Feb 14, 2014

Sudden Loss of Allen Halberstadt Z"L

It is with great sadness that we learn of the sudden passing of Allen Halberstadt. Allen served as the Chairman of the JGS Toronto Cemetery Committee for the last 5 years.

He contributed countless hours to documenting Jewish burials throughout the Province of Ontario, New York City, Palm Springs California and many other places.  (He even discovered and recorded Jewish burials in non-Jewish cemeteries!).

Allen first became interested in documenting burials as a result of not knowing where his parents had interred a sister who died shortly after birth.

Allen was personally responsible for documenting in excess of 50,000 burials in Jewish Cemeteries in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.  For this he was given the Salute Award by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Along with volunteers, Steven Creed, Kevin Hanit and others, the Committee photographed and recorded  over 100,000 Matzvot that were uploaded to the Jewish Online World Burial Records (JOWBR).

He was an exceptional human being who performed his volunteer work with great humility. Our condolensces go out to his wife Bonny, children, grandchildren and extended family. Funeral will be held at Benjamins Park Memorial at 1:00 pm on Sunday February 16, 2014

Allen Halberstadt z"l

Update: There is an article about Allen in The Jewish Times. He was only 58.  - http://www.jewishtribune.ca/features/2014/02/25/halberstadt-58-leaves-jewish-historical-legacy


  1. I nominated Allen for the Order of Ontario last year but unfortunately he did not get recognized for 2013. I was talking to him last week about re-applying. His work is extremely important because he has connected families from disparate regions of the world. Some of these families were separated because of the Holocaust. Allen personally did so much for so many in such a quiet way. He was a Mensch. My heart goes out to Bonny and the family.

  2. I was just speaking to Harvey Glasner about this. It came as quite a shock and we couldn't help but remember our good friend Harold Nissenthal, another member who contributed a lot to the society who died unexpectedly at age 63.

    Allen always seemed like a nice guy to me. I wrote on the Benjamin's site that the memory of him that will always stand out for me is kind of funny. In the fall of 2008, a few months after my mother died, my dad and I were at the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery on a cloudy Sunday in October and about 30 yards away I saw a guy standing in front of the gravestones moving toward us. I think I had just met Allen shortly before that but I knew right away it was him taking pictures. Eventually he got to us and we exchanged a few words. And it was funny because who expects to see someone they know passing their time taking pictures in a cemetery It's an odd hobby but one that I'm sure helped a lot of people who were interested in that information. I liked Allen. I'm sure that a lot of people will have good memories of him and I wish his family well.