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This Week in JPL History: Friends of the Jewish Public Library

This Week in JPL History: Friends of the Jewish Public Library

To be a Friend of the Jewish Public Library is to be an ambassador of the Library. While this ambassadorship does not give you diplomatic immunity, it does have its own set of perks, such as free tickets to events, invitation to Friends only receptions, free movie rental and no late fees. It has now been 24 years since the Friends category of membership first began. During the winter of 1990, a number of letters were sent out to members thanking them for joining the [...]



This Week in JPL History: the poet J.I. Segal

This Week in JPL History: the poet J.I. Segal

On January 28, 1953 the Library sponsored a program in honour J.I. Segal at the Jewish People’s School. It was one of many programs which Segal participated in at the Library. For many, the poet needs no introduction; he and his work are familiar and perhaps even an influence. For others, this Yiddish writer and poet is an unknown. J.I. Segal immigrated to Montreal from Russia in 1911. He published his first poem, which was a love poem, in 1915 in the Keneder Adler, a [...]



This Week in JPL History: Evenings of Musical Appreciation with Clarence Fink

This Week in JPL History: Evenings of Musical Appreciation with Clarence Fink

On January 23rd, 1977 the 40th season of Recorded Concert Series began. This long-running and much beloved series allowed for the weekly appreciation of music at the JPL. It was first founded in the late 1930s by Howard Rombach, who sadly passed away shortly thereafter. Clarence Fink, who had become involved in planning the concerts, took over their direction. Fink went on to direct the program on a volunteer basis for the next 58 years. Yes, you read that right, 58 years – from 1938 [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Rare Book Collection

This Week in JPL History: The Rare Book Collection

Did you know that the Library has a book that is over 500 years old? The Library’s copy of Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of Jews forms an integral part of the Library’s Rare Book Collection. Over twelve hundred volumes in total this collection represents the Library’s dedication to the preservation of history and the written word. During this week just last year, the JPL received a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation for a series of Rare Book Workshop Projects. High school students will learn about [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Big 5-0

This Week in JPL History: The Big 5-0

Five decades, half a century, L, 110010, all these stand for 50. It is the atomic number of tin and the fifth magic number in physics. It’s also the age the Library turned in 1964 and celebrated its jubilee. The occasion of the Library’s 50th anniversary was marked in a number of ways. During this week in 1964 a concert was arranged by the Musicians’ Guild of Montreal, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Trust Funds of the Recording Agencies. Entrance was free to [...]



This Week in JPL History: Cinderelly! Cinderelly!

This Week in JPL History: Cinderelly! Cinderelly!

In the early days the JPL would hold a ball each year. One of the first fundraisers ever held was “A Literary and Musical Evening” in 1914. This musical tradition was maintained throughout the early decades of the Library through the JPL’s annual ball. During the ball a number of musical groups would perform a few pieces each, often Fox Trots, or Waltzes. Attendees would all receive a souvenir program outlining the performances of the evening. These programs would also contain ad spaces which the [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Yiddish Book Center Comes to Visit!

This Week in JPL History: The Yiddish Book Center Comes to Visit!

During mid-December of last year the Jewish Public Library was proud to host visitors from the Jewish Book Center (YBC). This visit was the first step towards digitizing the collection of recordings that document close to 30 years of the Library’s events, with the goal of ensuring these would be widely available to listen to. The collection consists of lectures and readings from writers who presented at the JPL starting in 1953. These gems preserved at the Library offer more than just a glimpse into [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Montreal Jewish Forums

This Week in JPL History: The Montreal Jewish Forums

The seventh season of Montreal Jewish Forums kicked off with a Symposium on the Future of Judaism on December 15th, 1963. It featured Leonard Cohen, Rabbi Morris Halpern, Jehudah Elberg, and Michael Rubenstein. The Montreal Jewish Forums were a weekly series of discussions and talks on a variety of subjects of community interest and were co-sponsored by the Jewish Public Library and the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Canada. The Montreal Jewish Forums allowed for the community to participate in dialogues on a number of [...]



This Week in JPL History: Naim Kattan Closes Jewish Book Month 1979

This Week in JPL History: Naim Kattan Closes Jewish Book Month 1979

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons.” II Chronicles 36:20 It is these lines which preface the beginning of Naïm Kattan’s Adieu, Babylone, a fictionalized memoir of a youth in Babylon. Kattan is a writer who is very familiar to JPL audiences- as the Library has been fortunate enough to play host to him numerous times over the years. It was during this week in 1979 that Kattan closed Jewish [...]



This Week in JPL History: The J.I. Segal Awards are born

Oscar Shmoscar, Tony Baloney, Nobel So-bel, – the J.I. Segal Awards are where it’s really at. Established in honour of celebrated Yiddish poet J.I. Segal, these awards don’t concentrate on one theme alone, they celebrate so many aspects of Jewish culture. Current prizes award excellence in literature, film, and education. Past awards have honoured art and drama. What is truly impressive about these Awards isn’t just their scope; it is that they are driven by the community. Jury members and the funding for the Awards [...]