From: The Toronto Star - Madhavi Acharya, Tom Yew - Sunday, July 1, 2012 (edited)
Moishe Simon's was born on July 1, Canada's birthday.
For his 80th, he rented a bus and invited 50 family members and friends to Moishe’s Magnificent Memory Tour.
A two-hour jaunt through downtown Toronto seemed like the perfect way to gather the clan and tell cherished family stories.
So on the Shabbos before his birthday — dozens of cousins, children, and grandchildren filed into the air-conditioned coach to hear Simon’s telling of the past.
“I was there to learn about our heritage and about the Jewish ghetto at that time,” said Jason Grossman, Simon’s 20-year-old grandson.
Simon’s mother, Eva Millman, and his father, Harry, met in Toronto.
Harry Simon was active in the fur workers union and served as Ontario director of the Canadian Labour Congress. One of Simon’s fondest memories was spending his school holidays at the Labour Lyceum, a hub for labour activism in Toronto from 1928 to 1968.
Read more about the bus tour in the Toronto Star.
It looks like Moishe's dad, Harry, was involved in bitter political battles against Communists.
He ran as candidate for the CCF against JB Salsberg, in the St Andrew's riding in 1936. See here.
He was also a close associate of Max Federman.
Here is Joan Sangster in Canada's Cold War in Fur
No one was more important to the long history of the Cold War in fur than Max Federman. A Jewish Polish immigrant who immigrated to Canada at nineteen, Federman found work in the fur industry in 1920, and by the end of the decade, he had moved into the leadership of the social democratic fur faction in Toronto.
His right-hand supporter was Harry Simon, a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant who arrived in Canada in 1921; by age nineteen, in 1928, he had been elected business agent of his fur local.
Both were committed social democratic unionists; both were supporters of Poale Zion, or Labour Zionism, a group that advocated the “mobilization of the proletariat to a Zionist revival” intended to secure a homeland for Jews in Israel.
While Federman saw religious practice, Jewish culture, and Zionist support for a Jewish homeland as interconnected, elements of identity, his Jewish Communist opponents’ sense of ethnicity was based on a cultural, though definitely secular identity.
They portrayed themselves as more ‘internationalist’ in orientation, interested in class solidarity rather than a Jewish national state. During the early 1930s, for instance, communists opposed Zionism, labelling it a fascist and capitalist enterprise and thus creating even more political animosity between the two left camps.
Both sides routinely charged the other with employing violent tactics, intimidating workers, collaborating with the bosses, and ignoring contracting out when it suited them.
Given the incomplete historical records, it is difficult to assign blame to only one side, though it seems that only the social democrats were taken to court.
These struggles were waged most decisively at the upper levels by leaders who often chose to disregard workers’ interests.
The brief attempt at unity fell apart because Max Federman and Harry Simon were charged by the US head office with fraud.
While their self-appointed union committee cleared them, the international ILFWU (admittedly including their opponents) found them guilty and fired them.
Federman claimed the charges were nothing but political retribution, and then managed to secure his own directly chartered AFL local, creating dual unions in the city.
Left to sort out the mess in fur, The Toronto District Labour Council (TDLC), with the aid of labour lawyer J.L. Cohen, investigated and concluded that the creation of fake worker entries had been made in the unemployment benefit account book, creating a secret fund then used by the Federman group, with the checks cashed by a local poolroom proprietor who testified that he got a few cents and promise of a job in the fur shops for one of his relatives.
Federman admitted to some parts of the scheme but argued that the funds were used for organizing work in Montreal.
Simon and Federman cried “bogus trial,” but the Labour Council decided there was ample evidence of guilt; even Al Hershokovitz, later Federman’s right hand man, claimed in retrospect that he had been playing “hanky panky” with the books.