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The immigrant experience : personal recollections of Jewish garment workers in Canada, 1900-1930 Berson, Seemah Cathline, 1980

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THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE: PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF JEWISH GARMENT WORKERS IN CANADA, 1900-1930 by SEEMAH CATHLINE BERSON B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1980 <g) Seemah Cathline Berson,1980 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V ancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 E-6 BP 75-51 1 E ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with the lives of East European Jews who came to Canada in search of better living and working conditions. The period under review is 1900-1930. The study is based on the personal recollections of over fifty informants ranging in age from 65 to 90 years. The i n i t i a l purpose was to discover why so many Jewish immigrants had chosen to work in the clothing factories of Montreal and Toronto. As the research progressed the reasons for choice of occupation faded into the background and their experiences in surmounting new problems became of paramount importance. In order to fully understand the motivations and actions of these people, this thesis investigates, through the media of taped interviews, the lives of Jewish immigrants in the Pale of Settlement. The Jews had been confined to the Pale for many years hence they were not only isolated but insulated from the wider politica happenings of the last two centuries. Their awakening, at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, through wars and consequent occupations, set their sights beyond the villages and towns in which they lived toward cities across borders and oceans. This thesis explores some of the historical roots and traditions of a people, why they tenaciously clung to their identity and their ability to start life a l l over again. The purpose is to convey a sense of living which a few people experienced even though millions emigrated to Canada and the United States at the turn of the century. The focus is on revealing the lives of workers in the Old Country, their journeying to the New World, and their experiences in Canada adjusting to a new setting. Utilizing the words of informants wherever possible the concern is not only to convey what their lives were like but also to show how they themselves reflect upon their past: the need to give meaning to one's actions is always unconsciously present in the recounting. Photographs are used throughout in order to give a further dimension to the words of these immigrants. A Glossary is appended giving meanings of Yiddish and other language x^ ords used. A Bibliography of references cited is also appended. \ -iv> TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements V 1. i •/ List of Maps : - A x -CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background to Research 1. Purpose of Paper 7 Photographs ; 9 CHAPTER II LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE: THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT Introduction 12 Short History of the Jews Prior to Mass Migration to North America 12 Conception of the Pale of Settlement: Overview of Russian History as i t applied to Jews 21 CHAPTER III THE SHTETL IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT Introduction 28 j What is meant by'Shtetl' 30 Life in the Shtetl '• 40 Mothers' dreams for their Sons (and their Daughters) 42 The Impact of Poverty 54 Economic and Work Setting 68 CHAPTER IV IDEOLOGIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE 86 CHAPTER V PUSH/PULL FACTORS: THOSE WHICH PUSHED THEM OUT OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THOSE WHICH PULLED THEM TOWARD 'AMERICA' Introduction: Why I Came To 'America' 96 Motives and Desires for Migration 100 Reasons for Emigrating as given by informants 101 The Journey from the Shtetl to Canada 111 CHAPTER VI TRANSFORMATION OF BEING: A SENSE OF PE0PLEH00D Introduction 116 Brief Account of Mass Migration & Census Figures 117 Historical Setting - Montreal 121 Toronto 125 Transformation of Being: A Sense of Peoplehood 128 Demographic Studies of Montreal & Toronto 143 Summary 147 CHAPTER VII THE NEEDLE TRADES: A SHORT HISTORY Introduction 164 The Early Days 166 Working Conditions 177 Profile on Sidney Sarkin: His Early Days and How He Became A Cutter 179 Point of a Needle 182". You remember the poverty: The Woman's World 189 The Role of the Union: Organizing the Unorganized 205 Union Struggles 219 Summary • 230 CHAPTER IX CONCLUSION ; 232 APPENDIX 243 GLOSSARY • 246 BIBLIOGRAPHY 249 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Research on the Needle Trades was made possible through grants from the Institute of Industrial Relations, University of British Columbia in 1974 and again in 1976. The research on Life in the Shtetl was funded by Youth Employment Programmes, through the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of British Columbia in the summer of 1978. I wish to acknowledge with gratitude those whose time and efforts have contributed to this work. Amongst them are Professor Kenneth Stoddart who willingly accepted the challenge to sit on my Committee at its penultimate stage. Professor Martin Silverman has been available whenever I needed to discuss an idea or two. His moments of excitement were contagious and gave me the impetus to carry on. I wish to thank Henry Rosenthal for reading and commenting on parts of this essay. To Professor Martin Meissner my gratitude for not only being instrumental in turning my vision toward this research but for his criticism and understanding when most needed. There are many who have contributed their time and expertise. I am sorry I cannot acknowledge them a l l . I wish to thank Professor Marjorie Halpin for drawing out of me those feelings which might otherwise have remained submerged. Professor Michael Ames has been my mentor for many years. He has unstintingly given of his time and has with longstanding patience encouraged me over the difficult periods. I most gratefully acknowledge this. Without the patience, understanding and love of my husband, Harold, and our children David, Joshua, Saul and Adam, this research would not have been undertaken. Harold has spent many hours transcribing a l l the tapes for this study. I would like to thank my family for without their help this thesis would not have been completed in time. Thank you very much. ix LIST OF MAPS MAP I Expulsions 1000-1500 17 MAP II The Emancipation of European Jewry 1789-1918 19 MAP III Partitioned Poland, 1815-1918 showing Pale of Settlement 22 MAP IV The Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 showing The Shtetlach in the Pale of Settlement 23 MAP V Tishevits - A Shtetl 66 MAP VI Early Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1900 123 MAP VII First Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1901 - 124 MAP VIII Toronto 1921 127 MAP IX First Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939 - 144 MAP X Second Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939 145 MAP XI Third Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939 - 146( For Thomas Robertson 1929-1975 wise and gentle friend; my teacher too. x i frontispiece 1 CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION Background to Research. I t happened a few years ago when I heard him speak at a banquet about the things he had done as a young man: .when he f i r s t came to Canada and the s o r t of l i f e he had l i v e d the past f i f t y years. I was an undergraduate at the time and I had a research paper to do. The man speaking at the banquet was Jewish and what he talked about then, though i t was a part of h i s l i f e , was also a r e f l e c t i o n of a larger p icture i n v o l v i n g more than the one Jewish immigrant to North America. I t r e f l e c t e d the t r a n s i t i o n of a people, the East European Jewish people. Five or s i x years ago I had l i t t l e knowledge about the Jewish immigrants who came to Canada, even though I am Jewish myself. My antecedents are not East European. I had vague ideas about what l i f e had been l i k e i n the Old Country: the anti-Semitism, the pogroms, the poverty, the struggles, the heroes and heroines and t h e i r achievements. L i s t e n i n g to Sidney Sarkin at the banquet I became int e r e s t e d i n f i n d i n g out more about these people. At that time Sarkin was i n the process of w r i t i n g h i s memoirs i n Yiddish. He generously agreed to t a l k to me about h i s l i f e and we subsequently spent many hours at h i s home taping the s t o r i e s about l i f e i n Lithuania, about h i s leaving home, h i s eventful journey to Canada and the years he spent working i n the garment industry, the trade union and the Communist Party of Canada. The many hours spent together resulted i n a paper. However, the major outcome was that i t c r y s t a l i z e d a desire to t a l k to many more people and l i s t e n 2 to t h e i r l i f e s t o r i e s about coming to Canada and working i n the needle trades. I began to look at secondary sources: books on Canadian Jewish h i s t o r y , working-class struggles i n Canada, trade union h i s t o r y , census reports, and other r e l a t e d evidence, and what struck me again and again were the facts that: (1) 60% of the Jewish immigrants i n Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg were employed i n the clothing manufacturing industry i n the early decades of t h i s century; (2) i n any h i s t o r y of the Jews i n Canada l i t t l e was s a i d about the industry i t s e l f (e.g. the sweat shops, the struggles, the working conditions); (3) the h i s t o r i e s and reports of the period under review were more concerned with quantitative documentation rather than a reconstruction of what l i f e was l i k e f o r the Jewish immigrant worker. Further, Sarkin was a cutter, an ' a r i s t o c r a t ' of the trade, and I wanted to speak to ordinary workers. The h i s t o r i c a l record was incomplete. The personal dimension was missing. References to i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts were one-sided and impersonal. What was this h i s t o r y l i k e from the point of view of those who had l i v e d i t ? The interview with Sarkin suggested a format for furt h e r research. I w i l l attempt to reconstruct the h i s t o r y of East European Jewish immigrants from the perspective of t h e i r own memories i n order to add a personal dimension to the impersonal records. I decided to focus on the period 1900 to 1930 f o r pragmatic reasons: 3 (1) It was difficult to find anyone who worked in the trades prior to this time; (2) census reports giving dates, numbers of immigrants, religion, language, occupation, etc. begin in 1911; (3) secondary sources dealing with Jewish communities in Canada are sketchy before the 20th century because of insignificant numbers of Jews prior to 1900; and (4) the early 1930s was chosen as a cut-off point because of World War II. The immigrants who came after the mid-30s pose different sets of problems which will not be dealt with in this paper. Before my final year as an undergraduate I was fortunate to have received a grant from the Institute of Industrial Relations, University of British Columbia, to travel to eastern Canada in order to do my fieldwork. Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg had been the centres of the clothing manufacturing industry and the people who were employed in the needle trades were to be found there. An impetus to hasten my work was the age group toward which the research was focussed: the immigrants were from 65 years old and over and not too many of them were s t i l l around. In the summer of 1974 I went to Toronto and Montreal. I decided I would only do two of the three cities. I went with my tape-recorder and dozens of blank tapes. I was armed with enough names of immigrants in both cities to get me started. However, having a tape-recorder and being introduced to someone willing to talk does not necessarily mean that you are going to come out of an interview with 'good data' or 'a sufficient amount of raw material'. I had grown accustomed to interviewing Sarkin and felt comfortable talking to him. 4 In Toronto and Montreal I was a stranger. This, coupled with a degree of i n i t i a l t e r r o r , made for a cer t a i n amount of time wasted, mistakes made i n recording, i n a b i l i t y to f i e l d appropriate questions, or to keep the respondent from straying i n t o areas of no i n t e r e s t to me. There were occasions when a respondent had been t a l k i n g f o r about f i v e minutes before I r e a l i z e d that the outlet i n t o which my taperecorder was plugged was dead. Needless to say, when we s t a r t e d a l l over again I did not get a d e t a i l e d story but a resume of those f i r s t f i v e minutes. Before going i n t o the f i e l d I was a l i t t l e concerned about the language. My Yiddish i s next to non-existent which means I could under-stand the general d r i f t of what i s being s a i d but the f i n e r nuances of the language would pass me by. I was worried that people might lapse i n t o Yiddish which would then constitute a t r a n s l a t i o n problem. However, a l l the people interviewed spoke good English. There were a few who chatted away i n Yiddish when they were excited about something but fortunately i t was ba s i c enough f o r me to understand and t r a n s l a t e . The people I wished to interview did not lend themselves to f i l l i n g out forms or questionnaires. Some of them could not read or write i n Eng l i s h , and even i f they could the type of questions I wished to ask could not be answered i n one or two words. My i n i t i a l forcus was to discover why Jewish immigrants went in t o the needle trades. I began with the following questions which I f e l t would allow people the room to unfold t h e i r l i f e s t o r i e s : 1. Where did you come from and when did you arr i v e i n Canada? (from this was to be learned why they had l e f t t h e i r homeland). 2. With whom did you l i v e when you arrived? ( t h i s I f e l t was a c r u c i a l question: did the 5 person with whom they lived influence the type of occupation? A rich uncle; a revolutionary brother; a poor but religious family? Was the type of occupation, and the position within that occupation, determined by the answer to this question?) 3. What was your first job? In dealing with these basic questions I felt I would be able to discover their reasons for choosing occupations. I wanted to know how various factors \influenced their choice of occupation, such as religion, language, skills, kinship, friendship, membership in organizations, time of arrival in this country, etc. ' Though I was interested primarily in people who had worked in the needle trades, I interviewed immigrants in other trades as well. I also visited public and private libraries and archives in Toronto and Montreal. In Ottawa I spent time in the Federal Government archives and Canadian Labour Congress offices gathering data on labour and union activities. I would like to say at this point that some sort of direction before going into the field would have been helpful. I knew what I was looking for: why Jewish immigrants had gone into the needle trades. I knew where to find these immigrants. However, I had difficulty pursuing secondary sources. I did have a publication: Primary Sources in  Canadian Working Class History 1860-1930,. (Hann, et al, 1973), but when I followed some leads they proved fruitful whilst others were non-existent, unavailable or useless for my purposes. My major focus was the Jews in the needle trades. But when you begin to know names and names have faces and struggles and fascinating experiences then how do you sit for 6 hours pouring over papers in the Attorney General's files deciding what is relevant and what is not? If, for example, one of your names with a face has been in the needle trades, has been an active union worker,;, a communist party member, has been arrested - can you just overlook a letter he or she wrote from jail? I found i t very difficult to set an arbitrary parameter of interest. The files in front of me did not contain facts and figures of how many people lived in a certain city at a given time, doing a particular job for a specific wage. They did not contain tables of figures and numbers and percentages. The files contained original letters, personal papers, creative writings, of young children, of men and women, some s t i l l around, others long dead. In other words there were pieces of peoples' lives written in their own hand, in their own words, on various kinds of stationery. At that point I asked myself: what could I do with a l i s t of names written very meticulously showing the five and ten cent contributions people made to a strike fund, or a sick benefit society? I realized I did not have a framework to f i t this kind of material. Consequently what evolved for me out of my research was a shift in focus. Instead of being concerned with gathering facts and figures to support what informants said to me and bolster the conceptual framework with which I went into the field, I began to see myself as a funnel or channel through which their lives and struggles could be written down. Further, two years of illness had also distanced me from my research and academic l i f e to the extent that I do not consider my priorities as being paramount in this study. My priority has been to find adequate answers to the phenomenon: why had so many Jewish immigrants gone into the needle trades. Now the 'why' is no longer 7 important to me. Perhaps someone else later on can be concerned with that aspect. The concern of this paper is to portray the panorama of Jewish life at the turn of the century, both in the Old Country and here in Canada. I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is i t not time to write my life's story? (Mary Antin, Russian Jewish immigrant in her book, The Promised Land) In reviewing the oral histories of the immigrants I had interviewed in Toronto and,Montreal, I felt I had somehow asked them to talk about their lives in Canada as though the years lived in Eastern Europe did not exist or have any bearing on their lives here in Canada. I felt I had to know about the towns and villages and cities from which these people came. What sort of lives they had lived there. Had they exchanged one set of problems for another? But mostly, I think the real reason for wanting to know about li f e in the Old Country was because there is no more a "Pale of Settlement" in Eastern Europe or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Consequently I spent last summer recording the recollections of Jewish immigrants in the "shtetlach", villages, of Eastern Europe. Some came from cities and would be resentful i f they were referred to as a "shtetl". However, the majority of those 'interviewed came from towns and villages. Purpose Of The Paper By utilizing personal recollections, I will attempt to describe, in a l l their richness, the experiences of Jewish immigrants, as reported tc me. These experiences are not the milestones in the lives of these 8 people so much as the everyday, ordinary events which confronted people i n t h e i r struggle to l i v e from day to day. These experiences w i l l span three spheres of i n t e r e s t : 1. The S h t e t l . The Push Factors. Those which pushed the Jews out of Eastern Europe. 2. "America". The P u l l Factors. Those which beckoned them to the North American shores. 3. The Needle Trades. The contributions.made by these .immigrants i n f i g h t i n g f o r Canadian labour laws, such as the eight hour working day, unemployment insurance, etc. These spheres were chosen because each i n i t s own way should be viewed f i r s t i n order to understand how the Old Country played i t s part i n pushing the Jews out, how 'America' attracted them here, and how these two factors influenced t h e i r l i v e s i n the occupations they ultimately chose for themselves. One cannot, I f e e l , appreciate t h e i r f i g h t f o r better working conditions without understanding the ideology with which these Jews were r a i s e d and without being cognizant of the f a c t that they brought t h i s ideology with them to this country as part and p a r c e l of t h e i r c u l t u r a l baggage. In reviewing the o r a l h i s t o r i e s of over f i f t y people I f i n d they are mostly concerned with t a l k i n g about themselves, which i s to be expected. However, male informants often juxtaposed t h e i r l i v e s with ' p o l i t i c a l ' events, w h i l s t female informants streamlined t h e i r s with events closer to t h e i r persons. Male informants were always the 'doers', the 'actors', the makers of h i s t o r y ; w h i l s t female informants were most often i n t e r e s t e d i n t e l l i n g me about what happened around them even though they might have been as instrumental as the next person i n 'making h i s t o r y ' . L i f e was always hard. Each day was a struggle; but no one ever l e f t i t 9 as being a struggle and nothing more. There were benefits, there were small rewards, there was the fight itself. Our 'givens' and 'taken-for-granteds' are the things they fought for and in most cases did without. On several occasions men and women went to where they kept their l i t t l e private things - letters, papers, photographs - and very proudly pulled out their union card and showed i t to me. "See, I've been a member for a long time and I s t i l l get a pension, not very much, it's only $25 a month, but I get a pension!" Some cried as they told me about "longing to go to school to get an education: to be able to read and write just a few words even". Photographs Though the camera does not l i e , the photograph is neither value free nor does i t provide more than a desituated fragment, accidentally preserved through time, of a larger picture. (Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1977:xiii) Photographs will be used in this study bearing in mind the above words. As John Szarkowski has remarked: "To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer's craft" (ibid:xiii). In doing this research, some time was spent in finding, collecting and reproducing photographs. Not a l l of them were finally used. Those used were taken from a number of books and personal collections. I have chosen photographs showing people working, children studying, street and shop scenes in the Old Country, sweat shops and factories in Canada. Photographs were also chosen with a concern for showing how people dressed fifty to seventy years ago both in Eastern Europe and in Canada. In seeing a photograph, for example, of someone 10 carrying water in the shtetl i t may help create a 'tableau' of some aspect of unknown or forgotten l i f e . Hopefully photographs will be viewed as serving the purposes of eliminating useless words and stirring the imagination to perceive on a wider canvas what these immigrants felt and experienced. Far from detracting or intruding upon the flow and purpose of this paper, photographs will be used to give a further dimension to the stories of informants. However, I would strongly urge that they be placed in the correct frame of reference: somewhere between history and ethnography. This study would not have been possible without the generosity of each and every one of the Jewish immigrants who gave not only of their time but of themselves in the hope that some part of their story will survive them. Today some of them live in their own homes or apartments; some in Old Folks' Homes, others in hospitals too old to do anything for themselves; and some have died. Those who were able, graciously invited me to their homes and talked to me over tea or lunch, even whilst baby-sitting grandchildren. Others met me at cultural institutions where they spent a part of their day. Those in Old Folks' Homes and hospitals gave of their endless time to talk to me: they were so grate-ful to have someone to talk to about themselves. Most people enjoyed the experience of recounting their past although in one or two instances I felt ashamed of myself and wondered what moral right I had to be there questioning them. When a man does not remember his wife's name, have 1 a right to ask him to remember his experiences in the garment industry? In these cases I withdrew as gently as I could. I felt they had earned the right to be left in ,peace: no need to dredge up pleasant as well as very unpleasant, better-forgotten times. j A Rabbi in the shtetl of Vilkomir, Lithuania. Courtesy: Sidney Sarkin. Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson. CHAPTER II LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE: THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT Introduction In this- chapter I will give a short: history of the Jews prior to mass migration to North America. These Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement which covered an area of about 1,000,000 sq. km. from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. According to the census of 1897, 4,899,300 Jews lived there, forming 94% of the total population of Russia and accounting for 11.6% of the general population of the area (Slutsky 1971:27). The Jews were an homogenous group and yet they were not. They had their similarities, their differences, their idiosyncrasies. For example, there existed a 'Gefilte Fish' line which separated those who seasoned their Sabbath Fish with sugar from those who did not (Rosk'ies .and Roskies 1975:37). They spoke the same language, Yiddish, but pronunciation of certain words differed. For example, depending on where they ;eame' from, some either said 'shul' or 'sheel' for synagogue. They believed in the same God but followed different schools of rabbinical thought: the followers of the Rabbi of Ger had nothing to do with the followers of the Lublin Rabbi. Short History of the Jews Prior to Mass Migration to North America The existence of the Jewish people as a continuous historic entity from the days of the Father of the Jews, Abraham, in ancient Mesopotamia, to the Jews living in Israel and the Diaspora (those living outside of Israel), plays an important part in the understanding and explanation of their survival prior to and during the period under review. The contribution of the Jews to Western thought may. be considered more than the belief of ethical monotheism- That a group of nomadic tribes were eventually able to forge such a document as the Bible stems, in great measure, from the fact that they were able to codify into written language their 1000 to 1500 years of wanderings, into a total unified structure. The very nature of these people trying to comprehend their secular world was imbedded in the necessity to understand the totality of their environment. The logical conclusion of the conditions of the day and age had to suggest a unity that was codified and ritualized into the Bible. That other people at that particular juncture of history were also able to detect in their own indigenous way the same comprehension of universality, is not denied. The accomplishment of the Israelites of that day was that they had evolved a method of recording - both written and oral - what one might consider to be the "First Whole Earth Catalogue". This 'catalogue' consisted of the Torah, which is the Five Books of Moses, plus the Talmud, which was initially transmitted orally from generation to generation and eventually transcribed into another set of sacred texts. The languages used were Hebrew and Aramaic. The people who were landless and nomadic for the greater part of their early existence, were admonished in both languages to instruct a l l their children - the poor, the rich and the orphaned - in the teachings of the Sacred Books. This tradition was maintained throughout Jewish history. The Talmud insisted on this feature and the education of children became part of the ritual of Judaism. The ancient Hebrew sages are purported to have said: and, The world is kept alive by the breath of school children; A town without a school ought to be demolished. A scribe in Poland. Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett (1977:68). Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson. Even though i t may be argued that the Hellenic influence on the earlier Jews was limited to only the upper echelons of Jewish society, the culture of an evolving, benign, tolerant and conquering Greek civilization could not but influence the Jewish scribes who were in the process of writing the Bible. The pattern of civilized tolerance for minority groups within the Greek empire provided a great cultural leveller. Greek was established as a common tongue for the people of the Mediterranean world. The equality of opportunity that the Greeks fostered, siphoned off a large portion of the Jewish people from their homeland. The mobility of the Jewish people during this period was such that Alexandria with its cosmopolitan setting attracted a Jewish population of 250,000; Egypt had 1,000,000 Jews. Statistically, i t is indicated that there were three to four million Jews living in Palestine at that time but a greater number of them were living outside (Ausubel 1955:77). The Sacred Books carried instructions on how to live a good l i f e in the eyes of God; what health foods to eat; how one should conduct oneself within the community. The sanctioning by religious edict of the Sabbath as a day of rest has been considered as being the first recorded piece of labour legislation. The wide variety of everyday activities which the Sacred Books implored the Jewish populace to follow in the name of God, covered a wide range of both spiritual and secular matters. The rise of Islam coincided with the dispersion of the Jews from Israel. The Arabs conquered Palestine in 638 and Babylonia in 642 C.E. They conquered the south of Spain in 711 and with this conquest began the Golden Age of the Jews (ibid:105). Judaism outside of Israel and in the Moslem world continued to flourish. This era, known as the Golden Age, took place under Arab rule mainly in Spain from approximately 900 to 1200 C.E. The forward thrust of Christianity eventually forced the Arabs out of Spain and subsequently the Jews, who were expelled i n 1492. Small enclaves of Jews were s e t t l i n g i n the Rhine Valley f o r several hundred years and t h e i r numbers were increased with the migration from the Iberian peninsula. As C h r i s t i a n i t y continued to r e l e n t l e s s l y march across Europe, the Jews migrated to those pagan areas where a more tolerant view of t h e i r presence was accepted. The bulk of world Jewry f i n a l l y s e t t l e d i n Eastern Europe. Within the confines of t h i s area, t h e i r stay was marked by persecutions and t e r r i t o r i a l confinement. During t h e i r stay i n the Rhine V a l l e y , the Jews developed another language known as Yiddish. This language came to l i f e at the same time as Middle German but was written i n Hebrew characters and possessed much of the morphology of the Hebrew language. Why did the Jews i n the Rhine Va l l e y i n the medieval c i t i e s of Worms, Mayence, Cologne and Speyer, need a language of t h e i r own? The l a t e Max Weinreich, a well-known h i s t o r i a n of Yiddish, explained that the Jews of these c i t i e s chose to l i v e apart from the g e n t i l e s . They wanted to be close to the conveniences necessary f o r a Jew to observe h i s r e l i g i o n ; the synagogue, the r i t u a l bath, the kosher slaughterhouse, and Jewish b u r i a l ground. S e t t l i n g i n groups was the natural thing to do i n the Middle Ages. What Jews wanted i n p a r t i c u l a r was, not i s o l a t i o n from the C h r i s t i a n s , but i n s u l a t i o n from C h r i s t i a n i t y (Roskies and Roskies 1975:34). Yiddish followed the Jews to Eastern Europe and t h i s language became the everyday tongue of the Jewish masses. In order to teach the chi l d r e n Judaism, prayers were written i n t h i s language. Popular epic s t y l e poems and s t o r i e s , very much t y p i c a l of non-Jewish l i t e r a t u r e of the Middle Ages, were also written i n Yiddish. Handwritten oopies of these Yiddish works were c i r c u l a t e d amongst the people u n t i l the paper they 17 EXPULSIONS 1000-1500 jr [ WALES, "0 God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; 0 turn thyself to us againr PSALM 60 200 Trebizond ® Damascus — (§) Safed °" (•) Jerusalem . \ fcv o f t - ' Source: Gilbert 1969:44 18 were written on literally f e l l apart. A continuation of the linear tradition and a multilingual approach was part and parcel of the mental luggage that the vast majority of Jewish people carried with them. Ausubel says that the Jews of Europe had to wait some fifteen hundred years before they were officially accorded equality as human beings (ibid: 152). The 18th century saw the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. People were being freed not only from their physical bonds but also from spiritual ones: equality of human beings, reason above dogma, conscience above subservience to church, etc. The Jews also began to share in this freedom. But i t came slowly. It was not until the 19th century that Jews were 'emancipated' and the walls of the ghettos crumbled. To those Jews of Western and Central Europe who had managed to physically survive the onslaught of Christianity and the Crusaders and who had not migrated to Eastern Europe, Judaism developed in such a manner as to easily accomodate and adapt to the evolving territorial nationalist ambi-tions of their host cultures. The Jews readily adapted to the cultural l i f e of this part of the world where German became the secular language. For the Eastern European Jew this was not a period of emancipation. Poverty was the common lot of the vast majority of the people. Into this dark l i f e , Judaism encountered Hassidism; a Jewish interpretation of God in a highly personalized and individualistic way which created a folk type religion. Hassidism addressed itself to personal and intimate dialogues with the Creator and infused Judaism with a spiritually uplifting, joyful experience. The spirit of Emancipation attempted to force itself into the ghettos of Eastern Europe. Its success was somewhat limited, due in part to the fact that the advocates of Haskalah, Jewish Enlightenment movement, deemed Yiddish to be an illiterate and common jargon despite its use as CO o C H O o a4 ro U i j THE EMANCIPATION ! OF EUROPEAN JEWRY I 1789-1918 G R E A T „ B R I T A I N / d& Jews could be elected to Parliament Jews could enter University "And if.in the course of many centuries, the oppressed descendants of warriors and sages have degenerated from the qualities of their fathers; if while excluded from the blessings of law, and bowed down under theyoke of slavery, they have contracted some of the vices of outlaws and slaves, shall we consider this as a matter of reproach to them?Shall we not rather consider it as a matter of shame and remorse to ourselves ? Let us open to them every career in which ability and energy can be displayed. Till we have done this, let us not presume to say that there is no genius among the countrymen of Isaiah, no heroism among the descendants of the Maccabees' MACAULAY IN 1S33 Emancipation gave the Jews full civil equality i l > Only European country not granting civil equality to Jews by 1919 P O R T U G A L tEHl Miles the mother tongue of the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe. The leaders of the Haskalah were also concerned that the Hassidic movement was drawing the Jewish people closer to the womb of an obscure and isolated brand of Judaism and that in so doing was further isolating the Jewish people from the advantages of cultural enlightenment that was sweeping Europe. (Haskalah was a movement toward breaking down the destructive and imprisoning barriers of ignorance, backwardness and strangulation which the ghetto symbolized.) Throughout Judaic literature runs the theme of return to 'Zion', to Israel. With nowhere to turn and hemmed in between Poland and Russia, the desire to return to Zion became very much more eloquent and plaintive. The Hassidic scholars would only use Hebrew for prayers because i t was the holy language,. Yiddish was their everyday vehicle of verbal expression. To this language they they injected their Messianic verve for Zion. Haskalah wanted to make Hebrew the spoken language of the Jews. They said that until the Jewish people had a homeland of their own with their own Hebrew language, there could be no saving the Jews from the obscure, bleak l i f e of.the ghettos. Out of Haskalah, Zionism began to emerge, even though not yet formed into an ideology. Zionism felt that anti-Semitism would disappear once the Jews were settled in Israel under a mild form of socialism. The growing momentum of socialism could not miss attracting wide segments of the Jewish masses: the promise of a better l i f e here and now; a world of equal opportunity for a l l people no matter what their origin; the eradication of anti-Semitism. All these items were on the minds of the people. The Yiddish language was eloquently used by the socialists in describing the new and better world to come. Throughout this entire period of time, the Jewish community accepted its responsibility of providing education for their children. Basically, the vast majority of male children were enrolled in kheyders, Jewish schools, where they learned some of the rudiments of Hebrew, at the very least for liturgical purposes. The respect of the community was bestowed upon the scholarship of a student. The'very best catch that parents could wish for their daughter was an aspiring young scholar or one who had already attained scholarship in his Talmudic studies. A l l this despite the fact that the father would probably have to support his son-in-law because scholarship was not very profitable. 'If the family was well-to-do, a girl learned to read and say her prayers. The first priority for a young girl was to know how to look after and manage a kosher home. Yiddish started to transform itself into a viable crucible for the cultural expression of.the Jews. Its literary endeavors came of age "f around the 1850's and continued to find a tremendous response amongst the Jewish people.. It was the start of a folk culture of considerable literary as well as cultural merit. The seething unrest of Eastern Europe at the time created conditions whereby the monarchical rulers found i t most convenient to use Jews as scapegoats. This resulted in mass migrations of Eastern Europeans to North America. Conception of the Pale of Settlement: An Overview of Russian History  As It Applied to the Jews, from Catherine II (1762-1825) Until  Alexandra III (1881-1917) In 1764 about one million Jews lived in the commonwealth of Poland. (Maps III and IV.) From Courland in the north on the Baltic Sea, Poland extended as far south as the Dniester, across which lay Moldavia in the Turkish Empire. Poland's northern tier stretched from the 22 MAP III THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT PRUSSIA Source: AUSTRIA PARTITIONED POLAND, 1815-1918 Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:xvi 23 MAP IV THE SHTETLACH IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT L A T V I A ^^^^^^^ Poznah » Zbaszyn ^ Warta G E R M A N Y C Z E C H O S L O V A K I A '•.•..'MANIA THE SECOND POLISH REPUBLIC 1921-1939 Source: Dobroszychi & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:xvii North German plains east of the Oder toward the Warta River, across the Central Polish flatlands beribboned with lakes and rivers - the Bug, the Vistula, the Nieman. Thence i t extended across ten thousand square miles of the Pripet Marshes northward to the Russian lowlands, eastward through great coniferous forests a l l the way to the Dnieper, which marked the Russian border. The central Polish belt swept from Upper Silesia over the loess plains of Galicia across the Ukraine (frontier) where the Zaporogian Cossacks lived. Its southern tier rose and f e l l in the peaks and foothills of the Beskids and the High Tatras, extending southward toward the Carpathians, eastward toward the Black Earth of Russia, and westward toward the Sudenten Mountains. (Davidowicz 1967:6-7) Jews lived in Poland from the 11th century on and i t was after the 15th century that they began to flourish: They lived mostly in towns, controlled the kingdom's export trade (mostly agricultural produce), the import trade, and the domestic trade through fairs. The Jews sometimes leased the royal lands and sometimes lands of the nobility, tax farming their meadows, woodlands, and fish ponds. The Jews planted crops, bred livestock, fished, lumbered, and manufactured flour and spirits. The Jews.handled money, extended credit, and held mortgages. They developed their own crafts in competition with the Christian craft guilds, pioneering in that most characteristic form of early capitalism - the ready-made clothing industry. (ibid 1967:7) In Russia the pattern was different. Since the 15th century Jews had been excluded from living within its borders. After the First Partition of Poland (1791) when Poland became part of Russia, Russia and Catherine II had to contend with a large Jewish population within its borders. At that time the government began to impose limits on the areas in which Jews were permitted settlement. "These limitations were consonant with the general conception of freedom of movement of persons which then applied" (Slutsky 1971:24). In the years following, various other provinces were added to Russia and included in the area permitting.Jewish settlement: a) Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk (now Ekaterinoslav) and Taurida (Crimea). b) In 1793 the Second Partition of Poland took place and in 1794 the above decree was ratified and further regions ; were added: the provinces of Minsk, Volhynia and Podolia, and the region east of the River Dnieper (the provinces of Chernigov and Poltava). c) 1795 saw the Third Partition of Poland and the decree added the provinces of Vilna and: Grodno. d) In 1799 Courland was added. e) In 1804 the "Jewish Statute" was passed and added the province of Astrakhan and the whole of the northern Caucasus. The "Kingdom of Poland" which was incorporated into Russia in 1815 and which included the provinces (later called the Vistula Region) was officially not included and until 1868, during the reign of Alexander II (1855-1881) Jews were not permitted to pass through this area to the Lithuanian and Ukrainian provinces although in actual practice they did so. There was a twofold purpose to a l l this: Russia, through the offices of Catherine II and Alexander I, hoped to open up and colonize her desolate steppes to the south and to curtail Jewish merchants, who were flourishing in Poland, thereby protecting the economic interests of her own people. It should be remembered that the Jews in these newly acquired lands were of the merchant and guild classes. It was not.until the reign of Czar Nicholas I (1825-1855) that the term "Pale of Settlement" was coined. (In Russian: cherta (postoyannoy  yevreyskoy) osedlosti; meaning territory within the borders of Czarist Russia wherein the residence of Jews was legally authorized (Slutsky 1971:24). Under Czar Alexander II (1855-1881) Russian law began to ease up and permission to live beyond the Pale of Settlement began to be granted to various classes of people: In 1859 to merchants able to pay registration fees of the First Guild. In 1861 to university graduates as well as those in medical professions. In 1865 to various craftsmen. In 1879 to dentists, male and female nurses, midwives, prostitutes, etc. The right of residence throughout Russia was also granted to Cantonists (Jewish children who were kidnapped and forcibly converted to Christianity. They were made to serve in the army of the Czar) who remained Jews, and to their offsprings, the so-called Nicholas soldiers. The Jews hoped the above easing up.of restrictions would lead to the final abolition of the Pale of Settlement. However, in 1881 the Temporary (May) Laws came into being and prohibited any new settlement of Jews outside towns and townlets in the Pale of Settlement. Those who had been living in villages before were authorized to reside in those same villages only. The peasants were granted the right of demanding the expulsion of the Jews who lived amongst them. (ibid:26) Occasionally new places were excluded from the Pale: In 1887 (under Alexander III) Rostov and Taganrog. In 1893 the Spa town of Yalta. During 1891 and 1892 thousands of Jewish craftsmen were expelled from Moscow. (ibid:26) Under Czar Nicholas II (1894-1917) events took a different swing. Serfdom had been abolished and there was an upsurge of industry which produced an urban working class, who repeated the history of workers in n the early stages of industrial capitalism in Western countries: ...they were unskilled, badly paid, overworked and miserably housed. Uprooted from the village communities they suffered physical and moral privation. (Seton-Watson 1974:64) The early stages of the 20th century brought changes for the Jewish settlements. Russia's economy was growing, political pressures and tensions increased, and various alleviations in the Temporary Laws occured. 1. From 1903 those village settlements which had assumed urban characteristics were given the status of townlets. and Jews were thus permitted to reside. Up to the outbreak of World War I some three hundred settlements were thus opened up to Jewish residence. 2. In 1904 a l l Jews permitted to live outside the Pale of Settlement were also allowed to settle in rural areas. 3. In 1910 Jewish members of the Duma proposed a b i l l to abolish the Pale of Settlement which was voted upon but subsequently f e l l into oblivion. 4. In 1915 August, many thousands of expelled and refugee Jews from the battle zones streamed into the interior of Russia and the government was compelled t° permit residence of these Jews in the towns with the exception of St. Petersbutg and Moscow. In practice then, the Pale of Settlement was brought to an end. However, i t was not until the Revolution of February 1917 when, amongst other anti-Jewish restrictions, the Temporary Government abolished the Pale of Settlement. CHAPTER III THE SHTETL IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT Introduction Since this thesis does not concern itself with the wider panorama of historical events which occurred at the turn of the century, the focus and thrust of this chapter will be to draw from personal recollections what li f e was like in some of the shtetlach of Eastern Europe. In order to understand why Jewish garment workers in Montreal and Toronto did the things they did and felt the way they felt, i t is necessary to understand the cultural baggage they brought with them when they travelled to this country: their language, their literature, and their traditions played a vital role in shaping their lives in the New Land. What they ate, where they slept, how they were taught, their daily triumphs and failures, their one-room houses with plaster walls and floors and their apartments with wooden floors, the dreams of mothers, family and community l i f e , the struggle to feed themselves, their involvement in political activities, j a i l terms, escape from one country to another -a l l these aspects of li f e will be looked at here in order to show how some of the Jews lived in the Pale. This chapter will present a people not by quoting texts out of history books but by culling passages from the memories of a few dozen individuals. The memory of the Jew is long. It spans two thousand years and even though informants spoke to me about their lives and their experiences, when they talked about pain and hunger, joy and marriage, they were recounting two thousand years of putting down roots and pulling up stakes; fleeing from one enemy to another; resting, multiplying and moving on again. By talking about dreams of mothers for their "...doesn't matter where you go, you have to cross a bridge." Source: Roskies and Roskies 1975:10 sons (and their daughters), about ideologies and philosophies, of how these pushed a vast group of people to question, debate, argue, accept, reject, reshape their lives so drastically in so short a time, by recounting these things, li f e as i t was for the Jew in Eastern Europe should emerge, in some small measure, as a concrete entity, a reality. Before proceeding to talk about shtetl life I would like to say that different perspectives will be brought together to show what life was like for the Jew in the cities and villages of Eastern Europe. How the shtetl was perceived depended largely on one's distance or proximity to l i f e within i t . There are accounts by Jewish historical writers like Salo Baron, Arcadius Kahan and others, who never went near a shtetl. There are stories by folk writers who lived in or near a shtetl, like I.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem. And there are the f i r s t -hand accounts of immigrants from the shtetl. (There are the children and grandchildren of shtetl dwellers who would have yet another accounting of what l i f e was like there. However, we are not here concerned with that.). Each one, depending on his or her knowledge and level of articulation, can give us a 'description' of l i f e in the shtetl. The task at hand is to convey a sense of living which these Jews had in the shtetlach of Eastern Europe. . • ' What Is Meant By 'Shtetl' ... doesn't matter where you go, you have to cross a bridge. An"d the bridge was where a l l the soldiers were. I remember when I was a child, ... we were six in the family, brothers and sisters, and I'm the third one. My sister she was an older one and we were living in a tiny place with our grandparents and i t was a big, big h i l l and a small, l i t t l e house; and underneath was sand and clay. And the yard, i t was a big, big yard and water was running a l l the time. I don't know. There was like a waterfall. And there was also 31 Market Day in the Shtetl. Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:56 a well and the whole l i t t l e town used to come and take from us the water. The water was so beautiful, so clean. (Nina Ullman) I can remember when the 1st World War started. That was in 1914. And you know, when you live in a small town, a shtetl, the Jewish children didn't have any education there because they didn't take Jewish children into the public schools. We lived in a village and we were cut off from the rest of the world. We didn't know anybody in the immediate vicinity. But when the war broke out and you started to listen: cities here and cities there! To me i t was - - well I couldn't visualize i t because this was my world. (Bertha Dolgby Guberman) 'Shtetl' is a Yiddish word for a town, a village, or a small city. I have never seen a shtetl and I never will. The shtetl dates back to the early 18th century and its inhabitants could number anywhere from three hundred Jews in a small shtetl to close to one thousand Jews in one of the larger towns. Albert Abramovitz' shtetl... ... was almost a Jewish l i t t l e town, mostly 90% Jewish. The non-Jewish population lived around the fringes of i t . Most of them were sort of in the countryside, farmers and so on. But they were a l l inter-connected with the city l i f e because they had the goods, the produce and they brought i t in. We were the customers. The settlements dotted twenty-five provinces in Czarist Russia, in Poland, Lithuania, White Russia, Bessarabia and Crimea^ (Wigoder 1977:1490). This was known as the Pale of Settlement where Jews were legally authorized to live. Russia in the 19-th century was both a multi-lingual and multi-religious empire. Only about half the population were at the same time Russian by language and Orthodox by religion. The Orthodox were to some extent privileged in comparison with the other Christians; a l l Christians enjoyed a higher status than Muslims; and the latter were not so disadvantaged as the Jews. (Seton-Watson 1974:60). How did a Jewish child view her world: the Pale of Settlement? Mary Antin says: Then there came a time when I knew that Polotzk and Vitebsk and Vilna and some other places were grouped together as the "Pale of Settlement", and within this area the Czar commanded me to stay with my father and mother and friends, and a l l other people like us. We must not be found outside the Pale, because we were Jews. (1969:5) Permission to live outside the Pale was granted only to certain groups. For example, "members of the liberal profession with a high school diploma, big businessmen, skilled artisans, and ex-Cantonists" (Wigoder 1977:1490). But this did not always apply: Artisans had the right to reside outside the Pale, on fulfilment of certain conditions. This sounded easy to me, when I was a l i t t l e g i r l , t i l l I realized how i t worked. There was a capmaker who had duly qualified by passing an examination and paying for his trade papers, to live in a certain city. The chief of police suddenly took i t into his head to impeach the genuineness of his papers. The capmaker was obliged to travel to St.Petersburg where he had qualified in the first place, to repeat the examination. He spent his savings of years in petty bribes, trying to hasten the process, but was detained ten months by bureaucratic red tape. When at length he returned to his home town, he found a new chief of police, installed during his absence, who discovered a new flaw in' the papers he had just obtained, and expelled him from the city. If he came to Polotzk, there were then eleven capmakers where only one could make a living. (Antin;1969:22) The fate of the Jews found outside the Pale without permission depended on the arbitrary decision of.the local governor, or "they could purchase 'protection' from the local police" (Baron 1954:56). The cap-maker did not have much luck in either direction. Fanny Osipov recalls how her father and family were able to live in the city: / I am coming from, its a city, a big city, Nikolayev, right near Odessa. ... My father was a driver. You know in Russia they have this water in bottles which you push, like Seltzer water. He was selling a l l kinds of pop just to the stores. He had a wagon with a horse.and he made a living. He was born in a l i t t l e shtetl but in this city, Nikolayev, Jews were not allowed to live. Those Jews who were citizens were allowed there. But my father was from a l i t t l e shtetl and he made a living there in Nikolayev and so he thought he'll stay. The police came - everybody had to have a passport, papers, and you must register with the police ... ... the thing i s , you give the police five cents, ten cents, he says, O.K. Stay. Now every month he came and my father paid him up. There were lots of people like that. Rose Smith's oldest sister lived in Lenningrad. She had received a Gold Medal in university and therefore she was permitted.to live in the city. When she got married, Rose said: ... father went. He went to a whorehouse to sleep over otherwise they wouldn't let him stay there. He had no choice. And he slept over because he wanted to go to the wedding and he went. The rest of us stayed home. So poor guy, you know^  he had a beating. But my sister and brother-in-law finished university. They were good students, good engineers. Polotzk and Vitebsk and Vilna were big cities at the turn of the century. People born in such places would never say they come fromt a shtetl. Such cities have payed roads, running water, train stations. Rose Kaplan Barkusky said: It was different in Vilna, in the city. The house we lived in was like an apartment house.' First when I was small we lived in a place which had three or four rooms. But the last house, after my mother remarried, we lived in a place where we had six rooms plus the kitchen. The kitchen was not counted as a room there. It was a big apartment, two. buildings, one in the front and one in the back. Between was a garden. We lived in the back on the fourth floor and eighty-two steps to go up. And my mother, bless her, she'd send me down to the store for salt. I ' l l come with the salt. She forgot the pepper. I ' l l go down for the pepper. She'll forget something else. I used to go about five or six times a day. But then I learned to go down on the bannisters - slide down a l l the way. But up was marble steps. Eighty-two steps to go up four floors. Young and old at the town well. Kozhenits, Kelts province. Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:152 Rose Gordon, right with mother, father, sisters and brothers in Kozhenits. Courtesy: Rose Gordon Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson Most of the people I interviewed came from^shtetlach. The village that Rose Gordon came from and the situations she recounts give a good idea of the hardships and deprivations^with which people contended: I was born in 1906 in a small village and there were very few Jewish people there - there was maybe half a dozen Jewish families - a very small place. It was right on the water. Very small place. My father's father, and mother lived there and my father was born there. But my mother was born in.