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September 14, 1984 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-09-14

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, September 14,, 1984

The daily minyan is shown above at the Beth Abraham Jacob Synagogue in the Baycrest
Senior Centre, and a customer looks through a volume in one of Bathurst Street's many
Jewish bookstores.

and South Africa because of internal
problems in both countries.
More recently, Israeli and Rus-
sian Jews have moved to the city, as
have Jews from the small towns in On-
tario. Today, more than half of Toron-
to's Jews were born outside of Canada,
compared with 95 percent of American
Jews who are native born.

For an inexpensive, overall view
of the Bathurst Corridor, take the
Bathurst bus at Eglinton to the Jewish
Community Center located at 4588
Bathurst. Chances are the only non-
Jew on the bus will be the driver.
Children, young men and senior
citizens wear yalmulkes. Accents are
common, mostly Yiddish but also Rus-
sian, Hungarian, French, Spanish and
even English-English. Women carry
their purchases from the many kosher
fish and meat markets, grocery stores

and wonderful bakeries which line
both sides of the street.
Housing prices, rent and food
prices in this middle class neighbor-
hood are higher than in any other part
of metropolitan Toronto. Yet Jews are
more than willing to pay a premium to
enjoy the Jewish amenities.
The community, for example, is
deservedly proud of its Jewish day
school system: 7,000 children attend
day schools. Another 6,000 attend
supplementary schools in their syna-
gogues or secular organizations.
Eighty percent of Toronto's Jewish
youth receive some form of Jewish
education.
Most day school students suc-
cessfully go on to higher education, as
a visit to the two local universities —
the University of Toronto and York
University — attests. At both univer-
sities, students wear yarmulkes. The

University of Toronto has a superior
Judaica collection. Both universities
have strong Jewish studies depart-
ments (the Yiddish courses are always
oversubscribed) and kosher eating
facilities.
The most exciting places to visit in
a foreign Jewish community are its
synagogues, restaurants, stores and
institutions. Toronto's Bathurst Cor-
ridor has a wealth of such attractions.
There are 70 synagogues plus many
ethnic, secular or "landsmanshaften"
groups which meet for special events
and holidays.
Beth Tzedec Synagogue, at 1700
Bathurst, has a huge sanctuary, im-
pressive stained glass windows, a wall
mosaic and unusual tapestries. The
synagogue contains . a first-rate
museum with an interesting collection
of ancient Torah scrolls, spice boxes,.
menorahs and century-old ketubahs.
Holy Blossom Temple, at 1950
Bathurst, also has a spacious
sanctuary, unusual wood-beam con-
struction and circular stained glass
windows. Special tours of both syna-
gogues can be arranged.
Conservative Beth Tzedec's serv-
ices would be considered Orthodox by
American standards. Similarly, Holy
Blossom's Reform ritual is more tradi-
tional than American Reform temples,
with the rabbis wearing talliths and
yarmulkes, the services mostly in He-
brew and with a kosher kitchen.
Shaarei Shomayim, at 470 Glen-
cairn, and Shaarei Tefillah, 3600
Bathurst,. are two large, impressive
Orthodox synagogues.
The Toronto Jewish community
also has five Sephardic synagogues.
Petah Tikva Anshe Castilla, at 20
Dariby Ave. has both French- and
Spanish-speaking members. Almost
every Chasid group is represented in

49

the Bathurst Corridor, from Poland,
Hungary, Romnia and Russia. The
largest group is the Lubavitch Chasid.
Because of the large number of
Chasidim. Bathurst Street has some-
times been called the "Rue de la
Payos."
An astonishing number of kosher
food markets, bakeries, restaurants
and delicatessens are to be found. The
Kashruth Directory, updated yearly
and available at all bookstores on
Bathurst, lists every kosher eating
place and food store along with kosher
resorts and public institutions.
Among some we -enjoyed were:
Marky's, 280 Wilson, just west of
Bathurst, a meat restaurant with a
liquor license; Maven's 3537 Bathurst,
referred to as the "Jewish
McDonalds," specializes in kosher fast
food with rib steak and chips (fried
potatoes), soups and home-made
strudel its specialties.
Mati's Falafel House, 3430
Bathurst, is a hangout for Sephardic
Jewish youth. A most unlikely eating
place is the Malkat-Peking Restau-
rant, 3426 Bathurst, with a Chinese
cook and strictly kosher egg rolls,
spare ribs and beef egg foo yang. A
more formal restaurant is Herschel's
Restaurant and Tavern, 4630 Dufferin
Street, northwest of upper Bahturst.
On Mondays, the restaurant festures a
Chinese buffet; on Thursdays, _an Ita-
lian buffet. And all glatt kosher.
There
are
innumerable
bookstores. The Negev, 3509 Bathurst
has an extraordinary stock of Jewish
books and periodicals in English, He-
brew, Yiddish and other languages.
Zucker's, at 3455 Bathurst, Ma-Tov, at
3173 Bathurst and Miriam's, at 3007

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