Social Life

In the later decades of the 20th century, the Sisterhood of Beth Jacob continued its work, fostering an appreciation of Judaism across the generations, acting as a role model for children and promoting education, supporting the synagogue and providing opportunities for growth to the congregation’s women. Increasingly, Sisterhood combined forces with Hadassah and gave more support to Israel.

In 1974, a third Hadassah chapter was formed in the city. Its name, Tomar, means “strong, firm date tree,” a name that embodied the busy working women of the 1970s. With three chapters in the city, the Hadassah Council of Kitchener was formed to oversee and coordinate the activities of each. Hadassah has diminished in size since then and the Bazaar ceased in 2005 due to lack of volunteers. But a chapter still exists in K-W, carrying on the modern Canadian Hadassah-WIZO mission of helping children, health and women in Israel.

The Kitchener B’nai B’rith Lodge has continued its community work over the years. In the 1980s, its committees included the League for Human Rights, Hillel, Russian Jewry and ORT. The Tfillin Club was still active in 1989 and Brotherhood Week continued with new topics of discussion every year. Perhaps the most notable event was the B’nai B’rith Stag, a popular tradition from the 1950s to the 1980s that always raised a lot of money. This event was revived beginning in 1995, renamed “Monte Carlo Night.” It was a welcome return to many in the general community who expressed how much they had missed the tradition. In 1997, the Monte Carlo Night raised over $10,000, which went to the Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital.