Fonds 1025 - Felix Lazarus Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Felix Lazarus Fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Moving images
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Cartographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the subject of the fonds.

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CA JPL-A 1025

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1960-1988 (Creation)
    Lazarus, Felix, 1912-1988

Physical description area

Physical description

Contains 0.71m of textual records, 95 photographs, 14 slides, 22 strips of negatives, 4 sound recordings, 2 moving images, and 4 cartographic materials.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in Montreal in 1912, Felix Lazarus was a researcher and documentary filmmaker, dealing predominantly with topics around Jewish diaspora.

After attending Jewish People's School, Lazarus studied graphic arts at L'École des Beaux-arts; he continued on to University of Southern California for film school and proceeded to embark on a lifelong career in film: first working at the Southern Educational Film Production Service in Athens, Georgia, working as Pathe News cameraman and director in Canada, and directing his own freelance productions for the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada as well as the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). Additionally, Lazarus was a staff TV producer for CBC, and received a Canada Council grant for 18 months of film study in the United Kingdom.

Over the course of his career, Lazarus directed and wrote "The Jewish Community of Montreal" for CBC, "The People of the Book" for NFB, "Ein Breira" for United Jewish Appeal, and independently, "The Gossamer Thread" (a production about the ancient through contemporary history of Jewish migrations), a cable TV series entitled "Treasures of the Jewish Public Library," as well as documentaries on the history of Jerusalem and some experimental short films.

Lazarus served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Jewish Council Quebec Region in the 1980s, was a member of several subcommittees of the Jewish Education Council, and sat on the Board of Directors at the Jewish Public Library, where he was primarily active in the 1980s and involved in numerous committees and activities, including the conception and organization of a seminar series called The Great Books of the Jews, and acting as Chairman of the Book Policy Committee.

Lazarus passed away in 1988.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds contains materials pertaining to the life of filmmaker Felix Lazarus.

The bulk of the records relate to particular productions (including "The Gossamer Thread I & II," comprising research, correspondence, shot lists, technical documents and publicity materials), as well as research and proposals around potential film ideas. Extensive research on synagogues around the world, as well as contemporary and historical events around Jewish identity--much of which would culminate in film proposals--can also be found in the fonds. Several sound recordings (in the form of cassettes) and videotapes are included.

Professional correspondence, most of which deals with research and distribution of Lazarus' films', can be found in the fonds; correspondence, meeting minutes, memos, and other materials pertaining to committees Lazarus was involved in (including Canadian Jewish Congress, the Jewish Education Council, and the Jewish Public Library) are also included.

Finally, a smaller amount of personal records, including agendas and financial information, can be found in the fonds.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Dutch
  • Polish
  • Yiddish

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    This description was created by Processing Archivist Kate Moore on March 20th, 2023.

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