Ostrovtzer Societies in Toronto, Canada


In addition to the Ostrovtzer Synagogue founded in Toronto in 1910, the Ostrovtzer Jews in Toronto organized three fraternal societies;

 Ostrovtzer Hilfs Farein

Ostrovtzer Ladies Auxiliary

Ostrovtzer Independent Mutual Benefit Society -founded in 1924

Both the Ladies Auxiliary and the Hilfs Farein began their existence as branches of the Ostrovtzer synagogue, and did not become independent organizations until much later.

 Ostrovtzer Hilfs Farein

Up to the outbreak of the second world war there were two separate Hilfs Fareinin in Toronto, both having identical aims:  the raising of funds for the destitute Jews of Ostrowiec. The two societies merged after the Holocaust, forming a single organization to look after all relief activities They provided extensive aid to Ostrowiec Jews who have turned up in the displaced persons camps and those others who were able to make their way to Israel.

Ostrovtzer Ladies Auxiliary

Like the Hilfs Farein, the Ladies Auxiliary was initially a branch of the synagogue, with the members' wives devoting themselves to the welfare of the synagogue. The ladies of the congregation donated the Holy Ark, a "Perocheth" for the Holy Ark; and a Chupah, and also raised money for modernizing the synagogue.

Ostrovtzer Independent Mutual Benefit Society

The Ostrovtzer Independent Mutual Benefit Society helped immigrants from Ostrowiec by providing friendship, loans  and assistance to landsmen who left Ostrowiec and came to Toronto to start a new life. They also helped o provide medical services to the members and their families at reasonable cost.

In addition, the Society organized a young men’s branch for the sons of members.

After the Holocaust, in addition to assisting new immigrants from Ostrowiec, including burial services, they  were active in conducting annual memorials in Toronto including establishing a memorial monument.


Source: Edited from "40 Year Jubilee Book of Ostrovtzer Shul" as well as articles from Ostrowiec  Yizkor Book 1971