Dr. Gerald Tulchinsky

A brief biography of Dr. Gerald Tulchinsky





Early Life

Dr. Gerald Jacob Joseph Tulchinsky was a leading scholar on Canada's Jewish communities. Born in Brantford in 1933, Tulchinsky was the son of Ann and Harry Tulchinsky, who owned and operated the Mayfair Dress Shop on Colborne Street. Dr. Tulchinsky was one of four children and spent his childhood and teen years in Brantford, before leaving the city to attend the University of Toronto.

Images: (Top left) Dr. Tulchinsky's mother, Ann Tulchinsky née Stemeroff, in 1924; (Top right) Harry and Ann Tulchinsky on their wedding day in August 1927. Images from the Ontario Jewish Archives.

(Bottom left) An invitation to Gerald Tulchinsky's bar mitzvah; (Bottom right) Gerald Tulchinsky in 1949.


Academic Career

Dr. Tulchinsky had a rich academic career. He received his PhD in history from the University of Toronto in 1971, while also teaching at Queen's University between 1966 and 1999. It was during this period that he became known as the leading scholar on Canadian Jewish communities. Over the course of his career, Tulchinsky wrote several books, including Taking Root: The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community; Branching Out: The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community; and Canada's Jews: A People's Journey. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Shtetl on the Grand which was based on real experiences he had and people he encountered growing up Jewish in Brantford.




Personal Life

Dr. Tulchinsky married his wife Ruth in 1961, and together they had three children: Steve, Ellen and Laura. Tulchinsky was described as a generous and inspiring individual amongst his peers. His contemporary, Frank Bialystok, remarked that his opinionated and supportive manner made him very popular amongst many academic circles. Dr. Tulchinsky died peacefully on December 13, 2017 at the age of 84.


The Memories of Brantford Project thanks the sponsors for their generous support.