^a big city. My father worked in a mill. The name of the village was Kozhehits, Ukraine, near Odessa someplace, and was on the border of Bessarabia. I remember every family in the village. We had a Jewish butcher. I don't know: how the heck he made a living out of i t ! We had a store where you could go in and buy Jewish things - things like kasha and stuff which they used to bring in from Odessa and then the few families would buy that. We didn't have a synagogue and not much activities because i t was a small village and small Jewish population. Far, and yet not too far, from the 'big city' were most of the shtetlach in which the Jews lived. They were not a l l quite as small as the one which Rose Gordon comes from. As she said: Who had a doctor? Who seen a doctor? My mother never had a doctor for children. The lady next door - i f she made i t in time, alright - and i f she didn't make i t in time, my mother did i t herself. Nonetheless, geographically the Jews found themselves, when the need arose, far from wherever they wanted or needed to be. "I never stepped out of a small town, except in Dwinska I was once" said Harry Ullman who was born in Dagda, Latvia and who had to escape the draft. In this case time was of the essence and he was twentyseven miles from the nearest railroad station and fifty miles from a horse and buggy in which to travel. Houses in the Shtetl Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:47 A Well in Rural Area of Volhynia Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:43 38 Viewed in retrospect today, the shtetl does not carry the same weight for the immigrant as i t did for the Yiddish writers of the period. 1 How can it? The immigrant is reviewing situations and events which occurred half a century ago whereas the Yiddish writers lived and worked and wrote about li f e around them. Even though Sholem Aleichem and I.L. Peretz and others have written about very real and very sad situations in shtetl l i f e , their stories leave you sometimes with a smile, for some a more understanding smile, but nonetheless as Roskies and Roskies state: Folklore and literature alone cannot provide an accurate picture of the inner workings of the shtetl. For i f they were our only source, i t would seem that each town was made up of a mindless mob of Jews who dutifully followed their leader - the rabbi. (1975:181). These writers never make a point of telling us that li f e in the shtetl was without its sorrows and pain, or that the inhabitants never worried about the next day and what i t might bring. Perhaps this is because the Jews in the Pale of Settlement looked upon their afflictions as something external and apart from them, suffered by them, but somehow sustained through no fault of their own. Social existence was complicated and given the circumstances of the times (history books are replete with details of political happenings in Eastern Europe), li f e was anything but placid. Each family had its own problems and each person had his or her daily confrontations. Sholem Aleichem tells us about a man in a horse-drawn street car who does not have enough for his fare. The man tells the conductor: I'm afraid you'll have to give me a l i t t l e bit off the price. I ' l l give you a l i t t l e of my troubles, that's what I ' l l give you! said the conductor. Thanks, said the shivering man. I have troubles enough of my own. You can keep yours, enjoy them in the best of health. (From On The KasrileVke Street Car,Goldberg 1966:47) 39 The reader's immediate reaction is laughter. What Sholem Aleichen is saying here goes deeper than the balanced reparte. It says so much more, not only to the shtetl dweller but also to me who has never been near a shtetl. Sholem Aleichem; with his inimical economy of words and use of folk language, is telling us that no matter how bad i t was, no matter how desperate and bleak the future looked, there was always room for laughter. The immigrant, on the other hand, has no such writing abilities nor has he qualms about economising words. In some instances the accounts given here were articulated for the first time. There are many stories and many accounts depicting the various aspects of lif e in the shtetl. Today those of us who never lived in a shtetl can laugh with the Yiddish writers who deftly capture what lif e was like in the towns and cities of the Pale. Even those who lived and suffered in Eastern Europe continue to be regaled by such stories. Suffice i t to say that the shtetl viewed the universe ... ... as a planned whole, designed and governed by the Almighty, who created i t from original chaos. (This is not to be interpreted as the theology of the shtetl but rather the culture of a people). ... In such a universe behaviour, human and divine - must also be rooted in reason, order and purpose. (Zabrowsky & Herzog 1962:409) In this light one can understand Tevye the Milkman's arguments with God in Fiddler On The Roof (from the original story Tevye the Milkman by Sholem Aleichem). It underscores the notion that the Jews possess a Covenant or Contract with God: anyone can talk to Him; one does not need an appointment or place. Nevertheless life was difficult. If there is one word I can extract from a l l the interviews to describe what life was like in the Old Country, i t is the word 'hard'. Rose Smith said to me at the beginning of her interview: Oh, it's horrible. I hate to t e l l you. We went through so many pogroms and my childhood was terrible. Running a l l the time. And I didn't understand what i t was a l l about. They used to raid father's house. They used to put a bomb - and i t was always on our street. They want to k i l l an enemy - an enemy of the Czar! And so li f e was very complicated and very tough. A very • bad childhood. A very bad taste left in me. It was cruel, you know. And nothing to talk about. I never want to discuss those things. It is better to forget about i t . But I had i t very bad, very hard. Life In The Shtetl The East European Jew is no more. We will not find him or her on the Lower East Side of New York City, or Spadina Avenue, Toronto, or St. Urbains Street in Montreal. He has vanished along with his shtetl. However, some traits of the East European Jew s t i l l survive and quite vigorously in the Jews who were born in Europe and came here to settle. She may s t i l l drink her tea black with a piece of sugar between her teeth even though she may be wearing nylon stockings. He may not cut his beard even though he has given up wearing the tallis-kotn, sacred garment, next to his body. But these are characteristics some would toss aside as being inconsequential or lacking relevance. What distinguishes the East European Jew from the Western European Jew, distinctions made by the people themselves? Essentially i t is what the Western European Jews call 'kultur' in German. They had i t but the Eastern Jews did not! Now 'culture' covers a gamut of traits and charact-eristics. For example, the Western Jews had higher education, more money, worldly knowledge; they knew how to dress, what to eat; they attended Jewish and non-Jewish plays and went to symphonies. The Eastern Jew, on the other hand, admired and envied the Western Jew. Depending on where you came from in Europe, you either looked down upon or up at your fellow Jews. Western Jews in places like Austria, France, Germany helped their fellow Eastern Jews to obtain tickets, papers, passports to continue on their way to the New Land,lest God forbid, these penniless, cultureless travellers might decide to stay. Many Jews who lived in Austria and Germany at the time of Hitler' rise to power did not know they were Jews. They had assimilated and integrated into the lifestyle of the host country to the extent that they did not consider themselves Jews but Austrians or Germans, and their children grew up not knowing they were Jews. The world for the Eastern European Jew on the other hand was where he was born, where he lived and where he travelled in his daily work which was not very far. After a l l , how far can you travel on foot, carry-ing or pushing your wares? Or how much further can you go in a horse-drawn wagon? How do we, who were not part of the shtetl l i f e , visualize the East European Jew? Warm, friendly, bearded men, babushkaed women, holes in their shoes? Somehow they aire always pictured as being just a l i t t l e bit worse off than the folks of today: I came to Canada in 1913. My name is Max Dolgoy. In the Old Country, where we were born, we were a family of six children. Father in 1904, during the Russian Japanese War, left for Canada leaving mother with the six children without any earnings whatever. We had to live from day to day. At times we had no bread to eat. T i l l I came to Canada I haven't slept in a bed. The three boys used to be put to bed by pulling chairs together. No covers, no bedding. The three sisters used to be on the stove - there we used to have the brick stoves, they used to sleep on that. The entire home was just on one floor. The windows sagged into the ground - there was no foundation. 42 Now this is the l i f e ! I remember my grandmother. In fact I have a picture of my mother's mother yet. And my father's mother was blind. In those years she had cataracts. They had no cure for i t . She was blind totally. But she loved a l l the children. She used to knit socks for us - blind - and gloves and what not. And we lived like one family on my father's side. (Max Dolgoy) Mothers' Dreams For Their Sons (Arid Their Daughters) I cannot overly stress the poverty of the Jews who lived within the confines of the Pale. Aside from a very small upper class, ... ... the majority lived in the direst poverty. The daily li f e was forever under the pall of insecurity, persecution, humiliation, and general cultural isolation from the outside world. (Rubin 1963:29) Although parents and children suffered these hardships, the weight of eking out each day f e l l upon the shoulders of mothers. Mendele Moycher Sforim, the father of Yiddish literature, writes: My mother always lived in want and simply never had enough to pull through the day. She would knit socks, pluck hens, assist at childbirth, and help with the baking of the matses before Passover. She worked day arid night, poor soul, and, out of i t a l l , we barely had a mouthful to eat. (as quoted by Rubin 1963:31) And yet, Albert Abramovitz said: I had a very religious upbringing. It was the usual case with a l l the Jewish boys who in those days their mothers always had dreams for them. And the thing was, for some they at least developed into a rabbi. That was a great sort of thing in the family. And since I was the youngest and that time we had eight children, I had a special sort of privileged position in the family. A l l of them liked me extra. They treated me nicely and mother had extra plans for me. I was thrown very early into a synagogue choir. My father was a very good singer and didn't sing for money but when the cantor was away from the city he was asked to officiate and he did the best of i t . My brothers sang in the synagogue and when I was about six years of age they drew me in too. When the Jews were dispersed from their homeland, Palestine, as a stateless people they became a nationality as well as a religious group and in order to maintain their identity as a group they adopted a theocratic state. The ethics and morals of their religion as set down in the Torah were carried with them. The Torah guided their efforts to cope with and solve the problems of li f e whether legal, economic, moral, religious, social or ethical. Therefore a Jewish community, a shtetl, no matter how small, always had a centre of learning. This centre should not be pictured as being a building or house separate and apart. Most often i t was part of the synagogue or the synagogue itself: when prayers were over studies began and when i t was time for prayers the studies ended. "Study is the duty and joy of a man reared in the shtetl tradition. As a duty i t is twice prescribed." (Zborowski & Herzog 1952:71). Thus in order to possess this theocratic state one had to obey the commandments of the scripture (and this was incumbent upon being a good Jew). However, in order to obey these commandments one had to know them, and the necessity in terms of state was increased by the fact that the state was an integral part of their religious experience. Therefore to obey one had to know and one coiild not know without studying. Therefore education became the goal of every Jewish group for without i t a l l identity.was lost. Further, i t is a mitzva, a deed commanded by God. Now there are 613 mitzvos and not a l l of them are observed even by the most religious of Jews, but those "... which constitute the main base of Jewish behavior - ethical rules, social duties, religious beliefs, dietary regulations - remain in force" (ibid:71).- "Thus", states Fauman, " i t is apparent that the nature of Jewish li f e determined the very high status of the educated man" (1952:13). Mothers dreamed that t h e i r sons w i l l s i t a l l day i n a s h t i b l or a synagogue, and learn and read and pray a l l day. A son should become a scholar, a reb, a learned man. And i f a mother had a daughter she hoped and dreamed that her daughter w i l l be blessed with catching a man of learning, a talmudic scholar, a rabbi's son. And so the v i c i o u s c i r c l e of dreams spun round and round without an ounce of p r a c t i c a l i t y entering the p i c t u r e . How should a family feed i t s e l f i f the father and head spends a l l day and night i n a house of prayer? I f a boy had a r i c h , or well-to-do parents-in-law, he moved i n with them and they supported him and his. wife and children. And this was a mitzva. But most times i t was the wife, pregnant, caring for l i t t l e c h i l d r e n , running a 'business', that i s , making some commodity f o r sale on market days, or t a i l o r i n g and dressmaking, i n order to earn a few pennies to feed everyone, including and above a l l , her s c h o l a r l y husband. I t was considered not only a moral o b l i g a t i o n but an act which would secure f o r one a b e t t e r place i n heaven. As Rubin sta t e s : t The a s p i r a t i o n f o r Talmudic learning becomes bound up with the conviction that such an achievement would bring not only economic se c u r i t y on earth but also c e l e s t i a l approval i n heaven,(1963:31). Hence the education of the boy and the education of "the g i r l took d i f f e r e n t paths: study and scholarship f o r the boy and learning to keep house and a good marriage f o r the g i r l . Riches, b o d i l y advantages, and talents of every kind have indeed a c e r t a i n worth ... but ... no merit i s superior to that of a good Talmudist. He has the f i r s t claim upon a l l o f f i c e s and positions of honor i n the community. ... The most honorable place i s assigned to him. (Maimon,.as quoted by Rubin 1963:31) Beginning at the cradle a mother sings to her boy: Buttered biscuits he'll be fed And then to Heder he'll be led, New Books he'll write too, And always be a pious Jew. Study, children, do not fear The many hardships which appear Torah learning brings much joy To every Jewish man or boy. Yankele will study the Torah. He will study the Torah, He will write learned volumes, And a good and pious man He will always be. In the shtetlach of Eastern Europe "there was always a poor student taking meals at our house ... Grandmother had told us that he was a lamden, and we saw something holy in the way he ate his cabbage" (Antin 1969:32). Not every man could hope to be a lamden, a scholar, but no Jewish boy was allowed to grow up without at least a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew. The scantiest income had to be divided so as to provide for the boys' tuition. To leave a boy without a teacher was a disgrace upon the whole family, to the remotest relative. For the children of the destitute there was a free school, supported by the charity of the pious (op.cit.) And so when a boy.entered kheyder, Jewish school, at five years old, he became the hero of the family! In the following pages we will see how the education of the Jewish boy differed from that of a Jewish g i r l . One of my informants, Shaya Kirman, was sent to religious school at the age of three and thereafter spent many years studying iii shtiblach. Fortunately his memory was excellent and he loved to talk, a combination which produced some interesting ethnography. Kirman's young l i f e in religious studies is not typical of a l l my informants and this for various reasons; however, i t is typical for those whose parents set a course of religious studies for them. "I came from Wlodawa. Now Wlodawa is by the River Bug, between Lublin, Khelm, Zamostsh, Goray," said Kirman and then he showed me the Yiskor Book (Memorial to the Dead), from Wlodawa and Sobibor gas chambers which was recently published. There he showed me photographs of his father and himself in a play. He said: My father was a hand worker. A hand worker is not a worker which works by somebody. He is self-employed and somebody could work for him. And my father belonged to the hand workers' union. You see, i f a boy wants to apprentice, and after he finishes his apprenticeship, he goes to this Board, the zect, and they examine him i f he could be a hand worker, a self-employed worker. And there you will find different kinds of professions. Pointing to another photograph, Kirman said: This is not a shoemaker but he makes the top part of the shoe. And here's a tailor and there's another tailor. My father was a painter. Here's a capmaker. Most of them were tailors. Some were for men - men's tailors, and some were for women - a dameskey, a ladies' tailor - he couldn't make a costume for men. This was Shaya Kirman's brief introduction to telling me about the years he spent in various forms of religious study. He went on to say: My first memory is that they took me to the kheyder. The belfer - you know what a belfer means? A helper to the melamed, the teacher. The belfer used to bring the kids home and took them to the kheyder. You see, like you used to do with our kids. Kirman here reminded me of the years I used to pick up his children and take them to Jewish school along with my own. There was no car. You had to take, when they were small, you had to carry them on your shoulders. The first, time they took me with a t a l l i s , a prayer shawl. So I was about three years old. Not like today. Three years old they took me first time to the kheyder. And then I learned for a few years and they called this I 4 7 zman. Zman is six months from Pesach to Succoth and then from Succoth to pesach is another zman. An agree-ment was made with the father of the child: I ' l l give you my child for zman. The melamed used to come after zman and the father paid him for the zman. And i f my father liked the melamed then he gives me to the same melamed for another zman; i f not, he sent me to another melamed. Now the melamed used to come every month, every two months, to examine the child. And the father used to sit this side (indicating beside the child) whilst the child is being examined. So I was with the first melamed maybe three zmans and this was called Dardika melamed: the first or primary grade. Then the primary melamed hasn't got more to give me so we went to another level melamed and start to learn Homesh. You see with the Dardika you learn the alphabet: aleph, bet, gimel; and then you learn to put together words. And then with the higher melamed we used to learn to davin, to pray, already. After Homesh then Rashesh and I was learning another few months with this melamed. So this melamed hasn't got more to give me. At this time I was maybe about five, six years old. By now I've had two melameds:already. Now I go to the third melamed and I start to learn Gemora. This is Talmud. So my father doesn't like this melamed. So I learned there zman and my father says to the melamed:"Moishe, ,1 see I don't like the way you are teaching my Shaya. He is able to know better. He has a good kepi, head". So my father looked around for a better melamed. And this melamed"' was a good one. I started to learn Tanach. Most melamden don't want to teach Tanach. Tanach was more progressive, you know. But a l l the orthodox melamden don't want to teach i t . The same with the Rambam (Maimonides). They don't want to teach i t and they don't want to learn i t . So I learned with this melamed. I was learning already Talmud, Tanach. You see, every Thursday you have to know the whole shir; shir means lesson. You had to know the whole lesson. I used to learn good, mostly by heart. So I had to work. It. was not like today. The pupil had to work, i f not, some-melamed used to pull the peyes, and to shmays, hit with a konchik! You know what a konchik means? A leather whip! There was a konchik on the table. Some had a foot from an animal, the leg from a - how do you call it? - a rabbit, instead of a wooden handle.' The konchik was on the table a l l the time, with a pointer made from bone,' ivory, but flexible you see. They used to take i t from a corset, you know, a corset? A bone - they called i t a fishbone. And they used to point with i t and i t is called a t e i t l . The first time, with a small child you say: "What's that? That's an aleph. Here take this, (and the' child is given the teitl) give a mestok, a poke, at the aleph." So the child was to take a poke at the aleph, bet. Then-'the melamed would take a groshen, a penny, and say: 48 "Dem malekh v i l l varf1 a groshen as yer gut learnen" (The angel will give you a penny i f you learn good). So the malamed would drop a groshen so the child wants to learn good. When I finished the Gemora with the melamed my father says: "I don't know what to do with you. If you want you can go for higher level school." Near our house, side by side, there was a shtibl, the Misrich shtibl. There were two shtiblach together; i t was one house but divided. One was a Parcheve shtibl and one was Misrich. The Parcheve rebbe and the Misrich rebbe were brothers. TheiT father was the Beyala Rebbe, you see. And our house was wall to wall with the shtibl. So I went to learn in the shtibl by myself. There were more boys learning. If I didn't know something so I asked my chavre, my comrade, so we used to learn together, without a rabbi, without a melamed. We used to learn the whole day. But in the morning and in the afternoon the Hassidim used to come to davin. But in the middle :of the day we used to learn and sometimes at night too. This is called mishmoren. Mishma means at night, after midnight. Mishma means the night is divided into three mishmoren, in three parts. So many hours is the first mishma, so many the second and so many the third. Let us say I learn the first mishma. Then I go home. Around the second mishma some others . would come. So there was learning the whole night. So in each session we would have around five to ten people. We used to learn by candle. In the meantime my father was working for a long time in Warsaw and he took us to Warsaw: my mother, me, and I had another brother. I was s t i l l a l i t t l e boy. When I learned in the shtibl I was maybe ten years old. I wasJ.learning by myself already. I went to Warsaw. It was before the First War. In Warsaw I went back to a Talmud Torah to learn and I went to yeshiva also. I had long peyes and when I went to the barber I used to hold them so he would not touch i t . And my father told me: "Shaya, whatever you want - you want to be a rabbi, it's O.K. with me. But you have to learn. You have to know everything. Now I was completing Talmud Torah and then yeshiva. Kirman is a well-read and learned man today. He can discourse length on any subject pertaining to Jewish li f e and religion. However, Kheyder: A tableau vivant Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:12 B o y s a t k h e y d e r w i t h melamed Source: Unknown Yeshiva students Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:78 he never became a rabbi. But that does not matter. The obligation of teaching the child had been fulfilled: Sleep, sleep my son, I will buy l i t t l e boots for you; • • • * • • You will run to cheder, And study regularly . . . A good reputation and fine virtues, At eighteen you'll solve rabbinical problems; Problems you will solve, Speeches you will make. (Rubin 1963:32) If the baby in the cradle was a gi r l the song a mother sang was quite different: To pray and write and read Yiddish. To read Yiddish out of the books, To sew and embroider headbands . . . So as not to aggravate the parents; Not to worry them, but be of good cheer, Then the matchmakers begin to come ... Sorele's groom will be a wise scholar, / A wise scholar with fine virtues, Sorele's groom will know how to solve problems. (ibid:32-33) "As far as an education was concerned", said Bertha Guberman, who was born in 1908 in Dagda, Latvia, "my mother used to sit nights and pluck feathers you know for the teacher for cushions so that she should give me private lessons I should be able to at least write an address because my father, my two brothers and my sister were in Canada". So Bertha used to go to the pharmacist so he could address an envelope for the family to send to Canada. Bertha said: And the main dream was that the children should at least be able to read and write - well Jewish too. So the few, the rich people in the town - there was always poor and rich - so they had the learning; they would go to the gymnasium in another city and they were exceptionally 52 Chicken plucker Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:95 53 Girls studying Yiddish from tattered pages Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:156 good because they only took 4%. The ones they did take into high school had to be top notch, and top notch financially and bright. They would come back to the shtetl and be the private teachers for the other children. Women in First World countries today take education for granted. It was not so fifty to sixty years ago for those who lived in Eastern Europe. Thus i t becomes difficult to imagine young girl children learning the rudiments of Yiddish, Yiddish the everyday language and not Hebrew the sacred language, from itinerent scholars who may happen to be staying at their home for a while, or from the melamed's wife who got paid in feathers. When I asked Fanny Osipov about her education in Nikolayev, a settlement near Odessa, she said very excitedly: Oy I was in school! Oy I went to school! It was a Jewish school but the language was the Russian language and I remember there was a Jewish teacher. He was from Palestine. I passed. I was good at school. And I went to school and I could write. Now I have a niece in Israel and I s t i l l write her letters in the Russian language and she answers me. But when I came to Winnipeg, right away I thought I must to learn a l i t t l e bit to read in English. I go on a bus - I must read. I go to buy something - I must read. Others were less fortunate and talk about staying home to help their mothers whilst their brothers attended Jewish school. Others like Rose Gordon took a long time to walk to school: ... I walked two miles there and two miles back. And then after school I went to kheyder. I went to learn how to read and write Yiddish. And then by the time I come home the day is oyer. You know two miles to walk down there and then you go and learn your Yiddish and by the time you come home it's time to go to bed. The Impact Of Poverty Mothers' dreams aside, not every Jewish boy in the shtetlach and cities of Eastern Europe spent nine or ten years going to Hebrew school. After a l l they had to get on with the business of living. "I remember myself and a l l the family, as soon as we were on our feet and able, we had to go out and earn as much as possible" said Max Dolgoy. None of my informants had time for dreams. Such people were considered luftmerischen, literally, man of the air, a rootless person, without.a stable or productive occupation, one who lived on peddling and petty speculation (Wigoder 1977:1243-1244). Such people had their heads in the clouds and knew nothing about the struggles of daily living. This is not to say the Pale did not have its quota of dreamers. It did. Plus i t had its share of thieves, bunglers, con artists, beggars, orphans and saints. What I want to talk about here is the suffering and deprivation of some of my informants. It would be a monumental task to undertake to discuss the problems of a l l of the people I have spent time with. However, I would like to describe their lives using their own words so as to come closer to reflecting what lif e was like in the shtetlach and to avoid the two common hazards referred to by Oscar Lewis in the study of the poor: over sentimentalization and brutalization (1963:xi). "Sadness" said Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, "is a sin". It is not that the Baal Shem Tov lived somewhere far from sadness or at a period of time when a l l was well with the Jews. According to Jewish Law i t is forbidden to grieve or be sad on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath is the holiest of holy days. If someone dies, for example, two days before the Jewish New Year then the relatives of the deceased must only sit in mourning for the two days prior to the New Year instead of the prescribed seven days of mourning required by the Law. Not only is i t incumbent upon a person not to grieve, i t is sinful. Whether they were allowed to or not, whether i t was a sin or not, Living conditions in Poland during W.W.I Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:113 the Jews'suffered. The words of the Baal Shem Tov are pronouncements of the highest order (the highest order on earth,that is).. But i f Moishe Greenberg's step-mother knew this she certainly gave no cognizance of i t , as Greenberg said: <& ... she was a nice woman and she got sick. She wanted to go to the hospital. They didn't take anyone unless they had an, accident. So in order to have an accident she jumped down from the roof and she killed herself. She wanted to go to the hospital and we should save her. So she made a mistake and she died. An extreme case, one would say. Perhaps. Let us look at how some of my informants lived and what their experiences were, bearing in mind that these events took place during the German/Russian/Polish occupations of their lands; the Russian Japanese War (1905); the First World War (1914-1918); and the Russian Revolution from 1905-1917. Hundreds of people were being moved out of their homes and shunted on trains from their villages and cities to strange parts of the country. Imagine travelling for days on crowded trains, in some instances parents and children became separated forever; journeying without food, water, change of clothing; or travelling by horse and wagon and being beaten up even whilst attempting to escape one horror and confronting another. No, this was not war-torn Europe under Nazi Occupation. This was Eastern Europe between 1900 and 1920. Borders changed overnight. One went to sleep in Russia and woke up in Lithuania and the next week back again in Russia. Some had to live in army barracks: "... the rats were so big, mother used to s i t and watch a l l night that they didn't bite the kids" said Rose Gordon. Some washed clothes to buy food; many sold food to soldiers; others stood in line for bread and soup. One woman, Murial Grad, worked on fishing boats far from her homeland. How did they live? What did they eat? How did they survive? So many of them ran from place to place. They ran, keeping one step ahead of the p o l i c e (those e l i g i b l e f o r conscription i n t o the army), or from 'bandits' who made the pogroms. For Harry Ullman: ... i n 1916 i n October, f o r the Czar, my class was mobilized. I had to j o i n the army. What I did not to go i n t o the army! As mentioned before, I had a younger brother by two years. We went to a man. He had a small o f f i c e . He used to give out the b i r t h c e r t i f i c a t e s and passports and so on. But there's corruption n a t u r a l l y . I remember I paid him 40 rubles: The ruble wasn't worth as before as i n the olden days, but i t sure was a h e l l of a l o t of money. We paid him 40 rubles and he gave me the same passport, the same name, but my youngest brother's age. I didn't have to go i n the army but I had to leave town. In a small s h t e t l everybody knew you. So I had to leave town. I s t i l l had the money f o r to t r a v e l but where could I go? I never stepped out of the small town, except i n Dwinska I was once. So I h i r e d a man - a horse and buggy. He used to come 50 miles away from our v i l l a g e . We had no t r a i n s . We had t r a i n s from one side i t was 27 miles and there's the Front already there. And the other side i t was 15 miles to another r a i l r o a d . So I don't remember how much I paid him. He took me to - -15 miles we t r a v e l l e d there to the r a i l r o a d s t a t i o n . From the f i r s t s t a t i o n there was a b i g town - not a very b i g town - c a l l e d Shaybish And the war was going no good f o r the Russians. The Germans k i l l e d them i n the thousands. A cousin of mine, the f i r s t weeks they shot off h i s l e f t arm and they used to make slugs. And the slugs used to explode. When i t h i t you i t exploded. So h i s bones were running piece by piece. They kept him f o r close to a year i n h o s p i t a l . Then he came home and we saw i t . "C e r t a i n l y the l i v e s of the poor are not d u l l " says Oscar Lewis i n h i s Introduction to The Children of Sanchez (1963:xii). The poor share a common heritage of not trying to f i l l each day with things to do but of simply t r y i n g desperately to l i v e . I t i s the 'tr y i n g to l i v e each day' which makes t h e i r l i v e s 'not d u l l ' . Somehow I f e e l Lewis entraps himself i n the very sieve which he t r i e s so hard to avoid that of the middle-class North American mind. Would the poor describe their lives as being 'not dull'? Getting an education or going to school is a dull part of our middle-class lives. Being grabbed by the police and taken into the army was something the Jews feared constantly in Eastern Europe and so they forged papers, ran away, they kept on the move. When there were pogroms people lost what l i t t l e material possession they had; they lived for days in terror until the attackers had sated their lust and boisterous hunger. There was never a dull moment. To the poor, the lives of the rich are anything but dull. How exciting i t would be to visit a museum or play a game of golf, they must think. "Going dancing or to an opera and to beautiful places" was exciting to Fanny Osipov but she was not allowed to do these things because she was a Jew living in Nikolayev where you had to have the proper papers for living there. Any day she and her family could have been ordered back to the tiny shtetl where she was born. What I am endeavouring to say is that li f e is either 'dull' or 'not dull' depending on your point of reference. I do not think that the lives of any of the people who talked to me can be called 'not dull'. Their lives were sad, their lives were dismal; they a l l worked very hard to sustain their bodies and minds. And the other heritage which they shared with a l l other poor people was hope. Without hope, without dreams, they would not have been talking to me. Let me go back to Fanny Osipov. She is called Baba, grandmother, by everyone under fifty years of age! I asked her to t e l l me about how she and her oldest son came to Canada. I expected her to t e l l me about her journeying from Nikolayev to Winnipeg. She started to but my question triggered in her mind so many other things that had happened to her that she began to relate her experiences as does one on awakening from a bad dream. I will not try to encapsulate her experiences for i t would lose Baba Fanny Osipov, 1980 Photography: Joshua Berson 61 its ta'am, its flavour. Louie was born later. I had the papers already to come to Canada. Yeh, and then the war stopped already and I had a letter from my father. My father was s t i l l in Canada. When I was married, Louie was not my first one. I had another boy. I had another boy and the war was s t i l l bad and my husband they took him again in the army and I was left with this l i t t l e boy and I became sick. And I have this - it's a rash a l l over and very catchy. It's not measles, not chicken pox. Worse than them. Oy, I forgot the name - they had i t somewhere in Canada this sickness. But I forgot the name. It's very catchy and you go around with scabs ... I can't remember. I couldn't stay at home and they took me in the hospital. Meanwhile, the boy what I had, he was two years old and his name was Velvl. He became sick with measles. You are not supposed to take a person from the house. It was chiily already and they took him to the hospital. And he was very sick, very sick. When I came - shall I t e l l you what happened in the hospital? You want to hear? When I was in the hospital we were two people in one bed! On one bed. One side one, on the other side another. Was so many sicknesses. I was light but the other one in the bed was very wild. She nearly killed me. You know how i t is when you are sick. Then just as the temperature is gone, they said: "You go home". They need the bed for someone else. And they came . and I was weak and they said: "You are O.K." and they shave your hair, and: "You go home!" The hospital has a telephone but at home, my husband is in the army. I had a sister-in-law there. We lived together. I don't have a telephone. How can I t e l l them I'm coming home? I went for my clothes. Somebody took away my shoes; took away my dress. What did they leave? A coat! When I came to the hospital i t was cold, winter, and the time went by and now i t was warm. I haven't got money. The hospital is far like from Vancouver to Burnaby. I thought, well at the time there was street cars with horses ... I thought I ' l l go inside, I ' l l t e l l him I haven't got the money. I could talk! Nu, see I was with a coat, no clothes, without shoes, shaved my hair - so when I came in the street car the driver thought I was from the crazy home. He was afraid. He said "Giddup!" And I told him I'm coming from the hospital and he was afraid. So... "Giddup! Giddup!" and I went. So I start walking. I start walking home. It was in the morning 9 o'clock. I walked and I sit. Where do I sit? Near someone's house, on the porch. But they-come; they said: "Giddup from here' What are you doing?" So i t was 2 o'clock when I came home. And I came home and my brother-in-law was there and he didn't recognize me. He said: "For who you are looking?" I said, his name was Selma; I said: "Selma, it's Fanny!" Oy, they took me in and - - at least I was home already. And then the time was very bad. Was not enough food. And my baby passed away. I went to look in the hospital. They said he passed away. I said I could, I want, to see him. He's in a room, you know, for the dead people there. I say, they must put the name, at least I want to see i t with my own eyes. So I start begging. I come to the door and the man said: "You couldn't go there. If you'll go there you'll pass away. It's from the bottom to the ceiling, so many dead people there." They didn't have the time you know to bury everyone because there was no food, so much sicknesses. Nu. I'm sick. If I find my son what can I do? What can I do? But at least I want to see with my eyes. I start begging, crying. So he opens the door. He opens the door and I went inside. You know the smell. And I start looking. So he saw that I'm shaking. He took me out. I didn't find him. I didn't find my son. Until now I remember this: from the floor to the ceiling was men, women, kids. That was life there, yes! said Fanny Osipov. The temptation to compare conditions in the Old Country with those found here in North America was very great amongst informants. Experiences, places, situations were so often.beyond my imagination, they said. Too often they prefaced their remarks with "It's not like here ... " and I would then discover so many things which were not like here. Informants came from large families, meaning there were at least four to five children who had survived. Usually one or two had either died at childbirth or very young. "We were seven, three died. We had a boy too. You know in those days they have children, some passed away, some lived", said Fanny Osipov, and "... when my mother had time she was always in bed. How could she be with us, with so many? One or the other 63 Chicken plucker Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:98 Photographic reproduction: Joshua Berson Water-carrier and his son at town pump Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:118 Photographic reproduction: Joshua Berson we looked after each other". The average family of six or seven, i f they were fortunate, lived in two rooms plus a kitchen. "But things were not very good. My father was working in the house and I remember distinctly the table where he was working and there were two beds and a sink and a l l - and that was the whole business", said Jennie Litvak. Harry Ullman said: "We were eight, a l l in one room. Two died when they were small kids and another in 1929 or something like that. We were poor as chuchmouse. Absolutely nothing to eat whatsoever." Rose Gordon's accommodation was even less spacious. She said: We had only one room - kitchen, sleeping, everything was in one room. From that room there was a l i t t l e other room where you kept your barrels of water. Because you had no water in the house. You had to go down a few blocks to get the water. You carried i t on that wooden - i t brings back memories, for me that picture! Where did you get it? Yes, yes, that's the way we carried the water. You see, everyday we used to bring water like that. And in Rose Gordon's family there were three sisters, two brothers, mother, father,all in one room. So us kids used to sleep - two here, three there, one on top of the other. Mother and father used to sleep on a couch. ... But you know, i t was spotless clean. Nobody had any bugs or anything because you see, you take your clothes down to the water, ycu hit i t on the stones. My mother used to have the tub, the thing we used to take a bath in, and she used to soak the clothes in there and wash i t out real good and then go down to the water and wash i t again and hit i t and bring i t back and then put i t on the grass to dry i t , because i t was clean, the grass was clean. We didn't have a line. We didn't know what a line meant. Rose Gordon was not the only one who carried water on her back as shown in the picture. So did Murial Grad in Kovne, Lithuania. She also took her clothes to the river bank. She said: ... we had water there, but washing - I used to wash in a tub and I used to take the washing to the - we lived near, not far from, the River Niemen, and I used to rinse there my clothes and after bring i t MAP V Q J W f c O S H , C R O S S | O L D B R I D G E F l O O W i A T t ROA.D A R C A D E S J E W I S H H O U S E P E A S A N T H O U S E Q Q Q Q Q o a a Q a a _ Q Z A M L I N Y E The shtetl Tishevits Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:2-3 66 KEY TO THE MAP OF TISHEVITS 1. Yitskhok-Khiel's station house 2. Tavern 3. Kerosene shop 4. Soda shop 5. Belzer shtibl 6. Government school 7. Stores \^  8. Iron goods store v — ' 9. Trisker shtibl 10. Radziner shtibl 11. Arn-Moyshe's station house 12. The brick building 13. Shul 14. Besmedrcsh 15. Rizhiner shtibl 16. Soup kitchen 17. Zhamcle's house 18. Gershn melamed's beginner's kheyder 19. Yankev Yoshe's translation kheyder 20. Kalmcn Dovid's beginner's kheyder 21. Peysekh melamed's translation kheyder 22. Bathhouse Back and put i t on the a t t i c . I t was more than ten to f i f t e e n minutes walk. I used to carry the clothes on my shoulders l i k e the Chinese do i n baskets. Every week I used to wash everybody's clothes. (Murial Grad) The stove on which they cooked was a b i g oven which generally I occupied a w a l l . It was made of clay. Rose Gordon s a i d : I guess i n English you would c a l l i t a heater but i t ' s not a heater, i t was connected to the oven and to the place where you used to put corn st a l k s to heat the house. ... And on the other side was the oven and between was a place to sleep. ... my mother used to make her own preserves, her own jams. ... And i n s i d e the house my mother used to have a s p e c i a l s t u f f that she used. I t ' s not paint. I t ' s l i k e whitewash. She put i t on the walls and the f l o o r s . We had an a t t i c and she put a l l the dishes f o r Passover there.' And before Passover she used to put ten chickens there and feed them; make them good and fa t so there w i l l be l o t s of chicken f a t , because for Passover you need a l o t of chicken f a t . And kosher! Oh God! The biggest rabbi could eat i n our house. We could never do anything wrong. And before Passover my mother used to take everything off from the windows, wash the windows clean, and turn our pockets i n s i d e out to see i f there was any bread. I t was l o t s of work. Here i t i s nothing. In the small shtetlach l i f e was very simple. You t r a v e l l e d great distances to get to anywhere l i k e the synagogue, r a i l r o a d s t a t i o n , your r e l a t i v e s , to farmers to get work. And there was always a bridge. One always had to cross a bridge to leave the s h t e t l . Sometimes there were two and three bridges. In Roskies and Roskies' account of the S h t e t l T ishevits we f i n d the Long Bridge, the Short Bridge and the Old Bridge. There i s also the Pasture Bridge and the Yatke Bridge. The Long Bridge i s not so named because i t i s long but "because the road leading from i t through meadows and f i e l d s i n t o town - i s long" (Roskies & Roskies • 1975:4). Every s h t e t l had a m i l l , "My father was a foreman i n the m i l l , a f l o u r m i l l . They used to b r i n g the wheat and there used to be a m i l l with a great b i g wheel that used to carry the water and run that m i l l " , s a i d Rose Gordon. In the larger c i t i e s l i f e was a l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t . One could go out of an evening but that depended on where you l i v e d . In Nikolayev f o r instance, ... most people were i n the houses. The thing i s , Nikolayev was a c i t y f o r the Jewish people very hard. They couldn't go ... There were b e a u t i f u l places, you know. ... dancing, operas, but the Jewish people couldn't go there. We were not allowed. At night -today at my house, tomorrow another house. We have a piano, there's dancing, enjoying, singing. We made our own entertainment. (Fanny Osipov) Economic And Work Setting To use the word 'economic' i n r e l a t i o n to the labours of the Jews wit h i n the Pale of Settlement i s to give the impression, i f not make the claim, that they were a part of the 'work force' of the country, as though without them the economy would slump or i f seven t a i l o r s decided to leave a p a r t i c u l a r s h t e t l , l i k e Zamoshtshe, the industry i n that v i l l a g e would f a l l apart at the seams. To begin with seven t a i l o r s (or capmakers, bakers, etc.) would constitute a burden on the community. Seven t a i l o r s would not be kept busy sewing f o r the inhabitants of a s h t e t l . Nonetheless i n some shtetlach seven and more t a i l o r s had to l i v e . They might even have l i v e d on a s t r e e t named a f t e r t h e i r trade. The f a c t that so many t a i l o r s l i v e d i n a s h t e t l did not mean that i t was a prosperous one or that there was a constant demand for clothing as f o r b a l l s , banquets, p a r t i e s , celebrations, coronations. Not at a l l . F i r s t of a l l , not a l l the t a i l o r s i n that s h t e t l 69 Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:90,91 70 Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:92-93 71 made a living from tailoring in that village. Some had to leave their shtetl every Sunday morning and look for work amongst the farmers and peasants in the countryside and would not return until Friday afternoon to spend the Sabbath with their families. Others who stayed in the shtetl worked only on old clothes (sometimes from the dead), rags, repairs and such. The cream of the tailoring crop, an exclusive few, worked on clothes f or the well—to-do. On a Tailors' Street the entire family could be engaged in tailoring: father, mother, daughters, sons (Roskies and Roskies 1975:127-130). In other cases sons and daughters were 'given out to be tailors', that i s , they were apprenticed for so many years to someone else a l i t t l e bit better off. This, however, did not mean that the boy or gi r l turned out to be a good tailor or even a passable tailor. So much of their apprenticeship time was spent in doing household chores, getting cuffed, being abused, that sometimes they ended up being bunglers in their trade. Aside from tailors one found capmakers, shoemakers, carpenters, clockmakers, builders, chicken sellers and butchers; mill workers; people employed in and around the synagogue and its daily rituals; and there were the drawers of water. Women who went to the well did not draw the water themselves. A man did the work of drawing the water. "We had to buy water", said Murial Grad, "five pails for a penny. So I used to take the barrel and f i l l i t up. Some would come around to sell the water but there was a well there and I would buy from a man at the well and carry i t home on my shoulders like in the picture". There were the melameds, the teachers, the rabbi, the scholars, and always around were the peasants. In the small towns and shtetlach peasant and Jew got along fine. In the larger villages and cities i t was another story. Pogroms were mounted and organized by cossaks and Water carrier Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:74 Town pump Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:49 73 'bandits' who l i v e d outside the p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e they sacked and robbed. Sometimes l o c a l peasants looked a f t e r t h e i r Jewish neighbours. At other times they i n s t i g a t e d and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the r i o t s . What so r t of work were the Jews involved in? For various reasons the type of trades found i n the s h t e t l a c h of Eastern Europe were of a "low grade of industry" s a i d Sidney Sarkin. To work i n the above-mentioned trades and to produce goods f o r the v i l l a g e people required a minimum of schooling and education. That i s , one did not have to be sent to a trade school at great cost. I f your parents were t a i l o r s they taught you how to sew. I f your father was a shoemaker the chances were you learned the trade. Or you could be sent out to someone else i n the s h t e t l to learn. However, to make the above statements i s to close one's eyes to the r e a l s i t u a t i o n and i t s consequent hardships and s u f f e r i n g . I t i s l i k e saying they were rotten t a i l o r s because there was no need or demand for better ones. But supposing education was hot lacking or r e s t r i c t e d to the few, and Jewish children were able to be w e l l - t r a i n e d i n proper trade schools, then they would have been able to get permission to reside i n c i t i e s where they could make a decent l i v i n g and where competition was not that great. One major reason why the Jews l e f t Eastern Europe, i n dribs and drabs i n i t i a l l y , and f i n a l l y i n masses, was because of the lack of employment opportunities. This fact w i l l be discussed l a t e r ; s u f f i c e i t to say that the s h t e t l did not turn out poor t a i l o r s because the demand for good t a i l o r s was scarce. As i t was, a very small percentage of Jewish children reached c i t i e s l i k e Kiev, Lenningrad, ? Odessa, Warsaw, V i l n a , etc. A b r i e f look at the trade a b i l i t i e s of my informants w i l l show that twice as many grew up and came to t h i s country without having gone to a proper trade school. Those who did were e i t h e r well-to-do or very b r i g h t . Rose Smith s a i d : You see they used to take j u s t a percentage of Jewish chi l d r e n . Then i r i our town, Homel i n Russia, they decided they w i l l open a Jewish school. There was a Jewish woman and they opened a Jewish school. I t wasn't j u s t f o r Jews; Jews and gentiles both went to school. But at l e a s t we went to school a f t e r that. ... and i n u n i v e r s i t y when you f i n i s h with a gold medal you can go i n a c i t y l i k e Petersberg where Jews were not allowed there, unless you are a worker, meaning someone who has s p e c i a l permission to work i n the c i t y . A worker was allowed to go-there and then those who f i n i s h e d with a gold medal. So my brother-in-law got a gold medal and he went to Lenningrad and my s i s t e r got a gold medal too. Salo Baron, Arcadius Kahan, and others, i n t h e i r Introduction to Economic History of the Jews, speak of major p i t f a l l s f o r the economic h i s t o r i a n s : that m o f deviating i n t o an apologetic l i n e of reasoning, such as a s i m p l i s t i c 'explanation' of Jewish occupations, or a laudatory expos-i t i o n of Jewish 'contributions' to an economy" (1975:x). I do not pretend to be an economic h i s t o r i a n and my purpose here i s not to attempt an 'explanation', s i m p l i s t i c or otherwise, as to why Jews laboured f r u i t l e s s l y i n c e r t a i n trades. I t i s rather to show how they laboured and hot why. As to the question of contributing to the economy of the country, I w i l l discuss that at the end of this s e c t i o n . To speak of an economy of a society or of a period one's focus must encompass a wider f i e l d than t h i s . My concern here i s the story of the worker i n the s h t e t l and not about the wheelers and dealers i n the f i n a n c i a l and i n d u s t r i a l parts of Eastern Europe. Some of my informants were comparatively w e l l o f f (I would not go so f a r as to c a l l them w e l l - t o -do) and they enjoyed a modicum of comfort. However, the majority of them came from f a m i l i e s where income was not assured, where nothing was put away - or where nothing could he put away - for a rainy day, where i f the breadwinner took o f f f o r another c i t y or went to 'America' the family was l e f t to survive on i t s own resources; i f the breadwinner died the family could sink further, i f such were possib l e , i n t o the morass of deprivation. Jewish labour during the period under review could very w e l l be c a l l e d ' s k i l l e d ' labour. Even though the majority of them did not go to a trade school, and when they were 'given out to become . . . " a shoemaker.. or a t a i l o r , part of t h e i r chores always included doing a number of other things on the side f o r the household where they 'apprenticed'. There were those who learned t h e i r trade, as we s h a l l see l a t e r , by simply s e t t i n g out on the road with an older man already i n the trade. The c o l l e c t o r of facts can give you facts - that i s i f you are looking f o r f a c t s . My i n t e n t , when interviewing people, was to give them a chance to t a l k about t h e i r experiences and fee l i n g s and thereby give some meaning to t h e i r l i v e s . C e r t a i n l y the kind of work they did was not considered glamorous by them. Those who succeeded educationally and p r o f e s s i o n a l l y stand out i n the memories of these people, e.g. Rose Smith's oldest s i s t e r and brother-in-law, mentioned above. The r e s t r i c t i o n s which were imposed by the government regarding r i g h t s of residence outside the Pale c u r t a i l e d the choices available to, f o r example, an ambitious young man who would wish to t r a v e l to a c i t y l i k e Kiev to f i n d a job. "I was a watchmaker, so you are a tradesman, so I could l i v e i n any c i t y i n Russia where nobody else can l i v e . So I l i v e d i n Kiev ...", s a i d Abe Smith. He was fortunate. Kiev., was a p r o v i n c i a l c a p i t a l and he came from a place c a l l e d Homel. / Although every Jewish boy received some education i n the rudiments of Hebrew and r e l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g , the majority of them l i k e Max Povitz and Harry Ullman, together with others whom I had interviewed, were 'given away for a t a i l o r ' * (one can here read any other worker)', i f one's father could afford to have one spend the time i n apprenticeship. One, al t e r n a t i v e to being 'given away to learn' was to try and make i t on your own. "When you have nothing to pay to teach you - so you went to the farms. Not to learn to farm but to learn from an older t a i l o r " s a i d Harry Ullman. I w i l l b r i e f l y look at Povitz (born 1897) and Ullman (born 1898) from d i f f e r e n t parts of L a t v i a , to show how the