Sign In Forgot Password

Get to know our archivist!


For the past few months, it has been our pleasure to share some fascinating items and papers in the Shaar’s archival and museum collection. This week we’re pulling back the curtain for a “behind-the-scenes” of the archive work and to answer your burning archive questions.


Get to know our archivist!




I’m Hannah Srour—the face behind many of the articles you have read. I am a born-and-raised Ottawa Jew, and I have my BA from McGill in Jewish Studies and English Literature, and a Master of Information with a focus in archives from the University of the Toronto. I am deeply passionate about Canadian Jewish history and Jewish community archives, and especially with connecting people with the wonderful histories of Canadian Jewry. When I’m not at the Shaar, I volunteer with the Association for Jewish Libraries in various capacities, including on their annual Jewish fiction award committee! Aside from sharing with you the fascinating history of the Shaar each week, I do a number of other things in the archives as well…


What is an archivist and what do they do?

An archivist works to collect, preserve, organize, and help provide access to primary material of enduring value (the specifics of ‘enduring value’ are up for debate and vary in different contexts). Items of any form can be of enduring value, including clothing! For the Shaar, material of ‘enduring value,’ means the synagogue’s historical papers and artifacts. A typical day for me is balanced between (1) organizing and taking inventory of our papers, (2) digitizing, and (3) promoting the collection. 


What kind of items and papers do we have in the collection?

The collection includes correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, films, administrative documents, museum artifacts, bulletins, social programs, etc. A large portion of our archival collection consists of Rabbi Wilfred Shuchat’s papers which cover his many years and activities with the Shaar, beginning in the 1940s. We also have some papers of Rabbi Abramowitz, including some of his handwritten sermons. On the museum side, we have a beautiful collection of Judaica with items from all over the world, some of which are directly part of the Shaar’s history.


What items are you looking to collect right now?

We’re always interested in hearing about any materials related to the history of the Shaar! At this time, we are especially interested in the following things: 

  • Any photographs of Purim at the Shaar
  • Photographs, programs, or film recordings of the Shaar Players youth productions


How do I get in touch to find out if my papers could form part of the collection, or if I have any questions about the archives and museum? 


Please email us at, and myself or Claire Berger will be happy to answer your questions!

Sunday, July 14, 2024 8 Tammuz 5784