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Location DB > Canada > Ontario > Ottawa > Jewish Historical Society
Jewish Historical Society
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 Database Info
created by ThirdEye on 7/19/2015 5:02 PM
last modified by Jvelmar on 5/12/2017 7:44 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
Half the complex remains; currently under prep for demolition. Large theatre and ballroom still untouched.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
153 Chapel St.
Ottawa, Ontario
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • air quality
  •  Interesting Features
    500 person theater & ballroom, old piano, roof access, wheelchair and hospital-looking hallway
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • part-time guard
  • locked gates
  • welded doors
  • wooden boarding
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 0
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • breathing mask
  • gloves
  • head protection
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Interest in creating a Jewish historical society started in 1966 when Dr. Abraham Slone began collecting short memoirs of local Jewish personalities. The Society held its first meeting in 1969 under the chairmanship of journalist Max Bookman. In 1970 an executive committee was formally created under the auspices of the Ottawa Vaad Ha'Ir (the present Jewish Federation of Ottawa), guided by Hy Hochberg. Michael Freedman was appointed first President and Celia Bookman, widow of Max Bookman, was appointed Secretary.

    The primary purpose of the Society was the preservation of Ottawa Jewish history. In 1972, an agreement was pursued with the Public Archives of Canada for the preservation of the most valuable community records. The Society was assigned a collection space at the Jewish Community Centre at 151 Chapel Street. Here material was arranged and organized under the direction of Shirley Berman. In 1974 Sidney M. Green became the President of the Society, followed by Hugo Levendel in July 1980 and Ben Karp in August 1986. Lawrence Freedman served from 1992-2006 and John Holzman from 2006-2010. Ian Sadinsky is the current President. By the mid-1980s the Society's holdings included numerous documents, photographs and sound recordings. In 1984, with the move of Hillel Academy to the Broadview campus, space became available to the Society for storage and preservation. This was soon followed by the installation of environmental controls in the storage vault. Aided by volunteers, the facility took on the characteristics of a community archives.

    Since its inception, the Society produced many exhibitions and hosted interpretive visits from the pupils of elementary and Jewish schools. Dawn Logan served as community archivist from 1999 until December 2008. Laurie Dougherty is the current archivist of the Ottawa Jewish Archives. The Society produced its first publication, Those Pesky Weeds in 1992. Another publication, A Common Thread: A History of the Jews of Ottawa, was launched on October 18, 2009. In September 2001 the Society organized a bus tour which explored the By Ward Market and much of the early Jewish settlement area of Lowertown Ottawa. When a new community centre was built further west, off Broadview, a modern climate controlled archival facility was included. The Society's holdings were moved there in 1999. In 2001 the Ottawa Vaad Ha'Ir assumed responsibility for the community archives. With its changing role, the Society redirected its mandate to that of promotion of Ottawa Jewish history as well as support of the Ottawa Jewish Archives.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Weekend Visit
    Sun, Jul 19th, 2015
    posted by ThirdEye
    3 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 7 / 10
    Coolness 7 / 10
    Content Quality 7 / 10
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Explorer Zero on 5/12/2017 8:13 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on May 12 17 at 20:13, Explorer Zero validated this location
  • on May 12 17 at 19:44, Jvelmar changed the following: Status
  • on Dec 24 16 at 16:59, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 24 16 at 16:59, Emperor Wang changed the following: Display Name
  • on Jul 19 15 at 18:01, Mike Dijital validated this location
  • on Jul 19 15 at 17:12, ThirdEye made this location available
  • on Jul 19 15 at 17:12, ThirdEye changed the following: Type, History
  • on Jul 19 15 at 17:12, ThirdEye changed the following: History
  • on Jul 19 15 at 17:11, ThirdEye added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Jul 19 15 at 17:11, ThirdEye created a new gallery
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