above systems worked i n the shtetlach i n the northern regions of Russia. I w i l l also look at James Blugerman (bom 1887) i n Kherson, one of the colonies s e t t l e d by Jews i n the desolate southern steppes i n the lat e 18th century. After t h a ^ I w i l l look at Jennie Litvak's father who l i v e d and worked i n Warsaw i n the lat e 19th century. Part of Max Povitz' story i s as follows: When I was nine years o l d my father gave me away f o r a t a i l o r . ... I had three brothers and one s i s t e r and I was j u s t a school boy. My brothers worked i n a matches factory. My father was a t a i l o r , that i s , i n the winter he was a t a i l o r . In the summer he was j u s t a peddler. He bought chickens and sometimes apples, or this and that, at the market and he peddled. He made a poor l i v i n g , you know. My mother helped him a l i t t l e b i t . But she passed away young, when she was about 50 or 51 and I was a very young boy at that time and I got to help my father. My brothers they were working i n a factory so they decided me to be a worker - to. be a t a i l o r . I t ' s a b i g thing i n the old country. So I was to give me for a t a i l o r f o r three years. I worked f or three years f o r f o r t y rubles. In the old country there wasn't f a c t o r i e s . I t was a small place where I worked - at that time only four people. We didn't have f a c t o r i e s l i k e i n America. In the old . country there wasn't f a c t o r i e s l i k e that. I am now 77 years o l d , I'm not a youngster. I am r e t i r e d 7 • years, What I want to say i s , so they decided to give me for a t a i l o r . So I have a very, very hard l i v i n g , you know. I t was at that time very bad. I helped my father a l i t t l e b i t . What could I help him? He was a t a i l o r only i n the winter. He maybe made at that time a d o l l a r i n a good week - that was very good. So what do I do? I work i n a shop;. I t was very bad at that time, very bad. Even they - they, the people I work f o r - they didn't even give a piece of bread at that time. They gave me a p a i r of shoes because I didn't have a good shoes. With torn shoes I went to work. . Learning the trade turned out to be quite d i f f e r e n t from the usual apprenticeship which we understand i t to be these days. One's father may have 'given you to be a t a i l o r ' , however, you might at the end of nine years f i n d yourself to be an exc e l l e n t nurse maid! I t could take a budding or a s p i r i n g t a i l o r anywhere from ten to t h i r t e e n years to learn how to make a p a i r of pants. In happier circumstances he might spend only nine years on the same garment. This was not because the boys were stupid but because an apprentice, another mouth to feed, i n the majority of cases ended up being a slave to the boss and h i s wife. Said Povitz: The boss' wife, she was very bad! She h o l l e r e d at me f o r being l a t e . She had four c h i l d r e n , four small g i r l s . I have to nurse them and look a f t e r them and went with them i n the park and this and that. And they scream at me about what I should learn! That was my l i f e . And fo r t y rubles I have to take f o r the three years. The boss himself was a poor man. He was Jewish and he was i n the army. But, you know, i t was a poor l i f e . Anyway, I was ten, eleven, twelve years old when my mother passed away. I was s t i l l young. I remember j u s t l i k e now and what I want to say i s that I went up f o r three years and I don't think he gave me a l l the f o r t y rubles even. And I went away from that boss and I went to another to learn the trade. I was now t h i r t e e n or fourteen years of age. The outbreak of the F i r s t World War led to an aftermath of confusion: A l l of a sudden i t ' s coming - i n 1914 came' over the War. And a l l the Jewish people they mustn't be f o r t y miles from the Front. A l l the Jews i n our s h t e t l from Dwinska i n L a t v i a had to go away. N i c k o l a i l e t i n Jews to stay there. But they sent us out. The Russians 78 sent us. out. Where are we going? They don't know. They didn't k i l l us;. They just put us on trains and said: "Alright go. Go where you want!" So they sent us away to Siberia. They sent us away to Katherinesberg and I was at that time 17 or 18 years old. It was Yom Kippur (solemn Jewish Holiday) in 1914, between 1914 and 1915, and I couldn't see and the bombs there were. I had left my family and I went by myself. All of a sudden I see my father and my sister and my brother (my brother was in the army, my older brother), and I see my brother-in-law. Everybody you see in there in the trains - in the middle of nowhere! So I go with them to Siberia. I was in Siberia for seven years. And I was a tailor at that time and I married there. In Siberia there was no Jewish tailors altogether and I had a job. (Max Povitz) Harry Ullman's experience was slightly different. Coming from a family of eight children, learning a trade, finding a job, earning wages, was an imperative he could not run away from. He went to "learn the trade over in the farms for about two years" he said. He learned from an older tailor with whom he lived. Ullman said: In those days, in those days we used to work for nothing for three years in order to learn and we had to do housework and everything. But I was fortunate. I never had to do housework at a l l because we were more progressive already. I asked Harry Ullman to explain how he learned the trade on the farms. Before he could reply his wife, Nina, interjected: You see there was tailors who used to take young people into the trade. So whenever they went to a farm and they got work, they settled down. In the meantime, you know, the young boys got a l i t t l e experience. You see they were practically like slaves, they worked for nothing. Tailors used to carry the machine on the shoulders, so the young boy helps him. So the tailor used to come to the farmer, and the farmer used to give him material and they used to sew for the whole family. But the boys who wanted to learn were from the small towns, the shtetlach. But in the small towns there wasn't enough work so they used to go to the farmers from one town to another, and stay f o r a week, two weeks, three weeks -depending on how b i g the family i s . And the farmers used to make the material a l l by themselves - woven material. Very seldom they had material which they used to buy i n the c i t y . And then the young small boys, you know, l i k e mind you about 8 years o l d , for the mother i t was a b l e s s i n g . She doesn't have to feed them a whole day - a whole week! So they give him to the t a i l o r : Do with him whatever you want. Learn him! Don't learn him! So long as he doesn't have to be fed! So that's what i t i s . So he ( r e f e r r i n g to her husband) went to a man l i k e that and I don't know how long - two years, three years - i n the meantime he learned i n between the trade. You see you are also doing other things. James (Jimmy) Blugerman came from a family who could a f f o r d to send him and h i s brothers not only to school but also to a proper trade school. This man took great pride i n t e l l i n g me: My name i s James Blugerman. I was born on June 22 1887 i n the Ukraine on the River Dnieper, i n a small v i l l a g e close to a bigger c i t y c a l l e d Kherson. At that time Kherson was the c a p i t a l c i t y of one of the provinces or as we c a l l e d i t i n the Ukraine, i t was the c a p i t a l of the guberniya, that i s , the province. Around the c i t y of Kherson there was at the time of my b i r t h a Jewish colony with about 100 f a m i l i e s spread on the farmland, r a i s i n g vegetables, wheat, chickens, cows, horses and so on and so f o r t h . Blugerman graduated from p u b l i c school and entered a t e c h n i c a l school i n Odessa. "Just l i k e our Technical School i n the c i t y of Toronto" he s a i d . Blugerman was 87 when I talked to him. He was very spry, a l e r t and never appeared confused about what he was t e l l i n g me, proceeding at a slow, meticulous pace to expound on the events of h i s l i f e . He s a i d : Now i n that colony near Kherson were two f a m i l i e s - we c a l l them pioneers on lands: coloniste we c a l l e d them i n the Ukraine. One family, quite a large family, by the name of Blugerman, and another family that eventually migrated to Canada ... by the name of Chaikoff. Now these two f a m i l i e s , with t h e i r children and grandchildren, l i v e d quite peacefully surrounded by v i l l a g e s a f t e r v i l l a g e s along the Dnieper River where today, i n the Soviet Union, i s the b i g power s t a t i o n near Prostroy, which supplies the e n t i r e area with e l e c t r i c i t y and power. 80 I t i s the habit amongst Jews that when a number of f a m i l i e s s e t t l e i n an area they go about ensuring the r e l i g i o u s education of the children. I f a rabbi or teacher did not happen to l i v e i n the v i c i n i t y they had to "import one i n t o the colonies to teach us c h i l d r e n , youngsters, the language and the prayer i n preparation f o r the 13th Confirmation, the Bar Mitzvah", s a i d Blugerman. The Jewish colonists i n the Ukraine, going back to Blugerman's father and grandfather, spoke Ukrainian and Russian. Russian because " i t was the Russian schools at the time.which predominantly taught every-body whoever managed to attend the p u b l i c schools", and together with t h e i r r e l i g i o u s education "we children grew up i n that atmosphere u n t i l by the age of ten, twelve, knowing p r a c t i c a l l y the elements of three languages" s a i d Blugerman. We f i n d i n Blugerman's case again a confirmation of the dreams I of Jewish mothers. I t was because of h i s mother's "strong ambition" that the family, consisting of f i v e boys and two g i r l s , was:; moved to Odessa to l i v e with an uncle who, according to Blugerman, "managed to l i v e i n the b i g c i t y of Odessa" which was but a seven or eight hour f e r r y boat ri d e from Kherson. Jimmy f i n i s h e d p u b l i c school. His father was a shoemaker and so they l i v e d where he could make a l i v i n g e i t h e r making shoes or r e p a i r i n g them. A f t e r p u b l i c school he went to technical school where the e n t i r e afternoons were spent i n 'workshops'. Blugerman s a i d : There were carpenters, cabinet-makers and mechanical trades, and so by the time I and hundreds of other Jewish boys and Russians had graduated, we had p r a c t i c a l l y the education of our high school plus being able to b u i l d tables, c h a i r s , f i x t u r e s , etc. etc. So we were ready, so to speak, to take employment i n small shops. Blugerman graduated from the t e c h n i c a l school as a cabinet-81 Going to buy and s e l l Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:12 maker. He came to Toronto i n ,1908 and instead of carrying on the same trade he went i n t o the t a i l o r i n g industry: he learned to become a seam presser, an under-presser with a hand i r o n . Jennie Litvak was born i n Warsaw where her father and her grand-father had l i v e d before her. Her grandfather had a druslika, a horse and buggy. She s a i d : ... and he had a number. They were forced to have a passport and a photograph and I think i t was the f i r s t time i n h i s l i f e that he took a photograph. He was what you would c a l l a progressive r e l i g i o u s man i n Warsaw. And I have a photograph of that number on hi s hat with the peak. ... and my father had a dream. He always used to t e l l me h i s dream. He wanted to be a doctor. He used to sing very b e a u t i f u l l y and so at s i x years old they brought him to a school and they put him i n t o a choir. But i t only lasted t i l l nine years old. He was nine years old when they gave him to be an apprentice i n a home i n leathergoods i n Warsaw, Now, not only did he have to - he a c t u a l l y wasn't learning anything - he was l i k e , w e l l , he rocked the cradle, he used to go for a l l the messages for the lady of the house. They probably only had one room and this i s how h i s education stopped then. But he was a self-educated man and since his dream wasn't f u l f i l l e d he always had a dream for hi s c h i l d r e n . Now when he married he.was already an e f f i c i e n t and also a very creative person i n the leathergoods. Because to him to handle a piece of leather was l i k e somebody handles a b e a u t i f u l piece of brocade or a diamond. Jennie Litvak's father, l i k e so many others who emigrated from Poland to Canada and the United States, brought h i s dreams with him; even without r e a l i z i n g i t , these immigrants brought with them the l i v e s of generations to follow because the Jews who remained i n Poland perished a f t e r 1939. The l a t t e r part of the 19th century (Czar Alexander I I I 1894-1917), saw the r i s e of c e r t a i n i n d u s t r i e s : o i l , sugar, t e x t i l e and f o r e s t r y and lumber. O i l and sugar beet r e f i n i n g were two areas i n 83 which Jewish labour was not represented. This was not only because these industries were located outside the Pale of Settlement but also because Jewish workers could not compete with the low wages of the peasants nor did they have the s k i l l s or t r a i n i n g f o r s p e c i a l i z e d higher paid jobs. There were some Jews who worked i n the o i l industry along with non-Jewish labourers but this was i n the towns of Austro-Hungary. In the case of the t e x t i l e industry, Jewish labour was not used i n the larger f a c t o r i e s and enterprises but only i n small-scale operations. The same s i t u a t i o n obtained i n the manufacturing end where Jews were employed i n small ' f a c t o r i e s ' l i k e Max P o v i t z . There were many such small f a c t o r i e s at the time, s a i d Albert Abramovitz: Every family, i n the kitchen, had a l i t t l e factory. E i t h e r i t was the father or the son that was the head of i t . And they h i r e d two or three hands ... (there were) ... s i x , seven or eight hundred l i t t l e things l i k e t h i s , with sons, with s i s t e r s and brothers, i n every family. According to Baron, et a l (1975:87-88), there were certain'constraints' and 'obstacles' which would have had to have been overcome for the Jewish labour force to have reached a ' s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l ' i n Eastern Europe. The f i r s t constraint was the 'assumed or r e a l strength' of the r e l i g i o u s sanction of observing the Sabbath. The second was the 'assumed animosity' of non-Jewish workers and foremen against t h e i r Jewish fellow workers. In the t e x t i l e and lumber in d u s t r i e s there were Jewish entrepreneurs who played: ... an important r o l e i n providing g a i n f u l employment for large numbers of Jews. I t may be assumed that f o r a Jew-is h entrepreneur there existed a "psychological income" i n providing employment for other Jews, whether he did so fo r reasons of greater f a m i l i a r i t y and c u l t u r a l a f f i n i t y or because i t was considered a "good deed" i n cases when discrimination i n favor of Jewish employees increased hi s operational costs (ibid:88). 84 Unemployed seamstress Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:162 A clo t h i n g factory i n Poland Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:161 I t did not increase t h e i r operational costs. In most cases Jews worked for less wages and brought more expertise to the job. Even i f there were more than the one ' t a i l o r i n g town' as the one some twenty odd miles from Lodz, Poland, which one informant claims was "known throughout Poland and throughout the Russian Empire", and even i f we lumped together a l l the l i t t l e f a c t o r i e s , whether t a i l o r s , shoemakers, tinsmiths, one could hardly be moved to say that there was a Jewish labour force of a " s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l " or that the Jews contributed c r i t i c a l l y to the economy of the Pale. Most of the people I talked to e i t h e r worked for themselves, as did t h e i r fathers and mothers, or they were employed l i k e Povitz and Ullman i n very small operations where neither the employee nor the employer made enough to feed themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . How could they? Working i n home in d u s t r i e s and small f a c t o r i e s they outnumbered the employment opportunities i n the congested Pale of Settlement: ... i n 1898 there were over 500,000 Jewish a r t i s a n s , 100,000 Jewish day-labourers, and at l e a s t 50,000 Jewish factory workers. Despite the enormous emigration to America, Jewish artisans had increased about 20% since 1887, (Davidowicz 1967:58). This emergent p r o l e t a r i a t nurtured and gave b i r t h to revolutionary ideologies and provided the impetus f o r the r a d i c a l s o c i a l changes which followed. CHAPTER. IV IDEOLOGIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Changes are brought about by people; more s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the mind of an i n d i v i d u a l or sometimes i n the minds of more than one i n d i v i d u a l . When one speaks of change, one i s not r e f e r r i n g to r e l i g i o n , or customs, or i n s t i t u t i o n s f o r instance, bringing about the change. Things do not make change; people make change, and the only "...adequate and r e a l i s t i c explanation of human behaviour i s to be found i n the functions of the human mind" (Barnett 1953:9). This chapter therefore w i l l be a b r i e f attempt to show how ideas held i n common p e r c i p i t a t e d changes. I t i s not enough to give a chronological account of s o c i a l f a c t s . Behind such facts are ideas, behaviour, motivations, f e e l i n g s . Because these l a t t e r are not always e a s i l y obtainable or forthcoming, the f i r s t h a n d studies which are done are the more important i n i l l u m i n a t i n g the background of s o c i a l change. Every human being i s born into some form of organization which predates him. He as an i n d i v i d u a l may respond to these external conditions i n a number of ways. The chances are that he w i l l carry on the t r a d i t i o n s of h i s group (barring any major external force which would also a f f e c t h i s group). However, even w h i l s t he i s carrying on the t r a d i t i o n s of h i s group he w i l l not do so i n toto since he w i l l r e j e c t some aspects, subtract some, add some, and together with h i s own ideas he w i l l produce some new forms. It should be borne i n mind that no one person can produce a new idea, so to speak, i n a vacuum. I t i s the coming together of the past, and the impetus of the present, which creates i n the human mind a novel idea. I t i s the coming together of the past ( t r a d i t i o n s , r e l i g i o n , years of persecution) and the impetus, the imperative of the present (the demands of the times, the r e b e l l i o n of youth): "and you hear a l i t t l e b i t here and a l i t t l e b i t there, and suddenly you s t a r t to think: l i f e does not have to be that way, and, why should t h i s be? (Abramovitz) I t i s not so sudden, t h i s idea, t h i s thought. I t i s the l a s t l i n k i n the mental chain which produces the answer f o r a person. C l a r i t y i s sudd-en but the road sometimes i s long and e l u s i v e , beclouded with thoughts l i k e : i t i s God's w i l l that I must su f f e r t h i s way. U t i l i z i n g the words of informants I w i l l show how ideas developed amongst the Jews of the Pale and what r a d i c a l philosophies motivated and conspired to bring about what a l l ofjthem prefer to c a l l progressive s o c i a l changes. Ideas and ideologies were r i f e i n Western Europe during the I8th and 19th centuries not only amongst such non-Jewish thinkers as Rousseau, V o l t a i r e , Samual Johnson, Boswell but also amongst Jewish thinkers and writers such as Moses Mendelssohn, E l i j a h of V i l n a (known as the V i l n a Gaon), and others. Within the Pale were writers and thinkers l i k e Mendele Mokhar Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, I. L. Peretz to name only a few. Ideas and people did not move as s w i f t l y nor as f a r a f i e l d i n those days. T r a v e l l i n g was tedious and long, and even though there was the w r i t t e n word and there was a p o s t a l service, nonetheless people c a r r i e d r a d i c a l ideas with them and by word of mouth enflamed and influenced the minds and thoughts of others -p a r t i c u l a r l y those of the youth. Occurrences i n Eastern Europe i n the l a t e 19th century began to a f f e c t the thinkings of young Jewish minds. Suffering and deprivation being God's w i l l was one thing, but when young boys were being taken away from t h e i r f a m i l i e s by the Russian government and put into the army f o r years and years i n an attempt to ' r u s s i f y ' them then people began to r e b e l . In 1827 the Russian government demanded that numerous areas within the Pale supply t h e i r armies with what was known as Cantonists. These young boys 88 would be taken at the age of anywhere from 9 - 1 3 and an intensive ' r u s s i f i c a t i o n ' programme would follow. The boys were kept i n the army for several years. By the time they were 'discharged' they were too old to remember t h e i r f a m i l i e s and community. Those who st e a d f a s t l y held to t h e i r r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s came back broken men. The aim of the Russian government was to convert these Jewish boys to Russians. This supplying of boys brought about a s p l i t i n the Jewish communities because the r i c h and w e l l -to-do could buy t h e i r boys out of the army and have boys from poor f a m i l i e s sent i n t h e i r stead. This p o l i c y was l a t e r abandoned. Nevertheless there were numerous other cruel and anti-Semitic p o l i c i e s which were c a r r i e d on sometimes under the auspices of the government and sometimes only with t h e i r u n o f f i c i a l blessings. However, because of the numerous wars which Russia continued to f i g h t on various fronts there was a continuous demand f o r Jewish s o l d i e r s : In 1916 i n October, f o r the Czar I had to j o i n the army. What I did not do to go into the army! (Harry Ullman) When Romania started to f i g h t with Bulgaria and Hungary I was only 18 years old and they took me to the army f o r t r a i n i n g i n the boat. That was 1914 when they gave me my p r i v i l e g e s to go home (on leave) and I went to the Romanian border and I passed to Chernovitz - without papers, no passport, nothing. Only the uniform from the army. That's a l l I had. I didn't have a penny i n my pocket. (Hyman Leibovitch) At twenty years old everybody i s c a l l e d to the army there. I made my o u t f i t and was ready. I didn't mind to go anywhere i n Russia. But S i b e r i a I didn't want! (Sam Nemetz) So Sam Nemetz also ran away. Away from the shtetlach and small towns one became exposed to d i f f e r e n t kinds of people and new, e x c i t i n g ideas. "At that time", said Art Browner, " i n Lodz, I mean i n e s p e c i a l l y the b i g c i t i e s , everybody was interested i n p o l i t i c s . So n a t u r a l l y I was one of them a l s o ! " May Day Ra l l y of Labour Z i o n i s t s i n Khelm Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:287 P o l i s h and Russian So c i a l Democrats and Members of Bund Honouring Victims of 1905 Pogrom i n V i l n a Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:110 People were not r e j e c t i n g r e l i g i o n or t h e i r Jewishness. Nor were they turning t h e i r backs on t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y . Rather they were asking "why" f o r the f i r s t time i n t h e i r l i v e s . Why did they have to suffer? Why did they have to do without? Why did they have to bow t h e i r heads? For too long had the Jews accepted the dictum that somehow they were to blame for t h e i r miseries, that God was punishing them f o r something they had done. Young boys and g i r l s were beginning to read and ta l k to one another. I t was l i k e a f i r e which spread slowly. Albert Abramovitz s a i d : When I was already a t a i l o r , labour conditions i n those days were very harsh. Very d i f f i c u l t . I j u s t couldn't take i t . You had to get up i n the morning about f i v e o'clock or h a l f past f i v e and be on your way to work. And sometimes work to twelve, one o'clock i n the morning. Eighteen and twenty hours at a s t r e t c h was the order of the day. I must have been influenced by some r a d i c a l s by then: that l i f e doesn't have to be that way. That i f you keep - I forget the name - e s t a b l i s h i n g a c o l l e c t i v e sort of group, we can exert pressure and win better conditions and thus reduce the hours and r a i s e wages. That brought me together with a number of people who thought that way. We discussed these things. I remember, I believe that I was, together with others, i n the leadership of e s t a b l i s h i n g a union i n that c i t y i n 1926. We established a branch of what we c a l l e d the "Beglagin C e n t r a l l e " . The Jews were e i t h e r instrumental i n forming organizations and groups, such as the Bund, the Poale Z i o n i s t s , Communist revolutionary groups at u n i v e r s i t i e s , or trade unions; or they joined e x i s t i n g ones. May Day (May 1st) became a f o c a l point f o r revolutionary and underground movements to p a r t i c i p a t e and communicate with the general p u b l i c by p r i n t i n g and d i s t r i b u t i n g l e a f l e t s and pamphlets about current s o c i a l i l l s and i n j u s t i c e s . Said Blugerman: May Day was introduced to us i n the parks and suburbs of the c i t y of Odessa i n 1905 under the pressure of general s t r i k e s ofQthe r a i l r o a d s , s t e e l works and other places; under the pressure of demonstrations and mass demonstrations, when thousands and thousands of students i n the c i t y of Odessa and i n other c i t i e s throughout Russia and the Ukraine came out and learned about these things. And our teachers i n v i t e d us to t h e i r place. We understood that we were being s e c r e t l y assembled. We knew that already that there were ' spies that would watch our movement. c I remember that the most revolutionary upsurge happened a f t e r 1904 when we (the Russians) l o s t the war against the Japanese and the s o l d i e r s were coming with t h e i r t a i l s behind surrendering a good portion i n the Far East l i k e VTadyvostok and so on and so f o r t h . I t i s cl e a r today, according to Blugerman, that i t was under the pressure of the revolutionary movement that the Czar and h i s advisors i n Petrograd issued a proclamation i n October 1905 granting the people a co n s t i t u t i o n by promising to allow property owners to e l e c t members to the Parliament or Duma, and further promising the people freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. This spread " l i k e w i l d f i r e through the e n t i r e country". The proclamations appearing on st r e e t corners i n the c i t y encouraged the students and workers and every r a d i c a l and liberal-minded young and middle-aged person, but "mainly the educated young generation" said Blugerman. What topped o f f the. revolutionary fervour within the c i t y of Odessa was the r e v o l t on the b a t t l e s h i p Ptomkin because of worms i n t h e i r rotten food. I t was to the c i t y of Odessa that the remaining s a i l o r s came i n t h e i r boats a f t e r so many of t h e i r comrades had been shot by the au t h o r i t i e s . " A l l the workers of the c i t y came to the port to pay tr i b u t e and honour to the dead s a i l o r s of the Ptomkin and t h i s was the basis f o r a t e r r i f i c upsurge and demonstration throughout the c i t y " , said Blugerman. However, the celebrations were s h o r t l i v e d . Street corner meetings by student speakers and Red Flag waving came to a h a l t when orders went out to Cossacks to disperse the crowds. Thousands were arrested and locked up i n j a i l . j S h o t n y a Zotnais, The Black Hundred, was an organization which operated throughout Russia and the Ukraine. A f t e r the Cossacks began to shoot the demonstrators and arrest others, Shotriya Zotriias organized a pogrom i n the Jewish neighbourhood " i n the c i t y of Odessa wit h i n two weeks a f t e r the proclamation and an absolute t e r r o r , a cloud of t e r r o r , then came i n t o f b e i n g over the skies. And hundreds and hundreds of Jewish men and women and ch i l d r e n were murdered i n front of us", said Blugerman. What were the p o l i t i c a l leanings of the majority of the Jews then when they l e f t the shtetlach f or the c i t i e s of Eastern Europe to come to America? Sidney Sarkin, a p o l i t i c a l ' j a i l b i r d ' by the age of nineteen, sa i d : I t would be, without exaggeration that at that time i n the early 1920's, the bulk of our people, except of course the top upper layer, were i n sympathy with the Russian Revolution and were affected by i t . And i t was natural from the point of view that they had a background of oppression by Czarism f o r centuries. A l o t of them p a r t i c i p a t e d i n those struggles against oppression. A l o t of them were founders of the great Jewish s o c i a l i s t organization known as the Bund, which i s one of the larges t i n comparison you see with s o c i a l democracy even i n those days. I t exerted a tremendous influence on our people. I t even, directed our whole cult u r e , Jewish l i t e r a t u r e and our c l a s s i c s toward s o c i a l j u s t i c e and socialism. The rumblings and s t i r r i n g s i n the Pale of Settlement took various forms. The young ones joined organizations and groups. Some l e f t to seek t h e i r fortunes i n other lands. Circumstances were such that forced some to t r a v e l f a r distances before they a c t u a l l y embarked upon the road to North America. Whether they were forced out of t h e i r homes, as a.number of them were, or whether they l e f t because they were wanted- by the a u t h o r i t i e s , or whether they l e f t because they could not t o l e r a t e the l i f e any longer, they brought with them a sense of s o c i a l j u s t i c e not only f o r themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s but also f o r generations to come. 93 Kramer and Masur state the following in reference to Jewish grandmothers, but i t can also be said of Jewish grandfathers: Those most likely to immigrate were often the least traditional and most rebellious, qualities which enabled them to break with their Old World lif e (1976:152). V 94 Daguerreotype of Baba & Zaida Grandma & Grandpa i n 19th century Poland. Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:9 95 Zaida i n 20th century Toronto Courtesy: C l a i r e K l e i n Osipov Photographic reproduction: Joshua Berson CHAPTER V PUSH/PULL FACTORS: THOSE WHICH PUSHED THEM OUT OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THOSE WHICH PULLED THEM TOWARD 'AMERICA' Introduction: Why I Came to 'America' The l a s t chapter b r i e f l y dealt with ideas which brought about s o c i a l change i n the people of the shtetlach of Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and other parts of the Pale. In Chapter VIII, we w i l l see these sameUpeople transformed into 'worker bees' i n the clot h i n g f a c t o r i e s of Montreal and Toronto. This chapter w i l l serve as more than a l i n k i n the chronological accounting of the movements of a people. I t must serve not only to es t a b l i s h the space/time co-ordinates but also the many l i v e d experiences of Jews who emigrated, from the Old Country. Further, i n so doing, i t i s my hope that i t w i l l r e f l e c t what other immigrants encountered i n t h e i r e arly e f f o r t s of transformation. I w i l l begin by looking more c l o s e l y at why people l e f t t h e i r homelands; what helped push'them out, why they t r a v e l l e d f o r months to some f a r distant land where they might have had a r e l a t i v e , a close f r i e n d , or perhaps someone, j u s t someone whom they had not seen i n years but who would nonetheless be there to greet them. I w i l l also look at what attracted them to t h i s country 'America , where gold i s l i k e mud i n the str e e t s ' (Harry Ullman) and 'where the sky's the l i m i t ' (Bertha Guberman). ...while r i s i n g expectations, demography, miseria, and ethno-religious persecution provided the push f a c t o r s , a v a i l a b l e work - the hunger of labour-intensive North American business - provided the p u l l f a c t o r . (Harney & Troper 1975:4) "Why I came here i s a l o t to t e l l " , s aid Pauline Chudnovsky. "We went out of Russia because of the pogrom of the pre-revolution. • People were very m i l i t a r i s t i c . " Yes, there i s a ' l o t to t e l l ' only i t cannot a l l be t o l d i n these pages. In the l a t t e r part of the 19th century decades of deprivation and su f f e r i n g reached a b o i l i n g point. Not so much was i t due to the f a c t that those who suffered had f i n a l l y reached a stage when they could take i t no longer but rather i t was due i n the main to the pogroms of the 1880's which brought the years of misery to i t s f i n a l close. S t a t i s t i c s show how many towns and v i l l a g e s were attacked and the numbers of people k i l l e d . Women and ch i l d r e n were raped, property and belongings destroyed, and those who were l e f t picked up the pieces and t r i e d to s t a r t again. In a number of cases the drama would repeat i t s e l f perhaps with increasedintensity. T A B L E ' I DISTRIBUTION OF AFFECTED PLACES, POGROMS A N D EXCESSES B Y PROVINCES District Number of Affected Places Number of Pogroms Number of Excesses Absolute Total Average per Place Kiev 175 384 132 516 2.9 Podolia 121 213 80 293 2.4 Volhynia 90 122 80 202 2.2 Kherson 54 66 15 81 1.5 Poltava 36 41 22 63 1.8 Chernigov 29 32 14 46 1.6 Kharkov 11 9 4 13 1.2 Ekaterinoslav 4 9 — 9 2.3 Tver 4 4 — 4 1.0 Central Russia 7 7 2 9 1.3 T O T A L 531 887 349 1,236 2.3 Table I shows the geographical distribution of the pogroms and excesses, according to provinces. At the head of the list is the province of Kiev, in which 516 (41.7 percent) pogroms and excesses occurred. Then follows the province of Podolia, with 293 (23.7 percent) and the province of Volhynia with 202 (16.3 percent) pogroms and excesses. The other provinces suffered less, and the provinces of Khar-kov, Ekaterinoslav and Tver had less than ten pogroms and excesses each. The main center of the pogroms was on the right bank of the Dnieper, where civil war and nationalist passions raged in full fury. The Petlura movement, which accounted for the largest number of Jewish victims in the Ukraine, had its roots here. Here too a number of atamans and partisan leaders stirred up the peasants that were dis-satisfied with the Communist experiment against the Jewish popula-tion. Denikin's army raged on the left bank of the Dnieper, in the province of Kiev and partly also in the province of Podolia. Source: N. Gergel, i n YIVO Annual Jewish S o c i a l Science, Vol. VI 1951:239 98 TABLE II POGROMS IN T H E U K R A I N E , 1918-21, B Y M O N T H Month and Year Pogroms Excesses Total To Dec. 12,1918 21 25 46 Dec. 12,1918— Dec. 31,1918 9 25 34 ' January 1919 24 27 51 February 1919 30 25 55 March 1919 36 25 6 1 April 1919 39 23 62 May 1919 120 28 148 June 1919 71 24 95 July 1919 109 29 138 August 1919 127 32 159 September 1919 68 17 85 October 1919 20 7 27 November 1919 8 2 1 0 December 1919 33 10 43 January 1920 8 4 12 February 1920 15 15 March 1920 11 2 13 April 1920 16 4 2 0 May 1920 12 4 16 June 1920 11 9 2 0 July 1920 1 2 3 August 1920 9 9 September 1920 23 5 28 October 1920 25 3 28 November 1920 6 1 7 December 1920 5 2 7 Jan. 1,1921— April 1,1921 15 1 1 6 Date undetermined 15 13 28 T O T A L 887 349 1,236 ine close relationship"'between political developments ana the pogroms is clearly reflected in Table II, showing the chronological distribution of pogroms and excesses in the years 1918-21. This table is a kind of calendar of political events in the Ukraine in so far as they were reflected in pogroms against the Jews. Source: N. Gergel, "Pogroms i n the Ukraine 1918-1921" i n YIVO Annual Jewish S o c i a l Science, V o l . VI 1951:240. Rose Smith comes "...from Homel which i s not f a r from Minsk which i s not f a r away from Moscow". She was born i n 1899 and l i v e d with her father, mother and brothers and s i s t e r s . I asked Rose why she l e f t Russia to come to Canada. This i s what she said : I didn't know where Canada was because I didn't have nobody here. I had no family here. ...Perhaps you have heard or read about the B e i l i s s case. Things were so rotten that they used to think we put C h r i s t i a n blood i n our matzos (unleavened bread eaten by Jews during Passover). So before Easter some hooligans k i l l e d a boy and B e i l i s s was blamed. This was done j u s t to make provocations against the Jewish people. ... i n the end a t r i a l was held, a rabbi and lawyers from a l l over the world had a meeting and they studied the case so much u n t i l they found out that i t was a l l provocation, and th i s B e i l i s s was l e t go. ... Where I was l i v i n g i n a house with father, mother and my brothers and s i s t e r s , I was already married at t h i s time. There was a Catholic family next door. The Catholics i n our c i t y were very r e l i g i o u s . And we were very good friends with them. So the daughter-in-law says to me, and th i s i s a f t e r the Revolution already, "Mrs. Smith there are rumours what they say about blood i n the matzos". "Look", I said, and I had my baby, a son Leo who was k i l l e d i n the Second World War, so I t e l l her, "Look, I'm going to swear with my Leo's l i f e , there i s no blood!" And they know how much I love him and they loved him very much too. My neighbour's son was working already i n the Post O f f i c e and he understood. He said , "Don't t a l k nonsense. I t ' s f u l l of nonsense" to h i s wife. He understood. Anyway, i n general, i t didn't work that way because by the time thjey found out what's what there were so many pogroms a l l over the place, you know. And l i f e was very hard, very hard. Rose's father had a store "that was the only store" which was l i k e a delicatessen store. Her father used to buy f i s h from many d i f f e r e n t countries. " I t was j u s t b e a u t i f u l , b e a u t i f u l . So when they burned i t down - what do you do a f t e r ? " said. Rose. The night the store was burned her family h i d i n a h o s p i t a l . The next day: ... there was no t r a i n to take, there was a wagon, a buggy. We were a l l t r a v e l l i n g i n the wagon from Homel to grandfather's to h i d ourselves. So on the way there we got a good beating! One of my cousins was beat up t e r r i b l y , you know, because he was a younger man and they thought he was a revolutionary. These people came leaving nothing behind and taking nothing with them, that i s , nothing of material value. No one was burdened with possessions on t h e i r t r a v e l s to t h i s country. What could they take from t h e i r one and two room homes, some with straw roofs, which they could not f i n d bigger and better i n 'America, where the streets were paved with gold?' So before Easter some hooligans k i l l e d a boy and B e i l i s s was blamed. This was done j u s t to make provocations against the Jewish people. ... i n the end a t r i a l was held, a rabbi and lawyers from a l l over the world had a meeting and they studied the case so much u n t i l they found out that i t was a l l provocation, and this B e i l i s s was l e t go. ... Where I was l i v i n g i n a house with father, mother and my brothers and s i s t e r s , I was already married at t h i s time. There was a Catholic family next door. The Catholics i n our c i t y were very r e l i g i o u s . And we were very good friends with them. So the daughter-in-law says to me, and th i s i s a f t e r the Revolution already, "Mrs. Smith there are rumours what they say about blood i n the matzos". "Look", I said, and I had my baby, a son Leo who was k i l l e d i n the Second World War, so I t e l l her, "Look, I'm going to swear with my Leo's l i f e , there i s no blood!" And they know how much I love him and they loved him very much too. My neighbour's son was working already i n the Post O f f i c e and he understood. He said, "Don't ta l k nonsense. I t ' s f u l l of nonsense" to h i s wife. _He understood. Anyway, i n general, i t didn't work that way because by the time they found out what's what there were so many pogroms a l l over the place, you know. And l i f e was very hard, very hard. Rose's father had a store "that was the only store" which was l i k e a delicatessen store. Her father used to buy f i s h from many d i f f e r e n t countries. " I t was j u s t b e a u t i f u l , b e a u t i f u l . So when they burned i t down - what do you do a f t e r ? " said Rose. The night the store was burned her family h id i n a h o s p i t a l . The next day: ... there was no t r a i n to take, there was a wagon, a buggy. We were a l l t r a v e l l i n g i n the wagon from Homel to grandfather's to hid ourselves. So on the way there we got a good beating! One of my cousins was beat up t e r r i b l y , you know, because he was a younger man and they thought he was a revolutionary. These people came leaving nothing behind and taking nothing with them, that i s , nothing of material value. No one was burdened with possessions on t h e i r t r a v e l s to th i s country. What could they take from t h e i r one and two room homes, some with straw roofs, which they could not f i n d bigger and better i n 'America, where the streets were paved with gold?' Motives & Desires for Migration I have often heard older people say that the past i s so very clear to them, that they can p i c t u r e places and events as though they had l i v e d through them only yesterday. Very early i n my t a l k with Max Dolgoy he sai d : "There's l o t s that I can t e l l you because i t ' s more i n my memory today than at any other time." Max was i n h i s seventies at the time I talked to him. And yet Rose Barkusky, younger by a few years only, began her story by saying to me: "Now I don't remember nothing about my childhood..." However, she proceeded to t e l l me numerous i n t e r e s t i n g things which had happened to her and others going back to age s i x . Alma W i t t l i n , i n , In Search of a Usable Future,says: People concurrently l i v e i n three environments, the one that i s , or could be, accessible to t h e i r senses, another i n t h e i r memory, which houses t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l past and i n h e r i t e d t r a d i t i o n s , and another s t i l l i n the imagination. (1970: Ch. 2:3) In examining the reasons given by informants f o r emigrating, i t would be advisable to bear i n mind that f o r some of these people the task of meshing these three environments was not very d i f f i c u l t . For others the imagination dominated and consequently some of t h e i r past actions and events loomed disproportionately large i n t h e i r minds. When one i s asked to t a l k about oneself the over-riding imperative, consciously or unconsciously, i s always: How to give meaning to the events of my l i f e ? One constantly searches for words and events which w i l l give meaning to that l i f e . Barbara Myerhoff i n a recently published study of an e l d e r l y Jewish community l i v i n g i n a small C a l i f o r n i a c i t y , says i n reference to one of her informants: And he incorporated external h i s t o r i c a l events i n t o h i s l i f e account, thus e s t a b l i s h i n g continuity between himself and the times i n which he l i v e d , meshing inner and outer h i s t o r y into a u n i f i e d t a l e (1978:221). 101 Even though she i s r e f e r r i n g to a person's autobiographical writings i t can have meaning within the framework of verbal r e c o l l e c t i o n s . For a number of informants i t was very d i f f i c u l t to t a l k about the ordinary, everyday happenings. " I t ' s not important what I d i d " or "What should I t e l l you that i s so wonderful?" The shortest interview I had was with a woman I have known f o r a very long time, a l b e i t I do not see her often. I f e l t confident she would f e e l comfortable chatting to me as she would have under any other circumstance. She dispatched parts of her l i f e with quick short sentences l i k e "I was sent back to Poland because I didn't.look l i k e a t a i l o r e s s " . When I asked her to elaborate she asked "Yes, could I t e l l you t h i s ? " For so many of them being asked to make sense of t h e i r l i v e s f o r the f i r s t time i n 50 or 60 years made them think and r e f l e c t that perhaps a l l of t h e i r l i v e s were not a waste. They were happy and sad because f o r some of them i t was the f i r s t time that a l l the threads i n t h e i r past were being pu l l e d together and through t h e i r own words. Reasons f or Emigrating as Given by Informants To say people l e f t the Old Country because times were bad and they had set out to seek t h e i r fortune i s to say f i r s t of a l l that these people were aware of options and second that they had the wherewithall to pursue these options. No. L i f e was not so s i m p l i s t i c that one could 'discover' Montreal advertised i n the l o c a l paper one day and make plans to leave the next. An uprooting of thousandsof people, with no f i x e d plans f o r t r a v e l , accommodation,food, cl o t h i n g , passports, papers, money taxed the countries through which these people t r a v e l l e d and i t put a burden upon r e c e i v i n g communities. For the young and carefree i t was the most e x c i t i n g time of t h e i r l i v e s : seeing another place, any place outside t h e i r s h t e t l ; eating a banana, peel and a l l ; p u l l i n g a chain to clean the t o i l e t ; ' s t e a l i n g ' a small piece of chocolate only to discover i t i s a l a x a t i v e . Some of the reasons f o r emigrating which surfaced i n my interviews were e s s e n t i a l l y of the following nature: (See c h a r t ) : a) the strongest p u l l f a c t o r was a close r e l a t i v e i n t h i s "country. b) the strongest push f a c t o r was the pogroms of Eastern Europe. c) t h e i r involvement i n underground p o l i t i c a l / r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s , a r r e s t s , i n c a r c e r a t i o n , need to escape. d) draft-dodging - at 20 a l l men had to serve i n the Czar's army. e) pervasive hunger due to lack of employment opportunities. Whatever the reasons given f o r coming, the Jews who came to Canada and the United States never came as transients or harbouring any hopes of ever returning to t h e i r n a t a l country. They had burnt t h e i r bridges behind them and sometimes others burnt i t f o r them. The only t i e s they maintained with the Old Country were f o r purposes of bringing f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s to 'America'. The immigrants who came ranged i n age from infants to grandmothers and grandfathers. Children did not p a r t i c i p a t e i n the decision-making of migration. Old parents had a choice: to follow t h e i r c h i l d r e n or to spend the r e s t of t h e i r l i v e s alone. Of course, at that time, p r i o r to the Depression, no one had any idea that H i t l e r would come along soon and there would be no option but death f o r those l e f t behind. And for those who t r i e d to f l e e from Eastern Europe, other countries refused to accept them. To our eternal shame, Canada, under Prime Minister MacKenzie King, must go on record as being chief amongst those countries who refused entry to a p a r t i c u l a r boatload of Jews, mostly women and children,, which THE SHTETL GEOGRAPHIC LITTLE OR LIMITED POGROMS, POLITICAL ACTIVITIES, CONFINEMENT NO EDUCATION OCCUPATION WARS, DRAFT JAIL TERMS 'AMERICA' PULL FACTORS RELATIVE OR FRIEND GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING NO POGROMS, NO WARS. NO DRAFT LAND OF OPPORTUNITY-i . e . OCCUPATION a f t e r abortive attempts to land somewhere, anywhere, f i n a l l y returned to. die i n Europe at the hands.of the Nazis (Wyman 1968:38 and Crowe 1980: ,2). " I ' l l t e l l you a story" said Abe Smith. So many s t o r i e s would come out a f t e r we had f i n i s h e d the formal part of the interview and were s i t t i n g down enjoying a cup of tea. His story went: One day Abe was going on a boat i n the spring to Kiev and there was a woman dressed i n black who was s i t t i n g by him and she was moaning, '0y! Oy!' as though she were having .nightmares. So Abe woke her up and.said, 'Are you troubled by something? You are crying that i s why I am waking you up'. She did not know Abe and Abe did not know her. She proceeded to t e l l him a story about the bandits: 'You know the bandits?' A r h e t o r i c a l question f o r who did not know the 'bandits'? 'Well', she went on 'we were on a boat and they took my father and mother and t i e d down t h e i r hands on the back and they threw them i n the water. And because I look l i k e a g e n t i l e g i r l , they didn't make the connection and l e t me go'. "And t h i s i s what she thinks about", said Abe. "About what happened to her father and mother and she c r i e s and has nightmares". So why did you leave the Old Country? Oh I can t e l l you (said Samuel Nemetz). I didn't have no int e n t i o n to go away to America. No. I was a f i g h t e r there. In Nepapetrovsk i n the Ukraine. At that time i t was Ekaterineslav. I wanted to j o i n the army. I had my o u t f i t a l l ready. At the age of twenty the boys were c a l l e d up. So everyday I went down to the army barracks and waited. There were Jews and Ukrainians and Russians. And these boys would wait to be picked and sent to f i g h t i n d i f f e r e n t parts of Russia. I was strong and I was sure I would be chosen. I wanted to go anywhere i n Russia. I didn't care; anywhere I wanted to go. But S i b e r i a I didn't want. And that was where he was picked to go. How was he to t e l l h i s mother? She was busy s e l l i n g l i v e chickens i n the market that day. F i n a l l y Sam went to see her and "she looked at me i n the eye and said 'Are you crying?', something l i k e that, because she notices. Mothers can notice quicker". Before too much time had elapsed, Sam's mother, had arranged f o r him to leave Nepapetrovsk and t r a v e l to Warsaw and from there to 'America'. He did not want to come to 'America' but then again he did not want to go to S i b e r i a e i t h e r . Another informant, L i l Abramovitz, wanted to go to P a r i s . She had studied French i n high school and had learned dressmaking. And ...because a few of my g i r l f r i e n d s ' s i s t e r s were dress designers i n Paris and they wrote such romantic l e t t e r s about Paris and a l l that. So a l l of us g i r l s .decided that we w i l l go there. However, her mother and family had other ideas f o r her and L i l came to Toronto i n October 1928. Her f i r s t job was as a saleslady i n a dress store where she worked from nine i n the morning u n t i l midnight f o r $8 a week. The majority of immigrants who came here were those who had run away from violence, persecution, death and destruction of the pogroms. It would not further the purpose of t h i s thesis to enter i n t o a d e f i n i t i v e study of pogroms which plagued the Jewish communities of Russia and the Ukraine. The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s i n s e l e c t i n g from the many experiences I have on record. Everyone did not experience the same c r u e l t i e s , the same horror, the same losses. My s e l e c t i o n i s a r b i t r a r y . Some experiences were t y p i c a l to so many communities and some were more h o r r i b l e than others. Always, what came through was the fear coupled with the knowledge that one had to keep one's mouth shut. Rose Gordon said: And the r e v o l u t i o n broke out and they started to k i l l us; started to k i l l the Jewish people. But my dad was so close with a l l the people i n t h i s l i t t l e v i l l a g e that they did anything to save us. They dug a hole - j u s t l i k e a grave - and fo r two weeks we were there. For two weeks they used to bring us food every day. They had boards over i t and straw so i f others came they didn't know we were hiding there. This was i n 1919-1920. We were a l l small kids but everybody knew they had to keep t h e i r mouths shut. We used to go out at night to sleep wherever we could f i n d a place. We couldn't go back to the house because they would have k i l l e d us. That was during the time of Petlura and the Nickonits and a l l those bandits. It wasn't the ordinary person; the ordinary person had nothing to do with i t . The ordinary person t r i e d to help us. . And then i t got to a point.when we had to leave home ... ... Baba Fanny Osipov started her story by t e l l i n g me about the pogrom she l i v e d through i n Nikolayev, a settlement near Odessa, when she was only four years o l d : When I was four years old we had a pogrom. They know what a pogrom means? ('they' r e f e r r i n g to who-ever would read my r e p o r t ) . And the pogrom what started f or three days they come and they k i l l and they take away j u s t from the Jews. And next door to us was a l i t t l e grocery store. Jews were there. And they made a mess. The o i l and the f l o u r and the sugar they put everything on the f l o o r . And I s t a r t t a l k i n g to my father: 'What are we s i t t i n g i n the house, t h e y ' l l come here. Let us hide under the bed.' I was four years ol d and they are a l l these years laughing at me about hiding under the bed! And next door we had a neighbour. He was Russian. He was a f i n e man. He s a i d i f something happens h e ' l l put a step-ladder and we should come and h e ' l l take us i n . You see, they didn't go to the Russian people, j u s t to the Jewish people. And we were there hiding f or three days i n the c e l l a r . And he brought us milk and bread and when we came back home a f t e r three days what a mess there was i n the house. A l l .of; the windows were smashed, l o t s of things, l i n e n and a l l , they took away. The good things they took away. They not j u s t took away, they break everything. They were drunk. This was i n 1905 at the s t a r t of the revolution. The Czar s a i d i t was s t a r t e d by the Jews and that i s why they made the pogrom. A f t e r three days everybody came to t h e i r home and s t a r t again l i v i n g . And that's what l i f e was l i k e u n t i l something happened again. Dave Ship came from a s h t e t l i n White Russia not f a r from Minsk. Dave has been a p o l i t i c a l being a l l h i s l i f e . Consequently when i t came to t a l k i n g about what l i f e was l i k e i n the Old Country he could not refrairii from giving i t p o l i t i c a l overtones and shadings i n an attempt to make sense of events which took place when he was a c h i l d . He started by t e l l i n g me that he was born during the War which was followed by the Revolution and 107 Casualties of the Bloody Sabbath Pogrom i n Bialystock 1905 Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1977:108 108 " l i f e i n my early years was very i n t e r e s t i n g and i t was of great importance to Russia because those were the formative years of the New Republic. I t was a f t e r the F i r s t World War that the White Guards and bandit groups began the pogroms where he l i v e d . He sa i d : They t r i e d to take advantage of the weakness of the Communist government and they robbed and p i l l a g e d the population. And a small s h t e t l or town where I l i v e d went through a pogrom where eighteen or nineteen people were a c t u a l l y murdured. That was about 1919 or so. I remember i t very d i s t i n c t l y . I was c a r r i e d on my father's shoulders to run away, you know. I t i s v i v i d l y imprinted in.my memory. I w i l l never forget that occasion. Dave Ship would have remained i n Russia and continued h i s education there had h i s mother not decided to come to North America because her younger brothers were i n the United States. She "had to be a mother to her younger brothers who had established themselves i n the dress manufacturing business i n the U.S.", said Ship. However, immigration to the States was closed by that time and Dave and h i s parents came to Canada instead i n 1930, i n the middle of June. There were u n i v e r s i t i e s here, h i s parents had been t o l d , f o r the young Ship to attend. But i n 1930 "things didn't turn out exactly so. During the Depression period times were hard", he r e c a l l e d . Not everyone went into hiding during the pogroms and the persecutions following abortive r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s . Those who l i v e d i n c i t i e s or near them were more often than not involved i n some ' p o l i t i c a l ' or .'progressive' organization which brought them into contact with the l o c a l p o l i c e . x A r t Browner though he was born i n a s h t e t l i n 1900, went to l i v e and learn the t a i l o r i n g trade i n Lodz, a c i t y i n Poland. During the F i r s t World War h i s father brought him back to the l i t t l e s h t e t l where he f e l t Art would be safer, A f t e r a while he "couldn't f i n d the l i t t l e town i n t e r e s t i n g , so he went back to Lodz. He s a i d : 109 ... in Lodz, I mean in especially the big cities at that time, everybody was interested in politics. So naturally I was one also. So in the beginning I was a Zionist, I mean a Poale Zionist. Then I became a Left Poale Zionist because they were more progressive. It was in 1922 I remember, or maybe i t was in 1923, I went out on May Day demonstration and I was amongst the Left Poale Zionists. It happened so that the police concentrated on the Jewish people there and they organ-ized a pogrom. Whole groups of people were cut off from each other and not only the police were hitting us but the people, gentile people, came out of their houses with sticks and bars and were also hitting us. I nearly got killed by a policeman. He gave me one on this side of my head with his gun. And I couldn't move my hands anymore. If i t was not for another policeman, a mounted policeman who came over and told him to stop, maybe he would k i l l me. So lie saved me. Then they took me and others to the place where they washed us, we were bleeding. I was in the police j a i l overnight there and then my father took me out. I came home and I was two weeks in bed because I was beaten black. They hit my head with bars. I had eight bumps. I took the bumps out when I came here. In the meantime my uncle in Toronto found out - i t was written in the Jewish journal - I was in trouble, so they tried to bring me over here. Aside from Browner there were several others who left the Old Country because of their progressive activities there. Amongst my informants at least two revolutionaries stand out and since one of them, Sidney Sarkin, was inspirational in this study, more space will be accorded him. Before I go on to speak about Sarkin I would like to mention others like Joshua (Joe) Gershman, James Blugerman, Norman Massey, Bertha Guberman, to name but a very few, who were active in the fight for social justice in the Old Country and who were in the leadership in this country. In Chapter VIII on the working conditions in the Needle Trades, we will see how these and others spent their nights and days in the cause of their fellow human beings. 