each of these SIGs below.
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Toronto Family History Project

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, in partnership with MyHeritage, is pleased to announce completion of the first phase of the Toronto Jewish Families History Project (TJFHP) and the opening of a searchable on-line database of more than 2,700 names. The project is based on the hypothesis that many of the early Jewish families in Toronto were related and that they form the backbone of that community. One of our primary aims is to make available important sources of genealogical information to further our knowledge of the genealogical and historical roots of Toronto Jewry. The main years of our study would initially be 1890 to about 1945.

Goldenberg Scrolls

The Goldenberg scrolls were the first component of our project. Some forty years ago or so, the late Dr. Henry Goldenberg (1918-2001), a highly respected physician in Toronto, asked many of his Galician-born patients about their family histories and sketched out their family trees on long sheets of paper from his medical office. Important:  At this time access to the MyHeritage link that displays the Goldenberg tree is only available to Members of JGST. You can become a member of JGST by clicking on https://jgstoronto.ca/membership/
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