This Week in JPL History

This Week in JPL History: Sister Marie Noelle de Baillehache

This Week in JPL History: Sister Marie Noelle de Baillehache

On March 13th, 1966, as a part of the Montreal Jewish Forum the JPL was honoured to host Sister Marie Noelle de Baillehache for a reading of her French translation of the poems of J.I. Segal. Sister Marie Noelle described her relationship with the Library best in a 1970 letter “I have been for nine years, since, November 1961, a devoted friend of the Library, following its pride and worries, not only by knowing a little about it, but by sharing with my heart in [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Yiddish Symposium

This Week in JPL History: The Yiddish Symposium

From March 12-14, 1988 the JPL held a symposium on Yiddish Montreal. The Symposium saw 19 speakers including Irving Massey, Pierre Anctil, Zachery Baker, David Rome, Eugene Orenstein, Brad Sabin Hill, Leo Davids, Felix Lazarus, Marie Poirier, and David Roskies. It covered a breadth of topics from Massey’s lecture on the poetry of his mother, Ida Maze, to the politics of Montreal’s Yiddish literary community. The keynote address was given by David Roskies on the topic of “Yiddish Montreal and the Tradition of Internal Jewish [...]



This Week in JPL History: Rochl Eisenberg and Melech Ravitch

This Week in JPL History: Rochl Eisenberg and Melech Ravitch

Melech Ravitch was the driving force behind of the JPL’s Yiddishe folks universitet (YIFO) for many years. Upon his arrival in Montreal he invigorated the Library’s educational program which had been part of the Library earliest initiatives. Under his leadership the YIFO grew in size and scope. Melech Ravitch was the pseudonym of Zekharye-Khone Bergner, who was born in Radymno, eastern Galicia, in 1893. He was a Yiddish poet, essayist, playwright, and a cultural activist. His first Yiddish work was published in 1910. He moved [...]



This Week in JPL History: Our Founders

This Week in JPL History: Our Founders

While many people and organizations played a pivotal role in the creation and success of Montreal’s Jewish Public Library, two people in particular are considered the founders, Reuben Brainin and Yehuda Kaufman. During this week in 1914 a conference of organizations and individuals was convened for the purposes of creating the JPL. One of these organizations was the Poale Zion, which Yehuda Kaufman was heavily involved in. Two years earlier it and a number of other Jewish labour associations had established a library “for the [...]



This Week in JPL History: Jacob Zipper speaks at the Jewish Public Library in 1974.

This Week in JPL History: Jacob Zipper speaks at the Jewish Public Library in 1974.

Yaacov Zipper is a name synonymous with Montreal Jewish education, with steadfastness, and drive. In addition to his long career as principal of Jewish Peretz Schools, Zipper was also a celebrated author who was awarded the Manger Prize for Yiddish Literature. Born Yaacov Shtern, he changed his name to Zipper in honour of the woman who sheltered him from being arrested during his youth in Poland. He arrived in Montreal in 1925 and quickly became involved in Montreal’s burgeoning Jewish school system. On February 9th [...]



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 [...]