Alexandroff was one of the founders of Knesseth Israel
synagogue and one of its early presidents. He was born
in 1878 and raised in Ochokov, Ukraine. He came to Canada
in 1903, partially out of fear that he would be called
upon to fight in the Manchurian War after having just
completed military service in the Ukraine.
initially landed in Montreal and then migrated to North
Bay, where he worked in a lumber camp before riding the
rails to Toronto, where he became a moulder in a foundry.
In 1905, Boris started to court a young tobacco factory
worker named Rebecca Rifke Nikolaevsky, who was originally
from Dashiv near Kiev, Ukraine. Her father, Tsvi Hersh
Nikolaevsky, had brought her to Toronto that year with
her two sisters, and then had left to return to the Ukraine.
and Rebecca married on Dominion Day, July 1, 1906, but
only after he promised his future bride that he would
find another, less dangerous occupation. Soon thereafter,
he began work in the area of produce delivery, a cost-effective
venture due to the Junction’s close proximity to
the farms on the outskirts of the city. He later worked
as a peddler, a construction labourer, and a wrecking
contractor, the last occupation being his most successful
with projects in Ontario and in the United States.
the Alexandroffs lived in the Junction on Boler Avenue,
the first street east of the Synagogue, where their first
child Joseph was born in 1907. They later moved to Clendenan
Avenue at Maria
The Alexandroffs had four children: Joseph, Morris, Max,
and Harry. Harry is currently Vice-President of the shul.
Rebecca and Boris remained supporters of Knesseth Israel
until they passed away in 1960 and 1971 respectively.
TO KNESSETH ISRAEL - THE SYNAGOGUE TODAY
Alexandroff boys in their Maria Street backyard (1921)
Rebecca and Boris Alexandroff at Niagara Falls (1927)
Joseph and Mary Alexandroff’s wedding portrait
(September 1, 1930)
Joseph Alexandroff (1986)