First Jewish Settlers

The first Jewish settler to arrive in the Greater Sudbury area was Daniel Rothschild. He arrived by rail around 1883 and sold merchandise from a pack-sack to local labourers. His brother Max, who was a butcher, arrived a year later. It was not unusual for one brother to arrive first and then send for his male siblings after his arrival. There were a number of early Jewish male pioneers who came from Russia, Poland and Germany to the Nippising Township area to follow the railroad and seek their fortune. Most began working as peddlers and later opened up general stores or clothing businesses in the towns that cropped up outside of Sudbury as well as Sudbury proper.

One of the early pioneers, Aaron Silverman, exemplified the immigrant experience in Sudbury. He came from Warsaw and arrived in 1889 at the age of 18, selling clothing from his pack-sack to the lumbermen and miners at construction camps along the railroad line. Due to the large number of labourers in need of work clothing - there were about 11,000 in that area by that time -- he ended up making a great deal of money and was able to rent a small shack on Elm Street by 1892.

Many of the other early pioneers also got their start this way including: David and Lewis Jacobs, who owned a dry goods store; Harry Endelman, a raw fur buyer; and Abraham Weisman, who worked as a peddler for a decade and then opened up a general store in Sudbury in 1898. Hyman Ironstone was among the earliest settlers in nearby Cache Bay, peddling in the Sudbury region in the 1880s. He moved to Sudbury with his family around 1906. Family members often worked together. It was also common for Jewish newcomers in Sudbury to apprentice in Jewish-owned businesses before opening up their own establishments. This first wave of permanent settlers became merchants and developed thriving businesses.