Hugo Levendel fonds

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 125
Level of Description
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

textual material, 170 photographs : b&w

1 box in OS

Biographical History

Hugo Levendel (November 8, 1904 in Satu-Mare, Hungary - August 28, 2000 in Ottawa) immigrated to Ottawa in 1928 shortly after his brother Alex Levendel. He achieved basic English and the skill of retouching photographs before leaving Satu-Mare. Soon after arriving in Ottawa secured a position with Castonguay Photography Studios. He had Barney Weiss to thank for helping him find that position; a local politician and man who made it a mission to assist new Jewish immigrants in Ottawa with finding work and homes. Later, he worked with Morris Stein of Parisienne Studios before working for Yousuf Karsh performing dark room and printing work. In December, 1937 he opened his own studio at 74 Sparks Street. At the beginning of World War II he gave up photography and entered the Federal Government, performing translation work with his proficiency in Hebrew, Yiddish, Rumanian, Magyar and German. Levendel is probably best known for his shots of Jewish storefronts in the Byward Market from the 1930's and 40's. He did these while working with Stein at the Parisienne Studios. As the story goes, Stein and Levendel would tell the store owners they were taking photographs for trade magazines. They would charge nothing for these images to be taken. Once developed, the negatives would be shown to the shop owners and more often than not, the owners would buy prints. Hugo Levendel also worked as a volunteer for many Jewish causes. Between 1930 and 1934 he was the president of the Young Jewish People’s Association of Ottawa. For three years he was youth chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, 1933-1935. His interest in adult education led him to also support the Jewish Folke Shule in the 1930's. Culturally he promoted Yiddish theatrical performances. He acted as co-chairman of the Jewish Community Council of Ottawa’s Holocaust Committee in the 1970's. Between 1980 and 1986, he was President of the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society and worked closely with then Archivist Shirley Berman. An active Zionist all his life, he was heavily involved in all Zionist activities in the Ottawa Jewish community, including attendance as a delegate to numerous Canadian National Zionist Conventions. In 1936 he married Ruth Davis, one of the Ukranian orphans brought to Canada in 1921 by Lillian Freiman. Ruth was a founder of the Na’amat Pioneer Women in Ottawa. She and Hugo had two children, Lewis David and Margaret Ann.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of a portfolio of significant Byward Market photographs and members of the Ottawa Jewish community in the late 1930's taken by Hugo Levendel; correspondence, speeches, biographical material; collections of pamphlets, news clippings, Canadian Zionist periodicals outlining the Zionist pathway since the early 1940's (itemized below), Israel Mereminsky's 1933 speech to the Ottawa Histadrut Campaign, 7 scrapbook pages; documentation of his leadership and association with the Poale Zion Ottawa (1933-1944), Israeli Forum, (1949-1953), Jewish Philosophy and Ethics Study Group (1955-1976), Adult Institute of Jewish Studies,(1968-1971), Labour Zionist Council of Ottawa (1963-1977), Holocaust Memorial Committee, (1974-1983), Jewish National Fund, (1968-1980), Jewish Historical Society of Canada, (1973-1982), Ottawa Jewish Historical Society. Publications held in Levendel fonds include: Book - Lexicon of Yiddish Theatre Vol 1, New York 1931, published by the Hebrew Actors Union of America. Jewish Frontier (May 1967, March 1969, July-August 1989, March-April 1990, May-June 1992, May-June 1993) Labor Zionist Alliance of Canada: 1983 Conference Re-View Histadrut Record (Ottawa Jewish Historical Society, Vol.1, No.1, November 1943) Jewish Spectator (November 1960) Palestine Affairs (Vol.1, No.1, February 1946) World Jewry (No.10, Vol.111, October 