780 489 2809 jahsena@shaw.ca

Organization

Mission Statement

The Society exists to preserve and protect the Jewish heritage of Edmonton and Northern Alberta through the collection of archival documents, artifacts and audiovisual materials for the use of present and future generations, and to promote knowledge of and use of those materials through outreach activities such as exhibitions and educational programs.

Goals:

  • Preservation of the Jewish heritage of these communities through proper archival acquisition, housing, arrangement, cataloguing, preservation, restoration and access of collected materials;
  • Educational and publication projects encouraging interest in the history of these communities and their archives;
  • An archival collection of items from members and organizations of the community;
  • Sufficient funding to continue the programs of the society on a permanent basis;
  • A working relationship with the Provincial Archives of Alberta to support JAHSENA and its projects on an ongoing basis, and to permanently house the archives;
  • A collaborative relationship with the Archives Society of Alberta to catalogue our materials according to RAD and include them on the databases provided on the ASA website, namely Alberta on Record, and ultimately, CAIN-Archives Canada (Canadian Archival Information Network);
  • Liasons with the larger Archives and historical communities within Alberta and Canada, and throughout the world, both Jewish and non-Jewish in scope;
  • The protection of valuable historical resources within the community.

Objectives:

  • To collect archival material pertaining to the Jewish families of Edmonton and Northern Alberta; the smaller Jewish communities of Northern Alberta, and the Jewish organizations of Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
  • To record and transcribe oral histories of members of the community.
  • To record and/or videotape the accounts of Holocaust survivors and second-generation members of the community.
  • To collect artifacts for periodic exhibition within the community and elsewhere.
  • To undertake a lecture series on the history of the local community, and the broader Jewish community.
  • To write and publish articles on the history of the community in widely distributed publications.
  • To conduct a genealogical survey of the Jewish families of Edmonton and Northern Alberta.

Collection Policy:

  • Archival material collected shall include photographs, negatives, textual records such as oral and written histories, documents, newspapers, newsletters, books, audiovisual materials, artifacts, textiles, etc. relating to the history of the Jewish communities of Edmonton and Northern Alberta, its individuals and organizations.
  • The collection of miscellaneous, non-archival materials relating to the history of the Jewish communities of Edmonton and Northern Alberta, eg. plaques, memorabilia, awards, statues, with the intention of perhaps leading to  the creation of a museum branch of the society.

Access:

  • Access to the collection is available to all members of the community during office hours or by appointment, for reference purposes only.
  • Reproduction or duplication of certain items can be done for a fee.
  • Material may be restricted based on copyright, legal or personal considerations as well as conservation/preservation reasons.
  • No person shall be prevented from using the records acquired by the archives unless it is deemed that the material will be physically endangered or used in an illegal manner.

Achievements:

  • Publication of a tri-annual newsletter, Heritage (Yerusha).
  • Publication of The First Century of Jewish Life in Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
  • The establishment of a permanent office for the society within the Edmonton Jewish Community Centre.
  • The establishment of institutional membership in the Archives Society of Alberta and the development of a presence on the Archives Network of Alberta databases, found at www.archivesalberta.org. Membership in the Alberta Museums Association, the Association of Canadian Jewish Archives and Museums, the Association of Canadian Archivists and the Association of Canadian Jewish Studies.
  • Participation in the Archives Society of Alberta, and on its Board of Directors.
  • Participation in the Edmonton Heritage Council, and on its various committees.
  • The procurement of long-term sources of funding for the organization.
  • The employment of a professional Director and Archivist for the Society.
  • The creation of a website for the Society: www.jahsena.ca.
  • The production of a documentary film on the history of the community: “From Pedlars to Patriarchs: A Legacy Remembered, (2004)” and “Bittersweet Memories: The War Years (2007)”
  • The photographing and description of the Edmonton Jewish cemetery, and the inclusion of this information on the Jewish Online World Burial Registry, and a new website, www.edmontonjewishcemetery.ca, launched in the summer of 2013.
  • Participation in several online exhibits and calendars with the Archives Society of Alberta, entitled: “Alberta’s Built Heritage,” “Alberta: Celebrating 100 Years,” “Women who Made a Difference,” “Feast: Food in Archives,” “In Defence of Alberta,” “Archives in the Classroom,” and “Prairie Populism, ” “Growing up Albertan,” “Alberta and the Creative Process,” “Looking Good Alberta: Fashion in Alberta Archives,” etc.
  • Participation in the Edmonton and District Historical Society’s Historic Edmonton Week through open houses, since 2005.
  • The hosting of exhibits on Jewish history and culture, including: TT100: Edmonton Talmud Torah @100; Beth Israel Synagogue 100th Anniversary; Chevra Kadisha’s 100th Anniversary; “Letters from the Trunk: The Peter Owen Trunk,”  “Thedor Herzl: The father of the State of Israel, (2012)” and “The History of Jews in Western Canada, (2013)”.
  • The re-creation of the H. B. Kline Jewelry store in Fort Edmonton Park (2013).

Statistics:

  • 150 m of textual records;
  • 15,000 photographs, negatives and slides;
  • 180 videotapes;
  • 296 audiotapes;
  •  51 films;
  • 281 books;
  • 106 historical artifacts;
  • Digitized: 242 fonds-level descriptions; 934 photos; 168 documents;
  • in 2012, 142 research queries were answered.

Trophies

1942 Grad

Vegreville Synagogue

Peter Offenbacher waiting to leave Germany, 1937.