The OJA has been working on a home movie project for the past year. We have been actively collecting home movies dating from the 1920s until the 1950s that document Jewish Toronto. The archival films have been digitized to make these wonderful depictions of early Jewish life in Toronto more accessible. The footage documents themes such as simchas (weddings, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs), recreation, Jewish camps, travel and important events within the community.
One of the largest collections that the OJA possesses is that of Dr. A.I. Willinsky, one of the first Jewish doctors to practice in Toronto and an early photography and film enthusiast. His films document the construction of Holy Blossom Temple in 1937 as well as his family's activities, adventures and travels. You can view clips from our films a number of films from our collection on our YouTube channel.
For those who are interested in donating home movies to the Ontario Jewish Archives or learning more about the home movie project, please contact the OJA.