Left to right are Shirley Barnett, Michael Schwartz, Sam Sullivan, Julian Prieto, Margaret Sutherland and Alysa Routtenberg. (photo from Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia)
The Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia was pleased to welcome Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, for a tour of the B.C. Jewish Community Archives on Aug. 15, 2019. Archivist Alysa Routtenberg and director of community engagement Michael Schwartz shared highlights of the archival collection and explained how JMABC staff and volunteers work to preserve and share these important documents.
Among his many accomplishments, Sullivan is a former mayor of Vancouver and the founder of Transcribimus, an online service dedicated to transcribing early Vancouver city council meeting minutes and publishing them online. Transcribimus was an essential resource in the JMABC’s efforts to restore the Jewish section of Mountain View Cemetery in 2013-2015, an initiative led by former JMABC board member Shirley Barnett.
National Council of Jewish Women of Canada celebrated its 95th year in Vancouver with a birthday party June 4, 2019, at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club.
* * *
Ben Etkin-Goulet beat all the other cyclists in his category at the GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan on July 14. The 24-year-old Vancouverite completed the 92-kilometre Mediofondo in two hours and 30 minutes, beating out hundreds of competitors. It was only his second competitive race.
“I’ve been commuting for as long as I can remember,” said Etkin-Goulet, “but I started cycling more as a sport in 2016 and I’ve been ramping up since then. This last year was my first year training throughout the winter.”
Etkin-Goulet graduated last year with a degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia and works in data analytics at Boeing. He is the son of Fabienne Goulet and Alan Etkin and grandson of Leonor Etkin.
* * *
Parents Cyndi and Max Mintzberg and Ricki and Mark Kahn and grandparents Evelyn, Gloria and Irwin are delighted to celebrate the marriage of Jaclyn and Alex.
Michael Schwartz speaks at the launch of East End Stories on June 24. (photo from JMABC)
When Louis and Emma Gold arrived in Granville, precursor to Vancouver, the merchant family from Kentucky became the first members of what would grow into the booming Jewish community in the Lower Mainland.
Like most of the first Jewish immigrants to British Columbia, the Golds moved to the eastern end of downtown, where they opened a general store. Two waves of European Jews would come to Vancouver in the late 19th century and the Strathcona neighbourhood would become their home. It was an era during which new Jewish arrivals to North America largely found employment as merchants or doing various trades and Vancouver’s East End provided affordable and accessible housing for the working class.
“So many immigrant communities passed through there,” said Michael Schwartz, director of community engagement for the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia.
The Jewish history of Strathcona is no secret, and the museum has offered walking tours of the neighbourhood for decades, beginning with a self-guided one in 1986, which grew into the current monthly guided tour. But, while those familiar with Jewish Vancouver may already know about the community’s past, Schwartz is hoping that a new school curriculum and video series created by the JMABC will make that history significantly more accessible.
East End Stories, completed in June, includes six short online videos and a 43-page study guide intended for use with students in grades 7 through 9. In addition to making some of the information offered on the walking tour available to those who can’t attend in person, Schwartz said the project also unveiled new information about early Vancouver Jews.
“It gave us the opportunity to do more research, to dig deeper, to find stuff we hadn’t before,” he told the Independent.
The result is the six videos, covering the first arrivals, the early community institutions and history of philanthropy, as well as Vancouver’s second mayor – David Oppenheimer – entrepreneur and philanthropist Jack Diamond, and the Grossman family. (Among other things, Max Grossman started this community newspaper.) Each running just under five minutes and offering encyclopedia-style capsule histories, the videos feature narrators from the local community. Schwartz said the photographs used were drawn from 17 archives across the world, including ones in California, Jerusalem and Poland.
The study guide covers the material in each video but is structured slightly more broadly, wrapping the Oppenheimer and Diamond biographies into a single lesson focused on how Jews shaped Vancouver, for example.
Schwartz said the impetus for creating the educational resources came after a vice-principal in the city asked whether there was a way to bring the information from the walking tour to classrooms at his school, as the logistics of bringing dozens of students to the neighbourhood itself was too complex. The museum offered the school replicas of wall panels that appear along the tour, but the study guide goes further, and meets current provincial guidelines for social studies curricula. Schwartz said museum staff will attend the B.C. Teachers Federation Conference in October to publicize the project, which was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Canada 150 grant program.
