Blog

Celebrating The Balfour Declaration in Pictures

Tags: History, David Matlow, Balfour, Zionism, Leadership, Politics

By David Matlow

Imagine that you have an impossible dream – a dream that you’ve had every night of your life. Then imagine you are told that your dream will come true, and you are told this by a person who has the power to actually make it happen. How would you feel?

From left, David Abramovitz, president of the Toronto Zionist Organization, Meyer Michaelson, secretary and treasurer of the Toronto Zionist Organization and Esther Michaelson take part in the Toronto Zionist parade to celebrate the Balfour Declaration in 1917. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

The Jewish community marches in a parade in St. Catharines, Ont., to commemorate the Balfour Declaration in 1917. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

Now imagine everyone you know has the same dream – a dream that your parents, and their parents, all had, as well. How would they feel when they are told that their dream will come true, too?

The Balfour building at the corner of Spadina and Adelaide in Toronto, ca., 1930. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

I imagine that is how the Jewish community felt on Nov. 2, 1917, when Lord Balfour, on behalf of the U.K. government, wrote to Lord Rothschild, saying that, “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

This important correspondence became known as The Balfour Declaration. It was a very big deal.

It is hard now, 100 years later, to sense the exhilaration that was felt at the time. It is impossible to feel how important the Balfour Declaration was to the Jewish People, how thankful world Jewry was to Lord Balfour for doing this and how, with this one letter, Jews around the world started to see their future in a totally different way. But it is important to try.

The Balfour Young Judea felt crest, ca., 1930. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

As we now have the State of Israel, and most of us never experienced the world before it, we run the risk of not appreciating it enough. Thanks to the Ontario Jewish Archives, we can see how the Jewish community of Ontario celebrated the Balfour Declaration. From this, we can extrapolate the joyous celebrations in Jewish communities around the world.

The Balfour Declaration was an important step towards the creation of a national home for the Jewish People. With Israel’s independence in 1948, we have a national home at last, and with our continued dedication and commitment to the State of Israel, we will have a national home to last.

This is what was celebrated in 1917. We should continue the celebration each and every day.

From left, Balfour Club members David E. Newman, Maurice Berg, Myer Bromberg and Dr. Mark Zimmerman in the 1930s. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

The Balfour Social and Athletic Club’s fifth anniversary celebration in Toronto, ca., 1938. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

Campers and staff at the Balfour Manor Camp, which was founded by Irene Granovsky in 1935, on Morrison Lake in Muskoka, Ont., in 1938. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

Balfour Beach on Lake Simcoe was founded in 1926 by Rose Dunkelman, as a place where Jews could build cottages, at a time when restrictive covenants often prevented Jewish people from purchasing them in other areas. ROB LEVY PHOTO

Members of the Balfour Lodge participate in a fundraising drive. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES/BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE

Republished with permission by Author from The Canadian Jewish News


David Matlow is the owner of the world’s largest private collection of Herzl memorabilia and is the producer of My Herzl, a 52 minute documentary by Israeli film maker Eli Tal-El. A partner at Goodmans LLP in Toronto, David is the co-chair, together with Andrea Cohen, of Toronto’s 2015 Campaign for the United Jewish Appeal.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

A celebration of the Balfour Declaration invites a deeper understanding of the long history of our struggle to create a place where the Jewish people could live free in our ancient homeland.

We aim to collect 1 million signatures by the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 2017 to be presented to world bodies, organizations, and heads of state.

MAKE IT YOUR DECLARATION!

Israel Forever, Balfour initiative

SIGN, SHARE AND HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Together, we can show the world that the international recognition of the Jewish connection to Israel perpetuates all over the world today.

Interested in launching the Balfour Initiative in your community? Contact us for programming ideas and free resources for you to use in making this a meaningful and successful campaign all over the world.


LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BALFOUR DECLARATION AND ITS LEGACY

➥ Back to TheBlog@IsraelForever ➥

Tags: History, David Matlow, Balfour, Zionism, Leadership, Politics

Leave a Comment on Israel Forever

Hide Formatting Help

You Type You See
*italics* italics
**bold** bold
+ item 1
+ item 2
+ item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3
> a really cool quote from a nice person
a really cool quote from a nice person

* Required information

Preview

Title
Comment