Just opposite the display case that holds Reuben Ginsberg's prayer book is a special matzah cover donated by his wife's family, the Bambigers. It is made of red silk and is hand-embroidered with flowers and with a Hebrew inscription that translates as: "Concerning eating of the Matzah."


When the Jews were finally freed from slavery and were able to leave Egypt, they had so little time that they could not wait for their bread to rise. In order to remember the exodus of our ancestors, we eat matzah, unleavened cracker-like bread, during the holiday of Passover. The matzah cover takes the shape of a circle since matzahs were always round before they began to be commercially produced as squares. A special blessing is said over the matzah: "Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us concerning the eating of the matzah." (Translated from Hebrew)


This matzah cover was made in Romania by Betty Ginsberg's grandmother and brought to Canada by her mother, Toba Bambiger. After Betty's father was killed in a logging accident in Romania, her mother immigrated to Montreal with her two young children, bringing along her mother's matzah cover as an important part of their heritage. It continued to be used by the Bambiger family once in Montreal, and Betty's son Arthur still remembers seeing his great-grandmother's cover on the table during his family's Passover celebrations.


Aside from having their own histories inform the Aron Museum's collection, Reuben and Betty Ginsberg also contributed to the collection's development as dedicated members of the Temple's Museum Committee and as collectors of Judaica. Betty Ginsberg acted as the museum's curator for some time.


Betrothal Ring (Silver)
Date not available
Origin unknown


The Ginsbergs acquired many interesting items that they gave as gifts to the Aron Museum. A betrothal ring was purchased by the Ginsbergs from Montreal's Petit Musée and given as a gift in memory of Asher Gerstenfeld.


Torah Pointer 19th century
Date not available
Central Europe


A silver Troah pointer was donated in memory of the museum's founder, Josef Aron. They donated a Moroccan Megillat Esther scroll and two amulets, which they gave in the names of their grandchildren, Miriam and Alisha Ginsberg.


Gragger (Pewter and silver) 20th century
Date not available
North America


Through their dedication to the Aron Museum and their interest in Judaica, the Ginsbergs inspired their son Arthur to collect Jewish ceremonial art objects. In 1985, Arthur Ginsberg donated a unique pewter and silver Purim gragger to the Aron Museum in honour of his parents.


We can see by this generous gift that the Ginsbergs did not only leave their family's legacy to the Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom community, but they also helped to ensure that future generations of their family would continue to contribute to this legacy.