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How a Group of Philanthropists Changed the Face of Jewish Charitable Work

Screen shot 2016-05-26 at 11.39.37 AMNow and Then explores the stories behind Toronto’s historical plaques and monuments. Brought to by Heritage Toronto’s Plaques and Markers Program.

Edmund Scheuer and Ida Siegel, two of the founding members of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, pictured at the Canadian Jewish Farm School in Georgetown, Ontario, circa 1927. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives Fonds 15 File 37 Item 24.

Edmund Scheuer and Ida Siegel, two of the founding members of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, pictured at the Canadian Jewish Farm School in Georgetown, Ontario, circa 1927. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives Fonds 15 File 37 Item 24.

In 1917, a group of philanthropists felt their community was being solicited by too many charities during the holidays. It was complicated to have so many people coming to the door, canvassing for donations. So, a group of community leaders decided to improve the situation by incorporating all the existing groups into the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Toronto, which was given a charitable charter in March 1917.

The core founding group included Edmund Scheuer, a jeweller and the federation’s first president; Abraham Cohen, the first honorary secretary; and Ida Siegel, who wasn’t given a seat after she argued there should be a woman representative. The federation later expanded to become a vitally important institution during the Depression, and still exists today as the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto.

Keep reading: How a Group of Philanthropists Changed the Face of Jewish Charitable Work

culture

Where the Ricky Gervais Netflix Movie Special Correspondents Was Filmed in Toronto

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

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If you’re type who follows the social media or loves dry, uncomfortable British comedy, it was kind of hard to miss when Ricky Gervais was in town last year. Indeed, he filled his Twitter and Instagram with the kinds of loving portrayals of the city that we so crave.

The result of all that effort is Special Correspondents, the Gervais-directed and -written film that hit Netflix last month. It stars he and Eric Bana as a couple of New York (of course) journalists who (long story short) pretend they’re actually in Ecuador covering a war. Somewhat interestingly, Australian Bana and Scottish Kelly MacDonald resort to (passable, barely) American accents while Gervais gets to talk like, you know, Ricky Gervais.

Keep reading: Where the Ricky Gervais Netflix Movie Special Correspondents Was Filmed in Toronto

politics

John Tory Loves Ward Boundary Status Quo

Status quo is actually from 1991.

Photo by Bruce K from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

Photo by Bruce K from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

John Tory often touts how he reads studies and evaluates expert staff recommendations. The rhetoric goes that this approach separates him from his predecessor, who was more interested in his personal preferences than facts and evidence.

The mayor does not always live up to this standard. Case in point: Toronto’s much-needed ward boundary review, which the mayor wants to delay so that staff deliver a recommendation that he is willing to hear.

Keep reading: John Tory Loves Ward Boundary Status Quo