110 Immigrants on t h e i r way to America get a free meal i n Warsaw Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:270 The Journey From The Sh t e t l To Canada Sidney Sarkin's father had t r a v e l l e d to Canada a few times before he died i n 1914 i n Lithuania. On one of those t r i p s to Canada he had become a Canadian c i t i z e n . Sidney's mother had two s i s t e r s i n Canada and one i n the United States. The s i s t e r i n the United States had never seen Sidney's mother because she had l e f t L ithuania before h i s mother was born. Consequently, when Sidney's father died the family i n Canada pressed the family i n Lithuania to leave and come to t h i s country. But there was also another more urgent reason f o r leaving. Sidney had already at sixteen been i n and out of j a i l three times because he was considered a troublemaker and r e b e l . I t was feared that the next time he was thrown i n j a i l i t would cost him h i s l i f e , times i n Lithuania being rather uncertain. And so i t came about that i n January 1921 Sidney a r r i v e d i n Montreal at the age of 17 a f t e r having l e f t V i l n a some three months e a r l i e r . Sidney had aunts, and uncles who were well-to-do and were prom-inent businessmen: one owned a fish-packing company i n H a l i f a x and the others c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s i n Montreal. His father had died at the beginning of the F i r s t War and during the war years i t was impossible to do anything about moving the family from the Old Country. As soon as the war was over t i c k e t s were sent to Sidney's mother. They were to s a i l from Le Havre, France. However, a l l the e f f o r t s of the B r i t i s h Consulate i n V i l n a were useless i n obtaining t r a n s i t visas f o r the family to t r a v e l through France i n order to s a i l from Le Havre. The Consulate suggested they go to B e r l i n and t r y there. Sidney, h i s brother and mother a r r i v e d i n Konigsberg, which i s no more on the map but which was a leading c i t y i n Germany at the time. Because of the P o l i s h c o r r i d o r which was established a f t e r the Treaty of V e r s a i l l e , P o l i s h transportation was unavailable. They therefore took a ship from Konigsberg to get to another German c i t y i and then to B e r l i n . In B e r l i n they were faced with a general,strike known as the Kup Putsch of the Junkers of Germany. Sidney said: For the f i r s t time i n my l i f e , you know, what I had learned as a youngster that i f the workers want a l l l i f e to stop, I saw happen.before my very eyes. Everything was stopped. Transportation, water, communication, e l e c t r i c i t y , a l l the stores, everything. I t even became a joke about the Chancellor - they said he couldn't wash himself when he got up i n the morning. „ I t was announced i n our h o t e l that there w i l l be at 10 o'clock a demonstration by the workers of B e r l i n . And I have seen a m i l l i o n and a h a l f people, workers, marching twenty-five abreast, j u s t l i k e the German army was, you know. A l l trained, marching. Have you ever seen them marching? Using a s p e c i a l step that i s how they marched. You couldn't see a policeman anywhere ... and there were about f o r t y mass meetings and speakers addressing the crowds. ... To make a long story short, they f i n i s h e d the Putsch of KupI The B r i t i s h Consulate i n B e r l i n t r i e d to get i n touch with the French Ambassador but to no a v a i l could visas be obtained. His mother was disappointed but the boys enjoyed the chance to see B e r l i n : the museums, the theatres, the shows. A l l went far-beyond'the dreams of young boys. A f t e r a month i n B e r l i n the°Cunard Line Agents were able to obtain berths on a ship s a i l i n g from Antwerp to L i v e r p o o l . They stopped i n Brussels on t h e i r way to Antwerp and discovered the wonderful world of chocolates. From Liverpool they sailed to Montreal where the family met them. i The ship which brought Sidney and h i s family was a b i g ship. To further t h e i r discomfort, they were confined below decks f o r the e n t i r e rocky voyage which took two and a h a l f weeks, because they were seasick. For Rose Barkusky the experience was d i f f e r e n t . As i t happened, she set out from V i l n a approximately four years l a t e r , A p r i l 1925. 113 On the way to the new world Source: Harney & Troper 1975:13 Her papers came from Canada, from her prospective husband who was also her uncle. She came to Canada to be the maid i n the household of a well-to-do family. Her story goes: My mother went as f a r as Warsaw with me by t r a i n . Then she put me on another t r a i n with a family that was going to Canada - a woman with f i v e c h i l d r e n , the oldest being my age, the youngest breast feeding So my mother asked her to keep an eye on me. Also she had another g i r l from Warsaw going to Canada. So :she had to keep an eye on that one too. Her name was also Rose. So we went from there to Danzig which was the border and the B r i t i s h Consulate was there. You had to go through a l l t h i s washing and cleaning. We had to go through a l l sorts of baths and delousing. I came to the B r i t i s h Consulate, he put a stamp on my passport and we s a i l e d to Southampton. Everything was by boat i n those days. In Southampton we went through the same thing - doctors, examination, and a l l sorts of things. We were on a c a t t l e boat and everybody was s i c k . But the other Rose and I were the only ones on deck. We couldn't stay below because i t was impossible. Three days i t was very rough. ... ... On deck was the kitchen and a P o l i s h fellow was s i t t i n g and peeling potatoes. And we couldn't walk on deck because the boat was going up and down. And when I looked out on the horizon there was a boat going too. And then you know she went up and she went r i g h t down l i k e t h i s . And I l e t out a scream! So the P o l i s h fellow says, 'What are you screaming for? What's the matter?' I says, 'I think the boat went down.' I showed him and said i n P o l i s h , 'There, there's a boat there and I think i t went down'. So he started to laugh. He s a i d , 'If you had been on that boat and looked at ours you would think the same thing.' I turned to Rose and s a i d , 'Let's go downstairs'.. The boat was a c a t t l e boat. I don't know what i t was hauling. The food was potatoes and herring and that's a l l . Anyways we came to Southampton. From Southampton we came to H u l l , Quebec on a b i g boat. I t was an American boat and the s a i l o r s were a l l Norwegian. There were a l o t of Jewish immigrants and i t was very n i c e . I was stopped i n H u l l . One of the nurses asked me to wait. I see everybody i s going and I'm s i t t i n g there. I didn't know and I didn't speak a word of English. Anyways she said the doctor wanted to speak to me. I said to myself: I went through a l l the doctors i n Europe, I even had a doctor's c e r t i f i c a t e from home to say I was a l r i g h t . So i t ended up they thought I had a g o i t e r . But a couple of doctors examined me and said I could go. ... I came to Montreal and there the Jewish Immigration met me because I was a g i r l of 17 years old. 115 Joseph Brandes i n From Sweatshop to S t a b i l i t y (YIV0:XVI:1) stat e s : ... i n the half-century from 1880-1930 almost 3 m i l l i o n Jewish newcomers arrived ( i n America). I t was a phenomenon replete with the h i s t o r i c tensions of trans-planting e n t i r e population centres, of circumstances pressing the migrant away from h i s native land and p u l l i n g him toward a new haven. CHAPTER'VI TRANSFORMATION OF BEING: A SENSE OF PEOPLEHOOD Introduction In order to understand the Jewish communities as they existed at the time the l a s t mass i n f l u x arrived i n Canada i n 1921, I found i t necessary to research available h i s t o r i e s of Jewish communities l i v i n g i n Montreal and Toronto. Demographic studies of the c i t i e s were looked at as w e l l . The h i s t o r i e s which have been written are t y p i c a l l y of people who took an active part i n the l i f e and times, who were instrumental i n s t a r t i n g and leading organizations and erecting b u i l d i n g s . They are the h i s t o r i e s of Jews who came to Canada and rose to a number of high positions i n various walks of l i f e : commerce, d e n t i s t r y , medicine, p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n , banking, the a r t s , sports, education, etc. I t i s from these e a r l y h i s t o r i e s and studies which one must attempt to understand the communities as they existed p r i o r to the mass migrations. Unfortunately, i n these s o - c a l l e d h i s t o r i c a l accounts, the working class Jew i s relegated the space of a footnote. For example, a recent p u b l i c a t i o n , The Jews of  Toronto, by Stephen A. Spiesman has been aptly renamed "Some Jews of Toronto" by a reviewer i n The Canadian Jewish Outlook, a monthly p u b l i c a t i o n Spiesman f a i l s to deal with and dismisses summarily 60% of the Jewish population of the time. He footnotes a remark on the sweatshop phenomenon i n Toronto and Montreal by s t a t i n g : "For sweatshop conditions i n garment f a c t o r i e s i n Montreal see The Jewish Times 1903, p.73". (The Jewish Times was a newspaper published at the turn of the century). That i s the sum of h i s contribution about the majority of Jews who l i v e d and worked i n clothing f a c t o r i e s . U t i l i z i n g these secondary sources I w i l l : 1. give art overview of the h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g i n Montreal and Toronto immediately antecedent to and at the time of a r r i v a l of informants, and 2. u t i l i z i n g demographic studies show the movement of these immigrants i n Montreal and Toronto over a period of twenty years from the time of a r r i v a l . In so doing, the network of c r y s t a l i z e d groups, i n s t i t u t i o n s and organiz-ations which formed the matrix of the Jewish ethnic group w i l l unfold. The f i r s t task, as F l o r i a n Znaniecki sta t e s , i s that of d e s c r i p t i o n (1968:14). From describing a system we can go on to explaining change. The process of change, both i n these c i t i e s and i n the people, informs the ,next chapter. B r i e f Account Of Mass Migrations The e a r l y h i s t o r y of the Jews i n Canada from the mid-18th century to the e a r l y 1900s i s documented i n a number of books (Refer to Bibliography). Insofar as immigration i n t o Canada was concerned, the period up to 1918-1919 was not a d i f f i c u l t one, i n that there were few r e s t r i c t i o n s . The b a s i c p r i n c i p l e of Canada's immigration p o l i c y was s e l e c t i o n of desirable immigrants - desirables were those who came from Northern Europe (Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians and c i t i z e n s of the United States). They took precedence over Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans and O r i e n t a l s , the l a t t e r two considered undesirables. However, during the period of great expansion when Canada made an e f f o r t to a t t r a c t immigrants, many of the less desirables were permitted entry. The year 1919 saw a number of changes i n immigrant p o l i c y . 1919 was a time of unrest - s o l d i e r s returning from the war, not enough jobs, not enough money. I t was the time of the Winnipeg General S t r i k e . In 1919 an Order-in-Council was adopted: Freight t r a i n carrying emigrants Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:138 ...which prohibited the landing of s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d labor i n B r i t i s h Columbia (PC #1202) and the landing of former a l i e n enemies (PC #1203). On June 19, 1919 the government promulgated another Order-in-Council (PC #1204) which prohibited the landing of Doukhobors, Hutterites and even Mennonites. (Belkin 1966:102) In 1920 a further Order required the payment of landing money, $250oper person, and i n 1923 one had to f u l f i l an occupational test to enter Canada. A further r e s t r i c t i o n was the requirement of a continuous j ourney: If the immigrant comes d i r e c t from the country of h i s b i r t h , he w i l l be permitted, under c e r t a i n conditions to land i n this country; but should the man and h i s family have l e f t the country of h i s b i r t h and gone to England and have l i v e d i n England say f o r f i f t e e n or twenty years, brought up h i s family under English customs and taught them English ideas and the language of that country - i f that man attempted to land i n Canada with h i s wife and family, he would be barred from entering the Dominion because he didn't come d i r e c t l y from the country of h i s b i r t h ( i b i d : 102-103). The speaker was S.W.Jacobs, K.C., M.P., a Jew, i n an address i n Parliament i n 1921. The F i r s t World War had shaken Europe and 1917 spawned the Russian Revolution. East European Jews, who had begun emigrating i n the mid-1880s, began to leave i n droves. They went to P a l e s t i n e , to England, to France, to the United States and Canada. The bulk of the Jewish immigrants to Canada came before 1921, when various r e s t r i c t i o n s , some mentioned above, went i n t o e f f e c t . A f t e r the war the prospective immigrant had to have a close r e l a t i v e i n Canada. According to Census of Canada 1921, the number of Jewish immigrants to Canada had reached 116,893, the large s t number, by c i t y , going to Montreal: Montreal 42,667 Ontario 47,458 Manitoba 16,593 120 Saskatchewan 5,328 Alberta 3,186 B.C. 1,654 Yukon & N.W.T. 7 Aft e r 1921 there were no more mass migrations to Canada. Some immigrants i n a short period of time were able to s e t t l e down to l i v e s which afforded them a measure of comfort and s e c u r i t y . For the vast numbers who disembarked at Canadian ports, a f t e r weeks of p r i v a t i o n , s i c k and t i r e d , frightened, babbling i n foreign tongues, l i f e i n Canada and the United States was not exactly placid.. Who, seeing them i n t h e i r outlandish garb as they came in t o the ports of the A t l a n t i c seaboard, could have imagined that t h e i r c hildren and grandchildren, and they themselves, would gain d i s t i n c t i o n i n a l l the f i e l d s of American l i f e : industry, philosophy, commerce, yes, and even gangsterism and r a s c a l i t y , the great American game of taking the p u b l i c f o r an expensive ride? But at that time, c e r t a i n l y , they looked t i r e d , and poor, and t e r r i b l y bewildered (Goodman 1961:14). Even though they came with t h e i r dreams and t h e i r e t e r n a l hope, l i t t l e did i t occur to them that t h e i r grandchildren would be so f a r removed from t h e i r sweat and t o i l one day as to be unaware of t h e i r beginnings. Their g're'at b e l i e f i n s o c i a l j u s t i c e f or the future of a l l humankind never allowed them to doubt t h e i r generations to come. And some of the children and grandchildren have forgotten t h e i r roots, have d i s -owned t h e i r grandparents, have b u i l t e d i f i c e s so grandiose and spectacular as to appear foreign i n the s i g h t of the humble t a i l o r . One woman, l y i n g i n her h o s p i t a l bed, t o l d me with tears i n her eyes that she had not been sent an i n v i t a t i o n to her grandson's Bar Mitzvah because she would shame the guests. The f i r s t wave of immigrants a r r i v i n g i n the mid-19th century affected the structure of the Canadian Jewish community. The s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l background of the East European Jew was d i f f e r e n t from those of the s e t t l e d community and they were unable and unwilling to mingle with t h e i r non-Jewish neighbours as the e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s had done. The Jews who came were P o l i s h , Lithuanian, G a l i c i a n , Russian, White Russian, Romanian, Austrian and Hungarian. Though the majority of P o l i s h Jews went to Toronto, by and large there was a mixture of people i n most parts. Montreal was the only Jewish community of any s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Quebec although Jews have l i v e d i n Sherbrooke, Three Rivers, Quebec Cit y and the Eastern Townships since the B r i t i s h conquest. (Helfield,1973:26) The majority of these immigrants were poor and came carrying a l l t h e i r worldly possessions on t h e i r backs, so to speak. Benjamin A. Sack v i v i d l y describes the l i f e of the immigrant: His l e v e l of l i v i n g was low, comparable to that of the contemporary immigrant belonging to other ethnic groups. Only by unremitting t o i l could the families of Jewish workers manage to e x i s t , only by s u f f e r i n g endless privations could they eke out d a i l y bread. Theirs was a l i f e of unrelieved bleakness and dreariness (1965:221). H i s t o r i c a l Setting  Montreal As mentioned above,'Montreal was the only Jewish community of any s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Quebec. The Jeus concentrated i n Montreal because they could speak e i t h e r Yiddish or English, whereas i n the r e s t of the province French created a problem. In other provinces, this d i f f i c u l t y did not e x i s t and thus the above figures give population by provinces rather than by c i t y . The majority of the working class Jews were involved i n 122 industry, e s p e c i a l l y the clothes manufacturing industry. Aside from these occupations, there were peddlers, storekeepers (butchers, bakery owners, f i s h store owners, etc.) who were a very low middle .class. A d e f i n i t e l i n e of demarcation existed between the workers and this middle c l a s s , on the one hand, and the Jewish upper s t r a t a on the other. Previously the d i v i s i o n s among, f o r example Montreal Jews, had been denominational - Sephardic, Ashkenazic and Reform; now r e l i g i o u s differences became unimportant i n l i g h t of the acute s o c i a l differences which were developing i n the Jewish community. The German and P o l i s h immigrants of the e a r l i e r decades had become acculturated and Canadianized, w h i l s t t h e i r ) Eastern European counterparts were considered unacclimated immigrants. The e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s were, on the whole, on a much higher l e v e l i n the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l structure than the new immigrants who were, more often than not, s t r u g g l i n g i n poverty (Kage 1940:42). "Uptown and downtown became terms of precise s o c i a l demarcation" (Sack 1965:212). In 1901 the Jewish population i n Montreal was 6,975 and i n 1911 i t was 28,838. S h i f t s i n areas of settlement of Montreal Jewry began taking place. As shown on Map VI the e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s , no longer i n the depths of poverty, began to move northward, away from the Montreal water-front. The newcomers took up residence i n the d e t e r i o r a t i n g r e s i d e n t i a l area surrounding Du f f e r i n Square (Seidel 1939:51). By 1901, as shown on Map VII, the Jewish community was w e l l established with a population of close to 7,000. The Jewish area of settlement at this time was enclosed i n the area bounded by Duluth on the north, St. Denis on the east, Craig on the south, and St.Lawrence Boulevard on the west. By this time the f i r s t extensive c u l t u r a l ghetto of the Montreal Jewish community had come i n t o existence, the bulk of the population 123 MAP VI E a r l y Jewish Settlement i n Montreal 1900 Source: Steven B. P a u l l 1974 124 MAP VII F i r s t Area of Jewish Settlement i n Montreal, 1901 Source: Steven B. P a u l l 1974 125 being East European immigrants ( P a u l l 1974:10). Toronto " The pi c t u r e i n Toronto was not much d i f f e r e n t from that of Montreal, except that Montreal as the port of entry f o r most immigrants had the added burden of being a clearinghouse f o r Jews en route to other parts of Canada. The following Table w i l l show that the massive f l i g h t of Jews from Russia m u l t i p l i e d the Jewish population of Toronto more than f i v e - f o l d , to a figure of 18,000 i n the f i r s t decade of the 20th century: Percentage of T o t a l Jewish Population of Canada Resident i n Toronto i n each Census Year 1851-1931  Jewish Population Percent i n Census Year Canada Toronto Toronto a) 1851 351 57 j 16.2 a) 1861 1,186 153 1 12.9 a) 1871 1,333 1 157 11.8 a) 1881 2,443 534 , 21.9 a) 1891 6,501 ; 1,425 ; 21.9 1901 16,401 3,103* 18.9 1911 75,681 118,294*j 24.2 1921 126,196 34,770* 27.5 1931 156,726 146,751* , 29.7 * Metropolitan Toronto a) Jews by r e l i g i o n A l l other census years Jews by ethnic o r i g i n (Bain 1974:90) At the end of World War I the borders of Revolutionary Russia were sealed. The major source of Jewish immigration a f t e r that was from Poland. P o l i s h government p o l i c y , i n s t i t u t e d almost immediately upon the achievement of independence, systematically sought to eliminate Jews from the economic l i f e of the nation. Success was met to such a degree that by 1926: ... the Jewish artisans of Warsaw pointed to some melancholy s t a t i s t i c s . Of 2,800 Jewish shoemaking establishments, 2,060 were closed. Of 3,000 t a i l o r i n g shops, 2,560 were closed. Of 100 brush f a c t o r i e s , 50 were closed, (Sachar 1958:358). Fed by the masses of impoverished P o l i s h Jews, the Jewish populat-ion of Toronto grew s t e a d i l y to reach the figu r e of 46,571 by 1921. As figures concerning the d i s t r i b u t i o n of Jewish population by ward are not available from the Canadian Censuses of 1911 and 1921, the d i s t r i b u t i o n of Jewish population by Federal Constituency was a l t e r n a t i v e l y examined by Bain and he found that the three Federal constituencies of Toronto Centre, Toronto West and Toronto South contained within t h e i r bounds 90% of Toronto Jewry i n 1911 and 84% i n 1921. Within these ghetto areas several anomalous sectors were found which were free of Jewish inhabitants. These exceptional islands represent rooming houses owned by Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. Throughout the f i r s t four decades of th i s century I have observed a reluctance on the part of Toronto Jews to inhabit rooming-houses or f l a t s , and instead showing a decided preference f o r single-family dwellings. This i s not a t o t a l l y unexpected phenomenon as even s i n g l e Jewish men, or men awaiting the a r r i v a l of t h e i r f a m i l i e s , could f i n d cheaper and more s o c i a l l y compatible accommodation i n the homes of re l a t i v e s or fellow landsmen (Bain 19 74:32-33). One question put to a l l my informants was: with whom did you l i v e when you arrived? In a l l cases where s i n g l e men or women came to Canada they l i v e d with friends or r e l a t i v e s and not on th e i r own. Once members of the i r family a r r i v e d , or they got married, they moved in t o f amily dwe1lin gs. CO o C i-i o Co H n> &> H H O (T> H M H O § H O VO "The Ward" Eastern Ave. — King St. Macedonian Community Kensington Market — Spadina Area Henderson — Manning Italian Community Niagara St. — Queen St. Area "The Junction" 128 Transformation of Being: A Sense Of Peoplehood The concept of the Jew embraces a range of ideas and I would o f f e r that there i s no one u n i v e r s a l l y accepted d e f i n i t i o n . One can go from the broadest, that one who stems from Jewish forebears i s a Jew, to the narrowest, most r i g i d Halakhic (Jewish Law) view that a Jew i s one who was born of a Jewish mother or convert. In between there are various shadings of Jewish i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . No d e f i n i t i o n i s u n i v e r s a l l y accepted. E t h n i c i t y comes from the Greek word 'ethnos' meaning 'people' or 'nation' and,I s h a l l r e f e r to a group with a shared f e e l i n g of peoplehood as an "ethnic group" (Francis 1947:393-400). Early man i d e n t i f i e d himself as a member of a group, h i s 'people', and i t was not d i f f i c u l t f o r him to e s t a b l i s h a geographical l o c a t i o n , or speak of the shared r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l and moral values of h i s people. He was aware of h i s ancestors and could d i f f e r e n t i a t e between himself and others (aside from p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s ) . These are elements of the c l a s s i c 'folk s o c i e t y ' , as i n Robert Redfield's terms. With the march of c i v i l -i z a t i o n , with population increases, migrations, wars, creation of c i t i e s , p r o l i f e r a t i o n of r e l i g i o u s v a r i a t i o n s , p o l i t i c a l groups, etc. this sense of peoplehood has been shattered and fragmented. Certain elements are extracted from the whole which u n i f i e d a group of people. With these changes, ideologies developed which corresponded to the old t r a d i t i o n s . In looking at i t s various forms, as they apply to the Jewish communities which developed i n Canadian c i t i e s , I w i l l attempt to describe the r e a l i t i e s as they existed. The sense of e t h n i c i t y has proved to be hardy. What were some of the e s s e n t i a l elements i n the nature of the Jewish immigrant which compelled him to merge and t i e h i s i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i n some ancestral group of people? Polanyi says: "Our b e l i e v i n g i s conditioned at i t s source by our belonging" (Bock 1969:445). The Jews are not the only group of people who have proven hardy i n this and other lands. Perhaps a look at t h e i r l i v e s and struggles i n Canada may give us an i n s i g h t i n t o why c e r t a i n groups of people submerge t h e i r i d e n t i t y i n a wider one and others tenaciously c l i n g to t h e i r s . What i s a sense of i d e n t i t y ? Such a question i s a d i f f i c u l t one fo r a person who has entered h i s t o r y , who l i v e s i n a c i t y ^ who s p e c i a l i z e s at h i s work, who has come i n contact with other cultures. Such a person i s forced to c l i n g to h i s e t h n i c i t y and mould i t s shape more narrowly even as he p a r t i c i p a t e s i n h i s t o r y . He i s a 'stranger' i n A l f r e d Schutz' terms and he undergoes ' c r i s i s ' as he approaches and t r i e s to be accepted, or at least tolerated, by the group he comes i n contact with (Schutz 1964: 91-105). Further, how one i d e n t i f i e d oneself to others i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to how one i s i d e n t i f i e d by others: Who, What, i s he? Who, What, am I? In this way one's sense of peoplehood i s reinforced and one's expectations are f u l f i l l e d . In bringing h i s r e l i g i o n and h i s t r a d i t i o n s from the s h t e t l to the New World, the immigrant Jew brought with him h i s culture and h i s heritage. Even though Jews came from d i f f e r e n t parts of Europe they believed i n the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Whether they were Russian r a d i c a l s or P o l i s h teachers, they a l l spoke Yiddish (though the Russian frowned upon the pronunciation of the P o l i s h ) . This by no means should imply that a l l was smooth-sailing amongst the East European Jews who came to Canada. Socio-economic d i v i s i o n s existed; but despite the d i f f e r e n c e s , each Jew i n h i s own i n i m i c a l way, clung tenaciously to h i s i d e n t i t y . How did the immigrant Jew maintain h i s e t h n i c i t y , h i s sense of belonging? What elements did he extract from h i s past and why? Were these s u f f i c i e n t to give him that f e e l i n g of being a part of the group, h i s people, even i n a foreign land, learning a foreign language, , wearing foreign clothes? How did the Jew maintain h i s s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i c a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with h i s fellow Jews i n Canada? The mass immigrant came d i r e c t l y from the shtetlach of Eastern Europe and refused to be t o t a l l y assimilated i n h i s new environment. Rather he brought with him much of h i s heritage and t r a d i t i o n s which had been so very strong i n Europe. Why did they not discard t h e i r old-fashioned ways arid adopt the new ones? The Jews who had come from Germany, France, England,., had become ' Canadianized', why not the newcomers, the 'greenhorns;';. Previous s e t t l e r s had not come en masse. Isolated f a m i l i e s had migrated from here and there i n Europe. With the waves of immigrants, and the type of immigrants (poor,.destitute, sheltered and ignorant of the world), 'a s s i m i l a t i o n ' of any s o r t would have been impossible and even disastrous. Out of convenience on the one hand, and fear of persecution on the other, the Jews banded together and l i v e d i n one major r e s i d e n t i a l d i s t r i c t i n the large c i t i e s . The Jewish areas of settlement were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Jewish, with autonomous s o c i a l and educational i n s t i t -utions. The culture of Yiddish language was widespread; storefronts bore signs i n both Yiddish and English. As we s h a l l see below, the network of organizations and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s permitted and encouraged the members of the Jewish community to remain within the confines of the group fo r a l l of t h e i r primary and some of t h e i r secondary r e l a t i o n s throughout t h e i r l i f e c y c l e - from the cradle to the grave. In 1926 the Jewish communities of Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg were the most active and v i a b l e . By this time these communities had 131 Sign over the premises of a r i t u a l slaughterer, 1910 Source: Harney & Troper. 1975:102 received two or three waves of immigrants from Eastern Europe. As the Table below w i l l show, population figures f or these c i t i e s i n d i c a t e the numbers increased every decade. Tot a l Jewish Population f o r the C i t i e s of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Toronto & Greater Montreal f o r each Census Year 1901-1931 Census Year Winnipeg Toronto Montreal 1901 1,145 3,103 6,597 1911 8,754 18,294 22,154 1921 14,390 34,770 42,802 1931 17,153 46,751 56,920 (Compiled from Census data f o r the years 1901-1931) In 1926 Arthur Daniel Hart wrote: In a l l communities the congregation has been the means of bringing the members together and a l l charitable and philanthropic work originated there. I t i s to the c r e d i t of the Jew that j u s t as soon as a 'minyan' (ten men) can be gathered together i n some small community, i t i s p r a c t i c a l l y sure that i n a short time a synagogue w i l l be b u i l t (1926:81). In 1926 there were 125 synagogues i n Canada, from V i c t o r i a , 'B.C. to Sidney, N.S. In the three major c i t i e s the breakdown was as;follows: Montreal 33 Toronto 11 Winnipeg 7 Most of the congregations were Orthodox with only three Reform. According to Hart, some of the synagogues i n Montreal and Toronto were large enough to accommodate some f i v e hundred to s i x hundred people. Thes synagogues were not b u i l t overnight, neither were they the work of one or two i n d i v i d u a l s . H i s t o r i c a l documents show that many members of the Jewish community were involved i n r a i s i n g these e d i f i c e s (Hart 1926:81). Building a house of prayer was the first requirement in a Jewish community. Within its walls not only does one pray, but children are educated, the needy are looked after, and social relationships are established. Through i t a consciousness is developed.' The history of the Jews of Canada cannot be recounted without speaking of the philanthropic endeavours of those who came early to this country and who had l i t t l e need themselves of any assistance. It is through such efforts that immigrants found not only food and shelter but in many cases the chance to live in freedom in Canada instead of facing deportation (See Belkin 1966 and Kage 1940). Perhaps in no part of Jewish life is so much devotion shown as displayed in rendered assistance to those in need. Charity is a fundamental part of the Jewish faith, and in philanthropic endeavour and welfare work the Jews of Canada take just pride in the fact that they have upheld and are upholding the best traditions of their race (Hart 1926:81). Those who came first needed no assistance, ... consequently there was no demand for assistance for their co-religionists, but they subscribed, what was in those days, munificantly to the existing calls for relief ... (to) ... the indigent of Montreal in 1795, ... the English Church in 1801, ... to the relief of war suffer-ers in 1813 and 1814 (ibid:81). Not until 1848 when there was a considerable influx of Jewish immigrants into Canada, was there need for a purely Jewish organization - the Hebrew Philanthropic Society - which was formed in Montreal. In 1873 i t was reorganized into the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society, and in 1923 i t became the Baron :de Hirsh Institute.1 It handled a l l philanthropic work, including immigration aid, colonization and education. The Russian, Roumanian and Polish immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1880-1890 taxed to the utmost the resources of the Society and assistance was also furnished by the Mansion House Russian Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association of Paris; but i t was only a very short time before these immigrants had become established to such an extent that they were organizing r e l i e f f o r those who followed them (ibid:193). As the years past and the need for charity reached a much greater s c a l e , more s o c i e t i e s came in t o existence and the r e s u l t was n a t u r a l l y much overlapping of work which led to formation of a c e n t r a l i z e d organiz-ation i n 1914 i n Montreal c a l l e d the Federation of Philanthropies. Other c i t i e s followed. As the communities grew i n s i z e and as the flow of'immigration increased i n volume, various a c t i v i t i e s were i n i t i a t e d by the Society to take care of not only the poor and needy i n the community but of the indigent ".arrivals and of education of the children who d i d not know or have command of the English language. The Jewish community not only increased i n numbers but became more and more heterogenous. Thus, various groups arose, c a l l e d lantsmanshaften, composed of countrymen, neighbours, fellow townsmen from the Old Country. In the cause of b r e v i t y one has to dispatch the work of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies by quoting only some of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s and the areas i n which they worked. This w i l l convey an i n k l i n g of how the people f e l t and struggled i n those early days. By means of various campaigns and educational propaganda as to what the Federation aimed to accomplish, i t created a greater i n t e r e s t by members of the Jewish community i n a l l a c t i v i t i e s f o r s o c i a l b e t t e r -ment,, and brought the community to a r e a l i z a t i o n of i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to those i n need of a i d . One of the outstanding r e s u l t s achieved by Federation has been the c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of a COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE ... It had also by means of i t s various departments, and p a r t i c u l a r l y by i t s budget system, created a COMMUNITY INDEX - an index of the d i s t r e s s prevalent i n the community 135 and an index of the measure i n which d i s t r e s s i s met; ( i b i d : 198). In the evolution of these, the modus operandi of the Federation was gradually changed to s u i t p a r t i c u l a r conditions i n the community, but the changes had always been toward a greater cohesion and unity. No needy person was turned away. No homeless child' was deprived of the home that i t was our duty to provide. No tubercular f i g h t i n g the white plague was refused aid ... s a i d the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federation for the year 1924 (ibid:198). The Baron de Hirsh I n s t i t u t e , mentioned above, was the other philanthropic organization which continuously and consistently pursued i t s career of usefulness i n the community, working for the poor, and p a r t i c u l a r -ly the immigrant poor, i n every way, providing schools, family welfare, and when needed provided free b u r i a l as w e l l (See Belkin 1966, Hart 1926, Rosenberg 1939). Aside from these two philanthropic organizations a vast network of other organizations had started i n a l l the major c i t i e s by the year 1924 which were not only committed to a l l e v i a t i n g the sufferings of the poor i n the community but also the health, education and culture of the people. A number of h o s p i t a l s were opened, f u l l y equipped, to look a f t e r people from c h i l d b i r t h to old age. The Z i o n i s t Organization of Canada started i n 1887, Canadian Jewish Congress, Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, Big Brother Movement (Jewish Branch) i n 1914, Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Associations were formed i n Montreal and Toronto, Hadassah was f i r s t s t arted i n Toronto i n 1916, and Hadassah of Canada i n 1925. These organizations, and many others, were involved i n a l l phases of Jewish l i f e and provided a means of e s t a b l i s h i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s within the community (Belkin 1966, Hart 1926, Kage 1940, Rosenberg 1939). 136 In Chapter II I discussed the p a r t i c u l a r emphasis Jews placed upon learning. I also showed how the boy had the place of honour at f i v e years old when he started to go to Jewish school. The education of the g i r l , on the other hand, was neglected and no honours were accorded her for learning to read and write. No such discrimination was found i n reviewing Jewish education i n Canada. Some of this valuation was transferred to the secular aspects of l i f e when these immigrants l e f t the confines of the Pale of Settlement and came to l i v e i n North America. The process of preservation f a m i l i a r to the s o c i a l psychologist was the mechanism whereby the group value oriented toward r e l i g i o u s learning was transferred to the sphere of secular learning without l o s i n g i t s hold upon the group (Murphy, et a l 1937:99, 812-814). I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , then, to f i n d when researching h i s t o r i e s of Jewish communities i n Canada that every c i t y had a number of schools, ranging from the very orthodox, the Talmud Torahs, to evening and Sunday schools, to secular progressive day schools. By 1926 there were Talmud Torahs i n Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Saskatoon. There were Hebrew Free Schools, there were Jewish People's Schools. Aside from these, a network of Jewish secular schools were run by two of the l a r g e s t v f r a t e r n a l organizations i n operation at the time: the A r b e i t e r Ring (Jewish Workmen's C i r c l e ) and the Poale Z i o n i s t movement known as the Farband. These l a t t e r organizations had a network of schools as w e l l as s o c i a l clubs and l i b r a r i e s . I d e o l o g i c a l l y the Workmen's C i r c l e was known as a s o c i a l i s t - i n c l i n e d organization, w h i l s t the Poale Z i o n i s t s leaned p a r t i a l l y toward nationalism as the Z i o n i s t s expressed i t . But Poale Zionism, as the name implies, means workers, and they believed that the coming s o c i e t y , even i n P a l e s t i n e , should be a s o c i a l i s t society and they considered themselves s o c i a l i s t s . However, amongst them there were v a r i a t i o n s - r i g h t , l e f t and centre. The same s i t u a t i o n obtained i n the Workmen's C i r c l e i n s o f a r as i t was a r e f l e c t i o n of the d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l i s t groupings around on a world-wide scale (Sarkin). P r i o r to 1912, Jewish children who were l e f t orphans and dependent upon the p u b l i c were placed i n non-Jewish homes or i n s t i t u t i o n s . With the Jewish population of Canadian c i t i e s growing larger and more progressive, i t became a foregone conclusion that such a condition would not long be allowed to remain. The Jewish character of looking a f t e r i t s own soon asserted i t s e l f and led to the inauguration of Jewish orphanages f o r the purpose not only of feeding and housing these unfortunate dependents but also of educating them and bringing them up i n the f a i t h of t h e i r forefathers (Hart 1926:227). For some of the young men and women i n the community there was the Federation of Young Judea of Canada, an organization concerned with the needs of the people, Jewish educationwhich equipped them f o r e f f e c t i v e service to the community, and which took the form of a club or groups of clubs and a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n Z i o n i s t work (ibid:289). In order to understand the d i v e r s i t y of groupings within these organizations i t i s necessary to look at the composition of the immigrants. Amongst the immigrants there were the p l a i n f o l k who came to Canada looking fo r a new place, a new r o l e , and new freedoms. There were also s o c i a l i s t s who had p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the development of the Jewish revolutionary move-ments i n the Old Country. Some of them had run away from j a i l terms, arrests,'and so on, as was the case with Sidney Sarkin. Many of them brought with them t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and ideas i n the s o c i a l i s t movement. There were s o c i a l democrats who were followers of K a r l Marx and others i n i n Germany. "From Russia there were followers of Plekanov, an outstanding ideologue of the s o c i a l i s t movement. Thus we f i n d a cross-section of people with v i s i o n , with understanding, who came with the masses of immigrants. As Zalman Shneur reminds us, they were: A people pledged to l i f e , Pledged to uprooting the e v i l within l i f e . (Goodman 1961:13) Amongst them were also a number of w r i t e r s , painters, philosophers, who found conditions i n the Old Country i n t o l e r a b l e , e s p e c i a l l y the se r i e s of pogroms which took place. These were people who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the struggles i n the New Country, who expressed the bewilderment, despair, joy, hopefulness, and who gave leadership to the masses, such as Sholem Aleichem, Abraham R a i s i n , Salman L i b i n . Sidney Sarkin s a i d : These workers' organizations and the trade union movement, helped the immigrant to f i n d jobs, educated them so they were able to defend themselves against the t e r r i b l e e x p l o i t a t i o n of the times, against anti-Semitism, against the miserable conditons under which they had to work. These immigrants brought with them t h e i r Jewish heritage, and culture s t a r t e d to bloom. What were the mechanisms, s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l , which pu l l e d the immigrant towards the ghetto? I n i t i a l s h e l t e r f or the 'greenhorn' was almost always found i n the home of r e l a t i v e s or lantsmen. Thus h i s introduction to the Jewish ghetto took place immediately upon a r r i v a l . When the time came to f i n d a residence of one's own, r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s , whose knowledge of the c i t y was l i m i t e d to Jewish areas, were the main information v e h i c l e of the search process. Consequently, "... the s p a t i a l bias of informational sources focussed the r e s i d e n t i a l search process upon the Jewish sector of the urban area" (Bain 1974:41). Drugstore on Spadina Avenue, Toronto c.1920 Source: Harney & Troper 1975:103 Photographic Reproduction: Joshua Berson To a large degree the roots of r e s i d e n t i a l segregation l i e i n the duties and obligations imposed upon the i n d i v i d u a l Jew by the r e l i g i o u s and dietary requirements of h i s f a i t h . I n d i v i d u a l prayer i s not encouraged i n the Jewish r e l i g i o n . Rather, the orthodox Jew must pray d a i l y , i n the presence of nine other adult male Jews. Thus, to be within walking distance of a synagogue was of paramount importance to the orthodox Jew because on the Sabbath and High Holidays he i s not permitted to r i d e on buses or cars. Adherence to dietary laws also stressed the need f o r a c c e s s i b i l i t y to kosher butcher shops, bakeries and grocery stores At the turn of the century the Jewish community can be considered as devoutly orthodox i n r e l i g i o u s observance. Judith S e i d e l described l i f e i n the Jewish areas of settlement i n Montreal: St. Lawrence Blvd. i s f i l l e d with people at a l l hours of the day and evening, f o r here are a l l the food shops -kosher meat and f i s h markets, herring and delicatessen and dairy and bakery shops, where the housewives of the area, as w e l l some who dwell further a f i e l d , do t h e i r shopping (1939:63). With subsequent immigrants a r r i v i n g i n the f i r s t two decades of the 20th century one finds a wider spectrum of r e l i g i o u s observance within the immigrant community. As mentioned above, a n t i - r e l i g i o u s and non-r e l i g i o u s elements came to play an i n t e g r a l r o l e i n Jewish l i f e . C ertain-l y , proximity to stores catering to the culinary and material tastes of the Jew constituted a p o s i t i v e a t t r a c t i o n f o r even the most rabid Jewish s o c i a l i s t , however, we must delve beyond the o f t - s t a t e d explanation of r e s i d e n t i a l segregation which i s predicated upon :the r e l i g i o u s needs of the Jew. "For the pious and the anarchist, the followers of the Berditchev Rebbe and the d i s c i p l e s . o f Marx, a l l located within the realm of the Jewish ghetto" (Bain 1974:40-41). 141 As the Table on the following page shows, language d i f f i c u l t i e s too created an i r r e s i s t a b l e magnet binding the immigrant Jew t i g h t l y to the Jewish core of the c i t y . As most Jewish immigrants were fluen t i n Y i d d i s h , an adequate s o c i a l l i f e and employment opportunities were la r g e l y l i m i t e d to the confines of the Jewish community. Subsequent usage of Yiddish as the language of work and s o c i a l intercourse further impeded the adoption of English f o r many Jews and perpetuated the necessity of l i v i n g near Yiddish-speaking compatriots from the Old Country. I t i s not the purpose here to over-emphasize the importance of language by claiming that i t acted as an impediment to moving out of the ghetto or learning to speak English. None of my informants arr i v e d i n th i s country knowing how to speak English. Yet a l l of them today speak English as w e l l as Yiddish. P r i o r to the increase i n Jewish population Jews were found on the e d i t o r i a l boards of Canadian d a i l y newspapers - the Montreal French d a i l y "La Press" and the "Montreal Daily Star" (Hart 1926:457). With the increase the foundation was l a i d f o r a Jewish press, both i n Yiddish and i n English. As early as 1891 a f i r s t attempt was made but only four issues were printed. I t was not u n t i l 1897 that the English bi-weekly, "The Jewish Times", came in t o being. By 1922 there were a number of publications i n Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg (For d e t a i l s see Hart 1926: 457). Some of these are s t i l l i n press today. P o l i t i c a l debate centered around Jewish concerns and issues. The centre of high culture was the Yiddish theatre, not Massey H a l l . The Jewish ghetto was separated from the r e s t of the c i t y s ocio-psychologically and p h y s i c a l l y . Mother Tongue of the Canadian Jewish Population 10 years of Age and Over, 1921-1931 1921 1931 Mother Tongue Number Percent Number Percent Yiddish 84,732 90.72 124,408 95.54 English 3,264 3.49 2,452 1.88 Russian 3,370 3.61 1,547 1.18 P o l i s h 696 0.75 943 0.72 German 518 0.55 398 0.30 Romanian 523 0.56 168 0.13 Ukrainian , 155 0.17 .105 0.08 Hungarian 23 0.02 82 0.06 French 13 0.01 35 0.03 Lithuanian 13 0.01 15 0.01 Arabic 29 0.03 11 0.01 I t a l i a n 3 * 8 0.01 Slovak 2 * 7 0.01 Czech 2 * 4 * Danish 1 * 3 * Finnish 12 0.01 3 * Swedish 10 0.01 3 * Spanish 9 0.01 2 Dutch 26 ' 0.03 1 * Other 2 _ * 23 0.02 Tot a l 93,403 100.00 130,218 100.00 * l e s s than 0.01 per cent Source: Louis Rosenberg, Canada's Jews, (1931:402). 143 Demographic Studies of Montreal & Toronto In a thesis e n t i t l e d , The Development and S o c i a l Adjustment  of the Jewish Community i n Montreal,(1939), Judith S e i d e l has traced the s o c i o l o g i c a l growth of the Jewish community i n Montreal. I t i s of i n t e r e s t to note the patterns of settlement i n the 20th century, and the close r e l a t i o n s h i p between economic status and areas of settlement. As immigration continued i n t o the 20th century, the new immigrants took up residence i n the t r a d i t i o n a l l y Jewish areas of settlement, while the more established population began moving i n a northward and westward d i r e c t i o n . By 1921 the old area of Jewish settlement (as shown i n Map VI page 123), had begun to decline. Throughout that decade there was a marked drop i n Jewish population i n a l l the major 'downtown' areas of Jewish residence, and a s h i f t of population towards Mt. Royal Avenue. In the year 1939 there were four major areas of settlement of Montreal Jewry. The f i r s t area of settlement, as shown on Map IX following, was bounded ~J by M'£. Royal on the north, St. Denis on the east, Sherbrooke on the south, and Park Avenue on the west. This area contained most of the newly-arrived Jewish immigrants, and was therefore the lowest area socio-economically ( P a u l l 1974:10). The second major area of settlement, as shown on Map X following, lay further north of the f i r s t area. Although s l i g h t l y more a f f l u e n t , t h i s area was also very much inhabited by immigrant f a m i l i e s . The t h i r d area, Map XI was Outremont and the fourth area (not shown) was Westmount (Seidel 1939:23-25). There was a s i m i l a r pattern of r e s i d e n t i a l s h i f t i n g i n Toronto. Early Jewish s e t t l e r s i n t h e i r desire to gain acceptance within the framework of the dominant s o c i a l system displayed residency patterns congruent with those of the general populace when not r e s t r i c t e d to a 144 MAP IX F i r s t Area of Jewish Settlement i n Montreal 1939 Source: Steven B. P a u l l 1974 145 MAP X Second Area of Jewish Settlement i n Montreal 1939 Source: Steven B. P a u l l 1974 MAP XI Third Area of Jewish Settlement i n Montreal 1939 Source: Steven B. P a u l l 1974 s p e c i f i c l o c a t i o n by the d i r e c t linkage between place of work and" residence. With the advent of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe i n the l a t t e r decade of the 19th century two d i s t i n c t i v e Jewish communities arose i n the c i t y of Toronto which d i f f e r e d greatly i n regard to length of settlement, socio-economic status, and degree of conditioning to mainstream Canadian s o c i a l mores. This dichotomy was d i r e c t l y manifested i n the r e s i d e n t i a l sphere by the year 1901 as the older, prosperous, more acculturated group adopted a dispersed pattern of residence, while the Russo-Polish immigrants concentrated i n a small area on the Western fringe of the c e n t r a l business d i s t r i c t . In the f i r s t two decades of the 20th century the continued persecution of East European Jews increased the population of Toronto tenf o l d : from 1,425 to 34,770. Rather than t r y i n g to integrate i n t o the dominant s o c i e t a l framework, ... the Eastern European Jews created a r i c h l y d i v e r s i f i e d , yet c u l t u r a l l y i n troverted network of s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s , c u l t u r a l and welfare i n s t i t u t i o n s w ithin which the i n d i v i d u a l Jew was e f f e c t i v e l y i s o l a t e d from the general s o c i e t a l mileau. Attracted by the comfort and s e c u r i t y of f a m i l i a r values, language, and i n s t i t u t i o n s , the Jewish immigrants v o l u n t a r i l y s e t t l e d within the d i s t r i c t i d e n t i f i e d as the realm of Eastern European Yiddish culture (Bain 1974:84-85). Summary This chapter has looked at ways i n which the early Jewish immigrants s e t t l e d i n Toronto and Montreal where they desperately attempted to eke out a l i v i n g . The networks discussed permeated a l l l i f e , reaching out to most members of the community. Within the areas of Jewish settlement the immigrant Jew could meet and talk to h i s fellow Jews, he could walk to synagogue to pray, h i s r e l a t i v e s and friends could help him f i n d a job or a place to l i v e ; shopping (and on credit) was i n the v i c i n i t y ; his children received r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l i n s t r u c t i o n ; there were c u l t u r a l centres and theatres, young adult associations, old f o l k s ' homes and h o s p i t a l s . There were few threats to h i s b e l i e f s and values within the ghetto. He may starve i n 'America' as he did i n Europe. However, he may do so without the added fear of persecution from the non-Jewish population. For the f i r s t few decades the immigrant had no need of a psychologist or p s y c h i a t r i s t ; h i s neighbours were well-equipped to handle any problems which might a r i s e . Demographic studies which have been done i n Montreal and Toronto, show that the Jewish people did not begin moving out of the ghetto u n t i l the early 1950s. I t i s i n t h i s m i l i e u the Jew finds himself upon a r r i v a l i n the New World. The people I talked to arr i v e d anywhere from 1905 to 1930 In most cases there was someone to meet them on a r r i v a l , and i f t h e i r journey took them to another c i t y , then Jewish immigration agents were on hand to a s s i s t i n helping them continue t h e i r travels or stay i n the c i t y Montreal became the E l l i s Island of Canada: most of the immigrants who came during the period under review were forced to pass through the c i t y of Montreal :as: those a r r i v i n g i n the United States had to go through E l l i s Island. This put a great s t r a i n upon the members of the community and made superhuman demands on i t s resources. In the following chapters I w i l l discuss the role of the needle trades, how and why the majority of Jewish immigrant workers went in t o the clothing f a c t o r i e s of Montreal and Toronto f o r t h i r t y to f o r t y years of t h e i r l i v e s . 