1960, No.11, Vol.111, November 1960) Dos Vort (Vol. VII - No.6, June 1, 1954) The Jewish Times (Vol. VI, No.16, Wednesday September 10, 1980, Vol.VII, No.11, Friday, June 19-July 2, 1981) The Jerusalem Post International Edition (No.1, 121, April 25-May 1, 1982) Histadrut: foto news (January 1948, September 1948, June 1949, April 1950, May 1950, June 1950, April 1951, November 1951, September 1952, November 1952, January 1953, February 1953, January 1955, March 1960, April 1960, September 1960, November 1960, December 1960, October 1961, March 1964). Sepia photograph of a young boy, Alfred Friedman, taken 1936 (see 1-275). Le Juif (In French, March 30, 1910). BOX 1 - Poale Zion Ottawa, Correspondence, Hugo Levendel, Secretary - 1942; Poale Zion Ottawa, Correspondence, Hugo Levendel, Secretary - 1943; Poale Zion Ottawa, Correspondence, Hugo Levendel, Secretary - 1944; Poale Zion minutes, Overview of Poale Zion, possibly by Hugo Levendel - 1933-1934; Poale Zion minutes, Poale Zion membership, - 1934 Paole Zion minutes and correspondence (undated); Zionist Organization of Canada - 1947; Labour Zionist Council of Canada, Correspondence - 1963-1977; Israeli Forum Correspondence, Invitations - 1949-1953; News Clippings, Holocaust; Jewish National Fund - 1968-1980; Holocaust Committee; Holocaust Committee - 1974-1983; Jewish Philosophy and Board of Ethics Study Group; Jewish Philosophy and Board of Ethics Study Group; Adult Insitute of Jewish Studies, Jewish Community Centre of Ottawa; Ottawa Jewish Historical Society; Jewish Historical Society of Canada; BOX 2 - Sold by Mr. Levendel to Father while in Satu, Mare, Transylvania - 1927; Biographical; Biographical; Israel Mereminsky Speech, Histadrut Campaign Ottawa, Translated by Mrs. Miriam Paghis - 1933; Jewish National Fund, Negev Dinner honouring Hugo Levendel - 1974; General Correspondence; Speeches; Campagins, Karen Hayeso, letter from Hassah Organization of Canada, United Palestine Appeal - 1933, 1934, 1935, 1943; Correspondence, Young Jewish Peoples Association; Special Newspapers; Seven Scrapbook Pages; Magazines I - 1937, 1942, 1944, 1947-1948; Canadian Zionist - 1937, 1980; Pamphlets; Postcards, Satu Mare, Rumania; Book, Labour Zionist Handbook - 1939 Hyman Edelstein, Poetry Books; An Anthology of Songs and Poems from the Ghettos and Concentration Camps, Published by the Central Jewish Committee, Bergen- Belsen; News Clippings, Adrien Arcand (anti-semitism); News Clippings, Israel; Anniveres of Israel Independence - 1973; Ben Gershon Kayfetz, Invitation - 1984; Invitations to Ottawa events; News Clippings, The Jewish War Orphans Committee of Canada in The Jew Canada; News Clippings; BOX 3 - Newspaper Clippings; Golda Meir; Paper. The Hungarian Jews of Toronto, Gardos-Toplak; Magazines IV, Jewish Observer, Congress Bulletin; 1944, 1947-1948, 1954; The Palestinian Problem, Supplement to Nation Magazine - 1947; Immigration to Israel, Illegal Aliyah; The Evening Citizen - 1945; Jewish Standard - 1953-1954; Jewish Chronicle - 1947-1948; Israel Magazine - 1950; Pamphlets, Publications, Youth and the Nation - 1947; Pamphlets, Publications, The Zionist - 1933; Pamphlets, Publications, The Canadian Zionist - 1937; Pamphlets, Publications, Congress Bulletin - 1953; Other Publications; The Jewish Times; Le Juif; Jewish Frontier; Histadrwt Record - 1943; Labour Zionist Alliance of Canada, Conference Review - 1983; Periodicals, Histadnt Toto News; A Proclamation of Faith and Thanksgiving; The Member from Trois-Riviers, play by M. Charles Choen); Pamphlet, A Tribute to Freedom - 1832-1982; Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre - 1931;

Related Units of Description

  • Jewish National Fund Negev Dinner fonds; Jeoash Folke Shule fonds; Young Jewish People’s Association of Ottawa fonds; Jewish Community Council of Ottawa fonds; United Palestine Appeal series; Labour Zionist Council of Ottawa fonds; Ottawa Jewish Historical Society fonds

  • Articles on H. Levendel in The Jewish Standard, Dec. 30, 1994 pg 5, and OJB September 4, 1995.

This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.