The beauty about living in a city like Toronto is witnessing the general acceptance of all its inhabitants. We, the women of the Zaglembier Ladies Auxiliary Society, appreciate that immensely. We came to Canada after surviving the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust and feeling unwelcome, even after the war ended. Europe was no longer home to us since we lost most members of our families and our literal homes, along with so many sentimental possessions that were stolen from us or were untraceable.
We had to start anew and, together, we established ourselves in Canada. We became each other’s family and celebrated all our simchas together. We relied on each other for friendship and support, emotionally and financially. Those who could afford to would give so other society members would not be in want.
The Ladies Auxiliary was formed as a complement to the general Zaglembier society and we took on projects of our own. We were, and continue to be, staunch supporters of an array of projects and programs such as UJA Federation, Mount Sinai Hospital, Baycrest, and the March of the Living, to name a few. We are also extremely committed to Israel and we contribute to hospitals and children’s programs there as well.
Today, our numbers are dwindling but we do have a second generation of Zaglembier society members - our children - who understand the importance of support both from within our society and also beyond. We have arranged an endowment fund with the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto to ensure that our name and our support will be perpetuated.
We confronted far too much hardship in our younger lives and we must do all we can to maintain the strength of our community today. We are admittedly frightened by the resurgence of anti-Semitism that we see today but we are also comforted because we know we are doing all we can, along with our greater community, to prevent a recurrence of the Holocaust and the events that led up to it.