149 CHAPTER VII  THE NEEDLE TRADES: A SHORT HISTORY Introduction The next two chapters are concerned with the Needle Trades, so c a l l e d because the main operation i n the assembly and decoration of apparel i s sewing. The needle trades i s a phenomenon of the lat e 19th century. I t was not u n t i l the sewing machine was invented and accepted that an industry developed. Several factors contributed to the development of this phenomenon which w i l l be discussed i n th i s chapter. Even though the industry i t s e l f did not develop u n t i l the 19th. century, the t a i l o r goes back to the Talmud where the Hebrew word for t a i l o r , hayyat, i s found. A Jewish community had to have a t a i l o r "whose presence was necessitated by the obligatory r i t u a l commandments such as sha'atnez (Baron ; e t a l 1975:191). Sha'atnez i s a material made from wool and l i n e n . According to Jewish Law i t i s forbidden to mix diverse kinds ( c f . L e v i t i c u s 19:19 and Deut.22:10). Wool comes from sheep which i s animal, and li n e n comes from f l a x which i s plant. Therefore the two cannot be woven together to form one, even as man cannot l i e with beast to form something e l s e . Therefore i n order that the Jew should not break this sacred law the Jewish t a i l o r was depended upon f i r s t of a l l to have knowledge of t h i s law, second to recognize such a'material and t h i r d not to use i t i n the making of a garment. (Sha'atnez was used f o r i n t e r f a c i n g and i n t e r l i n i n g clothes. When ready-made clothes became a v a i l a b l e , the very r e l i g i o u s Jew would carry a pocket k n i f e to make a small s l i t i n the l i n i n g of the garment to ascertain that sha'atnez was not used to i n t e r l i n e or i n t e r f a c e i t ) The l a s t chapter dealt with the masses of immigrants who l e f t t h e i r homelands i n d i f f e r e n t parts of Eastern Europe and came to Canada. I have talked about t h e i r l i v e s being changed thereby bringing about d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s . These d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s were f e l t both i n the i n d i v i d u a l and i n the group. For the i n d i v i d u a l the b i o l o g i c a l continuity was broken or disturbed. For the group the h i s t o r i c a l , the sense of being 'one people' was shaken by members of t h e i r n a t a l community emigrating to various parts of the world: United States, Canada, P a l e s t i n e , South America. A r r i v i n g i n North America meant most of a l l the shattering of what Barbara Myerhoff refers to i n Number Our Days as the "sense of unity of being a simple person". An example of t h i s would be a young g i r l i n Poland learning to embroider fancy clothes f o r the r i c h : she spends her t r a i n i n g time s i t t i n g among other young g i r l s i n the home of the teacher The same g i r l transported to a factory s e t t i n g on Spadina Avenue i n Toronto. Or the apprentice t a i l o r i n Russia running errands and looking a f t e r children between which he learns the trade. The same t a i l o r i n North America i s bent over a whorring' sewing machine ten to twelve hours a day, surrounded by s i m i l a r workers, and not earning one cent f o r the s i x to eight weeks that he i s supposedly 'apprenticing'. The worker of the Old Country l e f t behind h i s simple l i f e . Here he found himself a member of a larger family. For the majority i t was an awakening to discover that they can f i g h t f o r better working conditions and that the odds against getting beaten up and thrown i n j a i l were less here than i n the Old Country. They got beaten up over here not because they were Jews but because they were s t r i k i n g workers. L i f e as a factory worker was not easy or simple i n North America. I t was f a r more complicated than what i t was i n Europe. They had to learn a new and d i f f e r e n t language; they had to take p u b l i c G i r l s learning sewing i n the old country Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:128 T. Eaton Co. men and women working together 1904 Source: Harney & Troper 1975:78 transportation; they bought milk i n b o t t l e s ; they had to take lunch to work instead of e i t h e r having t h e i r wives bring them lunch or going home to eat. Women l e f t home f o r the f i r s t time to t r a v e l and work with other women and men. Most of a l l were the changes which took place i n t h e i s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The set pattern which evolved f o r immigrants was as follows: they a r r i v e d , were met by a lantsman, accommodation found. Once they were s e t t l e d the f i r s t p r i o r i t y was f i n d i n g a job - any job. Who does one turn to? The f r i e n d or r e l a t i v e who met you or your neighbours. I t seldom went p a s t : t h i s primary group. Once you found a job your next p r i o r i t y was to become somewhat independent, that i s , paying your own way and not l i v i n g o ff r e l a t i v e , f r i e n d or neighbour. You work hard, you perhaps save a l i t t l e . Maybe you have someone s t i l l i n the Old Country to bring over. So you save f o r a t i c k e t or two. Soon you have enough saved for a be t t e r apartment, a few pieces of f u r n i t u r e , a l i t t l e privacy and you move. Even though immigrants did not become r i c h overnight, or even i n a decade, nonetheless s o c i a l and geographic mobility was av a i l a b l e through hard work. I t was this mobility which contrasted so much with the stable rhythms of the Old Country. One could argue that hunger and persecution did cause disruption i n Europe. However, th i s did not bring about s o c i a l m o b i l i t y . I t only contributed to geographic d i s l o c a t i o n . In Canada the three major centres of the needle trades were Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg. New York C i t y was the garment manufact-uring c a p i t a l of the world at the turn of the century and the s l i g h t e s t tremor i n that mecca caused rumbles to be f e l t i n every cl o t h i n g manufacturing town and c i t y i n North America. I t was i n New York that the garment union came in t o being. I t was i n New York where young men 153 and women died i n the t r a g i c f i r e of the Triangle S h i r t Waist Factory because working conditions were so bad that a simple e l e c t r i c wiring was not f i x e d ; i t was to New York that young people went when they could „ not f i n d jobs i n Montreal and Toronto. I t was i n New York that a l l the Jewish newspapers were f i r s t published - newspapers which were the organ of the c u l t u r a l and union l i f e of the people. By the 1920s Montreal and Toronto began to assume some of these r o l e s . The Sewing Machine & The Garment Industry Not everyone was a t a i l o r i n Eastern Europe and not a l l who came to North America went i n t o the needle trades. However, there were a number of people involved i n other occupations who t r i e d to f i n d work i n these occupations and who ultimately were forced i n t o the garment manufacturing trade. In order to understand how and why so many immigrant Jews (and subsequently other immigrant groups) went in t o the f a c t o r i e s , one has to appreciate the manifold operations and consequent pervasiveness of the trade. It i s not enough to be able to picture a person bent over a sewing machine f u r i o u s l y running garments through nimble fingers at lightening speed. This i s only one small cog i n the vast operation of manufacturing a complete wearing apparel. Some background w i l l be given i n order to understand the s o c i o l o g i c a l aspects and implications of the needle trades. In the l a t e Stone Age people made garments by sewing together animal skins with leather thongs. Holes were made i n the skins and the thongs were pul l e d through by the use of an hooked t o o l very much l i k e a crochet hook. This was i n northern Europe. In southern Europe, f i n e bone needles from the same period i n d i c a t e that people were already wearing 154 woven garments and ancient c i v i l i z a t i o n s of the Middle East had already developed weaving^and embroidery. An important breakthrough occurred i n Europe when the i r o n needle was invented. Garments continued to be sewn by hand u n t i l c loth was factory produced i n the 18th century. This stimulated the invention of the sewing machine. The f i r s t attempt was i n 1830 by Barthelemy Thimonnier of Paris who produced 80 machines to manufacture army uniforms. However, these machines were destroyed by angry t a i l o r s who feared unemployment. This machine was improved upon and a subsequent r sewing machine was invented by an American E l i a s Howe. But he f e l t the repercussions of angry American t a i l o r s and seamstresses. He took h i s sewing machine to Europe where he s o l d part of his patent. In 1851 Isaac M. Singer of Pi t t s b u r g designed a machine and the objections of t a i l o r s and seamstresses were f i n a l l y overcome. Previous machines were handpowered but Singer design-ed the foot-powered machine. Whereas today some sewing machines sew 8000 s t i t c h e s per minute, machines i n the 19th century and early 20th century sewed 20 sti'tches per minute. Today we have programmed sewing, gang sewing and tandem sewing (Solinger 1974:750). Technology made s t r i d e s also i n the tools f o r cutting the f a b r i c . In 1860 the band-knife machine was invented i n England which cut through several thicknesses of material at one time. This increase i n cutting p r o d u c t i v i t y gave impetus to the invention of the spreading machine which spread cloth from b o l t s of material i n lays composed of hundreds of p i l e s . Further, by the end of the 19th century button-hole machines were developed. However, these were not used f o r high .grade garments (op.cit.) Before 1905 a l l pressing was done by a stove-heated f l a t i r o n . In 1905 the f i r s t pressing machines were b u i l t which had no pressure, heat 155 or steam controls such as those b u i l t a f t e r 1940. Today one presser can operate four machines simultaneously as they shut off automatically (Solinger 1974:755). The only major breakthrough i n the making of clothing and footwear since p r i m i t i v e man was the f l a t - i r o n and the i r o n ( l a t e r s t e e l ) needle. "The t e x t i l e manufacturing industry went forward but the developments i n the technology of the sewing machine remained v i r t u a l l y at a s t a n d s t i l l . What were the s o c i a l implications of the invention of the sewing machine? Even though the f i r s t garments made on these machines were of poor q u a l i t y , they provided cl o t h i n g f o r a large number of people who could not otherwise a f f o r d to buy material and have a garment made. Further, the advent of the machine changed the nature of craftsmen's shops and made them i n t o small f a c t o r i e s . Cutting, sewing, pressing were three major phases i n the ' manufacture of clothing. Under the r u b r i c of these three categoriescone finds dozens of d i f f e r e n t operations. For example, i n order to 'cut' or 'chop' a coat, the cloth has to be spread out, i t has to be marked, i t has to be cut, i t has to be trimmed. Each of these jobs involves d i f f e r e n t types of operations and one would not f i n d a marker doing the cutting or chopping. Pressing i s not the process of removing wrinkles from a piece of cl o t h . I t i s the pressing of seams before and a f t e r the garment i s sewn together. There are underpressers: those who press the garment between sewing operations; and there are over or f i n i s h pressers: those who press the f i n i s h e d garment. Sewers or operators as they were c a l l e d , could be operators of pants, coats, cloaks, s h i r t s , blouses, vests, and within each of these further d i v i s i o n of labour i s found: pockets, sleeves, l i n i n g , b e l t s , buttons, c o l l a r s , c u f f s , trimmings, etc. When the immigrant came off the boat he may not have been a t a i l o r and being s p e c i a l i z e d i n the operation of a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of the trade was even further removed from h i s mind. ' S e c t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' or 'section work' was a term not yet part of the vocabulary of the immigrant Jew, or any other people, at the turn of the century. -The needles trade industry concerns i t s e l f with the manufacture of men's, women's and children's c l o t h i n g . I t i s not involved i n manufacturing furnishings, bed sheets, t a b l e • c l o t h s , etc. I t i s an industry which began i n the 1880s with the manufacture of coats and cloaks and was soon followed by the making of l a d i e s ' s u i t s and then s k i r t s . I t was a f t e r World War I that the dress manufacturing industry took o f f . In the United States, even before 1880, there appeared i n the women's clothing industry the beginnings of the system of contracting. According to Louis Levine i t was "the mental and i n d u s t r i a l h a b i t s " of the Jewish immigrants which were responsible i n some degree f o r the growth of such a system (1924:14). As noted i n the chapter on the S h t e t l , Eastern Europe had not been touched by the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution. These immigrants worked as a r t i s a n s , journeymen and small craftsmen, some of them never having seen the in s i d e of a factory. In t h e i r desire to. f i n d employment i n the New Country, these people accepted work i n 'outside' shops. In Canada, i n 1935, Frank R. Scott i n a report on "The Nature of the Industry" wrote: Today the making of men's outer clothing i s c a r r i e d on mainly i n clothing f a c t o r i e s , whereas not so many years ago i t was done by hand i n the home. The e a r l i e s t c lothing f a c t o r i e s of which we have record i n Canada, a few of which were established i n Montreal and Toronto by 1875, operated according to methods midway between home and factory manufacture (Scott & Cassidy 1935:1). Scott includes i n his report an excerpt from an a r t i c l e by R. P. Sparks, i n the Manual Of The T e x t i l e Industry In Canada, "The Garment & Clothing Industries, History & Organization": The garments were cut on the premises of the wholesale clothing houses, t i e d i n t o bundles with the l i n i n g s and trimmings, and sent out in t o the country to be made up. Farmers for miles around would drive i n t o the towns, carrying home the bundles of cut garments and these would be put together at home, being brought back a week l a t e r when the payment would be made on the basis of so much a garment (Scott & Cassidy 1935:1). However, this method of manufacture was unsatisfactory because supervision was not possible and because only very rough and i l l -f i t t i n g garments were produced. In order to b u i l d up the industry and market a bett e r q u a l i t y of ready-made clothes "contract shops" or "outside" shops were established i n the towns and c i t i e s which, according to Scott, "progressively took over the actual manufacturing operations, apart from the cutting of the c l o t h " . These shops then found a new and p a r t i a l l y trained labour supply i n the immigrants from Eastern Europe who began to s e t t l e i n Montreal and Toronto i n the l a t t e r part of the l a s t century. These shops were known as 'outside' shops and those who owned them 'contracted' with the owners of manufacturers of 'inside' shops to make up the cut garments at so much per garment. Thus the owner of the outside shop assumed the role of middle man. He was paid so much per garment and he paid h i s workers less thus making himself a p r o f i t . An 'inside' shop on the other hand was one which was d i r e c t l y connected with the s e l l i n g department of the business. In some 'inside' shops garments were cut, made up, bushelled and examined, that i s , the en t i r e manufacturing process was done i n one place. In some'other 'inside' shops only the cutting and examining of garments were done and the cut garments were 'contracted' to outside shops. The industry was consequently centered i n the hands of the large manufacturers and owners of the in s i d e shops. By the turn of the century the industry i n Canada had progressed to the point where these in s i d e shops had increased. However, the contracting business, as lat e as 1935, was s t i l l going strong, "so that today" wrote Scott, many shops s t i l l have no cutting departments and do only s p e c i a l i z e d contract work on vests, pants or coats" (Scott & Cassidy 1935:2). In addition to this form of employment i n the early days i t was a common si g h t to see men e i t h e r trundling t h e i r sewing machines i n push carts or carrying them on t h e i r backs, as they did i n the Old Country. A t a i l o r could work i n a factory f o r weeks'or months using his own sewing machine. When his services were no longer required he would pack up his machine and s t a r t looking f o r other work. The only machine used i n the trade f o r many years was the sewing machine and the cutting machine. Because the technology lagged behind the development of techniques f o r spinning and weaving t e x t i l e s i t required l i t t l e overhead and c a p i t a l investment f o r an en t e r p r i s i n g man to s t a r t h i s own contracting or even go i n t o partnership with someone. The sewing machine was cheap and could be bought on an installment plan or rented at a monthly rate. I t did not take up much space i n a small apartment or room. Power and energy was supplied by the worker himself because the machines were operated by foot. Further operating a sewing machine or using a needle i s not a complicated process and therefore did not require extended t r a i n i n g . This proved b e n e f i c i a l to the large manufacturer who did not have to worry about supervising the work or adjusting h i s work force according to s t y l e and season. For i t must be 159 remembered that the garment industry did not offer'work twelve months of the year. Work was seasonal. A worker would be employed for s i x to eight weeks working at a furious pace.for ten to twelve hours a day and then have nothing to do f o r three or four months. This farming out of cut garments to be f i n i s h e d at home i n an outside or contractor's shop, also became known as the 'bundle brigade'. This then was the beginning of the sweat shops: . of kitchens, a t t i c s , c e l l a r s , bedrooms, being converted i n t o f a c t o r i e s where the e n t i r e family and a few h i r e d hands would work endless hours f i n i s h i n g bundles of cut garments. Beginnings Of Jewish Involvement In The Indus try Joshua (Joe) Gershman was born i n 1903 i n Sokolow, a small town i n the Ukraine. For many years he was e d i t o r of the Vochertblatt, a Canadian Yiddish weekly newspaper. When I asked him how the needle trades began i n Canada, he s a i d : ... very few of the Jews came with money and they didn't come as manufacturers and bosses. I t has to do with a c e r t a i n , I don't know what you would c a l l i t , whether a trend or a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . I don't want to use the term c h a r a c t e r i s t i c because this i s , i n my opinion, p o l i t i c a l l y wrong. I t i s not only l i m i t e d to Jewish people. You see the f i r s t immigrants who came to t h i s country didn't want to work a l l t h e i r l i v e s f o r somebody e l s e . They wanted to be on t h e i r own. And i n the needle trade i t was the easiest way. I f you know the trade, as soon as you get yourself two machines you can become yours e l f a small contractor. You take out work from bigger manufacturers. And i n t h i s way you gradually work yourself up to three machines, four machines. And even before they had these l i t t l e f a c t o r i e s there were the sweatshops where they used to have a machine i n the bedroom or i n the kitchen and do the work at home rather than work i n a shop as a worker. Many of them f o r instance i n the c i t i e s of Toronto and Montreal (I know quite a few of them) started as workers and they had been very m i l i t a n t . But we knew. We worked 160 with them i n the union. Some of them have been members of the Executive of the union. They fought f o r increases i n wages; were exce l l e n t union men. But at the same time they would, i n pri v a t e discussions say, "I'm not going to stay i n the shop very long. I'm not going to work f o r the lousy boss. I can be a better boss than him and tre a t my workers bet t e r than he does!" This i s the kind of t a l k that went on. So this i s the way i t developed, you see. There are some manufacturers here - take the boss of the b i g Tip Top Company, uh, what's h i s name? - he st a r t e d with two machines i n h i s kitchen. Dunkelman. Dave Dunkelman. He was a nobody and he worked himself up i n t o one of the biggest clothing manufacturers i n Canada. You couldn't do that, you couldn't open a t o o l f a c t o r y , could you? Or you can't run a pulp and paper industry i n t h i s kind of way! So n a t u r a l l y i n t h i s kind of trade i t i s very easy to become a boss. And because of that they came there. A great number of them came. Lantsman- shaften mainly. Also many people had uncles and brothers and grandfathers who had already been with manufacturing i n the Old Country and they took them i n also. This i s the way i t developed. The needle trade industry, the clothing industry i n Canada, had a small percentage of non-Jews, the owners." But that was at a time when i t was very small. Canada didn't have eight m i l l i o n people then - less then eight m i l l i o n . But with the growth of the population, when the industry became important and independent, and could a c t u a l l y survive on what i t produced and sold i n Canada, never mind exporting, t h i s has been developed mainly by Jewish manufacturers. Ben Butel i s the owner of a clo t h i n g manufacturing fi r m i n Montreal. His business i s both n a t i o n a l and i n t e r n a t i o n a l . Ben was born i n A u s t r i a . In 1918 A u s t r i a l o s t the war and the part that Ben came from was handed over to Romania. In 1921 he came to Canada. He had j u s t turned 18. He worked as a peddler on h i s own f o r f i v e and a h a l f years. Whilst doing this he started looking i n t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of investi n g a l i t t l e money "now and then with somebody, to do a b i t of manufacturing", sa i d Butel. He saved enough money to bring over h i s s i s t e r , father, mother and l a t e r another s i s t e r and brother. He made a decent l i v i n g from peddling. In 1925 he st a r t e d to manufacture;men's clothing as a side l i n e and i n 1927 he gave up peddling i n the country and *came i n t o Montreal to do business. He gave the peddling business over to h i s brother. I asked him to t e l l me how he sta r t e d manufacturing. He s a i d : F i r s t I rented a place with a cutting table. Then I engaged a man to do the cutting. And there i s such a thing i n the clothing industry that you don't have to have your own machinery. You give i t out to a contractor, you see. I never knew anything about t a i l o r i n g , about cloth i n g , about a thing. When my h i r e d men asked me that they need some trimmings - you know what I mean by trimmings? - c o l l a r s , canvasses and so on - I didn't know what they were r e f e r r i n g to. Then when the pa r c e l came i n I used to sneak behind to see what's i n i t , so when they'll"ask me the next time I ' l l know what i t s a l l about. And I have made up my mind that I ' l l try i t for a year or two. I f I ' l l break even I ' l l go on. If no, I didn't give up my business i n the country and I could go back and do i t . Thank God I s t a r t e d to make a modest l i v i n g . Didn't have to worry f o r the month's rent or the money to give the family to l i v e on. Conditions were very poor i n Canada i n the early twenties. Then i n 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932 you know we had the b i g c r i s i s . Thank God I never suffered; that I st a r t e d to make a modest l i v i n g . I didn't have to worry about paying my b i l l s , that I can't pay the rent, or won't be able to support my family that I had - father, mother, brothers and s i s t e r s . We were a l l l i v i n g together. I started making a l i t t l e money every year - even during the Depression time I didn't go l i k e this (he indicates with h i s thumb downwards), but I went the other way. And I'm i n the game to this day. Bertha Guberman spent most of her l i f e i n the needle trades i n Winnipeg. Her explanation of the phenomenon of the garment industry being i n the hands of Jewish immigrants goes as follows: In the garment trade there were a few ge n t i l e employers"but most of them were Jews. These Jewish employers had themselves come up from the ranks of the workers and they knew the t r i c k s of the game. I t ' s the e a siest thing. A miner could never dream of 124 Pedlar's CITY OF TORONTO vnr?J License on Foot ChtS lirritSr is granted on payment of ONE DOLLAR to the City Treasurer, , acknowledged, to to authorize him to carry on the business and calling of a Pedlar in the City of Toronto. This License to be in force until the 31st day of December, A.D* 1918 THIS LICENSE CANNOT BE SOLD OR TRANSFERRED tTED this I f day of 7?Z4iyi.cA^ A.D.. 1918 RECEIVED the sum of ONE DOLLAR T. BRADSHAW, CITY TREASURER PER H. J. GRASETT C H I i r C O N S T A B L E Peddler's l i c e n s e Source: Harney & Troper 1975:88 162 Street peddler Source: Harney & Troper 1975:89 163 becoming a mine owner or a railway worker can never dream of becoming a railway magnate. But the needle trades worker - t h e i r psychology was not of a worker at that time. I t was a psychology that: some day I ' l l get out and become an employer myself; which a l o t of them did! Because what do you need? You buy a machine and you have a corner i n your basement and you s t a r t working. And you enslave yourself day and night and when you have a l i t t l e cash you rent a dump someplace and you open up a shop. So the Jewish employers i n the needle trades, most of them came up from the ranks, and they worked up and they know how to ex p l o i t . "So he was so long a boss", s a i d Pauline Chudnovsky, "that he enlarged h i s b e l t ! " CHAPTER VIII THE NEEDLE TRADES: LONG HOURS, LOW PIECE RATES AND SWEATSHOP CONDITIONS Introduction Jewish immigrants l e f t the towns and c i t i e s of Eastern Europe and emigrated to 'America' 'to be free. In this chapter we w i l l see what i t cost them. Brandes says: In t h i s process of emancipation - and freedom was not without i t s cost - what p r i c e would be required: .•• • v i n servitude to the machine, i n s a c r i f i c e of t r a d i t i o n , i n depersonalizing conformity, i n urban squalor? (1976:1). In t h i s chapter I w i l l explore how the woman coped and managed to work at home and i n the f a c t o r i e s . How she viewed h e r s e l f and the world i n which she and her family and friends functioned. The contribution made by women i n the b u i l d i n g and struggles of the needle trades union i s hereby acknowledged. Unfortunately I cannot f u l l y present and disucss the energetic and v i t a l r o l e they played i n the clothing unions. Women predominated the trade and were not only i n the vanguard (e.g. Triangle S h i r t Waist Factory 1911 i n New York and the garment workers s t r i k e of 1912), but also instrumental i n the f i g h t to improve conditions i n the shops and f a c t o r i e s . I w i l l also explore how men ca r r i e d on t h e i r a f f a i r s ; how they looked upon what they did i n the pub l i c sector; how they tended i n t h e i r r e c o l l e c t i o n s to streamline t h e i r l i v e s , from being born to p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s , with h i s t o r i c a l events. For example, one man sa i d : I came at the time of that famous Wall Street Crash! I w i l l look at the various options open to the immigrant Jew who may or may not have had knowledge of the t a i l o r i n g c r a f t . I w i l l also look at the struggles of these people to organize the unorganized, . 165 Newsboy Source: Harney and Troper 1975:90 to f i g h t f o r better working conditions; t h e i r h u m i l i a t i o n and t h e i r v i c t o r i e s i n the struggle to unite themselves and those around them. Perhaps by the end of this chapter we may discover why the trade i s so i n v i t i n g to immigrants and what lures i t off e r s those who came to th i s Continent ignorant of i t s language and customs. The Early Days By the early days I mean the f i r s t few years a f t e r informants arri v e d i n Canada and that period of time i t took them to adjust to a new and d i f f e r e n t environment. Most of them were met by r e l a t i v e s and fri e n d s , usually lantsman, members of t h e i r n a t a l community. Some who had neither were met by Jewish Immigration Aid Society people. Some immigrants a f t e r s u rviving the t r i a l s and t r i b u l a t i o n s of b r i b i n g t h e i r way across borders and somehow managing to pay f o r t h e i r passage found themselves being put back on the ship and deported to t h e i r l a s t port. Many of these unfortunate people were 'saved' by'the Jewish community i f t h e i r p l i g h t were known and i f something could be done to l e g a l i z e t h e i r entry. Mr. Shano was born i n 1884. He remembers when Laurier was elected the f i r s t time to Parliament i n 1896. He never t o l d me h i s f i r s t name. The day I v i s i t e d him at Maimonides Hospital i n Montreal was not a very good day for him. He was not as l u c i d as he sometimes i s . "You know when I'm rested then everything comes i n t o my mind", he sa i d . As a r e s u l t he had d i f f i c u l t y remembering. However, he t o l d me of an incident which he sa i d he would never ever forget: Sometimes ... sometimes I can dream up something about what I had done I think I was instrumental i n saving a man from being sent back to Europe because he didn't have a place where to stay here. I was a boy then going around with newspapers, here i n Montreal, and i n the two months vacation that we get from school - I went to school here - I used to go down to the wharf, on the boats, and s e l l magazines to the s a i l o r s . By going on a boat I met a Jew to be sent back to Europe. I t didn't take long. When I came down from the boat I met a Jew, a Consul from Mexico, and I tol d him about i t . He didn't take h a l f an hour and the man was gone. (Shano laughs as though he were part of a conspiracy) That time I remember. But that's not the question. The question i s that he got free. That means I was instrumental i n saving h i s l i f e ; from having him sent back. I was a boy then going around with papers, you know. That's about every b i t of 75 years ago. These things you r e a l l y can't forget. He happened to s t r i k e me on the main s t r e e t i n l a t e r years. He recognized me. He didn't know what to do with me! Shano and Blugerman were the oldest men I spoke to and they were the e a r l i e s t a r r i v a l s amongst my informants. Shano ar r i v e d here when he was young enough to go to school. Blugerman a r r i v e d i n 1908 when he had f i n i s h e d technical school. Unfortunately Shano could remember very l i t t l e . Blugerman on the other hand amazed me with a l l he could r e c a l l : I a rrived i n Toronto i n the spring, i n March 1908. I was 23 years old. On a r r i v a l , brother and I, we were w e l l looked a f t e r by Uncle Hyman Chaikoff and for a few weeks we were welcome guests and nobody thought anything about looking f o r a job. We couldn't speak a word of English. My uncle was working steady as a foreman i n a cabinet factory and the auntie with her children was cooking anyways. The bread and milk and the meat was f i v e cents, ten cents, f i f t e e n cents, and a basket of tomatoes that we were so proud of, cost us a double basket, twentyfive cents. So there was no problem at the time when a fellow i s working steady l i k e my uncle. So we were w e l l taken care of. 168 So uncle started to look for something f o r us to do. I had picked up cabinet-making at the Technical School and my older brother, Joe, was h a l f a mechanic i n the Technical School when he f i n i s h e d i n Odessa. Uncle found me a f r i e n d of h i s , a t a i l o r , a Max Persutsky, at Church and Dundas Streets who agreed to take me i n to teach me the t a i l o r i n g trade. Uncle bought me an old b i c y c l e f or $8 so that I could t r a v e l from Kensington Avenue to Church Street to the t a i l o r store to become a t a i l o r . My f i r s t job was to use the b i c y c l e and d e l i v e r things. Mr. Persutsky gave me lessons on how to underpress garments that he was making to order. In other words, he was teaching me the beginnings of the t a i l o r i n g business by being a seam presser - an underpresser with a hand i r o n . Uncle t o l d h i s f r i e n d that I can work i n the factory free f o r two months without any payment as long as I learn something to do. I r e a l i z e d that I can already be an underpresser and I suggested to uncle to see i f he has a f r i e n d i n the T.Eaton Company i n the men's clothing or the l a d i e s ' . In 1908-1909 Blugerman worked nine hours a day as ah underpresser. He started at 8 a.m. and worked u n t i l 6 p.m. His uncle had a f r i e n d who worked i n the men's department of T. Eaton Co. who spoke to the foreman "who happened to be a Canadian: a lovely Canadian gentleman who gave me the job", s a i d Blugerman. He was t o l d the minimum wage was $6 per week for an eight hour day for an apprentice. However, there were others who Worked longer hours. He worked there: f o r nine months and became an overpresser, that i s , he pressed f i n i s h e d garments. He s t i l l did not know how. to speak English and a l l h i s business with the foreman, a Canadian, was conducted through an i n t e r p r e t e r . Within the year Blugerman met Gerty Soren who was an operator i n the l a d i e s ' department at Eafcons and "we decided to get married because Eatons was paying married people a minimum of $9 a week", s a i d Blugerman. Jimmy Blugerman's story i s a success story compared to those of others. When Samuel Nemetz a r r i v e d i n Fort St. John i n 1919 he had only $10" i n h i s pocket instead of the required $25. He was arrested and was to be deported. The Jewish Immigration Aid Society t r i e d to help him. His uncle's lawyers t r i e d to help him. A s i s t e r whose husband had l e f t her stranded with a baby and taken o f f f o r the United States was of no help e i t h e r , because as Sam s a i d , "they don't take notice of those kind of people. You got to have somebody else that works", meaning somebody who has a job, who can support you. He had another s i s t e r , "she was working making pants i n a shop. ... her a p p l i c a t i o n they accepted. Otherwise they might have sent me back to Antwerp there. That's what they did at that time", s a i d Nemetz. Nemetz l i v e d with h i s s i s t e r and her husband and two chi l d r e n . He d i d not earn any money f o r the f i r s t few months that he worked twelve hours a day "learning the s k i l l s " of t a i l o r i n g . His story i s as follows: I a r r i v e d i n Montreal on January 1919 from Katherineslav, Russia. In the Old Country I was a journeyman shoemaker and was a good machine operator. In Montreal my brother-in-law suggested that 1 change this work and s t a r t as a t a i l o r and get myself a job as a t a i l o r . Accordingly, to h i s advice, t h i s i s what I had done. I found a job i n a t a i l o r ' s shop with the help of some lantsman. In t h i s shop I worked f o r a number of weeks without pay. In those days we were t o l d we were learning the job, we. had no s k i l l s , so we received no pay. The shop was a contractor's shop. I remember i t was an old shop. I came i n there. They introduced me: a father, son and daughter. They were contractors. They took on the contract from somebody• else and they are making the garments. So. they give me a job. I was glad that they accepted me. They had to teach me so they can have the b e n e f i t from 170 me. I could sew; make a seam; make i t s t r a i g h t . That I could do. And I was quick too. There were a l o t of parts i n a garment. In the contractor's shop where I s t a r t e d , I worked from 7 i n the morning u n t i l 6 i n the evening. But the others were already at work when I got there at 7 and they were s t i l l working when I l e f t at 6 i n the evening. A f t e r s i x weeks of working i n the contracting shop -and as f o r the hours I worked without pay you are i n a be t t e r p o s i t i o n to f i g u r e that out. With the help of a neighbour of mine,..I was fortunate to get myself a job i n an i n s i d e shop. I t was known as Levinson's factory. The Levinson shop was o f f i c i a l l y a union shop. The hours were from 7 i n the morning to 5 i n the evening. Saturday was not a working day but we worked on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 12 noon. I t was known as a union shop under the United Garment Workers' Union. In s p i t e of i t being a union shop no union o f f i c i a l had the r i g h t to come i n t o the shop. The shop had a Shop Committee which: made i t i t ' s business to see to i t that the hours of work were kept. This Committee looked a f t e r beefs and complaints. However, we lacked the r i g h t to c o l l e c t dues. So we used to do i t outside of the shop on the steps. At that time i t was 25<; a month. Together with low earnings and s t i l l long hours, the work was also seasonal. The most you got was about eight months of work - e i t h e r winter or summer garments. Thus we never earned enough to keep body and soul together. I t i s because of these scandalous conditions that there developed f o l k sayings about not being able to see one's c h i l d awake because we l e f t when the c h i l d was asleep and returned l a t e i n the evening when the c h i l d was asleep. Samuel Nemetz i s here r e f e r r i n g to the poem, well-known to a l l i n arid around the needle trades, by Morris Rosenfeld "Mayn Yingele", My L i t t l e Boy.,It i s also a sad and b e a u t i f u l Yiddish song: I had a l i t t l e boy A l i t t l e son so f i n e And when I look at him I think: The whole world i s mine. But seldom, seldom do I see him My lovely one, awake. I always f i n d him sleeping, I see him only at night. / My t o i l drives me out e a r l y , And brings me home so l a t e . 0, strange to me i s my own f l e s h , And strange my own child's glance. (Translated from the Yiddish as c i t e d by Ruth Rubin i n Voices Of A People 1963:353.) Albert Abramoyitz s a i d that some Jewish newspapers described l i f e here as being ' l i k e a paradise'. He s a i d such a< rosy p i c t u r e was painted f o r them. I t described l i f e here i n a way ...that a worker i n my trade, or i n the dresses, or i n the cloak industry, could make about $350 a week. The fur n i t u r e that they discard here i s much b e t t e r and n i c e r than the r i c h ones i n Poland buy when i t i s new! When you read a r t i c l e s l i k e that ... ... Abramovitz came to Toronto because he had no family l e f t i n Poland. He had a brother i n Montreal and one i n Toronto. One of them sent him h i s papers and t i c k e t to come here. When Alb e r t a r r i v e d i n Montreal h i s brother d i d not meet him. There had been a f o u l up i n communication. However, he had his brother's address and so he took a cab to h i s place. But h i s brother had l e f t f o r Winnipeg' He stayed with a f r i e n d f o r a few days and then l e f t f o r Toronto to be with h i s other brother. He l i v e d with h i s brother and family f o r two or three months and then " rented a room and got a l i t t l e job" making $7 or $8 a week which was j u s t enough to get along. How: did you get the job? I asked. Did you f i n d i t yourself? " I t ' s a l i t t l e story by i t s e l f " , s aid A l b e r t : My brother was married to the s i s t e r of the son-in-law of one of the biggest cl o t h i n g manufacturers i n Toronto, Tip Top. When I was at the o f f i c e of the son-in-law there was a brother to my s i s t e r - i n - l a w by the name of Harry Tate who came up to see me. My brother asked him: Do x you know whether Cohen can take him up? Harry Tate s a i d : Cohen has no more factory. He i s out of i t and Dunkelman took over the.whole thing, the Tip Top. But Cohen's brother has another factory that i s doing contracting. I ' l l t a l k to him. Maybe h e ' l l give him a job. 172 So he spoke to this other fellow whojsaid I should come up and see him on such and such a day, he has a job f o r me. And this i s the way I got my f i r s t job. I went up there, but there was l i t t l e work at that time i n contracting and I didn't get the job which I should have gotten. He gave me what I learned l a t e r on was a g i r l ' s job. Not that a man couldn'tt do i t but because i t didn't pay enough they usually took i n g i r l s f o r that job. They gave me a job on s p e c i a l machines but they only gave me $7 a week which was very l i t t l e even i n those days when the d o l l a r was a d o l l a r and a penny counted. It was an understood and accepted f a c t that a man^must f i n d a job i n order to support himself i f he i s alone or support h i s family, whether i t be brothers, s i s t e r s , father, mother, or wife and chi l d r e n . For the female immigrant the l i n e s were not always so w e l l defined. Some who came t r i e d to f i n d work and found they were hopeless at the task. Others were young g i r l s who should have remained i n school but were forced to go out and earn a l i v i n g . S t i l l others never had the opportunity of going to school, whether day or night, but found themselves plunged i n t o working a l l day i n a factory and a l l night at home. Those who came with husbands and children sometimes managed to f i n d someone to take care of t h e i r children w h i l s t they went out to work; or else they took i n roomers and boarders to augment the meagre sa l a r y . However, the l a t t e r was no guarantee of steady income. These roomers and boarders were usually i n s i m i l a r s t r a i t s and i f out of workwere seldom thrown out of the house. So one ended up not only getting less money each week but having an extra mouth to feed as w e l l . Bluma Kogan's father came to Toronto i n 1909 from Proskola, i n the province of Davidornia. The family was very poor and since the father had cousins here he made ap p l i c a t i o n to emigrate to Canada. Friends i n Toronto got together the money f o r him to come. A f t e r he had been here a few years he sent f o r three of the s i x chi l d r e n . Bluma s a i d : S y l v i a Klein's family, (showing her husband, the pocket-maker and oldest daughter Molly); Grandfather i s i n the back. Courtesy: C l a i r e K l e i n Osipov, front centre Photographic reproduction: Joshua Berson My s i s t e r ' D o r a , my brother Morris and myself came here f i r s t . I began to work, my brother began to work, and my s i s t e r Dora was too young to work. Anyhow we chipped together things. We took a l i t t l e piece of very d i r t y quarters to l i v e . And I worked there day and night a f t e r work to make i t l i v a b l e . I c o l l e c t e d horse manure from the streets and bought some lime and made a paste and plugged up holes i n the home. It was r a i n i n g i n t o the rooms, I plugged those holes up. A f t e r that 1 bought some paper and papered. And.it looked a l i t t l e b i t b r i g h t e r . In .the f i r s t room was a great b i g old stove. I t was d i r t y and not working. Somehow we got r i d of i t and bought a smaller one. I remember there was a cl o s e t behind where the stove was. I t was very, very f i l t h y , f u l l of cockroaches, and rats and was very, very bad. And my father and myself worked there. We plugged up a l l the holes, papered i t and put l i g h t and' i t became bright and clean. When people came i n they didn't recognize i t . The front room was large with a table to eat and a stove to heat and a s i n k 1 w i t h water. I t was o f f the s t r e e t , a couple of steps and a door to come i n . We. didn't have a bathroom. The bathroom was someplace .outside. Bluma Kogan worked a l l her l i f e i n the f a c t o r i e s of Toronto. On the other hand S y l v i a G r a f s t e i n K l e i n came from Oftravske, Poland i n 1921. She was only 16 years old. Her cousin, with whom she l i v e d f o r a short period, s a i d to her: " S i l v i g you haven't got a trade. What are you going to do?" S y l v i a s a i d she was prepared to go out and look f o r work. So her cousin took her to a place where they made purses. S y l v i a s a i d : So I s t a r t making purses. .... I s p o i l t them. The man s a i d to me: "What did you do i n Europe?" "Well" I s a i d , "I didn't do. I l i v e d with my grandparents." So he s a i d to me: "You come back some other day." And that was S y l v i a Klein's s h o r t - l i v e d e f f o r t at holding a job. She got married soon a f t e r to a pocket-maker who worked i n the needle trade industry f o r f o r t y years. S y l v i a never went out to work, She raised f i v e children on one man's meagre income. An extravagance on the part of her fiance i n the form of a diamond engagement r i n g , kept the family 175 i n food many a time. Her chi l d r e n r e c a l l today how the r i n g , which she s t i l l treasures, went i n and out of the pawnshop every time t h e i r father was out of work or on s t r i k e . Hyam Liebovitch was a cabinet maker i n Romania and when he came to Montreal he looked f o r work i n the same trade. Through a f r i e n d he found a man who needed a good carpenter to b u i l d a store on St. Catherine Street West. He worked there a couple of weeks but 'nobody got paid', said L iebovitch. "He went bankrupt and they closed up the place with my tools and everything. Can't touch nothing and you get no money e i t h e r . " Liebovitch s a i d : I went over to the guy. I couldn't t a l k i n f a c t no English. I spoke a couple of words. I t o l d him i t s my t o o l s . I have no money. I have to make a l i v i n g . I cannot leave my tools and they owe me money al s o . I went away. A f t e r three weeks I was able to take my tools out but I couldn't get any money from the guy. So I fig u r e I w i l l see what I can do again. I went -> to look f o r a job. A month, two months, four months go by and s t i l l no job. So I went - there's a show at St. Catherines and St. Lawrence, the Midway I think they c a l l i t . I t used to cost 15c to go and see a show. I went i n there and met some boys and we made friends and one said to me: "I'm looking, f o r a job, he's looking f o r a job and you are looking f o r a job. If we could f i n d some jobs! Where could we f i n d some jobs!" Well he heard of t h i s job where they are looking f o r young boys to carry advertisements around to the houses. I s a i d : Let's go down. We could lose nothing! We went down there and we took the job. We didn't ask what the p r i c e was and they didn't t e l l us what they gonna pay. We are working f or two weeks carrying around the advertise-ments: steps up, steps down, and nu, I don't have a coat, no jacket, j u s t a uniform jacket and here i t was cold wintertime and freezing. What did I do? I had a b i g handerchief, a red handkerchief and I covered my< mouth, my face. The hat I pul l e d down over my ears. And we went down to carry the advertisements. We f i n i s h e d two weeks. I was waiting f o r the two weeks already so we could get some money. I come to the end of the two weeks and they give me $1.35. I look them over and I sai d : "What i s this? Charity? I worked two weeks!" "That's the p r i c e . You l i k e i t , keep i t . I f not, go." That's what the man said to me. I take the $1.35 and I throw them r i g h t back i n the face. I was not scared. I go away from there and I say to the boys: "What are we going to do? We were working two weeks and we cannot .... he does, not want to give us more than $1.35 pay a person f o r two weeks." I said I am not going to c o l l e c t . I'm going to knock his teeth out. I ' l l go back and I don't give a damn what i s going to be!" The other boys were l i k e Canadians because they had been here a long time already. So they s a i d : "Don't s t a r t i t . You could get arrested. And who i s going to take you out? You are going to be i n trouble." So I went back to the man and I sa i d : "Look" and I give a hammer with the hand on the desk. I sa i d : "Are you going to pay me or not, once and for a l l ? " He saw that I was mad. He went and took $2 and throw me i n the face. So I.took the two d o l l a r s and I went away. I went away. I come home. I nearly cry. I have to keep up my s i s t e r and myself and I was l i v i n g i n an uptown home with a poor family. The name was Mrs. Breitman. And she said: "Don't worry. You're a young man. My son i s working. He's a presser. He makes a l i v i n g f o r us. We'll give you to eat. We'll give you a room. We'll keep your s i s t e r and don't worry about i t . Don't worry about i t . " I s a i d : "Look, I cannot you should keep me up when I haven't got the money to pay." So what I used to do? I used to get up i n the morning at s i x o'clock and go looking around for a job. Liebovitch went to a piano factory and asked f o r a job. He could not speak English. There was an I t a l i a n foreman there who had worked i n Romania and Bucharest and who could speak Romanian. He was t o l d he would be making only one component of the piano. He did not have much choice so he took the job. A f t e r working two weeks he received h i s pay envelope. The f i r s t week's pay was witheld for s e c u r i t y . He found only $5 i n the envelope. He s a i d : I started to scratch my head. I sa i d : What the h e l l i s going around i n here. They, t o l d me i n Canada they sew a button and make f i v e d o l l a r s . I'm a cabinet maker with golden hands. I can't even make a l i v i n g around here. What am I doing? I think I w i l l try and get out of Montreal and go to the United States. He could not cross the border into the United States. For a year he was without work and his landlady supported him and h i s s i s t e r . By an accidental turn of events he found himself knocking out walls and b u i l d i n g windows from which he was able to make some money. He came as a cabinet maker who prided himself on never using n a i l s and ended up being a b u i l d i n g contractor. Working Conditions At the turn of the century immigrants were s t r i v i n g to e s t a b l i s h a foothold i n t h e i r new environment. Some who had been here a l i t t l e longer and had perhaps come with a l i t t l e money made e f f o r t s towards becoming self-employed and h i r i n g others to work f o r them. These began as small enterprises with two or three machines i n the kitchen or bedroom. These small ' f a c t o r i e s ' sewed or f i n i s h e d the cut garments. The cut garments were 'bundles' which were picked up from l a r g e r shops where they had the space for cutting tables on which to spread and mark and chop the c l o t h . A c u t t i n g room required a l i t t l e more c a p i t a l investment f o r long tables, f o r spreading machine, for a c u t t i n g k n i f e machine. In the early period of the industry such a shop would employ the a r i s t o c r a t s of the trade, so c a l l e d because they had an important job to do. A cutter, i f he knew his tradewell, could save the boss a l o t of money by c u t t i n g the garment prudently. These men (they were a l l men i n the cutting room) wore black p i n s t r i p e s u i t s , vests and a watch fob across t h e i r waists: hence the name a r i s t o c r a t . From the c u t t i n g room bundles of cut garments would be picked up by small contractors and taken home to f i n i s h . In many cases t h i s would involve e i t h e r the nuclear family or extended family, such as father, mother, sons and daughters, or father, mother and e i t h e r of t h e i r brothers, s i s t e r s , cousins. Conditions i n these contracting shops were t e r r i b l e . People worked, ate and s l e p t sometimes i n the same room. Carving: My Memories of My Baba Sidney Sarkin 1980 Carver: Sidney Sarkin Photographer: Joshua Berson Photographer: Joshua Berson 179 They often worked from early i n the morning to very l a t e at night f i n i s h i n g these garments because the contractor or boss of h i s l i t t l e f actory got paid by the garment. If he got a d o l l a r per dress how much would he have l e f t to pay h i s employees a f t e r h i s overhead? I f they were members of one family and l i v e d together then i t was not quite so bad. But when one of his employees had himself or a family to support, as Samuel Nemetz, then the pittance received i n r e l a t i o n to the hours worked was f a r below subsistence l e v e l . Most informants t o l d me they stayed away from the contracting shops because i t never paid them to work there. Owners of c u t t i n g rooms and manufacturers used to play one contrac-tor against another and thereby get work done f o r even les s money. Members of f a m i l i e s who were at home anyways and those who could not leave ch i l d r e n to work outside were the ones most v i c t i m i z e d by t h i s system of contracting. Next came the poor immigrants, l i k e Nemetz, who were t o l d they did not have the necessary s k i l l s . P r o f i l e of Sidney Sarkin: His E a r l y Days & How He Became A Cutter On a r r i v a l from the Old Country, immigrants were f i r s t taught to make a home f o r themselves, to get work, to f i n d a job. In Sidney's case there was an a l t e r n a t i v e . His family was well-to-do and wanted him to have an education. However, coming from a s o c i a l i s t and revolutionary background, he f e l t he must "immediately go i n t o the workers' movement, j o i n a union and become a p r o l e t a r i a n " . Members of h i s family i n Montreal were owners of a number of cl o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s and two jobs were held open for him and h i s brother on a r r i v a l i n 1921. Sidney rejected the o f f e r with much thanks and h i s family f i n a l l y conceded that he should go h i s own way. He started working for Rubin Brothers, cousins of h i s by marriage, as a sweeper at $5 a week. His main concern at the time was not to be misunderstood by h i s fellow workers: being a cousin of the boss immediately put him i n a category apart from them. Also he had j u s t a r r i v e d from St. Johns, New Brunswick, where h i s mother's s i s t e r l i v e d , and the family having wealth, he was dressed i n the l a t e s t and best fashion. Sidney s a i d : I t aroused the sentiments of the workers when I used to go and wash myself; that such a nice-looking fellow, so well-dressed, i s being treated by h i s cousin i n t h i s manner - as a sweeper! And I was t i c k l e d pink because you see that meant I had made contact with the workers. The women, the g i r l s , used to watch me going into the washroom and used to hand me a towel to clean myself ... ... That i s how I broke the i c e . They did not look upon me as the boss' stooge but as one of them. Sidney made the same impression on the cutters, the a r i s t o c r a t s of the needle trades. In connection with the needle trades at that time, there were regulations p r e v a i l i n g as f a r as the cutters were