39th Henry Hank Torontow Scouts
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The 39th Scout Pack formed under the leadership of one of Ottawa’s outstanding sportsmen, Jess Abelson. The date was around 1918. “ At the time the Boy Scouts had a Christian religious base and thereby precluded the involvement of Jewish youth. Jess felt that Jewish boys would benefit from the Scouts also, so he formed the 39th - one of the first Jewish scout troops in Canada.” During the period between 1930 and 1960, the 39th had many different leaders including Dr. Abe Slone, Jacob Greenberg, Harold Shaffer, Harold Rubin, Hy Maser, Arnold Borts, Sam Ages and Jack Goldfield. Between 1974 and l989, the scouting movement in the Ottawa Jewish community was inactive. In 1989, it was revitalized by an ardent Scout, Howie Osterer. The 39th was renamed the 39th Henry “Hank” Torontow Scouting Movement to honour Hank Torontow’s “distinguished meritous service as a Director of Scouting between 1957 and l971". Beavers and Cubs had previously been the important areas of continuity and continued to be in the 1990s.