Fonds 5 - Saint John Jewish Historical Society

Title proper

Saint John Jewish Historical Society

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  • 1982 - (Creation)
    Saint John Jewish Historical Society

Physical description

9 m of records

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Name of creator

(Created in 1982)

Administrative history

The Saint John Jewish Historical Society was created in 1982 with the mandate to preserve the history of the Saint John Jewish Community. This was accomplished with the creation of an archives and the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum in July 1986. The driving force behind the creation of the Museum is Marcia Koven. The once vibrant and active Jewish community in Saint John was rapidly diminishing as most of the young people had gone to larger centres for educational and employment opportunities and did not return. Few families remained and most were older parents. There is no doubt that without the efforts of Mrs. Koven, the community’s history would have been lost. At the same time as the Museum has preserved the history of the community, the records of the Society and the Museum have also been preserved as a record of its growth and accomplishments.

Custodial history

The Saint John Jewish Historical Society began to collect material on the history of the Saint John Jewish community in 1982. The collection was originally housed in a small art studio on Canterbury Street in Saint John before the opening of the Museum in July 1986 in the Jewish Community Centre on Wellington Row. Formal cataloguing of the collection began in 1986. Material collected from 1983 to 2001 has been microfilmed by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The archives is stored in a dedicated archival space in the Museum’s current location at 91 Leinster Street and regular additions of material are made.

Scope and content

As an organizational history, the records are nearly complete and include the constitution, correspondence, reports, financial records, membership, and documentation of activities and events from 1986 to the present. Three publications – From Our Grandmothers Kitchens (cookbook - 1989), Weaving the Past Into the Present (history – 1989 and 2008) and The History of the Saint John Jewish Community (video – 1990 and 2008) have been produced by the museum. Museum's activities have also been well documented through scrapbooks and photograph albums from 1986 through the present time.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Most material in this fonds was either created or collected by Museum staff or volunteers.


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There are no restrictions. Generally material must be consulted on site or through correspondence with the curator.

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A finding aid is available, however, the information is under review and revision and an updated version should be available in 2014.

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