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Gordon, Jacob


GORDON, JACOB (1877–1934), Canadian rabbi. Gordon was born in Dunilovitch (Dunilowicze), Vilna (Vilnius) district, Belarus. He apparently attended Volozhin yeshivah toward the end of 1895 or early in 1896 for several months, then relocated to Minsk and later to Kovno (Kaunas) in order to pursue his religious studies. During the 1880s or 1890s, Gordon's parents moved to Smorgon and in the summer of 1904 Gordon immigrated to America together with his wife and first daughter, serving initially as a fund-raiser for an East European yeshivah. In February 1905, Gordon arrived in Toronto, where he stayed until his death.

A few months later, Gordon was appointed as rabbi of the Lithuanian-oriented congregation Goel Tzedec, and served also at congregation Chevra Tehillim (Beth Hamidrash Hagadol as of 1905). Over the following years, Gordon served additional congregations such as Knesseth Israel, Anshei Lida, and Yavneh Zion. Gordon gained a central position in the local Orthodox community due to his ongoing communal involvement and activities in Jewish education, the Free Burial Society, the Associated Hebrew Charities, the Mizrachi movement, and Va'ad Harabanim. In addition, Gordon developed various connections with non-Orthodox local organizations such as the Ladies' Garment Workers' Union of Toronto, as well nationwide Canadian Jewish organizations such as the Central Division of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Gordon was a supervisor in the kosher meat industry, and was part of several disputes, some of which involved legal action. Gordon also supervised other food products, such as vegetable oil and salad oil manufactured by various companies.

In addition to articles in the Jewish press and several entries he contributed to the Hebrew Encyclopedia and the Oẓar Yisrael Encyclopedia, Gordon published a book of sermons in Hebrew, entitled Minḥat Ya'akov (Safed, 1914). He persumably wrote another book, Dovev Siftei Yeshenim, and an essay on vegetarianism entitled Nezirut min ha-Basar that remained unpublished.


E. Gottesman, Who᾽s Who in Canadian Jewry 1964 (1964), 114; A.D. Hart, The Jew in Canada (1926), 130.

[Kimmy Kaplan (2nd ed.)]

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