Young Women`s Hebrew Association

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Young Women`s Hebrew Association
Experience Heritage
Young Women’s Hebrew
Association of Montreal
Last Board Meeting of the Y.W.H.A. on St. Urbain Street before amalgamation with the Y.M..H.A., 1950
Jewish Public Library Archives
[email protected]
www.jewishpubliclibrary.org
pr001189
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Experience Heritage
2
Introduction to the YWHA
3
Digital Archive Images
4
Classroom Discussion – Student Copy
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Classroom Discussion – Teacher Copy
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EXPERIENCE HERITAGE IN YOUR CLASSROOM
Thank you very much for allowing the Jewish Public Library Archives the opportunity
to share its resources with your students.
Each kit contains a variety of copies of archival sources, including newspaper
clippings, annual reports, photographs, correspondence, commemorative books and
publicity materials. These sources are complimented, when possible, with
secondary sources from standard resources that the Library, Archives and
researchers use in studying Montreal Jewish history.
Also in each kit you will find the guide to the subject. It includes a brief narrative, a
glossary if necessary, useful information such as timelines and suggested questions
for the students to answer in their research. These questions are merely a
suggestion. We designed the questions to match the material in the kit but they
should in no way define or limit the students’ use of the material. In general, there
are ten questions provided with each kit but you will notice that some kits have
more. This allows for more than one group to work on a topic or for the students to
pick and choose those questions they feel are important to them.
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YWHA of Montreal
INTRODUCTION
The Young Women’s Hebrew Association in Montreal grew out of the Friendly League of
Jewish Women in 1913. Mrs. J. Goldstein invited the first group to meet at the Baron de
Hirsch Institute, where they agreed that it would be worthwhile to dedicate their time and
effort to providing social engagements and learning opportunities for young women,
particularly those young women who had little money or opportunity. They began by
forming ‘the Welcome Club’.
The Welcome Club consisted of a small group of young men and women who agreed to
volunteer one or two evenings a week to mix and mingle with underprivileged young
women, women newly arrived to Canada, or others who were interested in social
gatherings, character development and skills improvement. Some of the social activities the
club participated in were tobogganing parties, dances, concerts and lectures, as well as
classes in sewing, English, French, hygiene, cooking, typing and more.
The broad range of activities and the successfulness of the friendships developed caused
the membership to grow. The young ladies were encouraged to ‘make the club their own’,
elect their own president, vice-president, treasurer, etc. and to be responsible for the
decisions and actions of the club.
Some of their most important decisions and actions involved taking care of immigrant girls.
Through international organizations, they were informed immediately if a Jewish girl were
leaving England or the United States so that upon her arrival in Canada, she could be met,
cared for and orientated to this new world. Those who were just passing through Canada
on their way to another country were also assisted along their journey.
In 1919, the Friendly League of Jewish Women merged together with the Young Women’s
Hebrew Association. The same year, the first Jewish troop of Girl Guides in Montreal was
formed from this strong association of young women.
In 1950, following many years of discussion and cooperation, the YWHA merged with the
Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) to become the YM-YWHA.
Today, the community building and camaraderie of YM-YWHA continues through social
programs such as camps, classes, physical education and other opportunities to explore, to
learn, and to build lasting friendships.
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YWHA of Montreal
pr014264, Lea Robakc Fonds
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YWHA of Montreal
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YWHA of Montreal
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YWHA of Montreal
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YWHA of Montreal
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YWHA of Montreal
The Jew in Canada, 1926
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YWHA of Montreal
The Jew in Canada, 1926
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YMHA of Montreal
CLASSROOM DISCUSSION – STUDENT COPY
1. The YWHA merged with what women’s association in 1919?
2. What year did the YWHA officially merge with the YMHA?
3. Is the YM-YWHA only active in Montreal, Quebec?
4. Take a look at the correspondence, reports and articles in the file, then list seven
communities across Canada that have or had active YM-YWHA associations.
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
5. Using examples from the file, describe six pieces of evidence (pictures, articles,
statements, numbers) that demonstrate the growth of the YM-YWHA throughout its history.
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
6. What activities did the Welcome Club carry out?
7. Canada is a big country. Sometimes it’s difficult to travel long distances to visit friends and
family, or to meet new people (especially when you have to trudge through snow or drive
down long icy roads). List six things that the YM-YWHA in Sydney, Nova Scotia did in 1955
to build relationships within the community and help members stay connected with
one another:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
8. Was the YMHA involved in the management of the YWHA prior to the merger of the two
organizations in 1950?
9. Where was Miss Molly Malkin over the holidays?
10. Two years before the outbreak of World War II, what did the “Y” Time say about the
state of affairs in Europe?
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YMHA of Montreal
CLASSROOM DISCUSSION – TEACHER COPY
7. Canada is a big country. Sometimes it’s difficult to travel long distances to visit friends and family,
or to meet new people (especially when you have to trudge through snow or drive down long icy
roads). List six things that the YM-YWHA in Sydney, Nova Scotia, did in 1955 to build relationships
within the community and help members stay connected with one another:
Students might mention the “news” section of the newsletter, dances, monthly meetings,
answering survey questions, cooking and eating together, hosting and attending art fairs,
coordinating a baby sitting agency, getting together to play games, or a host of other activities listed
in The “Y” News.
8. Was the YMHA involved in the management of the YWHA prior to the merger of the two
organizations in 1950?
Yes. The organizational chart from 1935-1936 shows a YWHA Administration committee within the
YMHA.
9. Where was Miss Molly Malkin over the holidays?
The “Y” News from Sydney, N.S. lists Miss Molly Malkin, of Brooklyn, as having lately visited her
relatives in Pittsburgh, PA.
10. Two years before the outbreak of World War II, what did the “Y” Time say about the state of
affairs in Europe?
The article “We’re in the Picture” by Belle Zeldin announces that “all Europe echoes with sinister
sounds of marching feet and distant cannons…”, indicating that war is approaching and warning of
Germany and Japan’s preparations.
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YMHA of Montreal
CLASSROOM DISCUSSION – TEACHER COPY
1. The YWHA merged with what women’s association in 1919?
The Friendly League of Jewish Women [Canadian Jewish Year Book 1940-1941]
2. What year did the YWHA officially merge with the YMHA?
1950
3. Is the YM-YWHA only active in Montreal, Quebec?
No
4. Take a look at the correspondence, reports and articles in the file, then list seven communities
across Canada that have active YM-YWHA associations.
The communities listed within the file are varied and numerous. Locations can be determined
from newsletter headings, reports, article text, or association titles.
5. Using examples from the file, describe six pieces of evidence (pictures, articles, statements,
numbers) that demonstrate the growth of the YM-YWHA throughout its history.
Students may mention examples of the following:
a) images of buildings getting larger in scale
b) written statistics of membership numbers
c) text in articles, newsletters or brochures mentioning “growth”, “ successful membership
drives”, “need for more room”, “expansion”, etc.
d) translation of newsletters, publications, correspondence into other languages
e) sources showing active YM-YWHA clubs or centres in multiple locations
f) increasing number, or increasing variety of programs offered
6. What activities did the Welcome Club carry out?
Students might mention activities listed on p. 444 of The Jew in Canada.
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