May 19, 1910
To My Dearest Brother Ira,
It has been far too long since we last spoke. I miss everyone at home deeply. How are you and your family? How are mother and father? I read in the Jewish Times newspaper that there has been some peace from the programs we left Russia to escape. Still I wish you had come with us. Ayala and I are settling in now in Toronto. Thankfully we have met many other Jewish families with stories similar to our own. It is difficult to watch the newcomers struggle the way we did when we first got here. Ayala and I remember arriving here with nothing more than the clothes on our backs and finding nowhere decent to live. We hear stories about immigrants- Jewish ones too, moving out west to work in the fields. But they face immense challenges as many of them have never worked in these conditions and are suffering for it. Many of them are forced to relocate to cities that are not always welcoming to our people.
Sadly, my loving wife and I thought we were fleeing those conditions by coming to Canada, but this tragically is not true. As I have mentioned in previous letters, life here has been far from perfect. Our neighbourhood, which is known as, ‘The Ward’ has terrible living conditions, not much better than what we had back home. It is overcrowded and dirty, and the landlords do not seem to care. This is where many of the poorest immigrants live. Unfortunately brother, we still face anger and racism here. Maybe the conditions intensify the racism, but we still do not feel welcomed. Anti- Semitism still plagues our people here, but we have great hope for the future. Our decision to settle in Toronto, while arduous, seems to be one of the best options for now. The Jewish population here is growing and businesses are picking up.
Speaking of businesses Ayala and I have exciting news! After much work and aggravation, we have opened a small tailoring shop not too far from our house! Although it is early we ha…