Summer Newsletter


President: Ian Sarfin
Vice President: Debbie Fitzerman

Past President: Susan Phillips
Secretary: Barry Kaplan
Treasurer: David Kogon

Leonard Harris
Lili Kramil-Marcus
Gloria Pivnick
Ian Mills
Richard Cohen
Lyndsay Wise


A Brief Tribute to Marion Meyer
(1924 – 2017)

Marion was my friend, a Queen’s University colleague, and a fellow Kingston Jewish Community member for more than 40 years. She was a person of great energy and enthusiasm, had a good sense of humour, and was very friendly. For the past 4 years after we downsized and moved into our condo, she was also a neighbor.  The night we moved into the building, Marion and Henry, both no longer in good health, insisted on making Bruce and I a lovely cold supper at the end of our long and tiring day to welcome us to our new home.  This kind gesture exemplifies the thoughtful and generous family that they represented. They lived frugally, but were generous in their philanthropy and gave of themselves personally to their family, to this community, and the world at large.  As you likely know, she was one of a small group of Holocaust survivors still living in Kingston in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

Marion was born in Berlin to a distinguished family. From the time she was a young girl, she demonstrated intelligence, gutsiness, maturity, and incredible bravery. She claimed that her older sister got the beauty and she inherited initiative & academic prowess.  She had bravado too—at the age of 4 she recited her own poetry on Berlin radio, and was dubbing US and British films into German when she was 7 years old.  But the family had to flee Berlin in 1934 after the Nazi’s came to power and moved to Paris.  Before she was 10 years old, Marion was negotiating with French authorities to prevent deportation of the family back to Germany. Later, her family, along with many other Parisians, fled to the south of France after the German invasion of France in 1940.  By the time she was in her late teens, Marion arranged for her mother’s protection by hiding her in a Catholic hospital as a patient when round ups of Jewish adults began. Later, when Marion with her sister and cousins fled across the French border to Switzerland, she was the group’s spokesperson arguing with Swiss authorities, not to return them to Nazi-occupied France.  Marion’s strong beliefs about fighting oppression, poverty, discrimination, and genocide stayed with her to the very end.  She worked tirelessly as a volunteer for Amnesty International, Save the Children, and other social justice groups.  After Marion and Henry retired, they donated their time and expertise to a number of Third World Countries in Latin America and Africa through the auspices of CESO, Canadian Executive Services Overseas. They shared deep friendships in Kingston especially in later years with several other couples in our Jewish community with whom they hosted rotating dinner parties.

Marion was a Professor in the Sociology Department for four decades and was a respected teacher and scholar, and a role model for younger women academics. Marion is well known for her research about the Jewish Community in Kingston. She loved the stimulation of attending lectures, films, and discussions in which she participated.

Marion’s family was the centre of her busy life: she and Henry had a supportive and loving relationship of mutual respect.  She took great pride in her efforts in raising her children, Winston, who is a banker and Michelle, who is a naturopathic doctor.  As a family, they enjoyed camping, gardening and Marion loved to cook, bake, and knit for her family.  Marion was happy when the children and grandchildren visited.

Although Marion was an atheist, she was knowledgeable about the Jewish liturgy and interested in Jewish culture and philosophy. Marion and Henry were members of both Beth Israel and Iyr HaMelech congregations.  They were active members of the Kingston Jewish
Council and even took on the Presidency of the KJC as co-Presidents at one point when no one else came forward to provide this leadership.  Marion was an active member of Iyr Ha Melech women’s book group and participated vigorously in our discussions. In our condo, she also  attended the bridge club, as well the 8:30 am exercise group 3 times per week @ 8:30 am.

The only thing I ever heard Marion complain about was missing Henry, especially after she would take one of her long daily walks and come home to an empty apartment.  Although Henry had the foresight to arrange for regular caregivers after his passing, she still missed the companionship of her beloved husband, her best friend. Marion said she had had a tough early life but a wonderful later life which she shared with Henry.  She will be missed by many.

Elaine Berman, June 27, 2017


In November, there will be a city-wide campaign to fill Shoe Boxes for Indigenous Children of Northern Ontario. KJC, along with other ethnic, religious and community groups, has been asked to support and contribute ot the needs of these isolated and troubled children.
KJC has adopted this project wholeheartedly. You can help by filling a Shoe Box yourself or contributing items which a volunteer group will put together in the Shoe Boxes. The summer is a good time to start collecting items for the Shoe Boxes; the Sunday Market, garage sales and dollar stores are excellent sources of supplies. Items must be clean and new.
The Shoe Boxes go directly to schools for children 4 to 16 years of age and is confined to 3 categories: Health, Educational and Recreational items. No videos or clothes are accepted except warm hats, mitts, gloves, scarves and socks. A suggested list of items is included below.
Each Shoe Box displays a label from the donor and an encouraging short message may be included. Each Shoe Box will have a label “ From the Kingston Jewish Council of Kingston, On.” attached to it.
The airlines are flying the Shoe Boxes into the North without payment but the volunteers that accompany and distribute the Shoe Boxes must pay for their fares, so a very small contribution in each Shoe Box is appreciated to help pay for their flight. Donations in lieu of Shoe Boxes will receive tax receipts, as this is a registered charity.
We have already started collecting items and will be happy to arrange pick-ups. If you are interested in helping you are welcome to join us. Assembling the Shoe Boxes is being done out of my apartment at 85 Ontario St., Apt. 408, until a  Collection Depot is opened November 1.
My name is Ruth Dukas, please feel free to ask for any information you require at 613-549-2298 or at
Please help us make this project of KJC a great success and provide proof to Kingston how much we care for the welfare of our youth in Canada.


The KJC Choir meets most Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30 pm at Hillel House, 124 Centre Street. This is a non-auditioned community choir, under the direction of Ros Schwartz. If you enjoy singing Jewish music, please come sing with us! You are welcome to join us at any rehearsal, but please contact either Jochebed Katan or Ros Schwartz in advance, in case of occasional changes of time or location, and so that we can have music ready for you. For further information contact Jochebed ( or 613-542-0269) or Ros (


KJC is proud to offer Israeli dancing lessons on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:00pm at Beth Israel (116 Centre St.) All ages and abilities are welcome to join these fun, relaxing lessons, taught by Jackie Mills. Jackie has over 30 years of experience teaching Israeli and International Folk Dance, with a focus on classic and children’s Israeli dance. Please email to confirm class dates.



Mark Vandermaas from Israel Truth Week will be talking about building a Narrative of truth using Israel’s Land Title Deed with regards to the question of Israel as an owner or occupier of land.