Jewish Community in Newfoundland

In this video, Moishe Kantorowitz explains how he moved to Newfoundland with his family for work. The Kantorowitz family joined a flourishing Jewish community in St. John's and always felt welcomed with open arms. Source: Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, 1990



Video begins with inter-title in white text on black screen while instrumental music plays and fades into the next frame: In 1956, Moishe Kantorowitz accepted a job offer in St. John's, Newfoundland. He and his family joined a growing Jewish community in the Atlantic capital.



Cut to Holocaust survivor Moishe Kantorowitz, sitting in front of a dark background, and looking to the left of the camera. The camera shows his face and shoulders as he speaks during an interview conducted in Toronto in 1990.

>> Moishe Kantorowitz: I came to St. John's, Newfoundland, from Montreal in 1956…



The name “Moishe Kantorowitz” and the location of the filmed interview, “Toronto”, appear in white text above his right shoulder.

>> …with my wife, and our son who was four years of age, and a newborn baby, and another one who was born to us while we were in Newfoundland two years later. And I was travelling on the road selling from a truck to stores. There was a community of close to 70 —in St. John's proper, there was a community of close to 70 Jewish families.



Cut to black-and-white photograph of a man and three young children sitting in the snow in front of a truck with a trailer. The photo caption appears in white text in the top-right of the frame, Moishe Kantorowitz with family, St. John's, 1962”.

>> Of course after the war, the community began to prosper.



Cut to Moishe Kantorowitz in front of the camera.

>> It was necessary to get a new synagogue, a new shul. Once the shul was built in 1960, the community in a sense received an influx of new members at that time between 1946 to 1955 or 1960. Mostly survivors like myself, Jews of European background who spoke Yiddish, who were in a sense traditional. And that injection of new blood, if I can say, sort of helped the community expand, and gave this community a new lease on life. Newfoundlanders, as a whole, I must say, know of no antisemitism. At least I have never felt it. I have felt friendship and I must say that Newfoundlanders have always welcomed me with open arms.



Music plays for the remainder of the video. Three credit pages appear in white text on black screen: Interview conducted by David Magder, Archives of the Holocaust Project, Toronto, 1990, Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre

Images: Moishe Kantorowitz Family Collection

Directing: Helgi Piccinin; Editing and Colorization: Michaël Gravel, Helgi Piccinin; Audio Mix and Original Music: Pierre-Luc Lecours. [Logo for Chaire de recherche du Canada en patrimoine ethnologique]

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, copyright 2017.



End of transcript.

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