Social Activities

The community continued to possess a number of vital Jewish organizations that served the needs of the community at this time. The B’nai Israel Sisterhood was one of the more active groups. They helped support a small number of Russian Jewish families that settled in St. Catharines during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They continued to run the library as well as organize the kiddushim after services. While Janet Pollock served as president during the early 1980s, they held a number of popular and well attended affairs such as a barbecue at her home, a spring dinner and dance, an annual flea market, a picnic, talent shows, as well as a children’s fashion show. The fashion show relied on children from the synagogue as their models, donated clothing from local merchants, such as Louis and Bertha Kleiman, and offered door prizes and refreshments to participants. Another venture that they pursued at this time was a cookbook called “A Taste of Honey.” It was so popular they sold out after their first run and had to produce another run to satisfy demand. Finally, they held an art auction each year with B’nai Brith Women.

The Brotherhood group from the shul was also fairly active. They would hold breakfast meetings each Sunday, which would feature prominent local speakers as well as individuals from other cities. The speakers and topics included: Dr. Charles Sankey, the former chancellor of Brock University, providing a slideshow of a recent trip to Israel; Rabbi Meir Kahane from the U.S.; Ben Kayfetz from Toronto discussing “the Jewish position in Quebec”; and finally poet Irving Layton. In addition to the breakfasts, this group also raised money by holding a raffle. In 1978 they raffled off a silver Rolls Royce, selling tickets at $100 a piece.

The local Hadassah-Wizo continued to hold their famous bazaars. The drop off was situated at the local Pendale Shopping Plaza and the event was held at the Polish Legion Hall on Vine Street. They also held Youth Aliyah Tag Days in May. B’nai Brith, in turn, held lecture nights and organized blood donor clinics for the community.