Newspaper & Oral History

The Irma and Marvin Penn Archives of the JHCWC

Our Very Extensive Archives

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada has an extensive archival collection that was started in 1967 and was maintained and added to during the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada’s 30 year existence by dedicated staff and volunteers. The Jewish Heritage Centre preserves and makes these materials available now and for the future.

Included in the collection of material pertaining to the Jewish People of Western Canada are

  • About 8,000 photographs, many rare and unique;
  • 500 taped interviews with summary transcripts;
  • Archival documents totalling over 300 linear feet of shelf space;
  • Book collection made up of hundreds of books on local Jewish history, including many on Genealogy and many on the Holocaust;
  • Collections of family trees and histories; Vertical files of clippings and miscellaneous materials;
  • Back issues of Local Jewish Newspapers to the 1910’s and a computerized index of the articles from them;
  • Photographs of almost all the cemetery stones from all the Jewish Cemeteries in Manitoba;
  • An amazing and wonderful collection of artefacts and objects from our past;
  • …and much much more.

The Archives is attracting more researchers, of all ages, wanting information. We are truly an international research centre. Requests have come from Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Vienna, Holland, England, and throughout the U.S.

Our archivist can provide a limited amount research for free. In addition, we can reproduce some of our materials for a small fee. We will reproduce photographs from our collections for $15.00 each.

For further information or assistance, please contact our archivist, Andrew Morrison:

[email protected]

P: (204) 478-8590
F: (204) 477-7465

Some Details of Our Collection

Much of our collection is of interest to Historians and Genealogists. Highlighted here are details of just a few of the more useful items in our collection: The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada’s Computer Database This database is the result of an extensive project to index and classify all the articles from the Jewish newspapers of Winnipeg. Most items are from the Israelite Press and the Jewish Post from the early 1900s to the present as well as the Western Jewish News.

The database includes over 14,000 news stories and over 29,000 articles. The articles are of most interest to genealogists, as they include over 18,000 references to articles with the category “genealogy”. These are made up of mostly birth announcements, bar mitzvahs, engagements, weddings, obituaries, memorials, and other social announcements. In most cases, all the relatives mentioned in the article are listed in the database.

The computer system at the Jewish Heritage Centre offices can search for all occurrences of a given name in one or two minutes. The references will give most of the information in the original article, plus the name of the paper, the date, and the page on which it occurred. The originals can then be looked up if desired at the Heritage Centre, but this is often not necessary due to the amount of information already provided by the entry.

Here is an example of an entry in the database:

Events: DEATH- AGE 73, MAY 26
Newspaper: JEWISH POST 18 JUN 1959 PAGE 14 PHOTO

The Israelite Press and earlier issues of the Jewish Post were originally written in Yiddish, and the abstracts from each article were translated as part of the project for the database. Because of this, the English spelling of names is not necessarily reliable.

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada Photo Collection

This is a collection of over 8,000 photos significant in the history and development of the Jewish community of Western Canada. Many were used over the years in exhibits produced by the JHSWC.

Oral History Tapes

We have recorded over 500 oral history tapes. They range from 20 to 90 minutes in length, and cover a variety of topics including: Early Pioneers, Holocaust, World War II, Business, Arts, Sports, and others. Many of the interviews include summaries that range from 2 to 6 pages in length. These projects began in 1960. Since many of the tapes are quite old and historically valuable, a project was recently completed to re-record them.

Journey Into Our Heritage, by Harry Gutkin

Subtitled: The Story of the Jewish People in the Canadian West Lester & Orpen Dennys Limited, Toronto, 1980, 264 pages.

This is an excellent book about the Jewish People of Western Canada. Over 400 photographs, many of early immigrants, are included. Includes a Bibliography and Index. Harry Gutkin was the President of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada for many years.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan Census Extract, by Glen Eker

Glen Eker of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada painstakingly went through the 1881, 1891, and 1901 Canada Census records, and extracted the information about all people declaring themselves as “Hebrew” or “Jewish”. The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada has a printed copy that was purchased from Glen.

Glen’s work for all of Canada on microfiche can be purchased from Avotaynu Inc.

Jewish Cemetery Burial List for Manitoba

This is an alphabetical listing of the burials in all the Jewish Cemeteries in Manitoba. It was created as part of the Cemetery Photography Project, done by the Genealogical Institute in 1997. The original records were obtained from the Synagogues in charge of the cemeteries, and these were then computerized. The names and locations were checked one-by-one at the cemeteries, and thus are quite accurate. Death or burial dates are also included for about half of those listed. These dates are from the Synagogue’s records and have not yet been verified with the cemetery stones.

Family Trees and Histories in the JHCWC collection

We have many family trees donated for preservation to our collection. These will be of special interest to Genealogists. If you have done your own genealogy, and have found Jewish connections to Western Canada, we would love to add a copy of your work to our collection. Please contact us.

