Ginsberg grocery store, London, Ontario, 1909.
Ontario Jewish Archives, photo #4048.
On May 4, 2011, the Ontario Jewish Archives hosted a book launch for "A History of the Jewish Community of London Ontario: From the 1850s to the Present Day." Written by Bill Gladstone and published by Now and Then Books, this wonderful hardcover history traces the rise of London synagogues and communal organizations, presents dozens of family histories and profiles many leading figures in business, medicine, law and the arts, all alongside hundreds of photographs from private and archival sources.
The book was commissioned in 2009 by children of David and Rachel Rubinoff as a tribute to their parents and to the city and community in which they lived for nearly half a century. Initially a ladies’ wear merchant, David Rubinoff (1913-2008) became a real estate speculator and land developer in and around London, responsible for such projects as the Stoneybrook subdivision and the White Oaks Mall. Having acquired the international franchise for Holiday Inn, he built a chain of more than 60 Commonwealth Holiday Inns across Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.
Bill Gladstone gave a short presentation highlighting some of the individuals, organizaitons and events of London's Jewish history to a packed crowd of over 180 ex-Londoners and history enthusiasts. Most of those in attendence hadn't seen each other in years and even decades making the event a happy reunion for many. The evening was capped off with a lovely dessert reception, courtesy of the Rubinoff Family.
Partial proceeds from the sale of the books at the event benefited the Ontario Jewish Archives and we would like to thank both Penny Rubinoff and Bill Gladstone for their generosity.