Apter Society Continues Legacy of Support

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Members of the Apter Society establish a scholarship at the Technion, 1974 – photo courtesy of Susan Born

The Apter Society Continues Legacy of Support for Technion

The connection between the Apter Friendly Society of Toronto and the Technion goes back nearly 50 years, when the ‘The Apter Jewish Kehila Memorial Scholarship Fund’ was established at the Technion with an initial donation of $5000 in 1974.

Inspired by the Technion engineers who were building the State of Israel, the scholarship was a way for the Society to support the Jewish community, both locally and in Israel.

The Apter ‘Friendly’ Society was originally established in 1905 by a group of people who immigrated to Toronto from the town of Opatow, Poland.  Apt (Opatow) was a small shtetl near Kieltz where 6,000 Jews lived before the war.  After 1945, with the arrival of Holocaust survivors who were born in Opatow, the society evolved into a ‘landsmanshaft’ (mutual benefit) society.   Bound by a common history of life in the ‘shtetl’ and living through and surviving the atrocities of the war,  the Society supported and united the survivors  and helped to preserve the memory of their past into the future.  

Today, there are 10 remaining living members of the original group of approximately 180 members.  The Society is comprised of children and grandchildren of this original group of survivors.   The executive committee of the Apter Society continues to be inspired by the creativity and achievements of the Technion that benefit and advance science and engineering throughout the world.  “We are honoured to continue the path of our founders in further supporting Technion in Israel,” says Susan Born, daughter of past Apter Society member Sam Salcman z” l.

The living descendants, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the survivor members of the Apter Society are now integrated into the general Canadian cultural mosaic but continue to honour the experiences and memories of the founders.  An annual memorial service held at the Apter Cemetery site memorializes the 6000 Jews from Opatow who were exterminated by the Nazis.  Apters worldwide are invited to connect through the Apter website and Instagram group.