- More than 300 tailor project family members to join together along with 1,000+ invited guests at landmark event held at Toronto's Holy Blossom Temple
- Original Tailor Project led by Toronto survivor and garment industry leader Max Enkin
- Made-in-Canada initiative combined the efforts of labour, manufacturers and union representatives and marked vital progress towards integrating immigrants into Canadian society
- Initiative now inspiring new ways to integrate recent refugees into Canada
TORONTO, April 23, 2019 /CNW/ - The Tailor Project, the first post-World War II bulk labour scheme enabling Jews to legally immigrate to Canada from post-war Europe (by becoming tailors), announced today that it will host A Common Thread, an event that for the first time unites surviving Tailor Project individuals and their families to commemorate their remarkable lives in Canada and Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah). This event, which will be held on May 1st, 2019 at 7:00PM at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, provides a powerful forum to hear, in some cases for the first time, the stories of perseverance, survival, unimaginable strength to overcome adversity, and inspiring new lives in Canada from Jewish Holocaust survivors and their children.
The Tailor Project unites Holocaust and World War II (WWII) survivors, and connects their descendants, who share a common historical bond. The Tailor Project combined the efforts of manufacturers and labour leaders with major support of the Canadian Jewish Congress to bring the first Jewish refugees to Canada after the Holocaust. With government approval, the industry elected 5 men, led by Max Enkin, a Jewish factory owner in Toronto, to bring over 2,000 tailors in displaced persons camps to Canada. Between 1948 and 1949, these remarkable people and their families arrived in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver. They became tailors in the garment industry whether they actually knew how to sew or not, and eventually established safe and rewarding lives for themselves and their families.
A Common Thread Provides a Platform for Immigrants to Share Stories of Survival and Success
Seven decades later and until today, many of these tailor's compelling stories have remained untold and undocumented. With extensive local and global research initiated by Larry Enkin, the son of Max Enkin, and conducted by Impakt Labs, the Tailor Project has located individuals and families from this original 1948-1949 immigration program. Together, they have begun to document their experiences for future generations.
- More than 300 individuals impacted by the original Tailor Project are expected to attend A Common Thread in Toronto, along with over 1,000 invited guests. Together, they will unite to share their stories and positive immigrant experiences, from surviving the Holocaust, World War II, and displaced persons camps, through to successful integration into Canadian society.
- Event attendees will hear from Larry Enkin, son of Max Enkin, head of the original Tailor Project initiative, representatives of Tailor Project families, Rabbi Yael Splansky of Holy Blossom Temple, special guests, dignitaries and community leaders.
A Common Thread is an event for invited guests and media. The event is expected to attract a global audience and a livestream will be available at: https://tailorproject.ca/livestream/.
Media are requested to register to attend by contacting Danielle Mason at [email protected].
The Tailor Project is Uncovering the Past, Supporting the Present, And Benefitting the Future of Immigration
The Tailor Project's stories will serve as the foundation of a new documentary film, a short preview of which will be screened at the event, and a book about the Tailor Project, which will be published in 2020. With the goal of collecting and conserving personal accounts of impacted persons, their families, and multiple generations of descendants, the Tailor Project hopes to help the past speak to the present, and make vitally important aspects of history more accessible today, and for generations to come.
The Tailor Project's Social Enterprise Extends Thread of Hope for Future Refugees
The Tailor Project was a made-in-Canada social innovation. Inspired but its model, Impakt Labs will continue to assist refugees through the launch of a social enterprise that provides access to meaningful work in the garment industry. A made-to-measure shirt company currently employing Syrian refugees, this new company holds the belief that its employees' stories and successes will continue to contribute to and weave the fabric of our united country.
About the Tailor Project Today
The original Tailor Project, launched in 1948, was the first opportunity to bring Jewish families out of Europe to Canada after the Holocaust, helping them find a new home and a fresh start in the Canadian garment industry.
The Tailor Project was transformational for many survivors of the Holocaust and World War II, but their stories have remained untold – until today. Who were the tailors? What was the impact of the Tailor Project on their lives and the lives of their families? In what way has The Tailor Project helped to inform Canada's approach to supporting other refugee groups?
Through extensive research, initiated by Larry Enkin, son of Max Enkin, and conducted by Impakt Labs with the support of Larry Enkin, the Tailor Project is beginning to answer these questions and document a vitally important, but largely unknown, episode in Canada's history. The Tailor Project plans to release a book and documentary based on stories from Tailor Project survivors, and continue to assist future Canadian refugees through the launch of a social enterprise. For more information please visit www.tailorproject.ca
SOURCE The Tailor Project
For further information: Media Contact: Danielle Mason, Idea Workshop, E: [email protected], T: 416.504.3977 x29