The Ontario Jewish Archives was awarded the Ontario Historical Society’s Scadding Award of Excellence on June 4th after the Society’s AGM. The intent of the award is to honour an historical society or heritage group that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of history. The OJA was selected for its virtual exhibition initiative Ontario’s Small Jewish Communities.
The OJA launched this Trillium funded virtual display in the fall of 2009. It documents the histories of 11 small Jewish communities from across the province, spanning from Cornwall to Thunder Bay. The site relies on approximately 250 pages of text along with oral history clips, archival photographs, textual material, maps, architectural plans and artwork to tell the compelling stories of Jewish life and culture in these mostly undocumented communities.
The OHS described this initiative as being of the highest merit, stating “from a technical standpoint the design and execution of the virtual exhibit takes full advantage of the rich and varied historical material at its core and presents new information in an innovative, educational and entertaining manner.” Since its launch, the display has attracted thousands of viewers from around the world.