Jan 30, 2015

Return of Long Form Canadian Census?

An Act to Amend the Statistics Act, Bill C-626, would reinstate the mandatory long-form census will be before the House of Commons at second reading on Thursday, January 29.

It is item 5 in the bill.

The long-form is the census form that contains the individual information that genealogists and descendants wish to access after the 92-year release (the required length of time by Canada for releasing such information).

The bill language states the long-form census is to comply with the length and scope of previous censuses and specifically mentions the 1971 census and the every five-year census from 1981-2006.

 To read the bill see: http://tinyurl.com/o97dc5x

Original url:

The bill also addresses the appointment of the chief statistician, prescribing additional duties and increases the independence of that role in carrying out his/her duties.

An editorial in the Globe and Mail from November 2014 asserts that the bill probably will not become law.


Currently there is a coalition of organizations pushing for the bill’s adoption.

To read about the coalition see: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1478633/coalition-of-organizations-call-for-the-reinstatement-of-long-form-census


The mandatory long-form census was implemented in 1971—since then there have been two census forms: a long form and a short form. When the long-form was mandatory it had a 94 percent response rate.

Statistics Canada’s mandatory long-form census was abolished by the Harper government. A “voluntary” census was instead imposed which had a low response rate—68 percent.

In 2010, Statistics Canada abandoned the long-form for the 2011 census and turned over to the National Household Survey (NHS) a voluntary long form. In 2010 the Canadian House of Commons voted to restore the long-form but the then government Industry Minister stated he would not heed the Commons motion.

To read more about the history of the long form see: http://tinyurl.com/84h9hlo

Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Art Gallery (Toronto) - Lodz Ghetto Photos


January 31 – June 14, 2015
Art Gallery of Ontario (at Dundas and Beverly in Toronto)

Memory Unearthed features the photographs of Polish Jewish photographer Henryk Ross (1910-1991), one of the official Lodz ghetto photographers. 

From 1940 to 1944, Ross took work-permit identification card photos for the ghetto's population. 

He also took “official” images, promoting the ghetto's work efficiency and at the same time he documented the grim daily life in the ghetto.

Jan 22, 2015

Meeting Feb. 22, 2015 - The Ships that Brought Our Ancestors

The Ships that Brought Our Ancestors
Presented by Steven Brock

Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Avenue
Sunday, February 22nd
at 10:30 a.m.
(doors open at 10 a.m.)

During this entertaining and informative talk, Steven will walk us through the growth of the Jewish community in Canada, the ports they departed from and arrived to, as well as the ocean liners that brought our ancestors from Europe.

Steven Brock has been researching his family roots in Poland and Ukraine for over 15 years and has traced his ancestors back to the late 1700s. He was a member of the Montreal JGS until he moved with his family to Oakville in 1999.

He has been a member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Hamilton & Area since its inception in 2004, where he serves as Treasurer. In addition to his own research, he has been involved in several projects including the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, the Canadian Naturalization Database Indexing, and the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).

info@jgstoronto.ca ● www.jgstoronto.ca  ● 647-247-6414

Jan 20, 2015

A Shtetl in America

Seymour Perlin wrote the story of his family. It's online.

I had a unique experience growing up as a teenager on a farm for four years with my grandparents. As their last living grandchild I want to record for posterity my experience and their experiences of "coming to America." This is the story of my growing up in a different place, a different time, and a different world.

My hope is that this book will provide much information, some inspiration and an invitation to spend a while in the life, the activities and the thoughts of a Russian Jewish immigrant family living on a farm in rural New York State in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

My generation is the last to have known, personally, the people who came from Eastern Europe in the Great Migration at the beginning of the 20th century. If we don't relate their experience as true to life people, then two generations from now our descendants will know them only as names listed on the walls of Ellis Island and on the manifests of the ships that brought them to America.

Jan 18, 2015

Covering Up Family History in a Memoir

Erich Kulka writes his little sister Eva and his first father, Rudolf, out of his family history because their existence would point out that the love story between his parents happened in a way he wouldn’t like to acknowledge.

Jan 12, 2015

Norma Penner Obit - Hiding History

George Haim recently wrote an obituary for Norma Penner in The Toronto Star. He stressed the fact that she and her husband were not ordinary parents but interesting "lefties".  Somehow, he forgot to mention that they had been dedicated members of the Communist Party of Canada.

Here's an obit for of Norman Penner: 

Prof. Penner was born in Winnipeg in 1921 and graduated from high school in 1937. He did not begin university until much later, preferring to begin his adult life from 1938 to 1941 as a full-time officer of the Winnipeg branch of the Communist Party of Canada.

From 1941 to 1946 he served with the Canadian Army which included two-and-a-half years of overseas combat duty.

On his return to Canada in 1947 he again returned to his duties as a full-time officer with the communist Labour-Progressive Party, which was formed in 1941 after the Canadian Communist Party was officially banned.

Reflecting on his communist party memberships from 1937 to 1956 and his subsequent apostasy in 1957, Prof. Penner once commented that he spent the first half of his life being attacked for being a communist and the second half of it for not being a communist.

After the abortive Hungarian revolution in 1956 and Nikita Khrushchev’s “secret speech” at the 20th congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of that same year, Prof. Penner had had enough of totalitarian politics and resigned from the party.

Jan 6, 2015

Concentration Camp Survivor - This is Your Life 1953

Hannah Kohner on This Is Your Life -

Originally from Germany, she went to Amsterdam to escape the Nazis but didn't succeed. Ironically, she looked very and was married to a very successful man in Hollywood.

This TV show coveys no idea whatsoever of the Holocaust. If you didn't already know the history you would have a hard time understanding what happened to these good-looking, healthy young people.