Biennial Switzer-Cooperstock Prize Lecture

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The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada is pleased to invite you to the biennial Switzer-Cooperstock Lecture on Thursday October 15 at 7 pm. Due to the COVID-19 virus, this year's lecture will be a virtual event.

To register – go to and click on the registration link.

This year's Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada's Switzer Cooperstock Prize winner discusses the social work career of Pearl Finkelstein, who worked as the Jewish Orphanage of Western Canada's sole Winnipeg social worker during the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Finkelstein lacked professional training, but she brought to her work personal relationships with her clients as well as a kind and sensitive approach. While studying the history of the Jewish Orphanage, Dr. Sharon Graham was granted unprecedented access to its children's records, many of which were written by the staff social worker. Finkelstein's voice came through these records with a unique perspective on poor Winnipeg families in crisis. In this essay, Graham hopes to explore the life and work of a woman who worked tirelessly to assist Winnipeg Jewish families navigate the child welfare system.

The Switzer-Cooperstock Prize in Western Canadian Jewish History was established by the Switzer family to honour their parents and grandparents. The biennial prize is awarded for a publishable essay on Jewish history in Western Canada with some preference for essays on secular Jewish schools in Western Canada, Jewish settlers, farmers, and traders in rural areas of Western Canada, and the immigration experience of Jews to Western Canada. Preference will be given to research specific to the Jewish experience in the urban centers and rural communities of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. The research may use original sources or it may be a synthesis of other published material. A student prize is offered in alternate years.

Categories: Announcement, Lecture
Keywords: Keywords: Winnipeg Canada Orphanage