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Jewish Free Loan Toronto


Shoemakers' Guild and Executive of the Linas Hatzedek (Kieke, Poland)

European Jews Arrive in Canada

in the early 1900s. 

Many European Jews arrived in Canada in search of a better life.

As procuring employment proved difficult (especially for the observant) early versions of communal loan societies sprung up.

Some offered start-up loans for small business ventures while others such as the Loan Cassa helped settle Jews in agricultural areas.

As the Cassa evolved, it joined forces with the United Jewish Relief Agency and the Canadian Jewish Congress, and also began to offer small business loans.

Jewish Free Loan Exec


Toronto Hebrew

Free Loan Association

In 1922, Rabbi Barnett Brickner recommended that a new Free Loan Society be created, this time under the auspices and financial backing of B’nai Brith and private donors.

With $3,800 from B’nai Brith and $1,350 from donors, the first meeting of the Hebrew Free Loan Association took place on December 17th, 1922 at the Zionist Institute, at the corner of Beverly and Cecil Streets.

JFLT Minutes 1922
JFLT Minutes 1922

Minutes 1922

David Lavine, present on December 17, 1922


Toronto Gemiluth Chasodim Association

On July 12, 1924, Letters Patent were signed and sealed incorporating the Toronto Gemiluth Chasodim Association.


“Twelve Jewish men, all of the City of Toronto, in the County of York and Province of Ontario” were the founding members of this corporation, whose mandate it was “to assist deserving applicants for relief.”


Around this time, B’nai Brith and the National Council of Jewish Women began to provide loans to university students.

Samuel Harris, Director 1924

Samuel Harris
Founder and Director

Harris Delicatessen 1913

Sarah Harris, Harris' was the first Jewish delicatessen in Toronto

Mayor Nathan Phillips

Mayor Nathan Phillips
Founder and Director

1927 - 1937

JFLT Editorial 1927
History Book S. Speisman


Baum Ledger
Baum Ledger
Baum Ledger

Document showing the repayment plan: Toronto Hebrew Free Loan 1932


Bertha Sklar, Jewish Free Loan Toronto 1940


Jewish Free Loan
Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Document

Document showing the repayment plan: Toronto Hebrew Free Loan (1953)

1923 -1972

Presidents 1932-1972
Samuel Kronick, Pres. 1923

Samuel Kronick, 1923

Max Rosen, Pres. 1934

Max Rosen, 1934

Joseph Marin, Pres. 1941

Joseph Marin, 1941

JS Granatstein, Pres. 1946

JS Granatstein, 1946

Jacob Andrews, Director 1929

Jacob Andrews, 1929

Arthur Lavine, Pres. 1951
JM Granatstein, Pres. 1952
Jack Shindman, Pres. 1960
Isador Caplan, Pres. 1961

Arthur Lavine, 1951

JM Granatstein, 1952

Jack Shindman, 1959

Isador Caplan, 1961

Joe Betesh, 1954

J.C. Oelbaum, 1936

Morris Adams

Morris Adams, 1962

Morris Rubenstein, 1970

Joseph Fleischmann, 1964

Nathan Briks, 1972

Joseph Fleischmann
Free Loan
Free Loan Assn. Meeting 1966
Nathan Briks


JFLT Historical Article 1962



Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Association meeting.
Included left to right: Jack Shindman; Joe Fleischmann; Joe Betesh; Leon Neuschul.

Free Loan Assn. Meeting 1966
Free Loan Assn. Meeting 1966
Free Loan Assn. Meeting 1966
Free Loan Assn. Meeting 1966

Toronto Hebrew Free Loan Association Annual Meeting, 150 Beverley St., Toronto

from left to right are: J. Weiner; J. Shindman; J. Oelbaum; M. Adams; J. Fleischmann; M. Rubinstein.

from left to right are: J. Weiner; J. Shindman; J. Oelbaum; M. Adams; J. Fleischmann; M. Rubinstein; J. Betesh; L. Neuschul,

Louis Gelber; Charlie Garfunkel.

Saul Sigler; Jack Papernick; Louis Gelber; Charlie Garfunkel.