  • Abrams, Maynard (JHS Library)
  • Bernstein, Itzak Eli – genealogical list (MG6 F36)
  • Bruser Family – History & tree (p. 325 File 1)
  • Caminetsky, Michael – family papers & tree (MG6 D8)
  • Cherniack, Yoisef Family Tree & Golden, Mendel (p. 2644 File 12)
  • Field, Fay (MG6 F28) Finkelstein, Gyta (MG6 F26)
  • Freedman, Bev – family tree, etc. (MG6 F4)
  • Goldstein Family – descending from Reubin, Meyer, & Moses (MG6 F92)
  • Gordon Family Tree (MG6 F96)
  • Heft, Sybil (MG6 F23)
  • Hershfield Family Tree Hurtig Family Klenman, Abraham family tree (p. 4899 File 32)
  • Milavsky, Chaika & Yankle – family tree (MG6 F80)
  • Moscovitch Family Tree (MG6 F90)
  • Pearlman, Beryl Rita (MG6 F27)
  • Posner Family Tree – New Year’s card, 1978 (MG6 F62)
  • Posner Family Tree, 1979 (P. 638 FIle 4)
  • Raichman, Descendants of Yeshua Rodin Family History (p. 4899 File 31)
  • Samberg Tree Soltzman, Esther (MG6 F25)
  • Weidman Family – invitation with family tree (MG1 A17)
  • Wodlinger Family – short history (MG6 F15)
  • Zimmerman, M.A. (MG6 F24)

Stored In: Family Tree Cabinet as of June 28, 2005

  • Adelman
  • Altshuler
  • Antel, Family Tree Names: Oscar, Joel, Bonnie Antel
  • Axelrod, Zimmer
  • Bager
  • Berkowitz
  • Bernstein, Names in tree: Sarah and Benjamin Sarner, Evelyn Bernstein
  • Blankstein
  • Bloomfield
  • Bokhaut/Menuck(Minuk)
  • Booke
  • Bookspoon
  • Broomberg
  • Bruser
  • Challis/Karlinsky/Neminoff/Ratner/Knellman
  • Cherniack, Yoisef
  • Chisvin tree from Joseph (1873-1958), Shnear, Yisrael (1850)
  • Chmelnitsky Chronicles: Saga of 1st 100 years in the new world – from Jack Chapman
  • Chmelnitsky: descendents from Abraham Chmelnitsky, by Barry Chapman
  • Chodikir
  • Cohen/Weinstock
  • Cossman (Kossman), Cosman/Weidman, Names in tree: Charles, Harry Meyer Cosman (Kossman)
  • Chudnovsky
  • Cramer Names: Isaac Kramer, Otzer Kogan
  • Derbitsky
  • Divinsky
  • Diamond tree from Reuben and Fanny (1884)
  • Dlot
  • Elizar, Names: Esther Kulberg-Binder, Carole Wolfe
  • Epstein
  • Finkelstein (descendants of Tevel Finkelstein) and Rosen families (descendants of Isaac Rosen)
  • Florence
  • Friedman, Sorel
  • Fogel
  • Gamliel, Names: Sarah  Weisman, Avraham Smechof (Silver)
  • Gelin
  • Gelmon
  • Gellen, M, My Life’s History
  • Gendelman
  • Genser
  • Gilelman
  • Gisser, Meirra, Names: Solomon, Anne Gisser
  • Glinter, Ariel Names: Mania Epstein, Clara Cohen, Rae Samphir
  • Gitelman
  • Sam Gordon Tree
  • Goldstein
  • Golembia
  • Goodman
  • Gorvitz
  • Granovsky, Kreymers
  • Green, Joseph Palansky, Samuel Wolfman
  • Greenstone
  • Graifer
  • Gurstein
  • Gurvitch
  • Hechter, Names: Joseph, Benjamin, Frank, Sarah (Sures), Freda (Cohen), Lizzy
  • Jacob, Names: Simon, Henry, Saul Guttman
  • Kiek, Kremers by Carla Divinsky
  • Labovitch/Bebchuk
  • Leinburd
  • Lesniatsky
  • Levin/Shuchett/Karanick
  • Lezak
  • Lilpschutz
  • Manny Levin
  • Marcus
  • Margolis
  • Meyervotch
  • Mcflikier
  • Micay – Morgan
  • Milavsky, Minovitz
  • Milavsky and Minovitch
  • Millo/Jarniewski
  • Mindness, Gilfex families of Mezurich
  • Minovitz
  • Minuk, Amanda Names: Shama, Mandil, Minuk
  • Mittleman, Pollack
  • Morosnick
  • Moser/Pearlman
  • Novak
  • Odwak
  • Pelenovsky
  • Penn
  • Pockett
  • Pollock
  • Posner
  • Pratt, Names: Solomon, Anne Gisser
  • Raber
  • Rabinoff
  • Rand
  • Rappaport
  • Raichman, Descendants of Yeshua
  • Reichbart
  • Renario
  • Rissen (Ben)
  • Rogovin
  • Roitman/Brecker
  • Romalis
  • Rosen
  • Rosner/Fine
  • Rosenberg, Names: Sam Rosenberg, Ben Mitzel, Clara Copp
  • Rothman, Names: Morcechai Raisen, John, Israel Weinberg
  • Rubenenko
  • Sarbit
  • Segal
  • Shaffer
  • Shanas
  • Shanberg
  • Sharp
  • Shinoff/Korobinsky(Korobinski)/Corbin
  • Shorr
  • Slotin
  • Steiman
  • Steinkopf/Shragg
  • Swain
  • Samberg
  • Shanas
  • Steiman
  • Swan, Gabrielle Names: Solomon, Anne Gisser
  • Thomshinski, Thompson, Thomson
  • Udow
  • Weidman, Mordechai
  • Weidman
  • Wilder
  • Weigensberg Names: Fischoff
  • Weiss
  • Wolch
  • Yaffee
  • Zimmer/Axelrod