Baron de Hirsch Institute: Centennial, 1863-1963

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Baron de Hirsch Institute: Centennial, 1863-1963
Montreal's Baron de Hirsch Institute is the oldest, continuous Jewish social services agency in Canada. The agency began in July 1863 as the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society (YMHBS) by a group of young unmarried men of Montreal. The organization was an expression of their belief in the ethical tradition of Mitzvah and Tzedakah, and pioneered pathways of service in social welfare. The rise of Jewish immigration to Montreal in the early 1880s imposed acute financial burdens on the members of the YMHBS, and an appeal was made to Austrian philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch for aid. The Baron made a substantial donation at the end of the nineteenth century. Soon after, the decision was made to rename the agency the "Baron de Hirsch Institute and Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society," marking the first of a number of name changes during the agency's continued existence. The Institute was revamped for the purpose of Jewish education of the poor and the establishment of a sheltering home for immigrants and orphans. The institution's other original objectives were to assist the community of immigrants, provide medical care and burial grounds, establish schools and provide a Jewish public library for the community.
Baron de Hirsch Institute: Centennial, 1863-1963. Montreal: [s.n.], 1963.
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