“That provided the anchor funding and we were able to build the rest of the budget with smaller grants,” Schwartz explained. “It had always been a wish list thing and, when this funding opportunity arose, I thought, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’”
The lesson plans are intended to be used in conjunction with other Vancouver ethnic histories and video series created by Orbit Films, the company that produced East End Stories. The other histories are Black Strathcona, Nikkei Stories, which focuses on Japanese Canadians in Vancouver and Steveston, and South Asian Stories.
“All these different communities … faced struggle, rose to the occasion and relied on each other to be able to do that,” said Schwartz.
Highlighting the Jewish community’s roots in Vancouver and the similarities that the community shares with other immigrant groups is one of the goals of East End Stories, Schwartz said, adding that it could help combat certain stereotypes about Canadian Jews.
“Jews are assumed to have always been successful and that’s just not true,” he said. As can be seen in East End Stories, “many of us are stable or in some cases successful today [but] that’s new history.”
The videos and study guide also highlight a period of Jewish history in the Lower Mainland that was different for the way in which Jews were geographically concentrated in a certain quarter of the city, a phenomenon that remained true even after Jews largely left Strathcona but which has changed in recent decades.
Schwartz said that, during the 1950s, the community left Strathcona and clustered around Oakridge and Kerrisdale. The Baby Boomer generation dispersed but would return to the community to visit parents and attend community functions. But, while community institutions like the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver remain along the Oak Street corridor, fewer Vancouver Jews are calling the area home.
“We’re in a moment of transition,” Schwartz said. “We’re seeing a decline in gathering places and institutions where people come together.”
While online resources like the East End Stories videos, which are available on the Jewish Museum’s website, jewishmuseum.ca, can help bring people together figuratively and in shared knowledge and history, Schwartz said that in-person activities like those enabled by the walking tours and the classroom guide remain essential.
“There’s Jewish history in all corners of the city and it’s important for us to be present in not particularly Jewish areas to share the history of our community and spark dialogue about diverse histories of the city,” Schwartz said.
Arno Rosenfeld is a freelance journalist based in Vancouver. He has covered Canadian Jewish issues for JTA and the Times of Israel.
Michael Schwartz, director of community engagement at the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia, speaks to guests at a Chosen Food Supper Club gathering. (photo from JMABC)
This spring, the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia began airing the podcast The Kitchen Stories. The series, which is focused on Jewish food, is the brainchild of Michael Schwartz, the museum’s director of community engagement.
“A podcast is not so different from a museum exhibit,” said Schwartz in an interview with the Independent. “It is a way to present a story…. It doesn’t have a visual component but, unlike a museum exhibit, people can take a podcast with them, listen to it whenever they have the time.”
While podcasts have evolved on and from the internet, Schwartz considers the format a renaissance of a much older type of media – the radio talk show. “Like radio, a podcast is an audio presentation, but on a different technological level. In the past couple of years, there have been some creative and innovative podcasts, and we’re trying to add to their number.”
The idea of a food-related podcast came to him after he experimented with a couple of other topics. “My role at the museum is to make people, both Jews and non-Jews, more aware of our museum. I tried several different themes – architecture, photography – but food seems to be universal. Everyone is interested in food, especially in Vancouver. We are a foodie city, so it seemed appropriate to ride that momentum, to let people tell their stories about food. That’s what a museum does: it lets people tell their stories. Ideally, the museum staff should be invisible.”
The Kitchen Stories concept, as well as the museum’s Chosen Food Supper Club – a dinner series where people meet each other, learn about and enjoy the food being served – crystallized for Schwartz simultaneously. “We started the podcasts a bit earlier, in March, and the supper club in April…. Lots of storytelling happens during the club meetings,” he explained. “Like the podcasts, each club meeting has a theme. Sometimes, it is geographical: food from different parts of the globe. Sometimes, thematic, like holiday food.”
A similar variety of themes characterizes the podcasts. To date, shows have examined food links to family dynamics and worldwide migrations, climate and gender roles, cultural customs and regional culinary quirks.
