Jewish Vocational Services Case Files

The Ontario Jewish Archives' volunteer program is essential to the successful operation of the Archives. Much of the work done by our small but dedicated group of volunteers results in better access to our records by the public. One such example is the recent completion of the Jewish Vocational Services of Toronto case file project, which involved over a year of volunteer time. These case files number approximately 3000 in total and date from 1947 until 1951. They are an important part of our collection as they document a group of individuals who received assistance from JVS immediately following the Second World War.

Many of the individuals were Holocaust survivors and had recently immigrated to Toronto with the assistance of other Jewish social service agencies and organizations, such as the Canadian Jewish Congress, Jewish Immigrant Aid Service and Jewish Family and Child Services. These case files shed light on this period of immigration in Canadian Jewish history and also document the number and the range of private sector companies who provided job opportunities for those in need of work.

Ontario Jewish Archives, photo #24.

Atlantic Fur Company, 1940s.

Ontario Jewish Archives, photo #24.

The JVS case files are very sensitive documents as they contain personal information such as names, addresses, past education, job placements and wages. As such, access is restricted and must be first approved by the Director of the OJA in accordance with our privacy policy. Yet, it is certain that these files will prove invaluable to genealogists, demographers, labour historians and others interested in this long-running Jewish agency.