Fonds 1035 - Moshe Shaffir Fonds

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Moshe Shaffir Fonds

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

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Reference code

CA JPL-A 1035

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  • 1920 - 1988 (Creation)
    Shaffir, Moshe, 1909-1988

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Physical description

Contains 0.2m of textual documents and 11 photographs.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Writer and teacher Moshe Mordechai (M. M.) Shaffir was born with the surname Schachter in 1909 in Suceava, Romania (in a region known as Bukovina). He was one of eight children, and his father was a cantor and shochet (ritual slaughterer). He came to Canada in 1929 and first landed in Halifax before settling in Montreal. He worked for some time as a factory worker before he began writing and teaching. From 1943, he taught at the Peretz School and the the Jewish People's Schools and Peretz Schools, as well as at the Jewish Teacher's Seminary until his retirement in 1981. He was a prolific poet, having published sixteen books of poetry, and his poetry and essays appeared in various newspapers and literary journals. His writing touched themes of nostalgia and remembrance, as well as a longing for a better world free from suffering and cruel existence.

He married Sarah Rudnitsky in 1945, and together they had twochildren, William and Chava. He passed away in 1988.

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Scope and content

The fonds contains records related to Moshe Shaffir's career as a productive writer of poetry and essays, with many of his own publications and newspaper clippings present in the fonds. The fonds also contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, manuscripts and ephemera related to the Jewish Public Library, the Association of Bukovina Jews, and other local and global Jewish organizations and Yiddish institutions, all attesting to Shaffir's involvement in the Montreal Jewish community and Yiddish community in the United States, Israel, and Europe. Additionally, letters and newspaper clippings show Shaffir's personal interest in Soviet writers who emigrated to Israel.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English
  • Hebrew
  • Romanian
  • Yiddish

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    This description was produced by Processing Archivist Intern Dina Gorelik on July 4th, 2023.

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