“We brainstormed the possible themes as we listened to other podcasts, read books on culinary history. We tried to pinpoint what is missing and use those points as our guidelines. One of the underlying themes in our podcasts is the tension between traditional and modern. How people adapt to the local food sources when they move, how the familiar recipes change with times and places. How those recipes diverge when members of one family move to different countries, or continents, and the usual ingredients become unavailable.”
Schwartz believes that the museum has to be open to the stories of all Jews, regardless of their religiosity, affiliation or geographic roots. “The museum’s role is not to provide answers but to discuss a question, to open a forum for conversation. In The Kitchen Stories, food is a medium of telling stories. We explore healthy food choices and how they change with generations: what our grandmothers thought healthy and what we think healthy could be different. We talk about kosher food and organic food. And, of course, when people talk about food, everyone has an opinion.”
The topics are approached often from an historical perspective. “Food is a way to keep history alive,” Schwartz said. “When a kid asks his parents or grandparents why do you cook this way, stories emerge. We wanted to showcase those stories. Food is also a way towards peace and harmony. When we share food with friends, we talk and try to understand each other. Food is a means of communication.”
Schwartz doesn’t create the podcasts alone. Co-producer April Thompson has been working for the museum for the past year.
“I do research on the theme we select, I conduct the interviews,” Thompson said. “Sometimes we interview people in their homes or their businesses. Other times, they come here to the museum; we use a quiet room for the interviews. The museum has had an oral history program for decades, so we use the existing museum equipment for recording. Then I do the editing, choose the music. After I’m done, Michael listens to my material. He records the narration, inserts special terminology sometimes, or we move the pieces around to structure the story better.”
“April is very important to the series,” said Schwartz. “She is not Jewish, and that fact has given her an interesting angle on the project. She brings necessary curiosity to some things those of us within the Jewish community take for granted.”
“Yes,” Thompson agreed. “I’m like a child. I ask: why do you do this, because I don’t know. I want to know. I’m now working on a podcast about [dealing with] grief through food, about the Jewish shivah custom. It’s different from many other cultures.”
Oberlander Residence II, Vancouver. Peter Oberlander and Barry Downs, architects, 1969. Photograph by Selwyn Pullan, 1970. Courtesy of West Vancouver Museum.
New Ways of Living: Jewish Architects in Vancouver, 1955 to 1975, “focuses on two significant expressions of modernism in the practices of Jewish architects and landscape architects in Vancouver,” explained curator Chanel Blouin at the exhibit’s launch Jan. 28. “First, the integration of the West Coast Modern home into the natural landscape in a way that invites the outdoors in. And, second, in creating home designs that respond to the specific needs and living habits of the family within.”
For her research, Blouin interviewed architect Judah Shumiatcher; architects Kate and Erika Gerson, daughters of the late architect Wolfgang Gerson; University of British Columbia professors emeritus Andrew Gruft and Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe; Leslie van Duzer, head of UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and author of House Shumiatcher; and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, whose late husband, architect Peter Oberlander, is featured in the exhibit, as well.
In addition to the interviews, Blouin traveled to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal to consult their collections, in particular that on Hahn Oberlander. A highlight of the online exhibit, which can be found at jewishmuseum.ca, is the photography of the houses featured, including photos by Michael Perlmutter, Selwyn Pullan and Fred Schiffer.
“Architecture and the design of cities have always been interests of mine, and I’ve known for awhile that there are and have been members of our community who are or were innovators in these fields,” said Michael Schwartz, coordinator of programs and development at the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia, about the exhibit’s origins. “As we move from theme to theme in each of our exhibits and in each issue of The Scribe, it seemed fitting to turn the lens on this group. Chanel has a footing in architectural history, so when we hired her, this was the topic she was most drawn to. As she progressed through her research, it became clear what era and which individuals to focus on.”
Blouin was hired by the JMABC for the summer of 2015 with support from the Canadian Heritage program Young Canada Works. An extension to the grant allowed her contract to continue through January 2016, said Schwartz, “giving her time to dig much deeper into the topic and produce a more comprehensive result.”
Blouin, a master’s student in art history at UBC, will begin her PhD at University College London in September. “My current research was influenced by my work on New Ways of Living and considers the complex genealogy of the mid-century modern residential designs conceived by the Oberlanders and Wolfgang Gerson,” she told the Independent. “I want to examine how these figures’ exposure to Central European modern art and architecture of the Bauhaus and Werkbund in the Weimar period, as well as their exile and studies at the Architectural Association and the Harvard School of Design with Walter Gropius, influenced their practices in Vancouver.”
