Lewis Samuel

Lewis Samuel, merchant, philanthropist (b at Kingston upon Hull, Eng 1827; d at Victoria 10 May 1887). He founded the organized Jewish community of Toronto, and was a prime mover in establishing in 1856 the first synagogue in Canada West - the Toronto Hebrew Congregation (now Holy Blossom Temple).
Lewis Samuel, merchant, philanthropist (b at Kingston upon Hull, Eng 1827; d at Victoria 10 May 1887). He founded the organized Jewish community of Toronto, and was a prime mover in establishing in 1856 the first synagogue in Canada West - the Toronto Hebrew Congregation (now Holy Blossom Temple).


Lewis Samuel

Lewis Samuel, merchant, philanthropist (b at Kingston upon Hull, Eng 1827; d at Victoria 10 May 1887). He founded the organized Jewish community of Toronto, and was a prime mover in establishing in 1856 the first synagogue in Canada West - the Toronto Hebrew Congregation (now Holy Blossom Temple). An orthodox Jew, he served almost continuously as its president 1862-80, fighting to maintain traditional practices, then under attack from reformers.

With his brother Mark and A.D. Benjamin, he operated a wholesale metals firm, M. & L. Samuel, Benjamin and Co, which exported a variety of Canadian raw materials in exchange for gas chandeliers, metals, chemicals, glass and marble. An enthusiastic supporter of the British connection, he belonged to the Sons of England Benefit Society and the St George's Society. He also served as president of the Mechanics' Institute, precursor of the Toronto Public Library (late 1870s).


Further Reading

  • Stephen A. Speisman, The Jews of Toronto (1979).

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