JFLT Historical Article 1971
JFLT Seeking Membership Article


Free Loan Assn. 1974

Jewish Free Loan AGM 1974

50 anniversary

50th Anniversary
Meeting 1975

50th Anniversary Cake 1975

50th Anniversary Cake 1975

Morris Adams Addresses Meeting
Justice A. Lieff  50th Anniversary 1975

Morris Adams addresses meeting

Lillie Herlick (to right of speaker) awaiting installation as President.

Lilly Herlick, President, 1975

Lillie Herlick Installed as President

Nathan Phillips and Lilly Herlick
Lilly Herlick Installed as Pres

Nathan Phillips and Lillie Herlick

Lillie Herlick Installed as President

50th Anniversary Meeting 1975
50th Anniversary Meeting 1975-1
Nathan Phillips 50th Ann. Meeting
50th Anniversary Meeting 1975

50th Anniversary Meeting 1975

Nathan Phillips 50th Anniversary Meeting

50th Anniversary Meeting 1975

Lillie Herlick

50th Anniversary Meeting 1975

1st Russian Immigrant Repays Loan

First Russian immigrant repays loan at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Toronto Hebrew Free Loan.

Presidents 1974 2008

1974 -2008

Lillie Herlick , 1974

Jack Schwartz, 1980

Morrie Latchman, 1984

Rose Rubin Ziner, 1987

Sherman Hans , 1988

Lily Herlick, 1960
Jack Schwartz

David Goldberg, 1990

Alan Mostyn, 1992 

Nathan Disenhouse, 1994

Mervyn McCarthy, 1996

David Sefton, 1998

David Sefton
Alan Mostyn
Nathan Disenhouse
David Goldberg

Cathie Smith Friedman 2000

Brahm Seitz, 2002 

Howard Glowinsky, 2004

Stanley Rosenfarb, 2006

Steven Friedman, 2008

Howard Glowinsky
Cathi Smith
Brahm Seitz
Merv McCarthy
Stanley Rosenfarb
Sherman Hans.
Jewish Free Loan 100 logo
Rose Rubin Ziner.jpg


Picture of board members

Top row: Ed Glina, Helen Kastner, Helen Futerman, Joe Cohen, Rick Goodman, Howard Glowinsky, David Sefton, Jerry Blitzer, Brahm Seitz, Dr. Howard Switzer


Middle row: Cathie Smith-Friedman, Shani Jablonsky-Himel, Jack Zippin, Rea Freedman, Shalom Romm


Bottom row: Steven Friedman, Alan Mostyn


Merv McCarthy, Dr. Steve Samuel &

Rick Goodman

Oct 2001 Treasurer
Oct 2001 - Rick Sam Siegelman
Oct 2001-Merv McCarthy Dr. Steve Samuel Rick

Rick Goodman & Sam Siegelman

Treasurer JFL Oct 2001


Free Loan CJN
Presidents 2010 2024

2010 -2024

Rick Goodman, 2010

Miriam Joseph, 2012 

Terry Borer, 2014

Rob Tick, 2016

miriam joseph
 Rob Tick

Sheldon Parker, 2018 

Cathie Smith Friedman, 2020

Leslie Weisz, 2022

Leslie Weisz
Sheldon Parker

Leo Vaisman, 2024

Leo's Headshot_edited.jpg
Merv McCarthy Dr. Steve Samuel Rick
 Cathie Smith Friedman

AGM 2023

2024 Jewish Free Loan Team

Marra Messinger, Irina Krushelnitsky, Elliott Michaelson, Leslie Weisz, Leo Vaisman, Levi Cassidy

AGM 2023
Alan Shiner - Marra Messinger

Marra Messinger & Alan Shiner

Recipient of the 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award

 AGM Jewish Free Loan 2023

Mariana Jules - Leslie
Faye Alan Shiner - Laura Freeman

Mariana Catz, Jules Lewy, and Leslie Weisz

Alan Shiner and Family

For over a century, volunteers have been the mainstay of JFLT.

We thank them all for their hard work and dedication.

JFLT extends its thanks to The Ontario Jewish Archives for the use of these archival photos.

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