Jewish headstone inscriptions and burial records can provide crucial information to family historians. Hebrew name inscriptions that are based on patronymics can link together two generations of Hebrew names unlike any other source document. This can be especially helpful when trying to connect first generation American/Canadian ancestors with their European families. Nolan Altman, coordinator of Jewishgen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and Vice President for Data Acquisition at Jewishgen.org emphatically points out the importance of finding the matzevot (tombstones) of your ancestors. The JGS of Long Island has made a video about Hebrew Naming and How to Read Hebrew Headstones
The Jewish Genealogical Society has submitted over 70,000 burial records to JOWBR from each of the 12 Jewish Cemeteries in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area (including the oldest Jewish cemeteries: Pape Ave., Jones Ave., Roselawn, Dawes Rd. etc.) thanks to the hard work of our earliest volunteers – Harold Nisenthal Z”l; Diane Krieger Z”l; Alan Halberstadt Z”l; Shelley Stillman; David Trost; Kevin Hanit and many others who volunteered to photograph and input data.
We are seeking volunteers to help with the photography or preparation of photographs for submission to JOWBR. If interested please contact the project coordinators at [email protected]
Funeral Homes (Toronto)
There are two Jewish funeral homes in Toronto:
Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel
2401 Steeles Ave. W. Toronto, Ontario
Local Phone: (416) 663-9060
Toll Free: (800) 579-9060
Benjamin’s has archived most burials that they have performed since 1980. Search the website for someone whose funeral was at Benjamin’s.
Seven record books from 1930 to 1980 have been deposited with the National Archives of Canada.
Steeles Memorial Chapel
350 Steeles Ave. W. Thornhill, Ontario
Tel. 905-881-6003 website
Microfilms for years 1949, 1951-1975 have been deposited with the National Archives of Canada.