concerned. The contract with the cutters i s part and pa r c e l of the c o l l e c t i v e agreement. I t allowed one a s s i s t a n t to every ten cutters. Everyone who came from the Old Country, unless he already possessed a trade, started by sweeping i n the f a c t o r i e s . From cleaning the floor,.your next p o s i t i o n was message boy to the cutters. I f you showed promise and were destined for the cutting room you moved closer to the handling of the s c i s s o r s by cutting undercollars. Then you became an as s i s t a n t cutter and f i n a l l y a cutter. From sweeper to cutter took a period of f i v e years. The cutting room at Rubin Brothers was made up of a section of nine men, the majority of whom were Jews, with one Englishman and one Frenchman. Amongst the Jewish cutters there were two brothers named Barkin. They had both come back from f i g h t i n g i n the F i r s t World War. One brother had applied at the outbreak of the War to j o i n the Navy. On the a p p l i c a t i o n form he had to f i l l i n h i s r e l i g i o u s denomination. He was t e r r i b l y disappointed to f i n d out that Jews could not e n l i s t i n the Canadian Navy. They could j o i n , f i g h t and die i n the Army but not i n the Royal Navy! I t appears the man had grown up i n Canada and considered himself a Canadian and i t was consequently a great disappointment. This was Sidney's f i r s t acquaintance with 'honest-to-goodness Canadians' and they became close f r i e n d s . The friendship helped Sidney along towards the cutter's table. A f t e r a month of sweeping, he became part of the cutting room; he was allowed to chop (cut) c l o t h and the undercollars of the garment. As mentioned above, the apprenticeship period was f i v e years. However, i n Sidney's case a concession was made and with the consent of the union. (If you are not l i s t e d , as.'a-cutter with the union, you cannot accept a p o s i t i o n as a cutter),., Sidney sa i d : During the 1910-1920 period, the c l o t h i n g industry as a whole was moving slowly into the hands of the Jewish people, not only i n the numbers of workers employed but also i n ownership. For example, there was an English f i r m which employed f i f t y cutters, which was unheard of, and f i f t y cutters i n those days produced, that i s , cut. thousands of g ^ t p e H t s per day. They used to p i l e the c l o t h up, some 20 to 30 high, and cut them with e l e c t r i c cutting machines. The English a c t u a l l y had the monopoly of the c u t t i n g trade but i t was beginning to s h i f t . There was keen competition from Jewish-owned small shops which had lower overheads, greater production and brought down the p r i c e of the garment. Thus the l a r g e r firms could not compete. Also Jewish workers t r i e d t h e i r damndest to get. t h e i r sons into the cutt i n g trade instead of being operators. Through begging the bosses, and also because of the fac t that they were f a s t e r and more productive than the average, i t f i n a l l y came :rV" to a point where they managed to get one of t h e i r sons into the c u t t i n g room. Thus i n the period between 1921-24 the English were p r a c t i c a l l y cleaned out of the cutting rooms. However, i n Toronto the cutt i n g trade was f i r m l y held i n the hands of the English and they employed every means i n t h e i r power to keep out Jewish workers. As l a t e as when Sidney became a Business Agent (that 182 i s , , an o f f i c e r of the trade union) i n 1935,.there were only three Jewish cutters out of approximately three hundred. As f a r as the other operations i n the clothing factory were concerned the Jews held the absolute majority both i n Montreal and Toronto. Point Of A Needle Our knowledge of the past comes to us e i t h e r through those who have survived i t or from the writings of, those who have experienced i t . The knowledge I am speaking of i s that of f e e l i n g s , fear,pain, joy, . t e r r o r - these cannot be found i n archeological digs nor i n h i s t o r y books. The chards found i n such places are mute i n s o f a r as human feelin g s are concerned. Here i s a story of a day i n the l i v e s of. those who worked i n a clothing factory, by Zalmon Lib in': POINT OF A NEEDLE Strangely quiet i n the shop today! Not because of slack time. There's the hum and commotion of the wheels of sewing machines; there's the clacking of shears; there's the w h i s t l i n g and whining of steam. But these are the turmoil of dumb noises - the unchanging, speech of cold i r o n which i s without knowledge,, without f e e l i n g , without understanding, and which remains i n d i f f e r e n t no matter what happens. But the workers themselves are quiet. Operators, basters, f i n i s h e r s , are seated at t h e i r work l i k e mutes, sadly quiet ... ... Abe, the j e s t e r , utters no quips and there i s no laughter. Sam and Hymie, always at odds with one another, are not wrangling today and are no source of joy to anyone; Hanna the f i n i s h e r s , i s not singing; Dave, her accompanist, i s not humming and ne: ear i s turned toward them. ...... Among the men there i s no discussion of the news of the day among the women there i s no gossip-mongering ... Quiet - a l l are seated as i f transfixed -a l l seem to be mournful ... On the faces of a l l there i s the sign of secret s u f f e r i n g , giving the impression that a l l of them are sorrowing over the death of a dear one and that they are engaged i n sewing shrouds. The cause of t h i s breathless s i l e n c e i s a cut i n wages - a fresh and s t i l l bleeding wound i n the hearts of the workers, l e f t there l a s t night by the foreman, the employer's d u l l and rusted k n i f e ... And no one speaks, no one laughs, no one j e s t s , and no one sings Everyone i s preoccupied with th i s fresh wound. Everyone i s embittered, i r r i t a t e d , everyone alone with h i s pain. There i s quiet i n the shop. Dolbin, one of the operators, i s steeped i n his work but h i s thoughts are f i g u r i n g the extent of his loss and keep on measuring the cost, i n blood-money, which the decreased pay envelope w i l l reveal ... i t w i l l be quite a sum ... he i s hurt and deeply vexed. ... On top of t h i s , Dolbin has another worry; he has drawn a bad l o t , a pack of sorrows, and he cannot e x t r i c a t e himself - h i s bundle of work consists of such cheap, hard c l o t h . Once he has driven the needle i n , he must labour and sweat to draw i t out again. The pattern, too, i s d i f f i c u l t and from time to time he must r i p open what he has sewn with such outlay of e f f o r t and blood. ....... Dolbin tears'his h a i r s , b i t e s h i s l i p t i l l he draws blood. ... His heart grows f a i n t with dismay and pain. Other workers who had drawn t h e i r bundles of c l o t h at the same time Dolbin did, are through and many, i n f a c t , are f i n i s h i n g t h e i r second bundles ... He, Dolbin, i s s t i l l labouring over the f i r s t l o t ... he f e e l s that h i s limbs are growing numb. He i s as pale as a corpse... h i s limbs are trembling from suppressed rage and hurt. F i n a l l y he f i n i s h e s the work, wipes the sweat from h i s face, and, with a curse, carr i e s the completed work downstairs to the o f f i c e . Abe, the j e s t e r , suddenly discovers that the point of h i s needle has broken. He has no other needle; to run out to buy one w i l l be a loss of time. He knows that Dolbin has several needles i n the drawer of h i s machine. But he also knows that Dolbin i s as mad as the d e v i l and he w i l l , under no circumstances, lend or even s e l l a needle. Abe walks over to Dolbin's machine and t r i e s to f i n d a needle. The drawer i s locked. Abe h i t s on an idea: he removes the needle from Dolbin's machihe?and i n s e r t s i n i t s place the needle he has taken from h i s own machine. f The "hands" i n the shop smile f a i n t l y as Abe resumes his work. Dolbin returns, bringing back the same bundle of work .... His pale face i s spotted with red flushes, h i s eyes f l a s h with t e r r i f y i n g l i g h t . Everyone knows what has happened ... No one dares to ask a question ... A sudden shiver runs over Abe's body. Dolbin hurled the bundle beside h i s machine, flung himself i n t o h i s chair, dug h i s hands i n t o h i s h a i r and sat, bewildered, beaten as by an overpowering blow. "Do them over?" someone asked. Dolbin remained s i l e n t . "The whole damned business?" someone else wanted to know. Dolbin said nothing but h i s eyes were suddenly over-run with tears. Dolbin picks up a garment ... h i s hands are trembling .... he examines h i s work and sighs - sighs so strangely that i t seems as i f the place from which the sigh escaped was a rent i n h i s heart. In s i l e n c e he puts the garment i n place under the needle. The wheel turned - there was a screech from the broken needle. "What's this? Who did i t ? " And Dolbin cast a w i l d and t e r r i f y i n g glance around him. Abraham turned pale. "You, Abe?" "You have a few others . . . I ' l l pay you . . . " A p a i r of large s t e e l shears flew s t r a i g h t at Abe with t e r r i f i c force "... A shout of te r r o r breaks from a l l the workers. The shears pierce Abe's shoulder, pierce deep i n t o the f l e s h and remain there blood flows ... Abe's head f a l l s forward ... there i s an outcry and wi l d commotion. Dolbin stands up, a t e r r i f y i n g f i g u r e . "Serves you r i g h t .. don't grab ..." he says and his body shakes as i f from cold and he smiles with a frozen, d i a b o l i c smile. Suddenly the boss ran i n . Apparently some one had informed him about what had taken place because he had no sooner come i n than he was shrieking: " A l l because of a needle! Murdurers, cut-throats, the whole gang of you should be sent to Sing-Sing" (Translated by Henry Goodman,1961:138-141) One of my informants went through l i f e meeting one misfortune a f t e r another. Greenberg i s the man whose mother died i n Eastern Europe jumping off the roof. She needed medical attention and thought, poor woman, she could get i t this way. When Greenberg came to Montreal he • found I t hard t r y i n g to get a job. When he did f i n d something i t usually did not work out or did not l a s t too long. I t took him three or four months to f i n d something e l s e . He sta r t e d by working i n d i f f e r e n t contracting shops. " T e l l me about the contracting shops, Mr.Greenberg" I s a i d . 186 He to l d me: The contracting shop was no good because I worked i n a contracting shop and they used me for $2.50 a week. I used to work hard,you know. I was young. I was worth more than that much but that i s a l l they paid me. What could I do? I worked f o r O l i v e r and Sons. I worked a l l week. I used to go i n at seven i n the morning and work t i l l eleven, twelve at night. At that time I made about $5 or $6 a week. But he didn't want to pay me. He had a brother always used to f i g h t around. Sometimes he used to take three weeks u n t i l I got a d o l l a r from him. He didn't want to pay me at a l l . But I couldn't help myself. At l e a s t the d o l l a r or two that he gave me was something. You want me to explain this to you? This O l i v e r had a shop, but he didn't pay the workers. You see the contracting business was no good. He wanted to keep the money himself. The bundles we used to work on he got from the f a c t o r i e s and we used to work on them f o r him. There were about a dozen people working f o r this O l i v e r . And i t was a shop not i n h i s house. The thing i s , you see, when i t came to pay day, he says he hasn't got the money. So you ask how can we eat? How can we eat? There was a man, he was a veteran also who worked f o r him. He was a head operator. He was a b i g shot and he worked f o r him and when i t came to pay he says to the boss: 'Pay me what's coming to me'. The boss says: 'I haven't got no money'. The operator says: 'You are taking money from the manufacturers, why don't you give me for a l i v i n g ? I don't get out of the shop u n t i l you pay me'. The boss says 1: 'I haven't got!' So one of h i s brothers wanted to go f i g h t with the operator. But the operator says, 'I'm not a f r a i d . I f you fight!with me, eye f o r eye, and i f you don't pay I ' l l knock the whole thing out!' So O l i v e r paid him but the others who were weak he didn't pay. What could yau do? T got $2, $3, sometimes; and sometimes nothing. What could I do and I worked t i l l eleven ;o'clock at night. Greenberg moved around f o r a year unable to f i n d a steady job or one which would pay him l i v i n g wages. His brother-in-law took him up to S. Rubin Co. and f o r less than minimum wages, anywhere from $3 to $5 a week, he worked as a replacement f o r people away s i c k or with an overload of work. Sometimes, because the foreman was a nice man and 'gave him a chance' he was able to work u n t i l eleven and twelve at night and make a l i t t l e overtime. By the time Greenberg worked himself up to $35 a week he got s i c k and discovered he had tuberculosis of the bone i n h i s leg which subsequently had to be amputated. Again he was out of work f o r a year and a h a l f . He was married by now with~a family and having to pay rent at $16 per month. But s a i d Greenberg "we managed". 'Managing' appears to be the key word f o r a l l immigrants whether i t was i n the Old Country or the f i r s t few decades i n Canada. No matter what conditions were l i k e , 'somehow we managed''--they s a i d . How did they manage? How did they cope? That -they were s i t t i n g there t e l l i n g me about i t was i h some way a testimoney of the f a c t . Did people succumb, go under, die of starvation? Did luck play a part? So often people would say: I guess I was lucky, we had enough food to eat. Or, 1 guess I was lucky to leave Poland because a l l of my r e l a t i v e s who never came over died there. "Managing" became an art and immigrants became past masters at i t . How did they do i t ? How did you feed a family on $3 a week? In the early decades of the 20th century bread was f i v e cents a l o a f . " I t was cheap" I was t o l d . Even then no one bought fresh bread at f i v e cents a l o a f . "My father used to go downtown and buy a b i g bag of bread, day old bread, for which he paid f i f t e e n cents, twenty cents. We used to have i t f o r a week or so. Used to put i t i n the stove and cover i t up", s a i d Jennie Litvak. Some parts of meat one got f o r fre e . A whole box of tomatoes would cost t h i r t y or t h i r t y - f i v e cents and a sack of potatoes even less than that. Abe & S y l v i a K l e i n (approximate date 1945) Courtesy: C l a i r e K l e i n Osipov Photographic reproduction: Joshua Berson You Remember The Poverty: The Woman's World "You remember the poverty", s a i d Molly K l e i n Goldman, daughter of a t a i l o r , "but you r e a l l y didn't know you were i n i t because everybody e l s e that you l i v e d with had the same problem". The woman's world. How did they look at t h e i r world? How did they re c o n c i l e t h e i r l i v e s with the New World, the new hardships? The older ones managed. An older woman was content to look a f t e r home, cook f o r children and boarders, wash and sew. She may never have needed to learn English because she never entered the work world. Communication i n the languages she knew was maintained between h e r s e l f , family, friends and the few shop owners she had to deal with who were a l l Jewish. But the young g i r l s (and boys) came with great expectations: they were never going to need or want another thing! However, th i s i s not what the New Worldheld f o r so many of them. They d i d not get paid unbelievable sums of money for very l i t t l e work! Their dreams of an education, of an e a s i e r l i f e , of f a l l i n g i n love instead of employing the services of the dreaded shadchan, marriage-broker, were not i n store f o r them. They found comfort l a t e r i n t h e i r l i v e s when they transferred some of t h e i r dreams and yearnings to t h e i r c h i l d r e n . But at the time they came to Canada a l l was not rosy and comfortable. What were t h e i r experiences and thoughts? How did they cope with the transformations of t h e i r l i v e s and surroundings? Jennie Litvak came to Montreal when she was t h i r t e e n . What was i t l i k e when=-she f i r s t came and had to go out to work? She s a i d : 190 Now I remember being very miserable and crying every single day eflwork because first of a l l I was very lonely. I was new here. I was very sensitive. I wanted an education but I couldn't go to school formally, only at night. We were very poor. I used to go out at night and buy bread from the day before which I don't mind eating now but in those days i f you bought some rolls you paid a penny a r o l l . And you bought a herring - i t was very cheap you know. I used to go to bed hungry many,many times. We used to buy bananas. Our meals consisted of things like that - bananas and kraft cheese, and bread and rolls from the day before which you got for next to nothing. Those days bread was five cents so you got a bread from the day before for two cents, three cents, you see. Those were horrible times. 1 s t i l l remember we used to go to bed hungry. Even my brother Harry who came after me and alone - we didn't a l l come together because father couldn't possibly bring over a family of five people a l l at once. So my brother Harry came next and he recalls going out to pick up some food for the next day late at night. They went to bed hungry and got up the next morning and went to work for ten hours with perhaps a half hour off for lunch. Breakfast usually consisted of coffee and bread and butter, probably black bread. For lunch a banana with bread and butter and cheese. "When I was making $4 a week I used to get a nickel everyday" said Jennie. She got a nickel from the family coffers where everyone's earnings went. "And what would you buy with the nickel?" I asked. So she said: Well a couple of biscuits, or even a bag of french fries. That was part of the meal because the sandwich I brought from home. So the chips helped. My friend's sister lived near where we worked and we used to go there for lunch sometimes. They had a l i t t l e store where they served food. We would go upstairs to their small kitchen and finish our meal. We had the privilege of getting a drink. Those were good days. After a day's work dinner might consist of a soup made on the weekend with a piece of meat. Or sometimes a stew. Chicken was only on very 191 s p e c i a l occasions. Most of the time i t was herrin g , tomato or an egg. Sometimes i f you had a r e l a t i v e who was better o f f than yo u r s e l f , you were i n v i t e d to dinner and "we could have more of a decent meal" s a i d Jennie. On weekends, Jennie and her father v i s i t e d lantsman, the Goldenbergs, "and there we would get nice food, my father and I, because they had a wholesale grocery so there was no problem of a nice meal or nice sardines". Every weekend Jennie used to take her iro n i n g there, have a good hot bath and sometimes Mrs. Goldenberg would even sew her some clothes; and for these p r i v i l e g e s , as she c a l l s them, "those were good days" and the family 'managed'. Father was the boss and was very s t r i c t . G i r l s were not allowed to put on make-up and l i p s t i c k . The young men they associated with had to have father's approval. Everyone's earnings went i n t o the common pot. Groceries were bought on c r e d i t and a c a r e f u l l i s t was made both by the grocer and the woman of the house. At the end of the week when husband and children brought home the pay check, then the grocer, the butcher, etc. were paid o f f . Sometimes these merchants had to wait more than a week to get paid. Jennie Litvak s a i d : My mother was never able to buy any groceries f o r cash. She used to buy and mark everything down and at the end of the week when my father got the pay and I brought home the few d o l l a r s then we figured out how much we can pay this week. And many times my mother needed an extra d o l l a r , f o r l e t us say, f o r us to buy something, or something extra that she wanted - w e l l she would add on a d o l l a r to the whole f i g u r e so that my father wouldn't even know. She had to do i t to get the extra d o l l a r . And the man i n the grocery co-operated. I t was the corner grocery. She needed that and that went on f o r quite a few years. Pressing room at the T. Eaton Company, Toronto 1904 Source: Harney & Troper 1975:76 Jewish t a i l o r s making Eaton-brand c l o t h i n g , 1912 Source: Harney & Troper 1975:77 How did a l i t t l e g i r l remember the times? Molly K l e i n Goldman was born i n Toronto where both her immigrant parents met and married. She s a i d : You remember the poverty but you r e a l l y didn't know you were i n i t because everybody else that you l i v e d with had the same problem. I know I didn't see very much of my father because he was always - i f he wasn't working, he was on s t r i k e ; i f he wasn't s t r i k i n g he was p i c k e t i n g f o r b e t t e r working and l i v i n g conditions. And frankly speaking whenever I meet people today who are a l i t t l e b i t ashamed of t h e i r background, I'm not ashamed to say that I am very proud of the f a c t that my father took a stand. At l e a s t he did something. "At least he did something" s a i d Molly, one of f i v e children raised on the pay of a simple pocket-maker who died of cancer j u s t when he was ready to r e t i r e and enjoy l i f e a f t e r f o r t y years i n the garment industry. " P o l i t i c s and the human s i t u a t i o n was always present" s a i d Molly. When her father came home from work and would try to t e l l the family what was going on, they never r e a l l y absorbed i t a l l . "When you are young i t ' s another story!" s a i d Molly. Bluma Kogan who s t a r t e d working i n l a d i e s ' jackets i n 1913-14 worked from eight i n the morning to s i x i n the evening and then went to night school. What was i t l i k e working i n a clothing factory? How was the day divided up? Did the workers have a coffee break, lunch hour, s i c k pay, time to see the dentist? Bluma s a i d : I was doing l a d i e s ' jackets - s u i t s , not s k i r t s but the jackets. I did the l i n i n g , sleeves, pockets, and I was doing pretty good work. I remember we were - i t was a large factory - about 150 people: operators, cutters, finishers.,, button-sewers, pressers.. We a l l belonged to the union. (After several weeks of working there the chairlady of my section s a i d : Bluma, you have to belong to the union.) I got up i n the morning and made my breakfast and breakfast f o r the family. I'm the oldest. So I suppose I got up about 7 o'clock because at 8 o'clock I had to be there.' I had to take the s t r e e t car and go there. Maybe I even got up before 7 o'clock. And my father was preparing lunch f o r us. I didn't come home f o r lunch, i t was too f a r to go and also i t meant paying carfare. I took my lunch, i t was a sandwich and I ate i t at the factory. At 6 o'clock I came back and helped along my Dad with the meal and washed the dishes. I also washed the clothes and ironed and mended socks, and everything e l s e . And some nights I went to school. As f a r as the working conditions and being happy -a l l I can say i s that I made a l i v i n g and that factory was large. I t was a b i g place with many sections and i t was a f a i r l y good b u i l d i n g . A f t e r that I got rotten buildings and sweat shops but t h i s f i r s t one was i n f a i r l y good condition. Women who went out to work suffered more. Not only did they have to cope with a house and family but hold down a job as w e l l . A l l of these areas were demanding. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. she belonged to the fa c t o r y . In the r e s t of the time l e f t to the day "she managed" to do a l l the other chores, as w e l l as s o c i a l i z e . She woke up early to cook and feed her husband and c h i l d r e n and send them o f f to school and work with food i n t h e i r stomachs and food i n t h e i r lunch bags. She ran to work and i n cold, d i r t y , demeaning surroundings she created clothes fo r Canadian people. Bluma Kogan t o l d me about the sweat shop she worked i n . She said i t was on Spadina Avenue. "Do you know Toronto a l i t t l e b i t ? " she asked. "I know Spadina", I sa i d . She laughed and repeated "You know Spadina'. EVERYBODY knows Spadina Avenue! A l l European countries know Spadina Avenue." The photograph shows how crowded the f a c t o r i e s were: men and women p r a c t i c a l l y rubbing shoulders and breathing into each others' faces. I t was cold i n the winter and with no windows open the a i r was not only f e t i d but d i f f i c u l t to breathe because of the dust from machines, from the movement of thousands of pieces of c l o t h , from the f a c t that factory f l o o r s were seldom swept and washed down. Where would they put a l l the p i l e s of material, cut, unfinished, waiting to be sewn or moved? Some on tables, some on the f l o o r , some on hangers by each operator. Sarkin s a i d that lung disease was r i f e amongst f u r and garment workers for this reason. Also, Gershman said: ... there was overcrowding and unsanitary conditions i n the needle trades. ... The factory where I worked i n Winnipeg paid very low wages. I t was very d i r t y kind of work, you know, dressing and dyeing f u r s ; i t ' s raw f u r . You get i n raw hides, of d i f f e r e n t kinds of animals, p a r t i c u l a r l y skunk. You see, skunk i s a very, very f i n e f u r . I t i s l i k e sable. When you process . . i t and produce i t n i c e l y , you can dye the white s t r i p e s to the s i m i l a r blackness of the r e s t of i t and i t then becomes very valuable fur.. But i t stinks t e r r i b l y . I t i s skunk! I t comes with f a t and so you have to process i t ; then the dyeing of i t . You are always d i r t y . There was no recourse f o r the worker except to qui t working i n such a place. But t h i s meant learning to handle another operation with a new f a b r i c and when jobs were d i f f i c u l t to come by, p a r t i c u l a r l y during the years preceeding the c r i s i s , as i t was c a l l e d , of 1929, you stuck i t out and took your chances in s o f a r as your health was concerned. Bertha Guberman spent the better part of her l i f e i n the needle trades, e i t h e r as a worker i n a factory, an executive member of the union, or a member of a p o l i t i c a l party which required her to t r a v e l to parts of the world. She started to work i n 1924 and worked u n t i l 1939. In 1950 she went back into the industry and worked u n t i l 1972. She had to go back because i t required two pay envelopes to r a i s e a family. "... a f l y could not survive unless a worker's wife and c h i l d r e n laboured too, at p i t i f u l l y lower wages" (Brandes 1976:6). Bertha was determined to give her surviving daughter the education she had missed. I asked her about conditions i n the f a c t o r i e s . She sai d : As f a r as conditions i n the needle trades were concerned they were bad The sanitary conditions at the time when I f i r s t started working were awful. You'd f i n d one t o i l e t for men and women i n any of the shops. The shops were mostly located i n dil a p i d a t e d b u i l d i n g s which were f i r e t r a p s , and sometimes the t o i l e t was on another f l o o r . For example, i n one shop I worked i n , I worked on the 4th f l o o r and the t o i l e t was on the 3rd f l o o r ; so i t served two f l o o r s of shops and when you came to the t o i l e t you had to bring your own t o i l e t paper and soap. Well, I know I always had a container of soap and a towel.. I would say that on an average some 30 to 40 people would use one t o i l e t and i f you went to the bathroom there was no time f or s t a l l i n g , you know. In one place I worked the employer would stand and watch to see how long you go to the washroom. And he'd ask: "Did you smake i n there?" Well most of the people when we had a coffee break would run to the t o i l e t . And the same at lunch break. And i n emergencies you went during working hours - but only i f i t was an emergency because you would be stopped. By the time of my l a s t job i n the industry there were two separate t o i l e t s and washbasins but s t i l l everyone would run again at coffee break and lunch hour. I f conditions i n the shops were bad for men they were worse . f o r women. Some of my informants t o l d me about wearing crosses around t h e i r necks pretending to be French g i r l s so that the boss would be more amenable to h i r i n g them. Jewish g i r l s were considered i n some instances to be rabble rousers and trouble makers and therefore were often refused employment. In some cases where there was a union the g i r l s had recourse. However, i n most instances the shops were not organized. Women worked for f a r l e s s pay than men even though they did the same work. Further, young g i r l s were the prey of foremen and bosses. Various t a c t i c s were used to intimidate them. Bertha Guberman sai d : ... once f or instance a woman went into the washroom and i t took her a l i t t l e longer to do her duties. The employer went by and he saw that the l i g h t s were on. So he closed the l i g h t s on her and she got scared and 197 Jewish family i n t h e i r backyard i n the Ward, Toronto 1913 Source: Harney & Troper 1975:37 she f a i n t e d . They had to c a l l the ambulance. This i s a true story. I t impressed everybody i n the shop and they were up i n arms. He never t r i e d i t again. He never dared to close the l i g h t s even when he saw the l i g h t on. How did a young sixteen or seventeen year old g i r l survive i n the garment f a c t o r i e s , working ten and twelve hours a day, coming home i n the dark and going to work i n the darkviduring the winter months? These immigrants did not have pri v a t e cars i n which to t r a v e l . They eit h e r walked to save the carfare or took the s t r e e t car i f i t was too f a r to walk. ... The g i r l s ... you see most of us didn't know the language and the g i r l s would s t i c k to each other, not only be workmates but be chums out of the shop. Like a f t e r work we would go out f o r supper and take i n a movie. Or i f a g i r l happened to be getting married we'd chip i n and make a shower or take her out. The atmosphere was much f r i e n d l i e r than the present. You f e l t a kinship to each other which I think i s lacking now. I f somebody missed a day's work, you'd r i g h t away phone up and f i n d out what happened: why she didn't come i n , or go and v i s i t her. But now I doubt i f t h i s happens. (Bertha Guberman) How did the young married woman cope with her work i n the factory and her household chores? How did she r a i s e a family and yet spend eight to ten hours a day at the machines? Pauline Chudnovsky came to Canada with her husband and young son. She and her husband were both accredited pharmacists i n the Old Country. Pauline s a i d : and when we arr i v e d i n Montreal we looked f o r jobs. But the law i s when you emigrate from one country to another you have to go to school again i n order to be able to possess the language of t h i s country otherwise you can't get a job here. So i n the meanwhile time wasn't standing s t i l l and i n two years I gave b i r t h to my Hymie. My husband was looking f o r jobs and he found one i n a cleaning and dyeing factory where they didn't h i r e very many Jewish people but they needed a chemist. I t was a French-Canadian factory. He was f i r e d from t h i s shop and I went out to f i n d a job. I knew a woman who was the forelady i n a factory and I went there and they h i r e d me. At that time there were f i n i s h e r s , operators ... I knew how to sew because I made a l l the clothes fo r my c h i l d r e n , l i t t l e s h i r t s and things. They paid me what was considered at that time a very good wage. I was paid not by the hour but by the week. A week was s i x days, the seventh was Shabbes (Saturday). I got $28 a week, i t was considred good and I worked from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. My husband didn't work a l l the time. He had a bad heart and suffered from angina. When he did work he made good wages. At that time a person with three c h i l d r e n getting $45 a week, i t was considered a l o t of money. What were conditions l i k e at home with a husband who was on and o f f the job and who was further handicapped by having a bad heart? How did Pauline Chudnovsky take care of three young sons who went to English school, Jewish school, and worked a l i t t l e a f t e r school? Pauline and her husband David were w e l l educated people, both chemists, knowing several languages, involved i n the struggles of t h e i r fellow workers and f r i e n d s , belonging and f i g h t i n g f or better working conditions through the unions. Yet they were the poor r e l a t i v e s , the black sheep of the family "because the others they were a l l well-to-do" said Pauline, "so we l i v e d i n a b i g house on C o l o n i a l Avenue which i s considered a very poor d i s t r i c t because the rent was low". The rent could not have been low enough because the family was once evicted f o r overdue rent: a l l t h e i r belongings thrown out of the house on to the s t r e e t ! yes, we rented out. I remember my boarders; rented out three rooms. I had one g i r l , one boy, and a married man f o r board and room. I cooked f o r them. I did everything. I cleaned f o r them and I also went to work. I brought my mother-in-law from the Old Country. We sent her her papers. We a c t u a l l y brought her here to be part of the time i n the United States at my husband's brother; but she l i k e d me better and she decided she wanted to stay with me. So we had four bedrooms f o r my mother-in-law, the three boarders, the three children; and my husband and myself we used to sleep on the f l o o r ... the conditions were h o r r i b l e ! I asked Pauline to t e l l me how she went to work, looked a f t e r boarders, took care of a s i c k husband and the three children at the same time? The conveniences a v a i l a b l e to the housewife today were c e r t a i n l y not invented or a v a i l a b l e to the immigrant i n the 1920s. She s a i d : My routine was l i k e t h i s . I got up very early i n the morning but I had a l i t t l e b i t of love: the children got to r e a l i z e the s i t u a t i o n and could see what was going on. So Ben went to work i n a jewelry store. He was very:'young then. He was maybe 12 years old. And Hymie started to s e l l papers. And Sam. went to learn a trade i n General E l e c t r i c . He didn't make very much but we wanted him to understand the trade. So i t was easy. When Ben used to come from the jewelry store on Friday he used to hold out h i s wages l i k e this i n h i s hand and say "Here Mama, for you". Pauline Chudnovsky's husband died many years ago. She raised her family of three boys. When I interviewed her she had j u s t recently moved i n t o Baycrest Terrace, an apartment f o r Senior C i t i z e n s . She was not very happy. She knew she would not move from there to go anywhere else to l i v e . She did not know why she f e l t so weak now; but i n the factory, as a young woman, she thought ... ... why can't I be a l i t t l e b i t s i c k l i k e other people? Stay away. But I was so strong, it-'didn't matter how much I worked and what I did. I used to paint c e r t a i n rooms i n my house. S t i l l i t didn't do to me anything. I was strong. 201 ... So my husband helped me out i n the house. The doctor put him away, s a i d he couldnjt go to the cleaning and dyeing factory because of h i s angina. And then he sa i d coronary. And we were frightened. So he stayed home. He did a l i t t l e b i t and when I used to come from work he used to cry because I had to support the family. ... ... But i n one respect we were very fortunate. We were t e r r i b l y i n love. We were so much i n love - I don't know maybe, Cathy, I am mistaken but I don't see the love t o d a y . . . . . . . ... today technology i s developed, people understand more, they learn more, they are educated, but i n that time i t was a d i f f e r e n t time. I t i s l i k e to be dead. Sometimes I think maybe I was dead and I came out to a new world because everything i s d i f f e r e n t . Women worked i n the union, were union members, went out on st r i k e s and suffered when they l o s t t h e i r jobs and r e j o i c e d when they won a s t r i k e . When i t came to t a l k i n g about t h e i r struggles and moments of joy somehow they minimized the ro l e they played, subordinating the s e l f to the event. In the cause of b r e v i t y I w i l l c i t e the experiences of only two women i n support of this argument: Bluma Kogan and Pauline Chudnovsky. Bluma and Pauline are friends and they both reside at Baycrest Terrace i n Toronto. I talked to both of them i n Bluma's room. I was p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d i n f i n d i n g out what conditions were l i k e i n theneedle trade and pleading ignorance I asked them to t e l l me about them. Part of the conversation went as follows: Bluma Kogan: Now you want to know about the sweat shops. I worked on Spadina Avenue i n an elevator b u i l d i n g , very d i r t y , unpainted and we had to go up to the shop where there was no ... w e l l , there was a washroom i n the h a l l , but there was no closet f o r clothes. And i t was very cramped, very cramped and sweat shop conditions. I worked there forC three years and that i s the way i t was. A l o t of people worked there. We were about twenty. I worked on dresses as an operator. There were cutters; the boss was also a cutter. There was a presser or two. There were a few f i n i s h e r s . And we were about twenty 1 operators or so; twenty machines on one side and the other side: yes, i n one room, a l l i n one room. At that time we worked about eight hours, maybe seven and a'..half hours;:: the union reduced i t a l i t t l e b i t . The pay there was much better and much more than at the beginning. What was my pay? This was piece work. You got a d o l l a r , a d o l l a r - f i f t y , a dollar-quarter, or a d o l l a r and a n i c k e l f o r to operate a dress. There were bundles of s i x , bundles of ten, bundles of so many ... so they were cer t a i n we were running the machines, burr-r r - r r , b u r r - r r ! Were you i n the dress trade Paula? Pauline Chudnovsky: No. I was i n s h i r t s . S h i r t s i s section work. We don't make a s h i r t . You make a c u f f s , sleeves, or the c o l l a r s or the yoke. You don't make a s h i r t , Cathy. I make sleeves. I used to s i t and work on sleeves. You want to know why they c a l l e d those f a c t o r i e s sweat shops? Because of the fa c t that twenty to t h i r t y people were working i n one room. This i s a sweat shop. Around 1914-1915 Bluma Kogan and her fellow workers went out on s t r i k e . The foreman of the factory wanted to re-organize the place. He did not l i k e the union. So he spoke to the two owners of the shop and suggested that he take over the executive part of the manufacturing of the l a d i e s ' s u i t s . He would re-organize i t i n such a way that the young people would not be needed. "He just wanted to h i r e the same workers on h i s terms", s a i d Bluma. The union did not l i k e i t and stepped i n . I t explained the s i t u a t i o n to the workers. The majority of the workers were on the side of the union and voted to go out on s t r i k e . They were on s t r i k e f o r s i x or seven long months: I t was a t e r r i b l e struggle at that time i n Toronto. Everybody remembers that c l o t h i n g factory. Everybody knows about that s t r i k e that lasted so long. In 1916 we l o s t the s t r i k e . A l l of us got s i c k . I got very s i c k . We had colds. I didn't have shoes. We didn't have s t r i k e benefits at the time. It was poor. We l o s t the s t r i k e and they l o s t the business. Because i t was a long struggle, a long b i g struggle and there was labour trouble and union trouble. I didn't understand very much at that time but I went with the majority, with the workers and with the union. I didn't go with the foreman. Even though I didn't understand i t very much because I was young but my f e e l i n g was with the working c l a s s , with the workers. Well, O.K. we l o s t and we couldn't get other jobs. Some got jobs i n a bakery, some i n a shoe factory and some went away from Toronto. I went to New York f o r a time. But the bosses also l o s t ! Because i n the struggle somebody went and poured acid on the goods, on the garments and so a l o t of material got s p o i l e d . I t was burned and s p o i l e d . They could not meet t h e i r orders f o r a long time. They had to send the order to Montreal or Winnipeg or wherever. They couldn't make i t because' a l l the goods were burned. So they had to get out of the business. We l o s t our s t r i k e and they l o s t too. How do you l i v e ? There was no unemployment insurance i n those days. No s t r i k e pay. I had no shoes. The bakers were on s t r i k e and I'm a union member. The dairy was on s t r i k e . I t was bad. It was bad. How do you l i v e ? You l i v e from hand to mouth. You don't eat three good meals a day. You don't have shoes. You go with shoes that scraped the pavement. I didn't belong to any p o l i t i c a l organization. My job was j u s t with the union. I didn't have any p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n . I was j u s t a member. I paid my dues i n every month. During the long s t r i k e mentioned above there were many court cases. For instance, there was a foreman who worked on f i n i s h i n g s k i r t s and he managed about twelve g i r l s . When the shop went out on s t r i k e he became a scab and did the work the g i r l s were supposed to have been doing. There was a presser i n the shop, and this foreman,Neveren was h i s name, took away his job: So one morning, one Monday morning, the presser came up to the shop on Niagara Street and saw Neveren i r o n i n g and pressing and the press irons at that time were with coals, l i v e coals. So he took this i r o n from Neveren and gave him a wallop over the head and that guy f e l l . He got burnt and he got hurt. The ambulance came and took him to the h o s p i t a l . I think he was there for -. about four months. He was near death. We didn't want him to die. No. He recovered a l r i g h t . But that was a b i g court case a f t e r that. We had, I think, during that s t r i k e , we had f i f t y - t w o court cases, s a i d Bluma Kogan. Strikes were a long and costly business both f o r the workers and the bosses. The majority stuck to t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s of e i t h e r remaining out on s t r i k e or looking f o r work elsewhere. Others went back to work. The g i r l s who did were considered strike-breakers. So the g i r l s i n Kogan's shop organized a ' s t r a t e g i c business' as follows: i ... everyone of us, twenty or thirty,had a place on a corner. There was a g i r l who l i v e d on Kensington Avenue or E l i z a b e t h Street - i t was a long s t r e t c h to the shop on Niagara Street and Bathurst. So we were two at every corner and each one of us gave a sign that she i s coming. The one nearest to where she was at the time gave us a sign. And t h i s r i g h t up to the end where she had to turn f o r the shop. We attacked her! We attacked her p h y s i c a l l y . We h i t her. We said:' "You scab! You strike-breaker! You take away the bread from our mouths. Go home and s t r i k e with us!" She turned around and went home. Pauline Chudnovsky s a i d that the French g i r l s used to work j u s t f o r l i p s t i c k : "as long as the boss gave them for l i p s t i c k and powder they s a i d i t ' s enough f o r them". I t was d i f f i c u l t making young French g i r l s understand the p r i n c i p l e s involved i n s t r i k i n g and staying out. But Chudnovsky s a i d , her fellow workers t r i e d to explain to these g i r l s the s i t u a t i o n by t e l l i n g them: "Do you understand what you are doing to people? You are taking away the bread, everything. The children are going naked and barefoot." Some of the French g i r l s got beaten up too by the women workers. "But they made them in t o union g i r l s afterwards", s a i d Pauline. The Role 6f The Union: Organizing The Unorganized Before I begin to discuss the needle trades union and the rol e played by i t s members I would l i k e to say that this section i n no way claims to be an exhaustive study of the garment industry. I t ' s purpose i s to show the involvement of needle workers i n the union; how they shaped the union which i n turn helped shape t h e i r thoughts and l i v e s . The people are those people which inform this study, and events are those events i n which they were involved. These events may not have been part of ' the experience of others. This does not i n any way diminish the experience or a f f e c t i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y . Also i n order to understand the ro l e played by these immigrants i n the clothing union the reader should bear i n mind the t r a d i t i o n s , the p h i l o s o p h i c a l leanings, the very reason why they l e f t t h e i r homelands i n the f i r s t place: t h e i r constant search f o r and f i g h t f o r better l i v i n g and working conditions. So many of them sa i d to me that they were not involved i n ' p o l i t i e s ' . By ' p o l i t i c s ' they meant being a card-carrying member of a recognized p o l i t i c a l party. Yet the actions of a l l the people I spoke to can be subsumed under the heading of ' p o l i t i c a l action' because i t concerned i t s e l f with bringing about changes i n the l i v e s of thousands of people not only i n t h e i r own unions but also those of other i n d u s t r i e s as w e l l . The majority of these immigrants came from Eastern Europe cognizant of p o l i t i c a l goings-on and whether they were personally active or not they were very much aware of the broader canvas of p o l i t i c a l events i n Europe. 206 The struggles and achievements recorded i n t h i s section were not ex c l u s i v e l y the struggles and achievements of the Jewish people. Other ethnic groups fought and struggled as w e l l : the French-Canadians (who were referred to as the French), the I t a l i a n s , Ukrainians and Finns to mention a few. In 1920^21 when Sarkin joined the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America i t was known as a s o c i a l i s t - i n c l i n e d organization. The F i r s t of May was celebrated as a working class holiday. The union used to issue a s p e c i a l c a l l to the workers to stop work on May Day and demonstrate. They used to organize a parade and march from the union headquarters i n Montreal down to the Champ de Marche, a great b i g square and there the union leaders addressed the workers. P r i o r to 1900 anyone who belonged to the clothing workers' union belonged to the United Garment Workers of America which was a f f i l i a t e d with the American Federation of Labour. In 1900 the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union was formed. In 1914, at the convention of the United Garment Workers i n N a s h v i l l e , Tennessee, there was a r e v o l t within i t s ranks and following a s p l i t the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was born " i n conscious, m i l i t a n t class struggle against t h e i r own e x p l o i t i n g bosses, and the bureaucrats of the United Garment Workers (AFL) ..." (Schappes 1950: 23). (Note: A.C.W.A. men's clothing workers; I.L.G.W.U. women's clothing workers). Jimmy Blugerman r e c a l l s the events of 1914 when he was involved i n the s p l i t i n the United Garment Workers' Union. He had been working for T. Eatons for a year and a h a l f to two years but l e f t there to work f o r private shops which were unionized and which therefore paid more money. These shops had been organized by the United Garment Workers which was an a f f i l i a t e of the American Federation of Labour. In the union 207 shops a presser, which he was, could e a s i l y get $15 to $18 a week as opposed to $9 at T. Eatons. Blugerman s a i d : I t was i n 1914 when we, the needle workers, the men's t a i l o r s , members of the l o c a l s of the United Garment Workers of America were involved i n s.a s p l i t that took place i n the n a t i o n a l unions of the U.G.W.A. I t happened i n New York, Chicago, etc. a l l on account of the 1914 Convention of the U.G.W.A. which took place i n N a s h v i l l e , Tennessee way fa r i n the South. The delegates, the Jewish delegates from Chicago, New York, etc. were refused the r i g h t to s i t as delegates at the Convention under the pretext that t h e i r l o c a l s have not paid up the f u l l per capita tax to the General O f f i c e . But this was only a te c h n i c a l excuse by the leaders of the General O f f i c e from the President down, the job holders of the United Garment Workers' Union, to exclude about t h i r t y to fo r t y delegates, mostly Jewish delegates of the cutters' l o c a l s and the t a i l o r s ' l o c a l s of Chicago, New York, etc. because they were progressive. You see what I mean? These l o c a l s were more progressive i n preventing co l l a b o r a t i o n with the manufacturers and demanding shorter hours and be t t e r pay. And so when the delegates were discriminated against at that Convention they had a conference i n a h o t e l i n the same c i t y and'decided to form a dual union, an independent dual union and they c a l l e d a convention and they c a l l e d i t the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. They were refused a f f i l i a t i o n by the American Federation of Labour. The A.F.L. would give a f f i l i a t i o n to only one and so they backed the bureaucrats of the United Garment Workers and therefore campaigned against the dual union as an i l l e g a l , so to speak, i l l e g i t i m a t e union. Now we i n Toronto, we had quite a s p r i n k l i n g i n Toronto and Montreal, we had a s p r i n k l i n g of immigrants that had brought with them the t r a d i t i o n of revolutionary s p i r i t of class consciousness from 1908 on to 1914. We then were the leaders i n Toronto and Montreal to oppose the bureau-crats of the UGWA and form unions, a f f i l i a t e d unions, with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. We managed to take over shops l i k e Tip Top, W.O.Johnsons and others. Of course, i t necessitated s t r i k e s here and there. We had a hard struggle with the manufacturers who were opposing the dual union because they sensed that this union represented a more progressive rank and f i l e union. And so we managed through s t r i k e s and negotiations to organize the most important shops i n the mens' clothing l 208 industry i n the c i t y of Toronto and this was followed i n Montreal. In 1919 the f i r s t b i g Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America took place i n Baltimore, and Toronto was strongly represented by myself and a h a l f dozen other delegates representing already hundreds and hundreds of members of the Amalgamated e s t a b l i s h -ed unions and union shops. I t was there that the f i r s t general o f f i c e r s and general executive was established and from then on the Amalgamated Clothing Workers began to f l o u r i s h through campaigns and s t r i k e s to become a strong union and overtake the United Garment Workers. In 1916 the Montreal organization a f f i l i a t e d with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Being a r e b e l organization i t could not a f f i l i a t e with the United Garment Workers of America and consequently with the American Federation of Labour. As mentioned above, the American Federation of Labour extended i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n to one organization only i n the trade. Also the American Federation of Labour was against the p r i n c i p l e s of the r e v o l t and looked uponj i t s leaders as arch r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s who were attempting to disturb the equilibrium and philosophy of Gompersism which prevailed at the time.* * Gompersism was the philosophy of Samuel Gompers who was leader of the American Federation of Labour and very active i n United States labour. I t was h i s contention that i n t h i s new land workers should not f i g h t the bosses because the i n t e r e s t s of one was the same as the other: both workers and bosses can have a piece of the p i e . In the minutes of the 1918 Convention of Baltimore some interesting facts come to light about the period 1916 to 1918 when the Amalgamated asserted i t s right to organize the unorganized. Of particular importance to this study i s the fact that for the f i r s t time "the Montreal clothing workers were strongly united". This was no easy task because the French Canadians in the clothing industry had never been organized before. Whereas a l l other nationalities were in the main immigrants, therefore adults, the French Canadians had a large number of young g i r l s , "some of them s t i l l below their teens" and a large number of exceedingly young g i r l s who had "the privilege of leaving school at a tender age and going straight into the factory i n their home town" (See Proceedings, Amalgamated Clothing Workers' of America 1916-1918:88). The Amalgamated "having convincingly demonstrated the power of their organization to protect themselves prevailed upon the employers to deal with the union in a l l matters concerning working conditions" (ibid:89). The clothing manufacturers of Montreal, who had alone determined wages, hours and working conditions, were not about to relinquish their hold. In 1916 Montreal joined the Amalgamated union. By the end of that year a series of successful strikes was brought to a close against various clothing companies. However, in January thirty-five hundred men, women and children went on strike against the Semi-Ready Clothing company which had refused to pay wage increases that had been agreed upon. "It was a lockout in every respect except in name" (ibid:89). About fifteen hundred others employed in smaller shops remained at work but they.soon went out. Settlement was n o t m a d e u n t i l M a r c h 1 1 , 1 9 1 7 a n d t h o s e w e r e e i g h t w e e k s w h i c h w i l l n o t b e f o r g o t t e n b y t h o s e w h o p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h a t s t r i k e . T h e r e a l i s s u e a c c o r d i n g t o t h e B a l t i m o r e C o n v e n t i o n o f 1 9 1 8 w a s t h e r i g h t o f t h e w o r k e r s t o o r g a n i z e t h e m s e l v e s f o r b e t t e r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s . M a n y o f m y i n f o r m a n t s w e r e p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d i n t h i s b a t t l e . F o r t h e s a k e o f b r e v i t y I w i l l l o o k a t o n l y t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f a f e w p e o p l e . W h y w a s i t n e c e s s a r y t o b e o r g a n i z e d ? S o m e o f t h e r e a s o n s g i v e n a r e a s f o l l o w s : T h e w o r k s p a c e w a s u n s a n i t a r y a n d c r o w d e d . W o r k e r s w e r e b a d l y p a i d . W a g e c u t s w e r e f u r t h e r i m p o s e d b y e m p l o y e r s t o a l r e a d y l o w w a g e s . W o r k w a s s e a s o n a l , a s e a s o n l a s t i n g f r o m s i x t o e i g h t w e e k s . I n s t e a d o f d r a w i n g o u t t h e s e a s o n e m p l o y e r s w o u l d e x p e d i t e t h e w o r k o v e r a s h o r t p e r i o d o f t i m e . D u r i n g u n e m p l o y e d p e r i o d s , m a l e i n f o r m a n t s l o o k e d f o r w o r k i n o t h e r t r a d e s , e . g . C a n a d i a n P a c i f i c R a i l w a y d o i n g h a r d l a b o u r f o r t w e n t y - f i v e c e n t s a n h o u r . L o n g h o u r s o f w o r k . S o m e i n f o r m a n t s s p e a k o f w o r k i n g 5 2 - 5 4 h o u r s a w e e k i n 1 9 1 2 - 1 9 1 6 . N o u n e m p l o y m e n t o r s i c k b e n e f i t s . J e w i s h w o r k e r s f o r m e d t h e i r o w n s i c k b e n e f i t a n d b u r i a l s o c i e t i e s ( S e e C h a p t e r V I ) . O t h e r w o r k e r s , e . g . F r e n c h C a n a d i a n s a n d I t a l i a n s h a d n o s u c h i n s u r a n c e t o f a l l b a c k o n . M a n u f a c t u r e r s w o u l d m a k e s u r e t h a t w o r k e r s o u t o n s t r i k e n e v e r f o u n d w o r k e l s e w h e r e , e . g . d u r i n g t h e F i r s t W o r l d W a r w h e n s o m a n y o f t h e s h o p s w e r e o u t o n s t r i k e , t h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w h o w e r e a l s o s t o c k h o l d e r s i n m u n i t i o n s p l a n t s m a d e s u r e t h e s e w o r k e r s w e r e n o t h i r e d . W o r k e r s h a d n o w h e r e t o g o t o v o i c e t h e i r g r i e v a n c e s . T h r o u g h t h e u n i o n t h e w o r k e r s c o u l d b e e d u c a t e d , n o t o n l y a b o u t t h e i r t r a d e b u t a l s o a b o u t t h e l a n g u a g e , h i s t o r y a n d c u s t o m s , p o l i t i c s o f t h e n e w c o u n t r y . 