In May 2012, Sara teamed up with the Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal (IMJM) to participate in the international Jane’s Walk weekend, offering walking tours to uncover the Jewish past of the Plateau.
Over 70 people signed-up for our Jane's Walk, so we split into three groups led by Stephanie Schwartz (left), Sara Tauben (centre) & Zev Moses, standing here in front of the entrance to the Bagg Street Shul
We discovered former synagogues and Jewish insititutions along the way, nearly forgotten until Sara and the IMJM’s Zev Moses started their pavement pounding research.
The tour culminating with a special visit to the historic Temple Solomon, more commonly known as The Bagg Street Shul.
Sara's group stops at the corner of Prince-Arthur and St. Dominique
Today’s pedestrian mall on Prince Arthur Street, a popular summertime destination for outdoor dining and street performances, was once a hub of the needle trade, which was considered a largely “Jewish” business. This was the cause of considerable conflict and bitterness within the community as Jewish employers and workers faced each other across the picket line of multiple labour strikes that marked the industry in the early part of the century. Many of the buildings held several floors of clothing manufacturing including the building in front of which the group is standing which was the first address of the Tauben family “shmata” business when it started in the 1950s.
Zev Moses with his Jane's Walk group
118-120 Duluth Street East was once the Peretz Shule, which emerged out of the National Radical School, the first Jewish secular school in Montreal.
Sara holds up a photo of a group of students & teachers at one of the locations of the National Radical School.
Renamed after the Yiddish writer I.L. Peretz in 1923, it became a full-day school in 1942 when it moved into this renovated factory. Dedicated to Yiddish language and culture and the liberal national ideals of Labour-Zionism, the school merged with the similarly oriented Jewish People’s School in 1971. Yiddish continues to be taught as a mandatory subject from grade three through high school at JPPS-Bialik.
A former student at the Peretz Shule, Nina Miller, reads from the memoirs of the school’s principal, Yaacov Zipper.
Sara finds a raised perch on a stoop - a perfect spot to address the group.
Back at the Bagg Street, Sara talks about the architectural features of the shul.
Listening to Sara's "tour" of the sanctuary while seated in the women's balcony. The murals on the balcony illustrate the zodiac.
May 24, 2012