Researching BC's Role in The Tailor Project


Did you know that over 1,000 Jewish tailors were brought to Canada in the late 1940s, from displaced persons camps in Europe? Jewish Federation is proud to support our partner, the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC (JMABC), which is researching local ties to a project documenting this little-known effort.


While some of our partners are large, well-known organizations, we believe it’s important to support the work of organizations which may not have as high a profile but also do work that’s vital to the health of the community, thanks to the generosity of our donors’ support through the Federation Annual Campaign.


The JMABC works to document, preserve, and share the stories of all members of our Jewish community. In addition to keeping the archives, delivering programming and hosting exhibits, JMABC participates in broader projects to link the history of BC’s Jewish community into the broader history of the province and the country.


Which is why the JMABC has taken on a role in an ongoing nationwide effort to document The Tailor Project. Between 1947 and 1949, the Canadian Jewish Congress, Jewish Immigration Aid Society and Canadian Overseas Garment Commission brought more than 2,000 people, including over 1,000 Jewish tailors, to Canada. By April 1949 the tailors and their families had arrived in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver and were provided with housing and jobs.


The JMABC is supporting The Tailor Project with outreach, information and perspectives from British Columbia. “We’re providing research support to ensure that the B.C. portion of this story is well researched and well told,” explains Michael Schwartz, JMABC director of community engagement.


If you know of or are descended from a tailor who settled in Vancouver as a result of The Tailor Project, please contact the JMABC.