For my Celebrate Toronto articles series I am continuously searching for people who are making positive contributions in the neighbourhood and building the community in unique ways. During my brief tour of the Beach, Gene Domagala introduced me to the Beach Hebrew Institute, a religious institution that has been in existence in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood since 1920. I wanted to learn more about this institution so I contacted Arie Nerman, the President of the Beach Hebrew Institute, and a good friend of Gene Domagala.Arie invited me to come over and join him on a Wednesday morning which would allow me to also see the drop-in program in action, a program that offers a free warm lunch to disadvantaged people in the neighbourhood. Punctually at 10:30 am I entered the premises and met Arie, a distinguished gentleman in his early seventies. He started to fill me in on the history of the Beach Synagogue: during the 1890s the Kenilworth Avenue Baptist Church was erected on these premises and opened in 1895. Around 1908 the congregation moved to a larger church on Waverley Road and the old church stood empty for a while and was even used as a warehouse and as… Read full this story
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