211 In the process of organizing the unorganized many people lost their jobs, got i l l , were forced to work in non-union shops for lower wages; they were treated like pariahs. But when your family i s starving and your child needs medicine, you are not fussy about how you earn a wage. They suffered hardships organizing the union and they organized because they were suffering. Their strongest weapon was striking. No one who lived and worked in the period under review escaped the shadow of being out on strike, whether as a striker, an employer, family, the local grocer, the butcher - everyone was affected by i t . And i f one trade was out on strike i t also affected workers i n another trade because they stuck together by helping i n r e l i e f work, taking food to striking families, setting up soup kitchens for those on picket lines, etc. Today these immigrants r e t e l l the events of some of the big strikes with a sparkle i n their eyes and a tremor i n their voice. They never f a i l to be moved a l l over again with what took place. Can we blame them for their pride i n achieving small victories painstakingly over long periods?. It i s with a certain amount of envy perhaps that we list e n to their dramatic stories. Are we not the beneficiaries and recipients of their struggles? Whatever the unions may be today i t should be understood that they f u l f i l l e d a v i t a l role i n the lives of these immigrant Jews and no one can take that away from their eyes and their voices. Max Yellen came to Montreal in 1912 when there "... was the walkout of 4,500 garment workers who sought a reduction i n hours and improved working conditions" (Copp 1974:132). At the age of 13 : he went into the garment industry even though he did not know anything about the tailoring trade. He came straight out of the yeshiva, 212 H e b r e w S c h o o l . H e s a i d : N a t u r a l l y a t t h a t t i m e i t w a s t h e o n l y t h i n g f o r t h e i m m i g r a n t s . T h e r e w a s n o o t h e r . E i t h e r y o u b e c a m e a p e d d l e r - w h i c h I w a s t o o y o u n g a t t h a t t i m e - o r y o u g o t o t h e t a i l o r i n g t r a d e . I w o r k e d i n t h i s p l a c e a t t h e a g e o f 1 3 f o r a m o n t h w i t h n o p a y . A t t h e e n d o f t h e m o n t h I g o t t w o a n d a h a l f o r t h r e e d o l l a r s , s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t . A n d t h e r e w a s n o u n i o n s h o p a t t h a t t i m e . I t w a s s t a r t i n g t o f o r m . I t w a s t h e n t h e U n i t e d G a r m e n t W o r k e r s u n i o n o n l y . T h e n t h e w o r k e r s s t a r t e d t o f o r m a n d t o m o v e s o m e o f u s . I n t h e g a r m e n t w o r k e r s t h e r e w a s r i g h t a n d l e f t t o o a t t h a t t i m e . A n d a s t r i k e b r o k e o u t i n M o n t r e a l . W e w e r e w o r k i n g a t t h a t t i m e , i f I a m n o t m i s t a k e n , 5 2 - 5 4 h o u r s . * T h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e s h o p s f r o m t h e t a i l o r i n g m a n u f a c t u r i n g w a s i n J e w i s h h a n d s w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f a f e w g e n t i l e s . S o o u r w e e k c o n s i s t e d o f f r o m 7 a . m . t o 6 p . m . e a c h d a y , e x c e p t i o n o f S a t u r d a y s . O n S a t u r d a y i t w a s c l o s e d u n t i l a f t e r S h a b b e s ( S a b b a t h ) , S a t u r d a y n i g h t . T h a t w a s i n t h e w i n t e r . . I n t h e s u m m e r S h a b b e s w a s u n t i l 9 p . m . a n d t h a t w a s t o o l a t e . B u t i n t h e w i n t e r d a y s w e h a d t o g o b a c k t o w o r k a f t e r S h a b b e s a n d I t h i n k w e w o r k e d 2*s h o u r s t o 3 h o u r s a n d t h e n o n S u n d a y w e w o r k e d h a l f a d a y . T h a t w a s t h e w a y a t t h a t t i m e . * S o n a t u r a l l y t h a t w a s t h e t i m e w h e n t h e s t r i k e b r o k e o u t . W e h a d a s t r i k e i n 1 9 1 2 w h i c h l a s t e d n i n e w e e k s . M a j o r i t y o f t h e s e p e o p l e w e r e e l d e r l y p e o p l e a n d t h a t i s t h e w a y t h e y w e r e w o r k i n g : $ 3 , $ 4 , $ 7 . $ 1 0 w a s t h e h i g h e s t p a y a t t h a t t i m e . I r e m e m b e r t h e s t r i k e v e r y w e l l . W e h a d m e e t i n g s i n t h e C o r o n a t i o n H a l l o n S t . L a w r e n c e . T h e y w e r e w e l l a t t e n d e d a s f a r a s I w a s c o n c e r n e d . H a d w o n d e r f u l s p e a k e r s . I t w a s o u r f i r s t s t r i k e a n d i t w a s f o r 5 0 - h o u r w e e k . M o s t o f t h e p e o p l e s t a y e d o u t . I t w a s v e r y d i f f i c u l t . W e h a d n o m o n e y b u t w e m a d e a c o l l e c t i o n o f $ 1 7 5 . T h a t w a s v e r y g o o d a t t h a t t i m e . M a n y p e o p l e d i d n o t h a v e c a s h a n d t o o k o f f t h e i r r i n g s . W e w e r e o u t n i n e w e e k s . F o r t u n a t e l y i t w a s s u m m e r . . . . I r e m e m b e r t h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s w e r e t r y i n g t o b r e a k t h e s t r i k e a n d t h e y b r o u g h t i n j p e o p l e f r o m T o r o n t o w h i c h t h e y d i d n ' t k n o w . Y o u s e e T o r o n t o h a d f o r m e d a u n i o n a t t h a t t i m e . * A c c o r d i n g t o m y s i m p l e c a l c u l a t i o n s , a l l o w i n g f o r a n h o u r f o r l u n c h , i t w o r k s o u t t o 6 0 h o u r s a w e e k o r m o r e ! So the people they brought in to break the strike were union people. Oh yes! And they placed them in the finest hotel in Montreal. And the next day they were supposed to come to work. Instead of coming to work they came to the strikers in the old Coronation Hall and we had a good laugh at the bosses. That incident I would like to remember. It was worthwhile mentioning i t . The period of the Twenties was a period of organization. According to Abella, "the industrial work force in Canada had pro-liferated rapidly throughout the 1920s and was demanding to be organized" (1973:2). For workers like Sidney Sarkin, Jimmy Blugerman, Joe Gershman and others, i t meant the organization and consolidation of the left wing progressive forces in the trade unions, political fields, and the mass fraternal organizations on the cultural front. It meant the organization of the unorganized workers, the struggle and movement toward industrial unionism, the struggle and movement toward social and labour legislation, the building of the political arm of the working class. Although at the time there was already a developed trade union movement in Canada, however the basic industries, heavy industries (outside of mining) where the masses of workers were concentrated, were not organized. For example, the textile industry was an open citadel: a citadel of open shops and company unions. The automobile industry which had developed by then also was unorganized. In the needle trades there was the beginning of the dress industry which by the mid-20s developed into one of the largest industries in the trade, not only supplying markets in Canada but also overseas. Thousands of people . became employed in the needle industry. In the East the organized miners of the Maritimes in Nova Scotia were affiliated with the International 214 M i n e w o r k e r s o f A m e r i c a . T h e y w e r e D i s t r i c t 2 6 . I n t h e W e s t t h e r e w a s D i s t r i c t 8 0 . B u t t h e s t e e l w o r k e r s a n d o t h e r h e a v y i n d u s t r i e s w e r e u n o r g a n i z e d . T h e s e t h e n w e r e t h e m a i n t a s k s f a c i n g t h e l e f t w i n g m o v e m e n t , a c c o r d i n g t o S a r k i n . I t r e q u i r e d t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d c o n -s o l i d a t i o n o f t h e i r f o r c e s f o r a n i m m e d i a t e p r o g r a m m e o f a c t i o n . O n t h e b a s i s o f t h i s t h e T r a d e U n i o n E d u c a t i o n a l L e a g u e w a s f o r m e d , a n a r m o f t h e l e f t w i n g f o r c e s . T h e i r a i m w a s f i r s t o f a l l t o c o n s o l i d a t e t h e i r o w n f o r c e s , e x p a n d t h e m a n d a t t h e s a m e t i m e w o r k b u t p l a n s f o r t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e u n o r g a n i z e d o n t h e b a s i s o f i n d u s t r i a l u n i o n i s m a g a i n s t c r a f t u n i o n i s m . I n t h e f i r s t t w o y e a r s o f e s t a b l i s h m e n t o v e r 5 0 , 0 0 0 w o r k e r s h a d b e e n o r g a n i z e d ( S a r k i n ) . T h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e u n o r g a n i z e d w a s l e d b y a n u m b e r o f t r a d e u n i o n i s t s o f w h o m S a r k i n w a s o n e . H e w a s i n v o l v e d i n t h e c o - o r d i n a t i o n o f t h e l e f t w i n g f o r c e s i n t h e n e e d l e t r a d e s w h i c h c o v e r e d a l l a s p e c t s a n d a t t h e s a m e t i m e h e a t t e n d e d m e e t i n g s , c o n s u l t e d a n d a d v i s e d o n c a m p a i g n s i n p r a c t i c a l l y a l l t h e o t h e r i n d u s t r i e s w i t h w h i c h t h e y h a d e s t a b l i s h e d c o n t a c t . T h i s w a s a l l d o n e u n d e r t h e a u s p i c e s o f t h e T r a d e U n i o n C o m m i s s i o n . L e c t u r e s , c l a s s e s , m a s s m e e t i n g s , c a m p a i g n s , e t c . w e r e a l l p a r t o f h i s w o r k . S a r k i n s a i d : I n t h o s e d a y s t h e l e a d e r s h i p d e v o t e d a l l o f i t s t i m e . W e w o r k e d f r o m m o r n i n g t i l l n i g h t - t o t h e e a r l y h o u r s o f t h e m o r n i n g a t t i m e s - r u n n i n g f r o m o n e m e e t i n g t o a n o t h e r . T h e r e m u n e r a t i o n w a s n e x t t o n o t h i n g . A s a m a t t e r o f f a c t e v e r y o n e o f u s c o n t r i b u t e d p a r t o f o u r s a l a r i e s t o t h e s e t h i n g s . J i m m y B l u g e r m a n w a s t h e f i r s t B u s i n e s s A g e n t o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d C l o t h i n g W o r k e r s ' U n i o n i n T o r o n t o a n d h e h e l d t h a t p o s i t i o n u n t i l 1 9 2 9 . 215 B e t w e e n 1 9 2 0 a n d 1 9 2 9 t h e r e w a s a d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e t r a d e u n i o n m o v e m e n t , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e n e e d l e t r a d e s , w h e r e t h e p r o g r e s s i v e s o c i a l i s t s l e d t h e A m a l g a m a t e d a n d t h e L a d i e s * I n t e r n a t i o n a l G a r m e n t W o r k e r s ' U n i o n , t h e C a p m a k e r s ' U n i o n , t h e F u r r i e r s ' U n i o n . T h e s e , u n i o n s h a d b e e n o r g a n i z e d t h r o u g h s t r i k e s a n d s t r u g g l e s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d C a n a d a . T h e y h a d e s t a b l i s h e d t h e 8 - h o u r w o r k i n g d a y , w i t h t i m e a n d a h a l f f o r o v e r t i m e , a n d a m i n i m u m s t a n d a r d w a g e . I n m o s t o f t h e s e i n d u s t r i e s w e e k - w o r k h a d a l s o b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d , e s p e c i a l l y i n T o r o n t o . T h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d C l o t h i n g W o r k e r s * U n i o n i n a b r o a d s e n s e w a s b a s e d o n i n d u s t r i a l u n i o n i s m . I t e m b r a c e d e v e r y p h a s e o f t h e m e n ' s c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y . H o w e v e r , t h e r e w e r e s o m a n y o p e r a t i o n s , s p e c i f i c o n e s . F o r e x a m p l e , o n e c o u l d n o t c o m p a r e t h e t a s k a n d c o n t r i b u t i o n o f t h e c u t t e r s t o a n y o t h e r o p e r a t i o n . T h e y o n l y c u t a n d n o t h i n g e l s e . T h e y h a d n o t h i n g t o d o w i t h t h e r e s t o f t h e g a r m e n t . T h e n t h e r e w e r e t h e g e n e r a l o p e r a t o r s w h o w e r e o n l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a c o a t a n d t h e r e w e r e m a n y a s p e c t s t o t h i s . T h e o p e r a t o r s ' l o c a l w a s t h e l a r g e s t . H e r e t h e b u l k o f t h e w o r k e r s w e r e f o u n d . T h e r e w e r e a l s o t h e p a n t s m a k e r s . T h e m a k i n g o f a p a i r o f s l a c k s a s c o m p a r e d t o a c o a t w a s a t h i n g b y i t s e l f . I t i n v o l v e d d i f f e r e n t o p e r a t i o n s , t h o u g h l e s s s e a m i n g . T h e r e w e r e p o c k e t s , z i p p e r , a n d t h a t w a s a l l . T h e v e s t m a k e r s , t h i s w a s a b i g g e r j o b , b e c a u s e t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a v e s t i n v o l v e d m o r e l a b o u r t h a n p a n t s . T h u s y o u h a d a c u t t e r s ' l o c a l , a p a n t s m a k e r s ' l o c a l , a v e s t m a k e r s ' l o c a l , e t c . F o r e x a m p l e , a F r e n c h C a n a d i a n c o u l d b e l o n g t o h i s F r e n c h C a n a d i a n l o c a l o r t o t h e c u t t e r s ' l o c a l , i f h e w a s a c u t t e r . E a c h g r o u p w a s f o r m e d a r o u n d i t s s p e c i f i c t a s k s . E a c h g r o u p h a d i t s o w n b u s i n e s s a g e n t a n d o r g a n i z e r , t h e r e f o r e e a c h g r o u p w a s a b l e t o d i s c u s s a n d d e c i d e u p o n i t s o w n p a r t i c u l a r b e e f s a n d p o l i c i e s . E a c h l o c a l h a d i t s o w n e x e c u t i v e w h i c h d e a l t w i t h i t s p r o b l e m s a n d w h i c h w a s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f i t s o w n l o c a l . A b o v e t h e E x e c u t i v e w a s t h e J o i n t B o a r d w h i c h w a s m a d e u p o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f a l l t h e s e l o c a l s . E a c h l o c a l h a d t h e s a m e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n n o m a t t e r t h e s i z e o f i t s m e m b e r s h i p . T h u s n o o n e l o c a l c o u l d d o m i n a t e a n o t h e r b y h a v i n g g r e a t e r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o n t h e J o i n t B o a r d . T h e J o i n t B o a r d u s e d t o m a k e t h e f i n a l d e c i s i o n o n t h e b a s i s o f t h e s e n t i m e n t s a n d p r o b l e m s o f t h e g i v e n l o c a l s . T h e r e w a s a l s o a s t a f f o f p a i d o f f i c e r s ( t h e o t h e r s w e r e l o c a l a n d u n p a i d ) . T h e p a i d o f f i c e r s l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e l o c a l s . T h e s e w e r e t h e B u s i n e s s A g e n t a n d O r g a n i z e r . T h u s t h e c u t t e r s h a d a B u s i n e s s A g e n t w h o l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e c u t t e r s ' l o c a l a n d w a s a c q u a i n t e d w i t h t h e p e c u l i a r i t i e s o f t h e c u t t i n g t r a d e . I n t h i s m a n n e r w o r k e r s w e r e p r o t e c t e d a n d t h e A g e n t d e a l t d i r e c t l y w i t h t h e f i r m o r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e f i r m i n s u c h m a t t e r s a s h i r i n g , f i r i n g , p r o d u c t i o n , w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s , e t c . I t w a s a l s o t h e o b l i g a t i o n o f t h e B u s i n e s s A g e n t t o o r g a n i z e t h e u n o r g a n i z e d w h e r e v e r p o s s i b l e o r t o l o o k a f t e r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c a m p a i g n s . T h e F r e n c h w o r k e r s , f o r e x a m p l e , h a d a n A g e n t w h o l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i r b a s i c i n t e r e s t s . I t w a s h i s j o b t o e n s u r e t h a t t h e r e w o u l d b e n o d i s c r i m i n a t i o n e v e n o u t s i d e t h e w o r k i n g e n v i r o n m e n t . A b o v e a l l t h e s e o f f i c e r s o f t h e u n i o n w a s a M a n a g e r w h o w a s a p p o i n t e d b y t h e G e n e r a l O f f i c e o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d . B u s i n e s s A g e n t s w e r e e l e c t e d w h e n e v e r t h e J o i n t B o a r d c o n v e n e d , w h i c h c o u l d b e e v e r y y e a r o r e v e r y t w o y e a r s . S i x m o n t h s a f t e r S a r k i n h a d s t a r t e d w o r k i n g i n t h e c u t t i n g r o o m ( h e h a d m o v e d f r o m s w e e p e r t o a s s i s t a n t c u t t e r i n o n e m o n t h ) , h e a p p l i e d t o b e c o m e a m e m b e r o f t h e c u t t e r s ' l o c a l . I t w a s n o t s o e a s y f o r a n a s s i s t a n t c u t t e r t o g e t i n t o t h e c u t t e r s ' l o c a l . W i t h t h e h e l p a n d f r i e n d s h i p h e h a d d e v e l o p e d , a n d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p h e h a d e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h t w o c u t t e r s i n h i s s h o p ( w h o h a d a f i n e r e c o r d i n t h e i r l o c a l ) , S a r k i n a p p e a r e d b e f o r e t h e E x e c u t i v e o f t h e c u t t e r s ' l o c a l a n d w a s f i n a l l y a c c e p t e d . H e b e c a m e a f u l l - f l e d g e d m e m b e r o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d C l o t h i n g W o r k e r s ' o f A m e r i c a . T w o y e a r s l a t e r , b y t h e e n d o f 1 9 2 3 , d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f e l e c t i o n s S a r k i n r a n a s a m e m b e r o f t h e E x e c u t i v e a n d h e w a s t h e f i r s t a s s i s t a n t c u t t e r t o b e e l e c t e d t o t h e E x e c u t i v e B o a r d . W i t h t h i s a p p o i n t m e n t h i s g e n e r a l a c t i v i t i e s o u t s i d e t h e l i f e o f t h e t r a d e u n i o n o r g a n i z a t i o n b e g a n . A b o u t s i x m o n t h s a f t e r h i s e l e c t i o n , t h e G e n e r a l E x e c u t i v e B o a r d m e m b e r o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d w h o v i s i t e d t h e d i f f e r e n t c i t i e s a n d m a r k e t s f r o m t i m e t o t i m e , c a m e t o M o n t r e a l . W h e n h e s a w S i d n e y , a y o u n g s t e r o n t h e E x e c u t i v e , h e t u r n e d t o t h e E x e c u t i v e m e e t i n g a n d g a v e , t h e m a l e c t u r e o n t h e d e g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e c u t t e r s ' u n i o n i n a l l o w i n g a n a s s i s t a n t c u t t e r t o b e o n t h e E x e c u t i v e . H e c o n c l u d e d h i s r e m a r k s b y s a y i n g t h a t t h i s w a s a p r e c e d e n t a n d a v e r y b a d p r e c e d e n t a n d s h o u l d b e d o n e a w a y w i t h . H o w e v e r , t h e w h o l e E x e c u t i v e s t o o d u p a g a i n s t h i m a n d S i d n e y r e m a i n e d o n t h e B o a r d . I t g i v e s y o u t h e p s y c h o l o g y a t t h a t t i m e y e t , a l t h o u g h i t w a s n e a r i n g t h e e n d o f t h a t p e r i o d , b e c a u s e i n a f e w y e a r s i t w a s p r a c t i c a l l y g o n e . T h e e n d o f t h e g e n e r a l a p p r o a c h a n d p s y c h o l o g y o f t h e c u t t e r s , t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p , t h e i r o u t l o o k , a s t o w h o s h o u l d b e i n t h e l e a d e r s h i p a n d w h o s h o u l d h a v e a s a y i n t h e a f f a i r s o f t h e c u t t e r s t h r o u g h o u t t h e U . S . a n d C a n a d a . T h i s w a s c a r r i e d o v e r f r o m t h e f o r m e r o r g a n i z a t i o n , t h e U n i t e d G a r m e n t W o r k e r s , w h o s e b a s i c p h i l o s o p h y w a s b a s e d o n c r a f t i d e o l o g y . ( S a r k i n ) T h i s w a s t h e b a c k g r o u n d o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d a n d w h e n S i d n e y j o i n e d t h e c u t t e r s w e r e k n o w n a s t h e a r i s t o c r a t s a n d w e r e c l o t h e d a s s u c h . T h e y u s e d t o w e a r s t r i p e d p a n t s , v e r y f i n e d a r k j a c k e t s , a v e s t a n d t h r o u g h t h e v e s t a g o l d e n c h a i n a n d w a t c h . T h i s p e r i o d c a m e t o a n e n d w h e n t h e J e w s s t a r t e d c o m i n g i n t o t h e t r a d e a n d o n e f o u n d l i t t l e e v i d e n c e o f t h a t p e r i o d o f t h e s t r i p e d p a n t s . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w h i c h e x i s t e d b e t w e e n t h e o w n e r s a n d t h e c u t t e r s w a s d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t w h i c h e x i s t e d b e t w e e n t h e o w n e r s a n d t h e r e s t o f t h e w o r k e r s . T h e c u t t e r s w e r e t r e a t e d b e t t e r , w i t h r e s p e c t , a n d h a d a m o n g s t t h e m a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t s o m u c h w a s t o b e p r o d u c e d a n d n o m o r e . I f o n e w e n t o v e r t h e p r o d u c t i o n a g r e e d u p o n o n e w a s c a l l e d t o t h e u n i o n E x e c u t i v e a n d f i n e d . T h a t w a s t h e k i n d o f c o n t r o l w h i c h e x i s t e d . " A n d " , s a i d S a r k i n , " t h e b o s s e s c o u l d n ' t d o a g o d - d a m n e d t h i n g a b o u t i t ! " S i d n e y w a s a f a s t w o r k e r a n d t h e r e w e r e a n u m b e r o f c u t t e r s w h o w e r e v e r y f a s t , b u t i n o r d e r t o k e e p t h e m s e l v e s w i t h i n t h e q u o t a t h e y u s e d t o k i l l t i m e b y g o i n g " u m p t e e n t i m e s t o t h e w a s h r o o m , o r s i t d o w n o n a b o l t o f c l o t h w i t h a b o x o f c h a l k a n d s h a r p e n t h e p i e c e s . T h e r e w e r e 5 2 p i e c e s i n a b o x " . T h i s v i v i d l y p o r t r a y s t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e c u t t e r s ' c o n d i t i o n a n d t h e l i f e t h e y e n j o y e d a n d t h o s e o f t h e o p e r a t o r s . E v e n a t t h a t t i m e t h e s a l a r y w a s $ 4 0 a w e e k f o r a c u t t e r . I n t h e c u t t i n g r o o m o n e s e l d o m f o u n d a n y o n e a g e d 6 0 - 6 5 y e a r s . A f t e r t h e a g e o f 5 0 y o u w e r e l o o k e d u p o n a s " b e i n g t h r o u g h " . On June 15th 1922 the very first agreement in Canada was signed between the Associated Clothing Manufacturers and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers' Union, f t is not an impressive-looking document, but i t is a landmark of its time. What is important is that such a document was finally agreed upon and signed. A copy is appended. Union Struggles In 1924 trouble developed in the shop where Sarkin was employed. The shop was a union shop and was owned by his cousin. The union, through the Shop Committee, demanded action and Sidney participated in his first strike. It was the winter of 1924. He was on the Strike Committee of the shop. On the fcdcket line one met scabs, gangsters, and squads of mounted police. Sarkin said: I don't want you to misunderstand. It was not the Canadian Mounted Police. It was the local police and they were mounted. It reminded me for the first time of Cossacks. The horses were well trained to use their hoofs to push back the people on the picket line. The cause of the strike had its basis in three developments during that period: 1. The development of "that disease of contracting" (Sarkin). 2. A move on the part of the clothing manufacturers to run away from the unions by moving out into the country. 3. Manufacturers were induced by the Catholic Church offering a l l kinds of concessions: no tax payment from five to ten years; cheap labour because farmers were employed, etc. S a r k i n s a i d : T h e c o n t r a c t i n g s y s t e m i s a d i s e a s e a s f a r a s a n y i n d u s t r y i s c o n c e r n e d , b u t e s p e c i a l l y a s f a r a s t h e c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y b e c a u s e t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e i n d u s t r y p e r m i t s a f e w p e o p l e -t w o o r t h r e e - t o g e t t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e i r f a m i l i e s a n d t a k e w o r k o u t s i d e f r o m t h e i n s i d e s h o p s , u n d e r t a k i n g t o p r o d u c e t h e g a r m e n t s c h e a p e r t h a n t h e c o s t t o t h e i n s i d e m a n u f a c t u r e r s , b y w o r k i n g a l l k i n d s o f h o u r s w i t h i n t h e h o m e . I t i s f r o m t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e c o n t r a c t i n g s h o p t h a t t h e t e r m ' s w e a t s h o p * o r i g i n a t e d . I n t h a t g i v e n p e r i o d , c o n t r a c t i n g h a d b e c o m e a m e n a c e t o t h e g e n e r a l c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e t a i l o r s . - I t w a s a b a s i c p r o b l e m . T h i s w a s o n e o f t h e r e a s o n s o f t h e 1 9 2 4 s t r i k e . F o r w o r k e r s t o g o o u t o n s t r i k e i n t h o s e d a y s w a s b a d . I f y o u w e n t o u t i n w i n t e r y o u w e r e c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e p r o s p e c t o f s t a r v a t i o n a s w e l l a s s t a n d i n g i n f r e e z i n g w e a t h e r o n t h e p i c k e t l i n e s . T h e r e w a s n o s t r i k e p a y . S t r i k e r s e x i s t e d o n h a n d o u t s a n d c o l l e c t i o n s o f k i n d l y p e o p l e . I f t h e s t r i k e p r o l o n g e d , y o u a n d y o u r f a m i l y s u f f e r e d d e p r i v a t i o n . T h i s w a s o n e o f t h e m a i n r e a s o n s w h y s t r i k e s w e r e b r o k e n : t h e w o r k e r s c o u l d n o t g o h u n g r y f o r t o o m a n y w e e k s a t a t i m e . A n o t h e r g r e a t p r o b l e m w h i c h e x i s t e d i n Q u e b e c p a r t i c u l a r l y w a s t h e a r m y o f s c a b s w h i c h w e r e b r o u g h t i n b y e m p l o y e r s . A l l s o r t s o f m e t h o d s w e r e u s e d b y t h e w o r k e r s t o g e t r i d o f s c a b s b e c a u s e t h e y e n d a n g e r e d t h e w o r k e r s ' b a r g a i n i n g p o s i t i o n . A s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , i f t h e s t r i k e t o o k p l a c e i n w i n t e r , a s i t h a p p e n e d i n 1 9 2 4 , o n e a l s o f a c e d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f f r e e z i n g a t h o m e a n d o n t h e p i c k e t l i n e . A c c o r d i n g t o s e v e r a l i n f o r m a n t s , e m p l o y e r s u s e d g a n g s t e r s a n d p o l i c e ; t h e r e w e r e b l o o d y f i g h t s a n d w o r k e r s w e r e b e a t e n u p . A s t h o u g h t h i s w e r e n o t e n o u g h t h e y f a c e d c o u r t i n j u n c t i o n s , s e l l - o u t s b y t o p l e a d e r s , a n d i n s o m e i n s t a n c e s , d e f e a t . N o n e t h e l e s s , 221 i t w a s t h e s e m i l i t a n t w o r k e r s w h o w o n u n i o n r e c o g n i t i o n , r e d u c t i o n i n w o r k i n g h o u r s , a n d w a g e i n c r e a s e s w h i c h t o d a y t h e l a b o u r f o r c e t a k e s m o r e o r l e s s f o r g r a n t e d . S a r k i n w a s a n a r d e n t p i c k e t e r a n d i t w a s i n t h i s h i s f i r s t s t r i k e t h a t t h e t r o u b l e w i t h h i s l e g b e g a n b e c a u s e h e h a d t o s t a n d f o r h o u r s i n f r e e z i n g w e a t h e r . ( T w e n t y y e a r s l a t e r o n e l e g o f h i s w a s f i n a l l y a m p u t a t e d a f t e r y e a r s o f p a i n a n d s u f f e r i n g ) . A f t e r s i x w e e k s o f c o l d , h u n g e r , s c a b s , p o l i c e b r u t a l i t y , t h e s t r i k e w a s l o s t . T h e C o m p a n y m o v e d o u t t o V i c t o r i a v i l l e , a w a y f r o m M o n t r e a l , a n d o n l y t h e c u t t i n g r o o m r e m a i n e d i n t h e c i t y . S i m i l a r p r o b l e m s w e r e f a c e d b y o t h e r w o r k e r s i n o t h e r s h o p s . T h e p r o g r e s s i v e a n d l e f t w i n g s e c t i o n s o f t h e u n i o n c a l l e d f o r a c t i o n t o e l i m i n a t e t h e c o n t r a c t o r s . A d i v i s i o n o f d i f f e r e n c e o f o p i n i o n d e v e l o p e d b e t w e e n r i g h t a n d l e f t w i n g s e c t i o n s o f t h e u n i o n . A l t h o u g h t h e r e w a s m u c h t a l k a b o u t t h e p r o b l e m s o f c o n t r a c t i n g a t t h a t t i m e , t h e r i g h t w i n g e r s w e r e n e v e r w i l l i n g t o t a k e a c t i o n a g a i n s t i t . A s a m a t t e r o f f a c t t h e y p r o p o s e d t h a t t h e u n i o n o r g a n i z e t h e c o n t r a c t o r s s o a s t o b r i n g a b o u t c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a i n i n g a n d a g r e e m e n t w i t h t h e m w h i c h h a d n e v e r b e e n w o r k e d o u t . T h e c o n t r a c t i n g p r o b l e m f r o m t h e n o n b e c a m e o n e o f t h e s c o u r g e s o f t h e i n d u s t r y a n d u n d e r m i n e d t h e c o n d i t i o n s a n d l i v e l i h o o d o f t h e p e o p l e e m p l o y e d i n t h e c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y . T w o h u n d r e d a n d e i g h t y p e o p l e w e r e e m p l o y e d i n t h e s h o p w h i c h m o v e d o u t t o V i c t o r i a v i l l e a n d t h e y a l l l o s t t h e i r j o b s . A f t e r t h e s t r i k e w a s l o s t , S a r k i n d i d n o t g o b a c k t o t h e c u t t i n g r o o m w h i c h h a d r e m a i n e d i n t h e c i t y . H e j o i n e d t h e r a n k s o f t h e u n e m p l o y e d . T h r o u g h 222 f a m i l y t i e s h e h a d t h e o p p o r t u n i t y o f g e t t i n g w o r k i n a n o p e n s h o p . H o w e v e r , h e c o u l d n o t b r i n g h i m s e l f t o w o r k i n a n o n - u n i o n s h o p a n d f o r m o n t h s h e w a s ' b r e a d l e s s ' , s a i d S i d n e y . A t t h a t t i m e , a n o t h e r c o u s i n o f h i s , S a m u e l H a r t , o w n e d o n e o f t h e l a r g e s t s h o p s i n t h e c i t y w h i c h w a s a l s o a n o p e n s h o p . H i s w i f e , M r s . H a r t , w a s a v e r y f i n e w o m a n a n d u s e d t o v i s i t S i d n e y q u i t e o f t e n . S a r k i n s a i d : S h e u s e d t o , i n a v e r y n i c e w a y , a s k m e t o g o o u t t o w o r k . S h e s a i d t h e r e w a s a p l a c e o p e n a t S a m u e l H a r t a n d w h y d o n ' t I g o o u t t o w o r k ? S h e s a i d t h a t n o b o d y w a s g o i n g t o i n t e r f e r e w i t h m y i d e a s a n d t h o u g h t s . A n d s o o n . . . S a r k i n w e n t u p t o t h e u n i o n , t o l d t h e m h i s s t o r y a n d s a i d t h a t i t w a s u p t o t h e m : i f t h e y g a v e h i m a w o r k i n g c a u l , m e a n i n g a n o f f i c i a l a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t t o g o t o t h e s h o p , t h e n h e w o u l d . B u t w i t h o u t a c a r d h e w o u l d n o t . S a r k i n s a i d : S o i t b e c a m e a j o k e a t t h a t t i m e : t h e u n i o n i s s u i n g m e a w o r k i n g c a r d t o w o r k i n a o p e n , n o n - u n i o n s h o p ! B u t f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f s t a t u s a n d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e w o r k e r s , I f e l t t h a t i t s h o u l d b e d o n e . A n d f i n a l l y a f t e r t h r e e m o n t h s o f b e i n g w i t h o u t w o r k h e s t a r t e d a t S a m u e l H a r t ' s i n t h e t r i m m i n g r o o m . T h i s w a s b y n o w t h e b e g i n n i n g o f 1 9 2 5 . I n t h i s s h o p t h e r e w a s a l a r g e c u t t i n g r o o m e m p l o y i n g s o m e t w e n t y - f i v e m e n . W i t h i n t h e f i r s t f e w w e e k s h e f e l t h e ' c o u l d n ' t b r e a t h e * . H e f e l t c r a m p e d a n d s u f f o c a t e d . N o o n e b o t h e r e d h i m i n h i s w o r k . A f t e r t h r e e w e e k s o r a m o n t h , t h e G e n e r a l M a n a g e r o f S a m u e l H a r t c a l l e d t h e w o r k e r s t o g e t h e r t o h e a r a s p e e c h , t h e s u m t o t a l o f w h i c h w a s t h a t t i m e s w e r e h a r d a n d t h a t n o n e o f t h e m s h o u l d b e s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d i n t h e i r p a y e n v e l o p e s , c o m e s F r i d a y , a c u t i n w a g e s a n y w h e r e f r o m $ 2 . 5 0 t o $5 a week! He explained that this was happening in union shops and, after a l l , they must be competitive. "Well I nearly busted when I heard his speech. I couldn't swallow the self-rule of the open shop where workers could not express an opinion about the conditions", said Sarkin. So he went to the back of the trimming room and told the foreman ("a nice fellow; I had nothing against him"), that he should accept his resignation. The foreman said: "What the hell is the matter with you? You have not been touched". Which was true. Sarkin had not been given a cut in wages. When he received his envelope his pay was intact. He said: But I couldn't look at myself. You know what i t means?? I'm favoured in the shop because I'm the boss' cousin. He too, plain and simple foreman, couldn't figure i t out. He said to me: 'you are working very easily here, right? So why leave?' and he went in and reported i t to my cousin. He didn't come in to see me but Mrs. Hart called me and asked why. But Sidney packed i t up and left the job. They could not understand and he did not blame them. Forming a union and belonging to one did not mean the end of the workers' problems. It did not stop employers from imposing wage cuts. The Canadian Department of Labour required that employers f i l l out a form whenever their place of business went out on strike. As the following sample will show, question #5 on the form reads: Why did the employees go on strike? The reply in the majority of cases reviewed was "opposed reduction in wages", and, "refused to accept piece work". In an article in the Hamilton Spectator, dated March 10th 1921, the headline reads: "Local Garment Workers Accept New Agreement. Reduction 224 in Wages Averages 15%". The Labour Department forms are very instructive. They give us such information as to how the strike was settled. Some were settled by 'negotiations' between employers and employees, or their representatives, and the 'terms of settlement' were always the acceptance of employers* terms, e.g. 'a reduction of men's wages of $4 and women of $3.50 per week' (See following sample). Joe Gershman was very active in the unions: furriers, needle trades, etc. He lived in a room in Toronto and could not afford the rent. In his job as Organizer he commuted between Toronto and Montreal. He had trouble sneaking into his room when he was in town! He said that after they started to organize, he got $12 a week in wages. "Otherwise we used to live on beans and toast, toast and beans". Until they were organized they had a lot of fights with the police and with gangsters. Most of the strikes were lost, because the "forces against us were too strong. Jewish manufacturers had the press with them and they hired gangsters" said Gershman. He recalls some of the events of a particular strike: ... the first day when we called the general strike, we had a big mass meeting on Ontario Street in a big hall. Three cars came down to the centre where we had the meeting and they (the fellows in the cars) say they want to see me. Everybody saw that theywere a bunch of gangsters. So they say: you shouldn't go. And I say: why not? One of them I know personally. A Jewish boy of Main Street in Montreal. We used to call him 'Joe the peye'. You know what a peye means? Sideburns! I knew these fellows. In those days I used to take a drink. And so I used to chum with them. So they took me into the car, and this g i r l , a Yiddisher gi r l who is now a bubee, a grandmother, she fainted when she saw me going into the car. She was sure that they wil l never see me come back. So I went with them and we went into a bar and sat down-: We talked and they said: Listen P A R T I ~" * " ' ' " " . " " "* E M P L O Y E E S F i l l i n t h i s s h e e t , d e t a c h , a n d r e t u r n t o D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o u r , O t t a w a . 1. Locality in which dispute tcK)kplace...r.'...^ ^^  -..rrK....... Q 3. ' Business of firm or firms i n v o l v e d . . . . ^ ^ . r ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ r r r ^ . 4. ; Occupation of employees who went on strika tfe?4f~pA-^4-JU^A ^ f ^ f ^ f ^ C r * ? ? • ' •. [A&A-k ? V ...LU..^-.fr±9. Where the cause of strike was on account of a decrease in rates of wages, or an increase in hours of labour, or both, state : 1. What were the proposed decreased rates of wages?...$^*^^.T?*jpr%»...£^ -2.'•• What-were the proposed increased hours of labour? 3. What were the prevailing rates of wages?. .L^^rrf^f^r^.^ 4. What were the prevailing hours of labour? kf.^.i^a^rr*'. ^....'^T^Ss... 7. Date and hour employees first stopped work S?T.^  .../...9...H..Q. •8. • Number of firms involved /.. 9. Number of employees on strike : Males ..'iJ^rf^Af.....l...?r.'^' Females T /.2...s.^...:.....yf.^-Total - - - - .: t^ejy^O. ' ltl ; Give as account of the negotiations, if any, between employers and employees, preceding the strike : Information furnished by. For whom ^ . . ^ ^ . . . . ^ r x ^ ? . . . (D pi I-i rf 0 n> 3 rt O H i tr< P> a* o c H 5. Name and number of Trade Union Local Q*^*^ -t ^ r r i t r ^ h ^ lT^..if..<X?r^^^ g0?.. <Zk<uUjU^*r*Z S 6. W H Y DID T H E E M P L O Y E E S GO O N STRIKE? Qr^..<^J^A <K jjj" d*rr*rrfn+r*r^^ irf^^Z.-.lJ^^jAr^... » Wherethe cause of strike was for an increase in rates of wages or a reduction in hours of labour, g or both, state : £ 1. What were the rates of wages demanded? TTTTTTT^ . ^ rO NJ we have a chance to make quite a bit of money. We know you personally, we know other boys. We don't want to go against the union but we don't want to lose the money either. So I told them that I have a plan for them. I said: You choose two of you, I don't want to talk to a l l of you, only two. And I wil l bring one of my friends with me and we will make an appointment. The La Salle Hotel at the bar. We treated them with dinner and told them: Listen - that must have been on a Friday - on Monday morning I ' l l have a group of girls begin to phone some of the manufacturers, the big shots. And they will cry on the telephone and t e l l the manufacturers that they are responsible that Gershman was beaten up and is in the hospital, and that the other organizer, Franky (we used to call him Jean Harlow because he was a blondie) and a few others were also beaten up. And then you guys can go in and collect your money. So these guys say that the manufacturers are not going to believe just by a telephone call. So I say: You know what? We'll do like this. Monday the girls are going to call , crying, shouting, scolding and what not. Then the next morning about 10 o'clock I ' l l show up together with Franky a l l bandaged up and the girls will be around and they wil l yell when they see the manufacturers coming down from the building: You murderers! You nearly killed Gershman! and a l l that kind of stuff. And this is what happened. They collected loads of money, the gangsters. But we didn't win the strike. When I talked to Bluma Kogan and Pauline Chudnovsky at the Baycrest Terrace, Pauline turned to Bluma and said: Do you remember the Decklebaum Brothers in Toronto, the Decklebaum Brothers? They were the big ... they started from nothing and they used to t e l l the people, their workers, in Yiddish: "We are workers like you". Said Bluma: That's true. And i f you want to work, you want to have money, then you have to work day and night. And that's the way i t was. It wasn't because I was a Jew and he was a Jew. He was a boss and I was a worker. The Italians the same way and the Greeks. Tsva classen, two classes. Maybe i t is h a r d t o u n d e r s t a n d . B u t w h e n y o u a r e i n i t . . . A n d B l u m a p r o c e e d e d t o e x p l a i n w h a t i t w a s s o h a r d f o r m e t o u n d e r s t a n d . i I t i s v e r y t r u e t h a t M r . S h e r m a n , m y b o s s , d i d n ' t c o m e h e r e w i t h a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s o r a h u n d r e d t h o u s a n d d o l l a r s . H e c a m e h e r e j u s t a s a w o r k e r a n d h e b e c a m e a c u t t e r i n a d r e s s f a c t o r y . W h e n h e a c c u m u l a t e d o r s a v e d a l i t t l e b i t o f m o n e y , . . . t h a t ' s i t . O n e t i m e t h e r e w a s a s t r i k e ( o r t h e r e w a s s l a c k , I d o n ' t r e m e m b e r ) . T h e r e w a s n o t m u c h w o r k i n m y t r a d e . A n d I h a d t o m a k e a l i v i n g , s o I w e n t i n o n S p a d i n a A v e n u e t o w o r k o n c a p s . M e n s ' , b o y s ' , c a p s . A n d k n o w i n g h o w t o u s e a m a c h i n e I w a s p r e t t y g o o d a t i t . O k a y , s o I w o r k e d t h e r e f o r a f e w w e e k s j u s t b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s a n d t h e n m y o l d p l a c e g o t w o r k a g a i n . S o I g a v e m y b o s s n o t i c e t h a t I a m l e a v i n g t o g o b a c k t o m y o l d t r a d e , m y o l d b o s s . T h i s m a n w a s n ' t a J e w . H e w a s a g e n t i l e . A n d h e b e c a m e s o i n f u r i a t e d a n d s o m a d , h e s a i d : H o w d a r e y o u t o l e a v e m e b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s ? I h a v e a s h i p m e n t t o m e e t , s o m a n y , s o m a n y b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s . I s a y : M r . B o s s , y o u h a v e a s h i p m e n t t o d o . Y o u w a n t t o m a k e m o n e y o n y o u r c a p s . I ' m j u s t a n o p e r a t o r a n d I h a v e t o m a k e s o m e m o n e y f o r m y s e l f . I ' m j u s t l i k e y o u . Y o u w a n t m o n e y a n d I a l s o w a n t m o n e y , s o I ' m l e a v i n g . H e s a i d , a n d b y t h i s t i m e h e g o t s o m a d , h e g o t s o m a d b e c a u s e I o p e n e d m y m o u t h . A n d h e s a i d : A l l y o u J e w s t h a t c a m e h e r e o u g h t t o b e t a k e n t o g e t h e r o n a b o a t a m d d u m p e d i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e A t l a n t i c O c e a n ! B y t h a t t i m e , y o u k n o w , h e g o t s o m a d t h a t h e w a s g o i n g t o h i t m e , I t h i n k . I w a s s t a n d i n g b y t h e d o o r h o l d i n g j u s t l i k e t h i s ( a n d B l u m a w e n t o v e r a n d s t o o d h o l d i n g t h e d o o r k n o b ) - j u s t i n c a s e h e c o m e s t o h i t m e , I w o u l d r u n a w a y . W e l l h e d i d n ' t c o m e t o h i t m e b u t h e w a s j u s t a b o u t t o d o i t , s o I w e n t a w a y . I s a y I w a n t m y p a y . I w o r k e d l a s t w e e k a n d I w a n t m y p a y . H e s a i d : G e t o u t o f h e r e ! A n y w a y I g o t o u t a n d I w a s a f r a i d t o c o m e b a c k f o r m y p a y . S o I g o t s o m e f r i e n d s t o c o m e w i t h m e a n d o f c o u r s e h e h a d t o g i v e m e m y p a y . T h a t w a s S p a d i n a A v e n u e ! B l u m a K o g a n n e v e r g o t m a r r i e d . S h e s p e n t h e r e n t i r e l i f e w o r k i n g i n t h e n e e d l e t r a d e s . A t t h e e n d s h e h a d g i v e n o v e r f i f t y y e a r s o f h e r l i f e t o t h e g a r m e n t - i n d u s t r y . S h e s t a r t e d a s a y o u n g g i r l o f 228 f o u r t e e n a n d w h e n I s p o k e t o h e r s h e w a s r e c e i v i n g a p e n s i o n f r o m t h e u n i o n o f $ 7 0 a m o n t h . O r g a n i z i n g t h e u n o r g a n i z e d w a s n o t t h e e a s i e s t w a y t o m a k e a l i v i n g i n t h e T w e n t i e s a n d T h i r t i e s . T h e C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t a n d t h e C a n a d i a n p e o p l e w e r e a f r a i d o f t h e s p r e a d o f t h e O c t o b e r R e v o l u t i o n , t h e R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n . T h e 1 9 1 9 W i n n i p e g G e n e r a l S t r i k e h a d t h r o w n a d e a d l y f e a r i n t o t h e g o v e r n m e n t t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t " e v e r y c a p i t a l i s t a n d e v e r y b o u r g e o s i e i n C a n a d a w a s l o o k i n g u n d e r h i s b e d t o m a k e s u r e t h e r e w a s n ' t a B o l s h e v i k t h e r e ! " s a i d S a r k i n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , e v e r y f o r m o f b i n d i n g , s p r e a d i n g , b r o a d e n i n g t h e t r a d e u n i o n m o v e m e n t , o r g a n i z i n g t h e u n o r g a n i z e d , w a s l o o k e d u p o n b y t h e f e d e r a l , p r o v i n c i a l a n d c i v i c a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a s r e v o l u t i o n . " N o t w h a t y o u h a v e t o d a y , t h e r i g h t o f o r g a n i z a t i o n : t h a t a l l y o u h a v e t o d o i s c a l l u p o n a l a b o u r b o a r d t o t a k e a v o t e i n a s h o p , w h o i s f o r a n d w h o i s a g a i n s t " ( S a r k i n ) . I n t h o s e d a y s i t w a s j u s t t h e o p p o s i t e . T h e m i g h t o f t h e w h o l e s t a t e , t h e p o l i c e , a l l k i n d s o f i n t i m i d a t i o n , a r r e s t s , c h a r g e s o f c o n s p i r a c y , w e r e t h e o r d e r o f t h e d a y . S a r k i n r e c a l l s : . . . a n d y o u n e v e r k n e w w h e n y o u w e r e g o i n g t o b e p i c k e d u p . W e w e r e p i c k e d u p u m p t e e n t i m e s . W e w e r e t h r o w n i n t o p o l i c e h e a d q u a r t e r s a n d t h a t i s m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e . N o s u c h t h i n g a s a c e l l , b u t a g e n e r a l r o o m w i t h a f e w c o t s a n d y o u h a d , p a r d o n m e , t h e u r i n a l r u n n i n g r i g h t t h r o u g h t h e m i d d l e . S o m e o f u s w e r e b e a t e n u p a s w e l l . T h e f o l l o w i n g i s a n e x c e r p t f r o m a p o e m " N o t T o B e B o r n e " b y H e l e n e R o s e n t h a l , t h e d a u g h t e r o f a n i m m i g r a n t t a i l o r : 229 I t w a s e a s i e r t o r e c o g n i z e h i m a s m y f a t h e r a f t e r h e h a d d i e d . I r e m e m b e r o n h i s d e a t h b e d h o w h e r a n b a r e f o o t t h r o u g h t h e t a l l f i e l d t o h i s m o t h e r c r y i n g t o b e h e a l e d ; h o w h e r e t u r n e d t o t h e e m p t y v i l l a g e i n G a l i c i a a n d f o u n d h e r g o n e . N o r w a s I c o m f o r t e a r l i e r o r t o o l a t e . H a t e n u r s e d t h e h u r t i n s i d e t h e f a c t o r y o f t h e n e w w o r l d d a m n e d h i s p u l s e . H i s v e i n s s t i t c h e d p a n t s t o g e t h e r , t h r e a d e d t h e m a c h i n e w i t h p r o t e s t . B l u e s e r g e , k h a k i t r o d h i m , h e r r i n g b o n e a n d t w i s t a n d c o m m o n d r i l l o n M r . D u n k e l m a n ' s p a r a d e - g r o u n d ; w h e r e t h e d r u m -m a j o r s w e r e a l l u n i o n e x e c u t i v e s w h o r a i s e d p r o d u c t i o n , p i e c e w o r k r a t e t h a t s a p p e d h i s f r a m e . . . . e a c h d a w n t h e c o n s c r i p t d r u d g e r e b o u n d i n t o t h e r h y t h m o f " t h e s h o p : " T i p T o p T a i l o r s w h e r e h e t r u d g e d a q u a r t e r c e n t u r y , G e h e n n a h e b r o u g h t h o m e e a c h n i g h t . C o l d s u p p e r e v e n Y a h v e h w o u l d n ' t e a t w i t h u s o n F r i d a y , s h a b b y s h a b b a s o f o u r l o s t I s r a e l . . . . t o t e l l t h e t r u t h , w h a t l i n g e r s m o r e r e a l t h a n e p i t a p h , i s t h a t t h e o n l y g r o w t h h e e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d w a s c a n c e r . ( Y a t e s 1 9 7 0 : 7 2 - 7 3 ) S u m m a r y U t i l i z i n g p e r s o n a l e x a m p l e s a n d t h e w r i t i n g s o f a u t h o r s , I h a v e a t t e m p t e d t o c o n v e y h o w r e a l t h e s u f f e r i n g w a s o f t h o s e w h o w o r k e d a n d o r g a n i z e d t h e n e e d l e t r a d e s . I n c l o s i n g t h i s c h a p t e r I w o u l d l i k e t o s a y t h a t n o t a l l J e w s w h o i m m i g r a t e d t o C a n a d a d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d u n d e r r e v i e w e k e d o u t a l i v i n g ' s l a v i n g f o r t h e b o s s e s ' . S o m e o f t h e m s t a r t e d t h e i r o w n t a i l o r i n g s h o p s , s l a v e d f o r t h e m s e l v e s a n d e x p l o i t e d t h e i r f e l l o w J e w s . I h a d d i f f i c u l t y a c c e p t i n g a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h i s p h e n o m e n o n a n d a s k e d t h i s q u e s t i o n o f s e v e r a l i n f o r m a n t s . M a x D o l g o y ' s a n s w e r s u m s u p g e n e r a l l y t h e f e e l i n g o f i n f o r m a n t s o n t h i s q u e s t i o n : W e l l , e x p l o i t a t i o n h a s o n e a n s w e r w h e t h e r i t i s J e w , G e n t i l e o r w h o e v e r . T h e J e w i s h m a n u f a c t u r e r h a p p e n e d t o b e a w o r k i n g m a n h i m s e l f , h e k n e w a l l t h e l o o p h o l e s a n d e v e r y a n g l e : h o w t o g e t a r o u n d , h o w t o p l a y , w h o t o p l a y u p f o r a n d w h o t o p l a y u p a g a i n s t , a n d p l a y o n e a g a i n s t t h e o t h e r a n d s o o n . A n d t h a t ' s h o w t h e y s u c c e e d e d . S o m e o f t h e m f a i l e d a l s o . T h e y f a i l e d , y o u k n o w . T h e r e i s n o d i f f i c u l t y i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h i s . I t ' s t h e d o l l a r - t h a t ' s t h e t h i n g t h a t t a l k s . I t d o e s n ' t m a t t e r w h o y o u a r e . Y o u ' r e i n b u s i n e s s t o m a k e a d o l l a r . Y o u d o n ' t p r o d u c e d r e s s e s b e c a u s e s o m e b o d y g o e s a r o u n d n a k e d . Y o u p r o d u c e d r e s s e s b e c a u s e y o u a r e s e l l i n g i t a n d y o u ' v e g o t t o m a k e y o u r p r o f i t a s a r e s u l t . T h e s e f e w p a g e s d o n o t d o j u s t i c e t o t h e s t r u g g l e s a n d l o s s e s , v i c t o r i e s a n d g a i n s , o f t h e J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s e m p l o y e d i n t h e g a r m e n t f a c t o r i e s o f M o n t r e a l a n d T o r o n t o . H e r e w e f i n d a s m a l l s l i c e o f l i f e i n t h e f a c t o r i e s a n d c a m e o o f w h a t u n i o n s t r u g g l e s w e r e l i k e . W e r e a w i d e r p i c t u r e p o s s i b l e i t w o u l d e n c o m p a s s t h e r o l e a n d i n f l u e n c e o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l u n i o n s ( e . g . I n t e r n a t i o n a l L a d i e s ' G a r m e n t W o r k e r s ' U n i o n , t h e A m e r i c a n F e d e r a t i o n o f L a b o u r , e t c . ) , t h e i n t i m i d a t i o n o f C a n a d i a n o r g a n i z e r s , t h e b l a c k m a i l , t h e t h r e a t s a n d b e a t i n g s w h i c h w e r e s u f f e r e d b y u n i o n w o r k e r s i n t h e i r a t t e m p t s t o f i g h t f o r C a n a d i a n u n i t y a n d i s s u e s . H o w e v e r , t h i s r e q u i r e s a n o t h e r s t u d y . T o d a y i n C a n a d a w e h a v e t h e 8 - h o u r w o r k i n g d a y , t h e 4 4 - h o u r w e e k , w e g e t p a i d n o t b y p i e c e w o r k b u t o n a w e e k l y o r h o u r l y b a s i s ; w e r e c e i v e s i c k b e n e f i t s , m e d i c a l b e n e f i t s , u n e m p l o y m e n t i n s u r a n c e , o l d a g e p e n s i o n , h o l i d a y s a n d h o l i d a y p a y , t o m e n t i o n a f e w . T o d a y t h e s e g a r m e n t w o r k e r s p r o u d l y s h o w m e t h e i r u n i o n c a r d a n d t e l l m e t h e y r e c e i v e a m o n t h l y u n i o n p e n s i o n . W i t h i n t h e s p a n o f t h i r t y y e a r s , J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s , s i d e b y s i d e w i t h o t h e r s , f o u g h t f o r t h e i r b a s i c h u m a n r i g h t s * T h e y w e r e a l s o f i g h t i n g f o r o u r b a s i c h u m a n r i g h t s . C H A P T E R I X C O N C L U S I O N I n t h i s t h e s i s I h a v e t r i e d t o r e c o u n t , a s m u c h a s p o s s i b l e i n t h e i r o w n w o r d s , t h e r i c h e x p e r i e n c e s o f J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s w h o c a m e f r o m E a s t e r n E u r o p e t o C a n a d a a n d w h o s u b s e q u e n t l y w e n t i n t o t h e g a r m e n t f a c t o r i e s o f M o n t r e a l a n d T o r o n t o . T h e r e e m e r g e d t h r e e a r e a s o f i n t e r e s t : 1 . l i f e f o r t h e s e J e w s i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e a t t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y , 2 . f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o p u s h t h e m o u t o f E u r o p e a n d p u l l t h e m t o w a r d N o r t h A m e r i c a , a n d , 3 . t h e i r a d j u s t m e n t i n t h i s c o u n t r y . I h a v e s h o w n t h a t t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s n o t o n l y c u t t h e r o a d , t h e y p a v e d i t f o r g e n e r a t i o n s t h a t f o l l o w e d . T h e y n o t o n l y p i c k e d u p a n d l e f t t h e i r f a m i l i e s a n d h o m e , t h e y p i o n e e r e d a n e w k i n d o f l i f e , u s i n g t h e m s e l v e s a s g u i n e a p i g s . S o m a n y g e n e r a t i o n s o f J e w s , i f o n e w e r e t o c o u n t o n l y t h o s e l i v i n g i n C a n a d a t o d a y , w o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n b o r n h a d t h e s e p e o p l e n o t h a d t h e f o r t i t u d e t o l e a v e . T h e y f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s a t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r a n d s p e c i a l j u n c t u r e i n h i s t o r y w h e r e s o m a n y o f t h e m w e r e p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d i n r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s i n R u s s i a . A s a r e s u l t t h e y b r o u g h t t h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y f e r v o u r w i t h t h e m w h e n t h e y c a m e t o C a n a d a , a n d w a t c h e d v e r y c l o s e l y t h e e v e n t s i n t h e O l d C o u n t r y w h i c h l e d u p t o a n d f o l l o w e d t h e R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n o f 1 9 1 7 . F o r t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s t o s u c c u m b t o t h e p o o r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s i n t h e g a r m e n t f a c t o r i e s o f t h e N e w W o r l d w o u l d b e t o t a k e a s t e p b a c k w a r d . T h e y h a d n o t e s c a p e d f r o m t h e p o v e r t y , h u n g e r , d i s l o c a t i o n a n d f e a r o f E a s t e r n E u r o p e , a n d t h e C z a r s a n d C o s s a k s , o n l y t o b e c o m e s l a v e s i n a r i c h , n e w l a n d . T h e y h a d n o t c r o s s e d b o r d e r s i l l e g a l l y , b r i b e d o f f i c i a l s , r i s k e d j a i l a n d d e a t h , s u r v i v e d t h e a g o n y o f c r o s s i n g t h e A t l a n t i c O c e a n i n a f e t i d , o v e r - c r o w d e d c a t t l e b o a t , o n l y t o d r o w n i n t h e q u a g m i r e o f t h e s w e a t s h o p . I h a v e s h o w n i n t h e p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r s h o w t h e s e p e o p l e f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s a t t h e c r o s s r o a d s w h e r e e i t h e r l i f e w a s g o i n g t o b e t h e s m a l l h e l l a s b e f o r e , o n l y t h i s t i m e w i t h v a r i a t i o n s , o r l i f e w a s g o i n g t o b e b e t t e r , i f n o t f o r t h e m s e l v e s t h e n a t l e a s t f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n a n d g r a n d c h i l d r e n . S o m a n y o f t h e m s a i d t o m e : " W e w e r e n o t f i g h t i n g f o r o u r s e l v e s . W e w e r e f i g h t i n g f o r o u r c h i l d r e n , s o t h e y w o u l d n ' t g r o w u p w i t h o u t f o o d a n d c l o t h e s . F o r u s - w e k n e w t h e M e s s i a h w a s n o t g o i n g t o c o m e i n o u r l i f e t i m e ! " T h i s w a s t h e i r h o p e . T h i s w a s t h e i r d r e a m . N o t a l l J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s w e r e c a u g h t u p a n d i n v o l v e d i n t h e r e v o l u t i o n a n d t h e f i g h t o f t h e R u s s i a n p e o p l e a g a i n s t C z a r i s t t e r r o r . N o n e t h e l e s s t h e r e c o r d m u s t s h o w t h a t f e w J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s w h o c a m e o u t o f t h e P a l e w e r e a g a i n s t t h e o v e r t h r o w o f t h e C z a r . S p l i t s e x i s t e d a m o n g s t t h e J e w s a n d i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n s t h e y b e l o n g e d t o : s p l i t s f o r a n d a g a i n s t t h o s e w h o w e r e t o a s s u m e p o l i t i c a l p o w e r o n c e t h e C z a r w a s o u s t e d . H o w e v e r , d u r i n g t h e f e w y e a r s w h e n t h e R u s s i a n p e o p l e w e r e f i g h t i n g f o r t h e i r l i v e s I w o u l d d o u b t t h a t a n y i m m i g r a n t J e w w a s n o t o n t h e i r s i d e . E v e n t h o u g h t h i s h a s n o t b e e n a c o m p a r a t i v e s t u d y I w o u l d l i k e t o p o i n t o u t c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s , s o m e p e c u l i a r t o t h e i m m i g r a n t J e w s , o t h e r s n o t , w h i c h c a n b e d r a w n f r o m t h i s w o r k . 