About 200 people attended the launch of the exhibit at Inform Interiors. There was a panel discussion between Blouin, Shumiatcher and Windsor-Liscombe; and Hahn Oberlander, the Gersons and van Duzer were in attendance. “There were also representatives from the Jewish Federation, the City of Vancouver and Canadian Heritage, all strong supporters of the JMABC,” said Schwartz.
In his opening remarks, Schwartz noted, “Not only are we very pleased to launch this new exhibit, New Ways of Living, but this week marks the 45th anniversary of the Jewish Museum and Archives of B.C.
“We have with us tonight our founder, Cyril Leonoff, who had the original vision of an organization that would preserve and celebrate the history of Jewish life in B.C…. With a small, dedicated corps of volunteers, Cyril collected documents and carried out oral history interviews with some of our community’s earliest pioneers – people who, in the 1960s, were already in their 80s and 90s.
“From this founding collection, our archives have since grown to comprise over 300,000 photographs, 750 oral history interviews and 300 metres of documents recounting all aspects of the rich 150-year history of our community.”
In the panel discussion, Blouin spoke about the process of developing and curating the exhibit. “I also provided an introduction to the major themes in the exhibit, such as the features of the West Coast style of architecture, site specificity and the important events that introduced Vancouverites to the modernist ethos in the postwar period,” she said. “Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe elaborated further on Jewish involvement in the development of the West Coast Modern home and considered questions of Jewish identity. Judah Shumiatcher shared the story of House Shumiatcher. He described the experience of designing his home and the challenges that the steep slope of the landscape posed as well as the property’s incredible views. We also had a lively Q&A period with many interesting questions from the audience.”
This interaction and excitement is why the JMABC does a launch event. While online exhibits are more cost-efficient and “have no expiry date,” said Schwartz, meaning that researchers around the world will be able to access this material years from now, “there is still value in creating an occasion for people to come together to learn about and celebrate our past. This is why events like the exhibit launch are so important; they give us the chance to dig deeper into the topic and share with our audience a glimpse into the exhibit creation process. This shared experience so essential to museums is generally missing from an online exhibit, hence the need to supplement the exhibit with public programs.”
Blouin said, “One of the most interesting ideas that I hope people will take away from this exhibit is the fact that Vancouver is home to an extraordinary regional style. Many iconic West Coast Modern homes are located in Point Grey and West Vancouver and it’s possible to visit some of them – the West Vancouver Museum provides annual tours. The West Coast style is complex and the Jewish architects who arrived to the city in the postwar period played a prominent role in its development. It’s a fascinating history!”
The exhibit online, the content of which Blouin wrote, explains that Vancouver “underwent a period of momentous transformation and modernization” after the Second World War. “Returning veterans and new immigrants alike prompted a need for more affordable housing, transportation systems, civic spaces and infrastructure. Between 1940 and 1970, Vancouver required 45,000 new housing units to accommodate the city’s growing population. The city’s expansion was informed by new thinking on improved civic living.”
Blouin explained, “The vibrant art and architecture community that converged around the newly founded School of Architecture at UBC introduced the modernist ethos in Vancouver through various means, including a series of Richard Neutra lectures. The first director of the school, Frederic Lasserre, and B.C. Binning promoted modern architecture in response to the shifting needs of the city.”
The regional domestic architecture of this period “was the post-and-beam house built of locally sourced cedar with wide overhangs and large horizontal windows. Regional West Coast innovations included an exposed timber frame, which allowed for open fluid spaces and immense freestanding ribbon windows oriented toward the picturesque views of the Pacific Northwest landscape.”
While parts of the modernist project will not carry into the future – Marine Gardens, for example, 70 family-sized units designed by Hahn Oberlander and Michael Katz in the 1970s, will be replaced by large residential towers comprising more than 500 units – it will leave a legacy, believes Blouin.
“I think the modernist project has and will continue to inform our thinking about sensitive architecture that responds to both the landscape and the people who inhabit their interiors,” she said. “I hope that New Ways of Living and similar projects, such as the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) West Coast Modern homes book series, will raise awareness about the significance of the West Coast-style homes and the importance of preserving them as they become endangered by escalating land values.”