234 1 . T h e s e i m m i g r a n t s b u r n t t h e i r b r i d g e s b e h i n d t h e m t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e y n e v e r l o o k e d b a c k o r r e g r e t t e d l e a v i n g t h e O l d C o u n t r y . F o r s o m e o f t h e m t h e r e w a s n o g o i n g b a c k b e c a u s e t h e y w o u l d h a v e h a d t o f a c e j a i l s e n t e n c e s f o r v a r i o u s ' c r i m e s ' s u c h a s d r a f t - d o d g i n g , r u n n i n g a w a y f r o m t h e C z a r ' s a r m y , b e i n g i n v o l v e d i n r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s , e t c . F u r t h e r , u n l i k e o t h e r a n d s u b s e q u e n t i m m i g r a n t g r o u p s w h o c a m e t o N o r t h A m e r i c a ( L e w i s 1 9 6 6 : x i i ) , t h e r e n e v e r e x i s t e d a t w o - w a y m i g r a t o r y p a t t e r n b e t w e e n t h e h o m e c o u n t r y a n d C a n a d a e v e n f o r t h o s e w h o c o u l d r e t u r n . O n c e t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s c a m e t h e i r c o n c e r n s l a y i n f i n d i n g a j o b , g e t t i n g s e t t l e d a n d b r i n g i n g o v e r a r e l a t i v e w h o m i g h t s t i l l b e l i v i n g i n E u r o p e . N o o n e e v e r s p o k e o f t r a v e l l i n g b a c k a n d f o r t h t o v i s i t f r i e n d s a n d r e l a t i v e s , t o s p e n d a f e w w e e k s o r m o n t h s ' v a c a t i o n i n g a t h o m e ' , a s o n e i s w o n t t o f i n d a m o n g m e m b e r s o f i m m i g r a n t g r o u p s s u c h a s t h e I t a l i a n s , P u e r t o R i c a n s , G r e e k s , a n d o t h e r s . M a i n t a i n i n g c l o s e t i e s a t t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y a n d d u r i n g t h e f i r s t c o u p l e o f d e c a d e s w a s a d i f f i c u l t m a t t e r . M u c h t i m e n e e d e d t o b e e x p e n d e d i n t r a v e l , b o t h f o r m a i l a n d p e o p l e . O n e d i d n o t t r a v e l d i r e c t l y t o a n y p l a c e : a l w a y s t h r o u g h , v i a , p a s t , a r o u n d , b e c a u s e o f d i f f i c u l t i e s o f t r a n s i t v i s a s , b o r d e r p a s s e s , u n f r i e n d l y g o v e r n m e n t s , l a c k o f e m b a s s i e s i n a c o u n t r y w h i c h h a d n o d i p l o m a t i c r e l a t i o n s w i t h a n o t h e r , a n d s o o n . A l s o , h a v i n g o n c e t r a v e l l e d o n a c a t t l e s h i p w a s e n o u g h f o r m o s t p e o p l e . T h e y s o m e t i m e s d o u b t e d t h e y w o u l d e v e r r e a c h d r y l a n d a g a i n w h e n t h e y m a d e t h e i r f i r s t m o m e n t o u s c r o s s i n g . 2 . T h e s e i m m i g r a n t s w e r e t h e ' s u r v i v o r s ' o f H i t l e r ' s e x t e r m i n a t i o n c a m p s . V e r y f e w o f t h o s e l e f t b e h i n d i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e l i v e d t h r o u g h W o r l d W a r I I . " O v e r 3 5 m i l l i o n p e o p l e w e r e k i l l e d , m o r e t h a n h a l f o f t h e m c i v i l i a n s " s a y s D a v i d o w i c z i n T h e W a r A g a i n s t t h e  J e w s 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 4 5 , ( 1 9 7 9 : x x i i i ) . A l l i n f o r m a n t s w e r e a w a r e o f t h i s w h e n t h e y t a l k e d t o m e a b o u t r e l a t i v e s a n d f r i e n d s w h o w e r e n e v e r h e a r d f r o m a g a i n a f t e r t h e W a r b e g a n . B a r b a r a M y e r h o f f i n N u m b e r O u r D f t y s , s t a t e s t h a t t h e s e J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s o u t o f t h e P a l e f e l t ' s u r v i v o r ' s g u i l t ' . C i t i n g B r u n o B e t t l e h e i m a n d E l i e W i e s e l , b o t h s u r v i v o r s o f t h e H o l o c a u s t , s h e s a y s : . . . o n e ' s o w n s u r v i v a l , w h e n l o v e d o n e s a r e b e i n g d e s t r o y e d , i s n o t e x p e r i e n c e d a s a s i m p l e t r i u m p h o r s t r o k e o f g o o d l u c k , a s t h e l i t e r a t u r e c o m i n g o u t o f H i r o s h i m a a n d H i t l e r ' s E u r o p e d e m o n s t r a t e s s o c l e a r l y . I t i s a n e x t r e m e l y p r o b l e m a t i c c o n d i t i o n , o f t e n a r o u s i n g t h e m o s t s e v e r e e v e n c r i p p l i n g a n g u i s h , " s u r v i v o r ' s g u i l t " . " H o w d o I d e s e r v e t h i s ? I n w h a t w a y s a m I b e t t e r o r w o r s e t h a n t h o s e w h o p e r i s h e d ? " S u r v i v o r ' s g u i l t c a n b e c r i p p l i n g I n s t e a d i t s e r v e d a s a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e a g e n t t h a t m a d e i t i m p o s s i b l e f o r t h e m t o l e a d t h e u n e x a m i n e d l i f e . . . . S u r v i v o r h o o d a c c o u n t e d f o r o t h e r , p o s i t i v e f e a t u r e s . . . ( i t ) . . . c a u s e d t h e m t o i n t e n s i f y t h e i r d e d i c a t i o n t o s o c i a l j u s t i c e ; t h e y n o t o n l y s o u g h t e v i d e n c e o f m o r a l i t y i n a s h a t t e r e d , d i s o r d e r e d w o r l d , b u t a l s o w o r k e d t o e s t a b l i s h i t . S u c h a c t i v i t y - " c o l l e c t i n g j u s t i c e " L i f t o n * c a l l s i t - i s c o m m o n a m o n g s u r v i v o r s , a n d o f c o u r s e t h e s e p e o p l e ' s t r a d i t i o n s h a d a l w a y s e m p h a s i z e d i t . ( M y e r h o f f 1 9 7 8 : 2 3 - 2 5 ) M y e r h o f f ' s e l d e r l y J e w s q u e s t i o n e d w h y t h e y a n d n o t t h e i r b r o t h e r s a n d s i s t e r s h a d b e e n s p a r e d . T h e y b l a m e d t h e m s e l v e s f o r n o t h a v i n g d o n e e n o u g h t o b r i n g t h e o t h e r s o u t o f E u r o p e . T h e p a i n a n d L i f t o n , R o b e r t J a y , D e a t h i n L i f e : S u r v i v o r s o f H i r o s h i m a , 1 9 6 7 . h u r t o f a l l t h o s e w h o s u f f e r e d a n d n e v e r g o t a c h a n c e t o e s c a p e b e c a m e p a r t o f t h e h e r i t a g e t h e s u r v i v o r s b r o u g h t w i t h t h e m . A n d s o m e h o w t h i s p a i n a n d t h i s g u i l t t r a n s l a t e d i t s e l f i n t h e i r d e t e r -m i n a t i o n t o f i g h t , t o s a v e , t o s t r u g g l e , t o e n s u r e s o m e s m a l l m e a s u r e o f s o c i a l j u s t i c e : i f n o t f o r t h e m s e l v e s t h e n c e r t a i n l y f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n a n d g r a n d c h i l d r e n . I o n c e q u a r r e l l e d w i t h M y e r h o f f ' s c o n c e p t a b o u t J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s a n d t h e i r g u i l t f e e l i n g s . N o n e o f m y i n f o r m a n t s h a d s a i d " W h y m e ? " o r " W h a t d i d I d o t o d e s e r v e t o b e h e r e ? " . I t w a s s o c l o s e t o m e I d i d n o t r e a l i s e t h a t t h e a n g e r , t h e r i g h t e o u s i n d i g n a t i o n , t h e b e n d i n g b a c k w a r d s o f t h e s e p e o p l e t o b r i n g a b o u t s o c i a l c h a n g e , w a s t h e i r w a y o f s o m e h o w a l l e v i a t i n g t h a t s u f f e r i n g , t h a t b u r d e n t h e y c a r r i e d a b o u t w i t h t h e m , i n s i d e o f t h e m s e l v e s . L i f e w a s n o t m e a n i n g l e s s ; i t w a s f u l l o f m e a n i n g . T o d a y s o m e o f t h e c h i l d r e n o f t h e s e i n f o r m a n t s t e l l m e w i t h a d e g r e e o f r e s e n t m e n t h o w t h e i r f a t h e r s n e g l e c t e d t h e m . N i g h t a f t e r n i g h t t h e y n e v e r s a w t h e i r f a t h e r s w h o w e r e b u s y g o i n g t o m e e t i n g s : h e w o u l d g o s t r a i g h t f r o m t h e f a c t o r y t o u n i o n , c u l t u r a l o r p o l i t i c a l m e e t i n g s . I f h e w a s n o t a t m e e t i n g s h e w a s o u t o n s t r i k e o r r a i s i n g m o n e y t o f e e d t h e s t r i k e r s . O n a w e e k e n d h e m i g h t h a v e s o m e t i m e f o r h i s f a m i l y . T h e s e c h i l d r e n , g r o w n m e n a n d w o m e n t o d a y , f e e l t h e i r p a r e n t s g a v e t o o m u c h o f t h e m s e l v e s t o t h e c a u s e o f s o c i a l j u s t i c e a n d t o o l i t t l e t o t h e f a m i l y . W h y ? W e r e t h e y i n s o m e w a y c o n s c i o u s l y o r u n c o n s c i o u s l y p a y i n g a d e b t ? A c c o u n t i n g f o r t h e i r b e i n g a l i v e ? S a l v i n g t h e i r g u i l t ? I d o n o t t h i n k e v e n t h e y c a n g i v e a n a n s w e r t o t h e s e q u e s t i o n s . A n d d o e s i t r e a l l y m a t t e r ? 3 . T h e P a l e o f S e t t l e m e n t i s n o m o r e . T h e r e i s n o m o r e t h a t v a s t p i e c e o f l a n d c a l l e d t h e P a l e o f S e t t l e m e n t . T h e l a n d i t s e l f i s s t i l l t h e r e t o d a y , c a l l e d b y s o m e o t h e r n a m e ( s ) , w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e l i v i n g t h e r e . B u t t h e r e a r e n o m o r e J e w i s h s e t t l e m e n t s w i t h a n a r b i t r a r y c o r d o n a r o u n d t h e m . L u c y D a v i d o w i c z s t a t e s : ( T h e S e c o n d W o r l d W a r ) . . . b r o u g h t d e a t h t o n e a r l y 6 m i l l i o n J e w s , t o 2 o u t o f e v e r y 3 E u r o p e a n J e w s . T h o u g h o n e - t h i r d o f t h e m m a n a g e d t o s u r v i v e , t h o u g h t h e J e w i s h p e o p l e a n d J u d a i s m h a v e o u t l i v e d t h e T h i r d R e i c h , t h e G e r m a n s n e v e r t h e l e s s s u c c e e d e d i n i r r e c o v e r a b l y d e s t r o y i n g t h e l i f e a n d c u l t u r e o f E a s t E u r o p e a n J e w r y . ( 1 9 7 9 : x x i i i ) T h o s e w h o c a m e h e r e b r o u g h t w i t h t h e m t h e i r w a y o f l i f e , n o t j u s t t h e o b v i o u s a n d v i s i b l e a c c o u t r e m e n t s l i k e l a n g u a g e a n d d r e s s b u t a l s o t h e i r s t r o n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t r a d i t i o n , t h e i r r i c h s e n s e o f t h e p a s t . T h e y a l s o b r o u g h t w i t h t h e m t h e i r j o y , t h e i r h a p p i n e s s i n c e l e b r a t i n g l i f e a n d i t s c o n t i n u a n c e ; t h e y b r o u g h t w i t h t h e m , e a c h w i t h i n h i s o r h e r o w n t h o u g h t s , t h e p o v e r t y , t h e h u n g e r , t h e p o g r o m s , t h e n e e d l e s s d e a t h s w h i c h s o m a n y o f t h e m s u f f e r e d t h r o u g h . S o m e t a l k e d a b o u t t h e s e . O t h e r s c o u l d n o t . T h e J e w s o f E a s t e r n E u r o p e w e r e u n i q u e i n t h a t w i t h i n a m a t t e r o f a d e c a d e o r t w o t h e s h t e t l a c h a n d c i t i e s f r o m w h i c h t h e y h a d e m i g r a t e d w e r e g o n e . T h e R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n c a m e a n d t h e P a l e w a s l e g a l l y a b o l i s h e d . T h e S e c o n d W o r l d W a r a n d H i t l e r c a m e . T h i s w r o t e t h e f i n a l c h a p t e r o f t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e E a s t E u r o p e a n J e w . W h e r e w e c a n s a y t h e r e a r e n o m o r e J e w i s h c o m m u n i t i e s i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e w e c a n n o t s a y t h i s o f t h e I t a l i a n s , G r e e k s , P o r t u g e s e a n d o t h e r i m m i g r a n t g r o u p s t o t h i s c o u n t r y . T h e s e J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s w h o l e f t P o l a n d , R u s s i a , R o m a n i a , H u n g a r y , L a t v i a , L i t h u a n i a , G a l i c i a , i n t h e i r s t r u g g l e s i n t h e N e w W o r l d d i d n o t w r i t e ' f i n i s h ' t o m i s e r a b l e w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s i n C a n a d a . W o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s h a v e c h a n g e d f o r s o m e t r a d e s a n d i n d u s t r i e s w h i l s t o t h e r s , l i k e t h e g a r m e n t i n d u s t r i e s , r e m a i n a l m o s t a s b a d a s b e f o r e . T o d a y o t h e r i m m i g r a n t s c o n t i n u e t o b e i n t i m i d a t e d a n d s t o p p e d f r o m o r g a n i z i n g t h e u n o r g a n i z e d , f r o m a t t e m p t i n g t o r u n t h e i r o w n l i v e s ; a n d t h e y a r e s t i l l b e i n g s o l d o u t b y t h o s e i n p o s i t i o n s o f a u t h o r i t y . E t h n i c m i n o r i t y g r o u p s , s u c h a s t h e J e w s , t h e U k r a i n i a n s , t h e C h i n e s e , t h e E a s t I n d i a n s , t h e F i n n s , t o n a m e a f e w , b u i l t r a i l r o a d s , d e v e l o p e d i n d u s t r i e s , r a i s e d b u i l d i n g s a n d c i t i e s , p i o n e e r e d f r o n t i e r s . T h e y d i d a l l t h i s n o t w i t h m o n e t a r y c a p i t a l i n v e s t m e n t s b u t w i t h t h e i n v e s t m e n t o f t h e i r b l o o d , s w e a t a n d s o m e t i m e s t h e i r l i v e s . H o w e v e r , t h e i r n a m e s w i l l n o t g o d o w n i n t h e H a l l s o f F a m e a s B u i l d e r s o f O u r C o u n t r y . A s M o n t e r o s a y s i n h e r o p e n i n g w o r d s i n W e S t o o d T o g e t h e r ; C a n a d i a n h i s t o r y i s a p a s s i o n a t e , t u r b u l e n t a f f a i r . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , m o s t o f o u r h i s t o r i a n s h a v e r e c o r d e d i t l a r g e l y t h r o u g h t h e e x p l o i t s o f t h e " n a t i o n a l d r e a m e r s " - t h e m e n w h o f o r g e d C o n f e d e r a t i o n , b u i l t t h e r a i l w a y s a n d s e t u p h u g e i n d u s t r i a l e m p i r e s . ( 1 9 7 8 : v ) W h a t c o n t i n u e s t o e v o l v e f o r m e i n t h i s s t u d y i s t h e l i n k t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s f o r m b e t w e e n t h e O l d C o u n t r y a n d t h e N e w W o r l d ; b e t w e e n t h e P a s t a n d t h e P r e s e n t ; b e t w e e n Y i d d i s h a s m a m a l o k s h e n , m o t h e r t o n g u e , a n d E n g l i s h ; b e t w e e n p a s s i v e a c c e p t a n c e a n d a c t i v e r e j e c t i o n ; b e t w e e n s o m a n y ' t h e n s ' a n d s o m a n y ' n o w s ' . F o r m e t h e y l i v e d a t a t i m e w h e n t h e J e w s o f E a s t e r n E u r o p e w e r e w a k i n g u p f r o m a l o n g , l o n g s l e e p . T h e r e e x i s t s s u c h a c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n t h e l i f e t h e y l e d b e f o r e a n d a f t e r t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y . I c a n g o t o o n e o f t h e m a n d b e t o l d w h a t i t w a s l i k e t h e n w h i c h i s s o d i f f e r e n t f r o m w h a t i t i s n o w . I c a n n o t b e g i n t o u n d e r s t a n d m y p r e s e n t k n o w l e d g e a n d h o w i t i s t i e d u p w i t h m y s o c i a l v a l u e s w i t h o u t r e c o g n i z i n g t h e i r p r e s e n c e i n s o m e f o r m o r o t h e r . H o w c a n I a s a J e w c o n d o n e o r j u s t i f y r a c i a l i n e q u a l i t y ? I w o u l d b e n e g a t i n g t h e s u f f e r i n g a n d v e r y e x i s t e n c e o f t h e s e p e o p l e a n d w h a t t h e y s t o o d f o r . C a n t h e c h i l d r e n o f t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s a c c e p t t h e i r ' g o o d l i f e ' t o d a y w i t h o u t a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h e s a c r i f i c e , f i r s t o f a l l , o f a l l t h o s e w h o d i e d i n t h e g a s c h a m b e r s i n E u r o p e a n d t h e n o f t h e i r p a r e n t s a n d g r a n d p a r e n t s w h o e s c a p e d i n t i m e ? T h i s s a c r i f i c e c a n n o t b e f o r g o t t e n . I t m u s t n o t b e c a r r i e d a r o u n d a s a b u r d e n o f g u i l t , a s a n a l b a t r o s s . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , w e s h o u l d n o t f o r g e t t h a t o t h e r s t o o f e e l p a i n a n d h u r t ; o t h e r s a r e c a p a b l e o f l o v e a n d j o y ; t h a t h u m a n k i n d h a s n o t r e a c h e d t h a t s t a g e o f p e a c e f u l c o ^ - e x i s t e n c e w h e r e h u r t i n g i s n o m o r e . W e c o n t i n u e t o i n f l i c t p a i n a n d d e a t h . O n l y n o w w e d o s o i n a m o r e s o p h i s t i c a t e d m a n n e r . E l i e W i e s e l , t h e w e l l - k n o w n a u t h o r a n d s u r v i v o r o f A u s c h w i t z a n d B u c h e n w a l d , s a i d i n a r e c e n t r a d i o i n t e r v i e w t h a t t h e ' p o g r o m c h i c k s ' ( t h o s e w h o i n s t i g a t e d a n d p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e p o g r o m s i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e ) , w e r e n o v i c e s c o m p a r e d t o H i t l e r a n d h i s h e n c h m e n . T h e q u e s t i o n i s : d i d i t s t o p w i t h H i t l e r ? D i d w e , t h e p e o p l e o f t h e w o r l d m a k e s u r e i t w i l l n e v e r h a p p e n a g a i n ? O n e f a i l s t o r e a l i z e n o t o n l y t h e e n o r m i t y o f t e c h n o l o g y i n v o l v e d b u t t h e f a c t t h a t i t r e q u i r e d t h e e f f o r t s 240 o f i n n u m e r a b l e p e o p l e , w o r k i n g a t h u n d r e d s o f d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s , t o o p e r a t e e x t e r m i n a t i o n c a m p s a n d g a s c h a m b e r s . A n d t o t h i n k t h a t a l l o f t h e s e p e o p l e f u n c t i o n e d ' l i k e s o m a n y c o g s i n a w h e e l , l i k e s o m a n y t i n y m o v i n g p a r t s i n a m a c h i n e w i t h o u t g u m m i n g u p t h e w o r k s ' ' . T h e a n a l o g y i s b a d . C o g s a n d m a c h i n e p a r t s c a n n o t t h i n k . H u m a n b e i n g s c a n . A n d t h i n k i n g p e o p l e h a v e c o r r o b o r a t e d , b y t h e i r v e r y a c t o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n / n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n , t h e e x t e r m i n a t i o n o f c l o s e t o t w e n t y - f i v e m i l l i o n o t h e r t h i n k i n g , b r e a t h i n g , l o v i n g , h o p i n g , p a i n i n g , h u m a n b e i n g s s i n c e t h e t u r n o f t h i s c e n t u r y I A s a n a n t h r o p o l o g i s t v i t a l l y i n v o l v e d i n o r a l h i s t o r y m y p u r p o s e h a s n o t b e e n t o e s t a b l i s h f a c t s o r a t t e m p t t o t e s t t h e o r i e s . F o r t h i s r e a s o n I h a v e n o t f o u n d i t n e c e s s a r y t o m a k e r e f e r e n c e t o t h e f o u n d i n g f a t h e r s o f t h e d i s c i p l i n e . C r i t i c s o f o r a l h i s t o r y , f o r e x a m p l e s o m e h i s t o r i a n s , a n d t h o s e w h o w o u l d c l a i m s u c h a v e h i c l e a s b e i n g s u b j e c t i v e o r b i a s e d , f i n d t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f f e e l i n g s , i m p r e s s i o n s , a t t i t u d e s , e m o t i o n , b e h a v i o u r , o p i n i o n s a s b e c l o u d i n g t h e h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . T h e s e ' h u m a n i n t e r e s t ' a s p e c t s o f t h e o r d i n a r y , e v e r y d a y l i v e s o f p e o p l e c a n n o t b e s u b m i t t e d a s ' h a v i n g h a p p e n e d ' , a s s o m u c h e m p i r i c a l d a t a . F u r t h e r , h i s t o r y h a s b e e n f o r s o l o n g t h e a c c o u n t i n g o f w h a t h a p p e n e d t o t h e B i g P e o p l e , a r e c o r d i n g o f t h e G r e a t T r a d i t i o n f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h o s e w h o m a d e i t a n d p a r t i c i p a t e d i n i t . T h i s t h e s i s h a s f o c u s s e d o n w o r k e r s , n o t o n t h e e m p l o y e r s a n d b o s s e s o r t h e w e l l - t o - d o . T h i s w a s d o n e o n p u r p o s e . A s O s c a r L e w i s s a y s i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n t o L a V i d a : M o s t s t u d i e s o f n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r h a v e f o c u s s e d u p o n t h e m i d d l e c l a s s , o n t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h i s c l a s s r e f l e c t s t h e d o m i n a n t v a l u e s o f t h e s o c i e t y . H o w e v e r , I a m s u g g e s t i n g t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t s t u d i e s o f t h e l o w e r c l a s s m a y a l s o r e v e a l s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s d i s t i n c t i v e o f a p e o p l e a s a w h o l e . ( 1 9 6 6 : x v ) I h a v e t r i e d t o f o c u s a s m u c h a s p o s s i b l e o n t h e i n d i v i d u a l h u m a n b e i n g r a t h e r t h a n d e a l i n g w i t h a s p e c t s a n d l e v e l s o f , f o r e x a m p l e , p a t t e r n s o f c u l t u r e , o r g a n i z a t i o n , c o m m u n i t y l i f e . I t w a s n o t a l w a y s p o s s i b l e t o m a k e t h e s e p a r a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l a n d f a m i l y • o r c o m m u n i t y ; b u t w h e r e v e r p o s s i b l e t h e f e e l i n g s a n d e x p e r i e n c e s o f p e o p l e w e r e g i v e n p r i o r i t y . R o b e r t F . H a r n e y ( n . d . ) i n a p a m p h l e t " O r a l T e s t i m o n y a n d E t h n i c S t u d i e s " s t a t e s : B y e x c l u d i n g i m m i g r a n t s f r o m t h e r e c o r d b e c a u s e t h e y d i d n o t h a v e t h e l e i s u r e o r l a n g u a g e s k i l l s t o m e m o r i a l i z e t h e m s e l v e s , w e h a v e c o n d o n e d t h e p r a c t i c e o f s e e i n g t h e n e w c o m e r s t h r o u g h t h e e y e s o f t h e a s s i m i l a t o r s , c o n t r o l l e r s , a n d e x p l o i t e r s , a n d o f r e g a r d i n g t h e i m m i g r a n t h i m s e l f a s a d a n g e r o u s a n d u n r e l i a b l e m u t e . H a r n e y ' s p a m p h l e t w a s p u b l i s h e d r e c e n t l y b y t h e M u l t i c u l t u r a l H i s t o r y S o c i e t y o f O n t a r i o a n d w a s a v a i l a b l e a f e w m o n t h s a g o a t t h e E t h n i c S t u d i e s C o n f e r e n c e h e l d i n V a n c o u v e r i n t h e F a l l , 1 9 7 9 . M a n y s t u d i e s a n d b o o k s h a v e r e c e n t l y b e e n p u b l i s h e d u t i l i z i n g t h e t e s t i m o n y o f i m m i g r a n t s . P e r h a p s i t i s a l l b e i n g d o n e i n w h a t P a u l C a p p o n c a l l s d e p r e c a t i n g l y " t h e s p i r i t o f n a t i o n a l i s m " ( 1 9 7 8 : 8 ) . A t t h e s a m e t i m e C a p p o n t e l l s u s i t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r C a n a d i a n s t o " a p p r o p r i a t e t h e c o m p o n e n t s o f t h e i r c u l t u r e " . I f e e l t h i s s t u d y i s o n e w a y o f a c c o m p l i s h i n g t h i s . T h e k i n d o f l i f e t h e s e J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s l i v e d i n P o l a n d a n d R u s s i a d o e s n o t e x i s t t o d a y , w h e t h e r i n t h e O l d C o u n t r y o r i n C a n a d a . I t i s n o m o r e . T o d a y t h e r e a r e n o m o r e J e w i s h i m m i g r a n t s w o r k i n g t e n a n d t w e l v e h o u r s a d a y i n t h e n e e d l e t r a d e s . I h a v e t r i e d t o r e c a p t u r e t h e i r l i v e s . T o p u t i t d o w n . T o m a k e i t c o m e a l i v e f o r y o u t h e r e a d e r a s i t c a m e a l i v e f o r m e t h r o u g h t h e w o r d s o f t h e s e p e o p l e . I w a s w a r n e d t o b e e v e r c o g n i z a n t o f t h e f a c t t h a t I h e a r t h e v o i c e s a n d t h e w o r d s o f t h e s e i m m i g r a n t s a n d t h a t y o u o n l y s e e t h e m f l a t o n a p a g e ; t h a t f o r m e w h a t t h e y h a v e t o s a y h a s s o m a n y n u a n c e s , i n f l e c t i o n s , m e a n i n g s a n d t h a t f o r t h e r e a d e r i t i s a l w a y s o n l y o n e d i m e n s i o n a l ; t h a t t h e s i g h s , h e s i t a t i o n s , l a u g h t e r , t e a r s , a n g e r s o u n d o n l y i n m y e a r s . B y t e l l i n g y o u h o w I f e e l I h o p e I h a v e i n s o m e m e a s u r e c o n v e y e d h o w t h e y f e l t . I t c a n n o t b e t h a t d i f f i c u l t b e c a u s e w e h a v e a l l s o m e w h e r e i n s i d e o f u s f e a r e d , p a i n e d , f e l t j o y a n d l o v e d d e e p l y . APPENDIX • jV&raOr.-Mit b e t w e e n t h o A . ' J S O C i ' ^ . e : ; C l o t h i n g r. r.apno t u r e r s end Tho Ai m l g r e e t e d c l o t h i n g :'or!<(M'.- o f A m e r i c a . . . . Whor :as t h o . ' p n r t i o s h e r e t o , don i r e to en tor I n t o cn a g r e e m e n t f o r v . j^ft^ 'Vtbs/ ' . fo i l o w i n g p u r o o s s s : -• V (n> To o p o r n t e p r e f e r e n t i a l U n i o n S h o p s . — ( b ) - T o a d o p t t h o p r i n c i p l e of c o l l e c t i v e b n r g n i n l n g . ;.,'.•"'..' ( c ) To s u b m i t t o a r b i t r a t i o n In cr .snc o f d la- . )utoe . •V (d) p o r promo t i n ft t h o b e s t I n t e r e s t s o f t h e c l o t h i n g . i n d u s t r y , : ^ J o ) r o r t h e c r e a t i o n and m a i n t e n a n c e o f f r i e n d l y and h a r m o n i o u s r e l a t l o n s , ,• c o - o p e r a t Ion and g o o d - w i l l between e m p l o y e r s nnd • t ^ . < - : • • e m p l o y e e s . •"t^'Z:/:. ) F o r f i x i n g and a d j u s t i n g wages nnd w o r k i n g Iv.u ra. >-}/;?•:• • ('.'0 ^ o r 'the ' p r e v e n t i o n o f s t r i k e s , s t o ppo .•:•:»> o f w o r k , l o c k o u t s , e t c . , - ( ( h ) F o r t h o a m i c a b l e s e t t l c r . o n t o f a l l g r i e v a n c e s , c o n t r o v e r s i e s 1 ! v and d i s p u t e s w h i c h m i g h t a r i s o b e t w e e n b o t h p a r t i e s • ; ( i ) P o r t h o m a i n t e n a n c e o f h i s ; h crd-.tr o f d i s c i p l i n e r . n d ' e f f i c i e n c y b y the w i l l i n g c o - o p e r a t i o n o f t h e U n i o - . r.nd vorUerc , ( j ) F o r t h e m a i n t e n a n c e o f good s t a n d a r d s o f w o r k m a n s h i p nnd c o n d u c t , ( k ) l ; , o r t h e a s s u r a n c e o f p r o p e r q u a n t i t y , q u a l i t y nnd c o s t o f p r o d u c t i o n . I T I S H E R E B Y ' A G r W n D j • 1 . T h a t t h i s agreement s h a l l bo e f f e c t i v e f r o m May 1st, 19?..° a n d f o r ?>«.... t h r e e v o a r s t h o r o . a . C t o r , b u t n o t i c e mav be - g i v e n i n w r l ' i n n ; b y e i t h e r p a r t y . • . / ' ' t o the o t h e r n i n o t y days p r i o r t o May 1st i n e a c h y o a r i n t i m a t i n g any y r amendment o r a b r o g a t i o n , o r any a d j u s t m e n t o f t h e e x i s t i n g vro e s c a l e ; ' a n d f u r t h e r t h a t t h i s agreement s u p e r s e d e s any o t h e r ngroo-""nt, -v';Scli may e x i s t , b e t w e e n any m a n u f a c t u r e r end t h e Amalgamated o r a n y i n d i v i d u a l • member o f t h e U n i o n nnd i a b i n d i n g upon b o t h p a r t i e s I n r e n d e r i n g v o l e . : I: any i n d i v i d u a l • b a r g a i n w h i c h may h a v e boon on t o r o d i n t o , p r o v i d i n g t h e •y.'' m a n u f a c t u r e r c o n c e r n e d becomes- a member o f t h e A c s o c l " tod C l o t h i n g . y. .:• M a n u f a c t u r e r s and sub a c r i b en t o t h i s a g r o o m e n t . •H. (a) Tho U n i o n s e r v o s n o t i c e t h a t .at t h e t i m e o f a n y wag© d i s c u s s i o n , 4 ' : ;;" i t a t t h e .samo t i m e may b r i n g up t h e q u e s t i o n o f an unemployment f u n d ; i n good f a i t h ; . * : t f : : . - (b) I t I s . o g r o o d t h a t s h o u l d an emergency a r i s e In t h r - . r-* r k e t i't. w a r r a n t i n g a d i s c u s s i en o f t h e H A ; a a c o l e a t a n y t l mo duel;:;.:; f i r s t y e a r o f t h i n o g r e s m o n t , ' b u t n o t ' e a r l i e r t h a n s i x morbus f r o u -^ho '• d a t e o f i t s a d o p t i o n , t h e q u o a t i o n m«v b e opened b y e i t h e r s i d e f o r s e t t l e m e n t b y n e g o t i a t i o n , 2 . T h a t d u r i n g t h e l i f e o f t h i s a groom o n t t h e r e s h a l l b e n o l o c k o u t s * s t r i k e s o r .stoppages o f w o r k . e i t h e r i n t h e f a c t o r y o r i n m y s e c t i o n t h e r e o f , c o n c e r n i n g any matter, ': i n o on t r o v e r a y o r a n y g r i e v a n c e o f a n y , ;' k i n d w h a t s o e v e r , ' . '• * : 3 . Ti'i.ot f - i r t r / r f o u r h o u r s n i l l . c o n s t i t u t e a ' w e e k ' s work i n t h e siv.;-r.:- o f • t h o members of t h e A s s o c i a t e d ' C l o t h i n g M a n u f a c t u r e r s , v . - ith t h e a.\-e-:-->ti.cn o f the house o f l i o b b e r l i n , where f o r t y h o u r s w i l l c o n s t i t u t e a v.oou's w o r k . ii, '/hat o v e r t i m • s h e . 1 b o d i s p e n s e d w i t h A S f a r an p o s s i b l e , b u t when ovorti.-r.o i a n e c e s o v r v ' i n a d e p a r t m e n t o r ' s e c t i o n o f d e p a r t m e n t , , t h o e»'--olo--eo e n g a g e d s h a l l h a* pa i d «'it t h e , rn».e o f t i r . o 0 rd o n e .v> ? f . D o u b l e - t i m o - ~ w i . l l ><» p a i d f o r • tfork d o n e e n l e g a l f e d e r a l h o l l a r - : ; • 5* That'> - r e c o g n i z i n g th- -: ' n e c e s s i t y f o r d e c i d l a g eontvtv / e r e i os o r '•* g r i o v a - i c e s , b o t h - p a r t l e a a; vise. t o . the- - a p p o i n t m e n t o f a oor.rd o f A r b U tit; .'/'.;;'' t o b o so l o o t e d as f o l l o w s J T«o ' r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e ! rinuf o c t u r o r s , • ri-.vo r e p r e s o n b i n g t h o U n i o n , . One- t o b o s o l e c t o ^ l - b y t h e c r v i t e r s s-I'ho f i f t h ' " . p a r t y so n g r O " d u p o n s h a l l b .•; c o n f i d e r e d '.he Ch ' - i r r.on ., o r t h e Bosird and''mHy'hnt b e d Is p l a c e d u - . l e s a r.geo e d upon m u t u a l l y . 6 , Tint .tho expenses i n c i d e n t a l t o t h e r o n r d o f A r b i t r a t i o n sea 1 1 b e b o r n e e q u n " l y by t h e p a r t i e s to t h i s n g r o e i . o n t . ... 7» i r i a t -the d e c i s i o n o f . tho B o a r d o f . a r b i t r a t i o n o r a m a j o r i t y t h e r e . he f i r?tt l and binding upo'p., both .partlOB* • ' - 2 -r o p r o o o n t o 8 . T h a t a n y e m p l o y e e f o o l i n g h i m s e l f a g g r i e v e d s h a l l p r e s e n t h i e c o m p l a i n t t o t h e s h o p c h a i r m a n , w h o s h a l l toko t h e m a t t e r u p f o r a d j u s t m e n t n i t h . t h e shop s u p e r i n t e n d e n t . I n t h o o v o n t t h a t t . h o y ' o r e n o t a b l e t o a g r e e t h y s h o p s t e w a r d s h a l l r e p o r t tho n a t t e r t o a r o p ; •" t i v o o f t h e U n i o n , w h o i n t u r n s h a l l t o k o t h o m a t t e r u p * 1 th. a r e p r o n o n t o -t l v s o f t h e e m p l o y e r . I n t h o o v o n t t h a t t h o s e t w o a r e u n a b i o to a g r e e :.- o n a n a d j u s t m e n t t h e g r i e v a n c e s h a l l t h e n bo p r e s e n t e d to. t h e B o a r d o f . ^ • ' A r b i t r a t i o n w i t h i n t h r e e d a y s . I n o r d e r t h a t t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d a d j u s t m e n t o f t h o s e g r i e v a n c e s c a u s e n s l i t t l e c o n f u s i o n an p o s s i b l e , i t in h e r e b y a g r e e d that t h e t i m e f o r p r e s e n t i n g g r i n v a n c e o t o t h o s h o p s t e w a r d a n d b y h i m to t h e c h o p s u p e r i n t e n d e n t , a n d f o r t h o a d j u s t m e n t o f t h e s e g r i e v a n c e s , s h a l l b e a f t e r t h e r e g u l a r - w o r k i n g h o u r s . Exception i s m a d e , h o w e v e r , i n s u c h : * \ . ' e m e r g e n c y c a s e s a s r o q u i r o i m m e d i a t e a c t i o n . „ $ » T h a t t h e m e m b e r s o f t h o A s s o c i a t e d C l o t h i n g M a n u f a c t u r e r s a g r e e /.-.': t o o p - i r a t e p r e f e r e n t i a l U n i o n s h o p s . v ; h e n a d d i t i o n a l w o r k e r s a r e n e e d e d .; a p p l i c a t i o n s h e l l b o m a d e t o t h e U n i o n . I f t h o U n i o n I n u n a b l e w t t b i n f o r t y - e i g h t h o u r s t o f u r n i s h s u c h s a t i s f a c t o r y w o r k e r s a s n r o n e e d e d t o o :' m a n u f a c t u r e r s s h a l l t h e n b o p r i v i l e g e d t o s e c u r e s u c h w o r k e r o r w o r k e r s . a s t h e y c a n . A*..-: ( a ) T h e p r o v i s i o n s f o r p r e f e r e n c e h e r - i n r e q u i r e t h r . t the doors- o f ;; ; •'. t h o U n i ' > n s h a l l b o k e p t o p e n f o r t h e r e c e p t i o n o f n o n - u n i o n w o r k e r s . I n i t i a t i o n f e e s a n d d u e s m u s t b o m a i n t a i n e d a t a r e a s o n a b l e rate av:d • •:' ' a n y a p p l i c a n t m u s t b o a d m i t t e d w h o l a n o t an o f f e n d e r a g a i n s t the Union, • ?!'•<*• • a n d w h o i a e l i g i b l e f o r m e m b e r s h i p u n d e r i t s r u l e s . I f a n y r u l e b e p a s s e d v.-• • that i m o o o e s u n r e a s o n a b l e h a r d s h i p , o r t h a t o p e r a t e s t o . b a r d e s i r a M © . . ' t . • p e r s o n a , t h e m a t t e r m a y b o b r o u g h t b o f . o v o t h o B o a r d o f A r b i t r a t i o n f o r s u c h r e m e d y a s i t m a y d e e m a d v i s a b l e . , : ( b ) . I t i s a g r e e d t h a t n o e m p l o y e r w i l l p l a c e o b s t a c l e s i n t h o l e g i t i m a t e e f f o r t s o f t h e U v . i o n t o r o c r u l t n e w r e v - b e r g . . w a y O.f l e g i t i m a t e e n orx.s u i u\m u u » - . -* * (cj T h e U n i o n u n d e r t a k e s i n c o - o p e r a t i o n w i t h t h e o m p l o v o r s t o \<.:': < • d r a w xxp o b j e c t i v e r u l e s a n d r e g u l a t i o n s f o r t h e s e n d i n g o f w o r k e r s t o j o b s , a n d t o o r g a n i z e a n d c o n d u c t a n e f f i c i e n t e m p l o y m e n t o f f i c n . . • . ^ • j M^i'jA .Comittee c o m p o s e d o f o n o r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e • m a n u f a c t u r e r s a n d o n e , £ feprecentin f » the U n i o n s h a l l p r o c e e d w i t h an e n q u i r y i n t o t h e o p e r a t i o n ; - , ' *~ ' ^ ^ ~ > s ? o f o n e f f i c i e n t e m p l o y m e n t o f f i c e . "; 10. T h a t i n t h o c a s e o f n e w w o r k e r s b e i n g e m p l o y e d t h r e e w e « k s w i l l b o c o n , d o r e d a p r o b a t i o n a r y p e r i o d , i f t h o n o w - ^ l * ™ ™ ^ ^ , r o r n e m n l o v e d i n t h e t r a d e . I n t h e C R S O o f a p t ) r e n t i e r o r v , o r « r « - a k - . i . 4 o... " o t h e r - t r n r f e a , t h e . . p r o b a t i o n a r y p e r i o d w i l l b o f i v e w o e * a . .11'. T h e f u l l p o w e r o f d i s c h a r g e a n d d i s c i p l i n e l i e s w i t h t h e e m p l o y e r . I t i s a g r e e d t h o t t h i s p o w e r s h o u l d b o e x e r c i s e d w i t h j u s t i c e an d w i t h i - ' 1 • r e g a r d f o r t h o r e a s o n a b l e r i g h t s o f t h o e m p l o y e e • / T h e p o w e r o f d i s c h a r g e - : s h a l l b e e x o r c i s e d o n l y t h r o u g h a f u l l y a u t h o r i s e d a n d r e s p o n s i b l e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f m a n a g e m e n t . I f t h e U n i o n a f t e r I n v e s t i g a t i o n f i n d s .. t h a n e n e m p l o v e o h a s b e e n d i s c h a r g e d w i t ' . o u t j u s t c a u s e a n d t h a t i t c a n n o t r e a c h a n a d j u s t m e n t w i t h t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f m a n a g e m e n t , i t m a y - \ y . b r i n g t h e o a s o b e f o r e t h e B o a r d o f A r b i t r a t i o n , 12, T h a t w h e n e v e r a n e m p l o y e e s h a l l a b s e n t h i m s e l f f r o m w o r k w i t h o u t '•'' • . v i v i n g o n a c c e p t a b l e r e a s o n t o t h e e m p l o y e r , u p o n t h e s e c o n d b u t ' i n e s s •| *'•' d a y o f h i s a b s e n c e t h e e m p l o y e r m a y c o n s i d e r h i s p o s i t i o n f o r f e i t e d . I n •!;'. c a s e o f a b s e n c e a r e a s o n t h e r e f o r m u s t b o p r o m p t l y g l v o n t o t h o f o r e m a n b y m o s u o n g o r , m a l l o r t e l e p h o n e • Vo e m p l o y e e h a v i n g r e p o r t e d f o r w o r k © h a l l l e a v e d u r i n g t h o d a y w i t h o u t t h e c o n s e n t o f t h o f o r e m a n . T h a t w o r k e r s w h o a r e a b o e n t o n a c c o u n t of s i c k n e s s s h a l l b o r e i n s t a t e d f - - - " " " < ^ « « « t.i\in a. - r e a s o n a b l e t i m e i f p r o p e r n o t i f i c a t i o n 1*>. i n t h e i r f o r m e r p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n a r o a e o n c b l o h a s b e e n g i v e n t o t h e C o m p n n v . j'} ', . s u f f e r t h r o u g h . s u c h c h a n g e s . _ • ' i s ? ' ' . ' : ' 2^ lr>. It Is ngrood that a market contract shop commit too s h e l l bo established «»ith power to- make' rules end r e r u l at iona governing contract •' : shops and -that in ns f a r as possible arraY.gor: tnt, work for' outside contraot shops, s h a l l go to shops accredited by the market shop committee. This i s to bo done so soon as s a t i s f a c t o r y orrangemonts ,' are made for making tho work i n accredited shops. 16. It is agreed that the manufacturers &hall hevo the p r i v i l e g e of • •developing workers through tho apprenticeship ova tern on. a .basis to be determined by representatives of tho manufacturers and the Union. 1 7 * 1'he Uriion agrees that when proper production scales cannot be adju^tod .for any one shop or section thereof the employer may appeal to the Board of A r b i t r a t i o n f o r tho i n s t a l l a t i o n of iu ch s c a l e s . I i i . It is agreed that equal d i v i s i o n of work s h a l l be observed aa far . ,fls practicable i n slack saasons, and that scales of production must be ..;^;;£ob]3«>jYO<J during such seasons; and i t is agreed that the manufacturers •I^Mpf l'iii '"co-operat® with the Union to preserve d i s c i p l i n e among i t s members i ^ f f f ^ f ' i n regard t o - t h e i r obligations to tho Union. :,-.\9» That In sooordance with tho s p i r i t of this agreement both !.;:;•;.-';;', par t i e s pledge themselves to co-opera to i n making the arrangement •xf'••••'•_. .Successful, and to uoo t h e i r influence and e f f o r t f o r tho promotion and development of good-will; i t being understood that i t is not the intention that t h i s agreement s h a l l operate in any way as to r e s t r i c t <.» ,'.. output, impede processes of manufacture o r management but ahsl 1 e" encourage maximum production and minimum cost and f a i r and equitable treatment to any i n d i v i d u a l oonoerned in i t . dfe - W ^ r - ^ ' ' ' ' ' . " " sis^od*• £ •-•••J For tho Association . V ? : : " ' - ' ; ' . Witness' For the Amalgamated. G L O S S A R Y O F Y I D D I S H W O R D S ( u n l e s s o t h e r w i s e s p e c i f i e d ) A s h k e n a z i e - d e r i v e s f r o m t h e H e b r e w w o r d A s h k e n a z i , w h i c h m e a n s G e r m a n . b e l f e r - a s s i s t a n t t o t e a c h e r ; c a r r i e d c h i l d r e n t o a n d f r o m s c h o o l a n d g e n e r a l l y l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i r w e l l - b e i n g . b a b a , b u b e e - g r a n d m o t h e r . B u n d - J e w i s h L a b o u r B u n d , s o c i a l i s t l a b o u r o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h f u n c t i o n e d i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e a n d P o l a n d u n t i l W o r l d W a r I I . c h a v r e - c o m r a d e c o l o n i s t e - J e w i s h p i o n e e r s w h o s e t t l e d i n t h e U k r a i n e . d a m e s k e y - a l a d i e s ' t a i l o r , o n e w h o m a k e s o n l y l a d i e s g a r m e n t s . d a v i n - t o m a k e a b l e s s i n g , t o p r a y . d r u s h k a ( R u s s i a n ) - a h o r s e a n d c o a c h . g a o n - i n t e l l e c t u a l l e a d e r , o f t e n w i t h t e m p o r a l p o w e r . g e m o r a - T a l m u d . g r o s h e n - a p e n n y . g u b e r n i y a ( R u s s i a n ) - p r o v i n c e . h a n d w o r k e r - a n a r t i s a n , a c r a f t s m a n . h a y y a t - H e b r e w w o r d f o r t a i l o r . H a s k a l a h - J e w i s h E n l i g h t e n m e n t m o v e m e n t w h i c h f l o u r i s h e d d u r i n g 1 9 t h c e n t u r y c H a s s i d i m - f o l l o w e r s o f H a s s i d i s m . H a s s i d i s m - J e w i s h r e l i g i o u s m o v e m e n t w h i c h b e g a n i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e i n t h e 1 8 t h c e n t u r y . h o m e s h - t h e f i r s t f i v e b o o k s o f t h e B i b l e . k a s h a - b u c k w h e a t . k h e y d e r - t r a d i t i o n a l J e w i s h s c h o o l f o r y o u n g c h i l d r e n . k o n c h i k - a l e a t h e r w h i p g e n e r a l l y w i t h a h a n d l e m a d e f r o m t h e f o o t o f a n a n i m a l u s e d t o h i t a c h i l d w i t h . l a m d e n - s c h o l a r , e r u d i t e m a n , a l e a r n e d m a n . 247 l a n t s m a n ( p i . l a n t s l e i t ) - c o u n t r y m a n , n e i g h b o u r , t o w n s m a n f r o m t h e O l d C o u n t r y . l u f t m e n s c h ( p i . l u f t m e n s c h e n ) - a d r e a m e r , o n e w h o h a s h i s h e a d i n t h e c l o u d s , n o r o o t s . m a m a l o k s h e n - m o t h e r t o n g u e . m a t z a ( p l . m a t z o s ) - u n l e a v e n e d b r e a d e a t e n d u r i n g P a s s o v e r , m e l a m e d - a c h i l d r e n ' s t e a c h e r , m e s t o k - a p o k e , a j a b . m i s h m a ( p i . m i s h m o r e n ) - a p e r i o d d u r i n g t h e n i g h t f o r s t u d y i n g . M i t z v a h ( p l . m i t z v o s ) - a g o o d d e e d , a r e l i g i o u s c o m m a n d m e n t . p e y e ( p l . p e y e s ) - s i d e b u r n c u r l s w o r n b y r e l i g i o u s y o u n g m e n . R a m b a m - ( a b b r . f o r M o s e s B e n M a i m o n ; M a i m o n i d e s 1 1 3 5 - 1 2 0 4 ) . P h i l o s o p h e r , m e d i c a l w r i t e r a n d h a l a k i s t , w r o t e o n c o n t r o v e r s i a l m a t t e r s s u c h a s t h e n a t u r e o f G o d , t h e h i g h e r r e l i g i o n o f t h e ' p e r f e c t m a n ' e t c . A t o n e t i m e t h e l e a d i n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l w o r k s w e r e p e r m i t t e d o n l y t o t h o s e o v e r 2 5 y e a r s o f a g e a n d f o r b i d d e n u n d e r p a i n o f e x c o m m u n i c a t i o n t o t h o s e y o u n g e r . r e b , r e b e , r a b b i - t i t l e g i v e n t o a l e a r n e d a n d r e s p e c t e d m a n . S e p h a r d - t h e H e b r e w w o r d m e a n i n g S p a i n . s h a ' a t n e z - p r o s c r i p t i o n a g a i n s t w e a r i n g c l o t h e s m a d e o f w o o l a n d l i n e n . s h a b b e s - S a t u r d a y , S a b b a t h . s h a d c h e n - m a t c h m a k e r o r m a r r i a g e b r o k e r . s h i r - l e s s o n . s h m a y s - h i t , b a n g , w a l l o p . S h o t n y a Z o t n i a s ( R u s s i a n ) - T h e B l a c k H u n d r e d , a n o r g a n i z a t i o n r a m p a n t i n R u s s i a d u r i n g t h e l a t e 1 9 t h a n d e a r l y 2 0 t h c e n t u r y . s h t i b l ( p l . s h t i b l a c h ) - l i t e r a l l y a s m a l l r o o m , a s i d e r o o m i n a s y n a g o g u e . t a ' a m - f l a v o u r , g o o d t a s t e . t a l l i s - a s t r i p e d , t a s s e l e d s h a w l w o r n b y m a l e J e w s d u r i n g c e r t a i n p r a y e r s , t a l l i s - k o t n - f o u r - c o r n e r e d t a s s e l e d u n d e r g a r m e n t w o r n b y r e l i g i o u s m a l e J e w s . T a l m u d - H e b r e w ' t e a c h i n g * , c o n s i s t s o f M i s h n a h a n d G e m o r a . 248 T a n a c h - t h e H e b r e w B i b l e . t e i t l - a f l e x i b l e p o i n t e r u s u a l l y t a k e n f r o m a c o r s e t , m a d e o f b o n e o r i v o r y a n d u s e d b y t h e t e a c h e r w h e n t e a c h i n g T a l m u d . t s v a c l a s s e n - t w o c l a s s e s , r e f e r r i n g t o u p p e r c l a s s , m i d d l e c l a s s , l o w e r c l a s s . y e s h i v a - h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . z a i d a - g r a n d f a t h e r . z e c t - a b o a r d , a c o m m i t t e e . z m a n - s i x m o n t h p e r i o d , a p p r o x i m a t e l y M a r c h / A p r i l t o S e p t e m b e r / O c t o b e r , c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o P a s s o v e r t o F e a s t o f T a b a n a c l e s , a n d v i c e v e r s a . 249 B I B L I O G R A P H Y O F R E F E R E N C E S C I T E D A b e l l a , I r v i n g , N a t i o n a l i s m , C o m m u n i s m a n d C a n a d i a n L a b o u r , 1 9 7 3 U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o P r e s s , T o r o n t o . A m a l g a m a t e d C l o t h i n g W o r k e r s o f A m e r i c a , D o c u m e n t a r y H i s t o r y o f , 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 1 8 . 1 9 1 8 P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e T h i r d B i e n n i a l C o n v e n t i o n o f t h e A . C . W . A . h e l d i n B a l t i m o r e , M a r y l a n d , M a y 1 3 - 1 8 , p p . 8 7 - 2 1 4 . A n t i n , M a r y , 1 9 6 9 T h e P r o m i s e d L a n d , H o u g h t o n M i f f l i n C o . , B o s t o n , S e n t r y e d i t i o n . A u s u b e l , N a t h a n , 1 9 5 5 P i c t o r i a l H i s t o r y o f t h e J e w i s h P e o p l e , C r o w n P u b l i s h e r s I n c . , N e w Y o r k . B a i n , S . P a u l , 1 9 7 4 J e w i s h R e s i d e n t i a l S e g r e g a t i o n i n t h e C i t y o f T o r o n t o  1 8 4 0 - 1 9 7 1 , U n p u b l i s h e d B . A . t h e s i s , D e p a r t m e n t o f G e o g r a p h y , Y o r k U n i v e r s i t y , T o r o n t o . B a r n e t t , H . G . , 1 9 5 3 I n n o v a t i o n ; T h e B a s i s o f C u l t u r a l C h a n g e , M c G r a w H i l l B o o k C o . I n c . , T o r o n t o . B a r o n , S a l o , 1 9 7 5 T h e R u s s i a n J e w s U n d e r T z a r s a r i d S o v i e t s , T h e M a c M i l l a n C o . , N e w Y o r k . , A r c a d i u s K a h a n , a n d o t h e r s , 1 9 7 5 E c o n o m i c H i s t o r y d f t h e J e w s , N a h u m G r o s s , e d . , K e t e r P u b l i s h i n g H o u s e L t d . , J e r u s a l e m . B e l k i n , S i m o n , T h r o u g h N a r r o w G a t e s , E a g l e P u b l i s h i n g C o . L t d . , 1 9 6 6 M o n t r e a l . B o c k , P h i l l i p K . , M o d e r n C u l t u r a l A n t h r o p o l o g y , A l f r e d A . K n o p f , N e w Y o r k . 1 9 6 9 C a n a d a C e n s u s o f 1 9 2 1 , V o l u m e I : P o p u l a t i o n . 1 9 2 4 250 C a p p o n , P a u l , e d . , 1 9 7 8 I n O u r H o u s e ; S o c i a l P e r s p e c t i v e s o n C a n a d i a n L i t e r a t u r e , M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t , T o r o n t o . C o p p , T e r r y , T h e A n a t o m y o f P o v e r t y ; T h e C o n d i t i o n o f t h e W o r k i n g 1 9 7 4 C l a s s i n M o n t r e a l , 1 8 9 7 - 1 9 2 9 , M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , T o r o n t o . C r o w e , J e a n M a r g a r e t , 1 9 8 0 " L i f e l i n e " i n C a n a d i a n W e e k e n d o f T h e V a n c o u v e r S u n , M a r c h 1 , p p . 2 - 6 . D a v i d o w i c z , L u c y S . , 1 9 6 7 T h e G o l d e n T r a d i t i o n : J e w i s h L i f e a n d T h o u g h t i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e , B e a c o n P r e s s , B o s t o n . T h e W a r A g a i n s t T h e J e w s : 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 4 5 , H o l t R i n e h a r t 1 9 7 9 a n d W i n s t o n , B a n t a m e d i t i o n , N e w Y o r k . D o b r o s z y c k i , L u c j a n a n d B a r b a r a K i r s h e n b l a t t - G i m l e t t 1 9 7 7 I m a g e B e f o r e M y E y e s : A P h o t o g r a p h i c H i s t o r y o f J e w i s h L i f e i n P o l a n d , 1 8 6 4 - 1 9 3 9 , S c h o c k e n B o o k s , N e w Y o r k , p u b l i s h e d i n c o - o p e r a t i o n w i t h Y I V O I n s t i t u t e f o r J e w i s h R e s e a r c h . F a u m a n , S . T . , 1 9 5 2 F a c t o r s i n O c c u p a t i o n a l S e l e c t i o n A m o n g D e t r o i t J e w s , U n p u b l i s h e d , m i c r o f i l m . F r a n c i s , E . K . , 1 9 4 7 " T h e N a t u r e o f t h e E t h n i c G r o u p " i n A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f S o c i o l o g y , V o l . 5 2 : 5 : 3 9 3 - 4 0 0 . G e r g e l , N . , " T h e P o g r o m s i n t h e U k r a i n e i n 1 9 1 8 - 2 1 " i n Y I V O 1 9 5 1 A n n u a l o f J e w i s h S o c i a l S c i e n c e , V o l . V I , Y i d d i s h S c i e n t i f i c I n s t i t u t e - Y I V O , N e w Y o r k . G i l b e r t , M a r t i n , J e w i s h H i s t o r y A t l a s , W e i d e n f e l d a n d N i c o l s o n , L o n d o n . 1 9 6 9 G o l d b e r g , I t c h e , e d . , 1 9 6 6 Y i d d i s h S t o r i e s f o r Y o u n g P e o p l e , K i n d e r b u c h P u b l i s h e r s , N e w Y o r k . G o o d m a n , H e n r y , T h e N e w C o u n t r y , Y K U F P u b l i s h e r s , N e w Y o r k . 1 9 6 1 H a n n , K e a l e y , K e a l e y , W a r r i a n , 1 9 7 3 S o u r c e s i n C a n a d i a n W o r k i n g C l a s s H i s t o r y 1 8 6 0 - 1 9 3 0 , D u m o n t P r e s s , K i t c h e n e r . H a r n e y , R o b e r t F . , O r a l T e s t i m o n y a n d E t h n i c S t u d i e s , M u l t i c u l t u r a l n . d . S o c i e t y o f O n t a r i o . , a n d H a r o l d T r o p e r , 1 9 7 5 I m m i g r a n t s ; A P o r t r a i t o f t h e U r b a n E x p e r i e n c e 1 8 9 0 - 1 9 3 0 , V a n N o s t r a n d R e i n h o l d L t d . , T o r o n t o . H a r t , A . D . , e d . , T h e J e w s o f C a n a d a , J e w i s h P u b l i c a t i o n s L t d . , 1 9 2 6 T o r o n t o a n d M o n t r e a l . H e l f i e l d , T . G . " J e w s o f C a n a d a : Q u e b e c " i n V i e w p o i n t s , C a n a d i a n 1 9 7 3 J e w i s h Q u a r t e r l y , V o l . V I I : 3 a n d 4 : 2 4 - 5 1 . H o w e , I r v i n g a n d E l i e z e r G r e e n b e r g , e d . , 1 9 7 5 V o i c e s f o r t h e Y i d d i s h , S c h o c k e n B o o k s , N e w Y o r k . K a n e , S h i m o n , e d . , W l o d a w a & R e g i o n , S o b i b o r Y i s k o r B o o k , i n M e m o r y o f , 1 9 7 4 T h e B o o k C o m m i t t e e , C e n t r a l T o w n s m e n s h i p o f W l o d o w e a n d v i c i n i t y i n I s r a e l , T e l A v i v . K a g e , J o s e p h , W i t h F a i t h a n d T h a n k s g i v i n g , E a g l e P u b l i s h i n g C o . 1 9 4 0 L t d . , M o n t r e a l . K r a m e r , S y d e l l e a n d J e n n y M a s u r , e d . , 1 9 7 6 J e w i s h G r a n d m o t h e r s , B e a c o n P r e s s , B o s t o n . L e v i n e , L o u i s , T h e W o m e n ' s G a r m e n t W o r k e r s : A H i s t o r y o f t h e I . L . G . W . U . , 1 9 2 4 B . W . H u e b s c h I n c . , N e w Y o r k . 252 L e w i s , O s c a r , 1 9 6 3 1 9 6 5 , 1 9 6 6 M o n t e r o , G l o r i a , 1 9 7 7 1 9 7 9 M u r p h y , G a r d n e r , a n d L o i s M u r p h y , T . M . N e w c o m b , 1 9 3 7 E x p e r i m e n t a l S o c i a l P s y c h o l o g y , R e v i s e d e d i t i o n , H a r p e r , N e w Y o r k . M y e r h o f f , B a r b a r a , N u m b e r O u r D a y s , C l a r k e , I r w i n & C o . L t d . , T o r o n t o . 1 9 7 8 P a u l l , S t e v e n B . , A S t u d y o f t h e H i s t o r i c a l D e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e J e w i s h 1 9 7 4 C o m m u n i t y o f M o n t r e a l , U n p u b l i s h e d u n d e r g r a d u a t e t h e s i s , D e p a r t m e n t o f R e l i g i o n , S i r G e o r g e W i l l i a m s U n i v e r s i t y , M o n t r e a l . R o s e n t h a l , H e l e n e , " N o t T o B e B o r n e " i n C o n t e m p o r a r y P o e t r y o f B r i t i s h 1 9 7 0 C o l u m b i a , e d . J . M i c h a e l Y a t e s , S o n o N i s P r e s s , 7 2 - 7 3 . R o s e n b e r g , L o u i s C a n a d a ' s J e w s , A S o c i a l a n d E c o n o m i c S t u d y o f t h e J e w s 1 9 3 9 i n C a n a d a , B u r e a u o f S o c i a l a n d E c o n o m i c R e s e a r c h , -C a n a d i a n J e w i s h C o n g r e s s , M o n t r e a l . R o s k i e s , D i a n e K . a n d D a v i d G . R o s k i e s , 1 9 7 5 T h e S h t e t l B o o k , K t a v P u b l i s h i n g H o u s e , I n c . , U . S . A . R u b i n , R u t h , V o i c e s O f A P e o p l e , T h e S t o r y o f Y i d d i s h F o l k S o n g , 1 9 6 3 T h o m a s Y o s e l o f f , N e w Y o r k . T h e C h i l d r e n o f S a n c h e z , A u t o b i o g r a p h y o f a M e x i c a n F a m i l y , V i n t a g e B o o k s , N e w Y o r k , 1 s t e d i t i o n . L a V i d a , A P u e r t o R i c a n F a m i l y i n t h e C u l t u r e o f  P o v e r t y - S a r i J u a n a n d N e w Y o r k , V i n t a g e B o o k s , A D i v i s i o n o f R a n d o m H o u s e , N e w Y o r k . T h e I m m i g r a n t s , J a m e s L o r i m e r & C o . , T o r o n t o . W e S t o o d T o g e t h e r ; F i r s t - h a n d A c c o u n t s o f D r a m a t i c E v e n t s  i n C a n a d a ' s L a b o u r P a s t , J a m e s L o r i m e r & C o . , T o r o n t o . S a c k , B e n j a m i n G . t H i s t o r y o f t h e J e w s i n C a n a d a , t r a n s l a t e d b y R a l p h N o v e k , 1 9 6 5 H a r v e s t H o u s e , M o n t r e a l . 253 / S a c h a r , H o w a r d , T h e C o u r s e o f M o d e r n J e w i s h H i s t o r y , W e i d e n f e l d a n d 1 9 5 8 N i c o l s o n , L o n d o n . S c h a p p e s , , M o r r i s U . , 1 9 5 0 " S y n t h e t i c S t o r y o f t h e A m a l g a m a t e d " i n J e w i s h L i f e , S e p t e m b e r , 2 3 - 2 5 . S c h u t z , A l f r e d , C o l l e c t e d P a p e r s I I : S t u d i e s i n S o c i a l T h e o r y , 1 9 6 4 e d . A v i d B r o d e r s e n , M a r t i n u s N i j h o f f , T h e H a g u e . S c o t t , F . R . a n d H . M . C a s s i d y , 1 9 3 5 L a b o u r C o n d i t i o n s i n t h e M e n ' s C l o t h i n g I n d u s t r y , A R e p o r t p u b l i s h e d f o r t h e I n s t i t u t e o f P a c i f i c R e l a t i o n s b y T . N e l s o n . S e i d e l , J u d i t h , T h e D e v e l o p m e n t o f S o c i a l A d j u s t m e n t o f t h e J e w i s h 1 9 3 9 C o m m u n i t y i n M o n t r e a l , U n p u b l i s h e d M . A . t h e s i s , M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , M o n t r e a l . S e t o n - W a t s o n , H u g h , 1 9 7 4 " H i s t o r y o f t h e R u s s i a n a n d t h e S o v i e t : U n i o n . I I I . R u s s i a f r o m 1 8 0 1 t : o 1 9 1 7 " i n E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a , E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a I n c . , C h i c a g o , M a c r o p a e d i a V o l . 1 6 : 5 7 - 6 6 . S l u t s k y , Y e h u d a , " P a l e o f S e t t l e m e n t " i n E n c y c l o p a e d i a J u d a i c a , 1 9 1 7 T h e M a c M i l l a n C o . , K e t e r P u b l i s h i n g H o u s e L t d . , J e r u s a l e m , V o l . 1 3 : 2 4 - 2 8 ; S o l i n g e r , J a c o b , " C l o t h i n g a n d F o o t w e a r I n d u s t r y " i n E n c y c l o p a e d i a 1 9 7 4 B r i t a n n i c a , E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a I n c . , C h i c a g o , M a c r o p a e d i a , V o l . 4 : 7 5 0 - 7 5 6 . S p e i s m a n , S t e p h e n A . , 1 9 7 9 J e w s o f T o r o n t o : A H i s t o r y t o 1 9 3 7 , M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t , T o r o n t o . W a d e l , C a t o , N o w , W h o s e F a u l t I s T h a t ? T h e S t r u g g l e f o r S e l f - e s t e e m i n 1 9 7 3 t h e F a c e o f C h r o n i c U n e m p l o y m e n t , N e w f o u n d l a n d S o c i a l a n d E c o n o m i c S t u d i e s N o . 1 1 , I n s t i t u t e o f S o c i a l a n d E c o n o m i c R e s e a r c h , M e m o r i a l U n i v e r s i t y o f N e w f o u n d l a n d , U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o P r e s s , T o r o n t o . 254 W i g o d e r , G e o f f r e y , e d . , 1 9 7 7 T h e N e w S t a n d a r d J e w i s h E n c y c l o p a e d i a , F i f t h E d i t i o n , D o u b l e d a y & C o . I n c . , N e w Y o r k . W i t t l i n , A l m a S., I n S e a r c h O f A U s a b l e F u t u r e , T h e M I T P r e s s , 1 9 7 0 C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . W y m a n , D a v i d S . , P a p e r W a l l s ; A m e r i c a a n d t h e R e f u g e e C r i s i s 1 9 3 8 - 1 9 4 1 , 1 9 6 8 U n i v e r s i t y o f M a s s a c h u s e t t s P r e s s , A m h e r s t . Z b o r o w s k i , M a r k a n d E l i z a b e t h H e r z o g , 1 9 6 2 L i f e I s W i t h P e o p l e , T h e J e w i s h L i t t l e - T o w n o f E a s t e r n E u r o p e , I n t e r n a t i o n a l U n i v e r s i t i e s P r e s s , I n c . , N e w Y o r k . Z n a n i e k i , F . , 1 9 6 8 T h e M e t h o d o f S o c i o l o g y , O c t a g o n B o o k s , I n c . , N e w Y o r k . 

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