The new Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia website, jewishmuseum.ca.
The Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia has launched its revamped website, unveiling a new look for the organization, simplifying navigation and making it easier for users to engage with the museum’s diverse programming and to access the holdings of the B.C. Jewish community archives.
The website, jewishmuseum.ca, features a contemporary design. Implementing the archives database system Access to Memory (AtoM), the new site gives researchers access to thousands of documents, photos, audio and video items documenting the 150-year history of Jews in British Columbia.
“For the first time in the history of the JMABC, we have the capability of providing online access to the treasures in the archives, while at the same time adhering to important archival standards,” said archivist Jennifer Yuhasz. “We are excited to join the vast community of professional archives already using AtoM, including UNESCO, World Bank Group Archives, Library and Archives Canada, and most of the provincial, municipal and university archives and libraries across B.C.”
Selections from this archival collection are presented in the form of online exhibits recounting specific themes and events in community history. Exhibits will be added each year.
The production of the new site was made possible through the support of the Betty Averbach Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver, numerous private donors and the more than 100 contributors to the JMABC’s 2014 Indiegogo campaign. Its launch follows the introduction of a new graphic identity for the museum and archives, designed by local graphic design firm Adria Consulting, which also redesigned the website.
Important elements of JMABC’s new look include a new wordmark, new typography, a palette of vibrant colors and a suite of facet shapes drawn from the Star of David. Together, these elements celebrate the diversity of B.C. Jewish history and the innovative spirit of JMABC, and they will be implemented throughout all of JMABC’s print and online materials, unifying the organization’s public presence as never before. The public were given their first taste of the new identity at the recent JMABC exhibit, Fred Schiffer: Lives in Photos, presented this spring as part of the Capture Photography Festival.
“Our new look reflects the exciting work we are doing, always seeking new ways to share our community’s rich history with everyone,” said Michael Schwartz, JMABC’s coordinator of programs and development. “Adria understood this immediately and devised an identity that boldly conveys our core principles.”
JMABC is dedicated to the collection and sharing of community memories of Jewish life in British Columbia. With 300 linear metres of textual records, 300,000 photographs and 725 oral history interviews, it chronicles all facets of the community’s history.
Jennifer Levine, Fred Schiffer’s daughter, speaks at the opening of the exhibit of her father’s work. (photo by Cynthia Ramsay)
On April 16, with the help of volunteers from King David High School and others, the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia welcomed more than 250 visitors to the opening night of Fred Schiffer Lives in Photos. At the Make Gallery until May 31, the exhibit is part of the Capture Photography Festival.
Michael Schwartz, coordinator of programs and development at the JMABC and curator of the exhibit, gave the crowd a brief overview of what the JMABC does, and how the Schiffer photos fit into the museum’s holdings.
Of the 300,000 photographs housed by the JMABC, said Schwartz, “The Schiffer collection comprises over 10,000 photos. The JMABC has been working on this collection – organizing it, processing it – since it was donated by Schiffer’s family in 2001. To date, we’ve digitized 2,000 photographs, which are available to researchers online. The 45 photos that you see in this exhibit are selected from those 2,000, and an additional six photos are on display at the atrium of the Langara library through May 4th in a satellite exhibit.”
Schwartz explained that Schiffer fled Vienna, seeking refuge in England, where he stayed for 10 years before heading to Argentina, where he also lived for 10 years. “He arrived here in Vancouver in 1958 with his wife Olive and their two young children, Jennifer and Roger.”
The Schiffers operated a small studio under the Hudson’s Bay Co. building, on Seymour Street. “Schiffer was respected by his peers, not only for his skill but for being a kind and generous man, a true mensch, as we say,” said Schwartz. “He was president of the local photographic association, wrote frequently for the association newsletter and shared his knowledge of the trade with his colleagues.” He was one of the people who “led the charge to develop a professional photography program at Langara.”
After thanking the partners and funders of the exhibit, as well as his colleagues, Schwartz introduced Jennifer Levine, Schiffer’s daughter, who attended the opening from Toronto.
While her father was the person behind the photographs, she said, “he had two quite remarkable women who loved him and worked with him”: her mother, “who was the person you would always meet in the studio and who was also the organizer and the bookkeeper,” and her aunt, Irene, “who was not only a master retoucher but, also, I think she did some of the printing … together they discussed how things should be, and collaborated to make the prints happen.”
The family came to Vancouver from Buenos Aires, which had a “very lively photographic culture and my father was part of a group of photographers who met together, collaborated, discussed their work … they were sophisticated, they had annual photo shows in art galleries,” said Levine. When he came here, he thought he could interest the Vancouver Art Gallery in his work. “The response was, ‘Oh no, that’s photography, that’s not art.’ And it’s interesting that Vancouver has become such … an international centre for exciting work in photography, but let me tell you that, in the ’50s and ’60s, that was not happening.”
For her father, she said, “coming to Vancouver, which he chose to do, I think, largely for his children … because he had a sense of what was happening in Argentina, meant that the exploratory and experimental nature of his work would have to be held in because people in Vancouver were not interested…. I see how he had to shape his work for the marketplace and I know he did it for us and I honor him for that…. Artists have to make compromises sometimes for the people they love, and my dad did. I’m really proud of him as a photographer but I’m proud of him as a dad, too.”
NCJW members unload boxes of toys headed for Israel as part of the Ship a Box to Israel program launched by NCJW Tikvah branch, Vancouver Harbor, 1947. (photo from JMABC L.11998)
Much of the work of Jewish women in Vancouver has occurred, both historically and still today, behind the scenes. The Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia is trying to change that with its online exhibit, More Than Just Mrs. Accessible at morethanjustmrs.wordpress.com, the exhibit discusses the history of the National Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) and Na’amat, the three predominant Jewish women’s organizations mid-century. It includes audio clips from local women who worked for these organizations and focuses exclusively on the work of the B.C. chapters.
“We’re trying to raise awareness of the Jewish community in B.C. and its history,” said Michael Schwartz, coordinator of development and public programs at JMABC, located in the Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture in Vancouver. “When it came to these chapters of the organizations, I knew a few of the stories but wanted to fill in the gaps and learn more. I thought we should look at the organizations in greater detail, at the differences in their philosophies and the influential women who worked for them.”
The website has an introduction and then individual sections on each of NCJW, Hadassah and Na’amat, each one containing letters, certificates and other historical material relevant to the work the organizations performed. There are a total of six audio clips online but those who want to hear entire interviews may visit the Jewish museum offices to listen to them.
The exhibit offers a fascinating glimpse into Jewish life in Vancouver in the 1940s and ’50s: its fashions, the organizations’ priorities and their fundraising strategies. These women were professional volunteers, individuals who were not content to be “just Mrs.,” and insisted on devoting their time and talents to improving and meeting the needs of their local communities and communities in Israel and elsewhere. The name for the exhibit was drawn from an interview with one of the volunteers some 20 to 30 years ago, wherein she mentioned the phrase, “More than just Mrs.,” adding that, for her, doing this volunteer work was an opportunity to step out of her husband’s shadow.
NCJW supported an orphanage in Holland, for example, sending regular shipments of food and clothing to the aid of the 220 destitute war orphans being cared for in Bergstichting. The exhibit includes a letter from the orphanage dated April 1947, describing the difficult conditions at the orphanage. “The physical condition of our pupils being still rather week [sic], we had to fight with a scarlatina [scarlet fever] epidemic during five months,” wrote the director. “Sixty of our people were taken with this illness. But fortunately, your valuable gifts reached us just in those distressful months.”
The online exhibit was launched in September 2013 and some 2,500 people have visited the site since it was launched. Schwartz estimates it takes 60 to 90 minutes to read the material, which was produced by Annika Friedman last summer with the aid of Young Canada Works, a granting program subsidized by the federal government. Schwartz said another online exhibit is being produced this summer under the same program. Called Oakridge: The Final Frontier, it will chart the rise and decline of the Jewish community in the neighborhood. Elana Wenner, a master’s candidate in Jewish studies at Concordia University, will be interviewing community members and gathering photographs, videos and other relevant materials for the new exhibit. To contribute and for more information, Wenner can be reached at [email protected].
Lauren Kramer, an award-winning writer and editor, lives in Richmond, B.C. To read her work online, visit laurenkramer.net.