About The Tailor Project

The Tailor Project tells the story of approximately 2,500 tailors and their families who immigrated to Canada between 1948 and 1949 through the Garment Workers Scheme after surviving the holocaust. The Garment Workers Scheme was the first time in history that Canada opened its doors to a large number of Jewish people. With employment and freedom, people were able to rebuild their lives after years of persecution and displacement.

Through storytelling, the Tailor Project weaves together their experiences and follows the lives of the second generation living in Canada today.  Their lessons are invaluable.


The stories of the tailors and their families are the heart of this project. This section is dedicated to featuring the powerful stories of the Tailor Project and will span people recounting life in the D.P. camps to the lives of the second-generation in Canada today.

April 23, 2019

Jonas Schlanger

Jonas Schlanger was a born entrepreneur. Even as a child, in Poland he sold candies in the schoolyard to his fellow classmates! This is the very spirit that saved his life. His natural smarts, intuition, and business sense guided even when in a prison camp in Siberia.
April 23, 2019

Irving Leibgott

“Well, the boat ride was not nice at all. The boat was terrible. We had bunk beds. The food was nothing and for most of us we were sick! I was able to walk around, but for some of them, the whole trip they were just lying around sick – their blankets were covered in it! I didn’t know anybody on the boat either and there were no rooms. We were all on top of each other."
April 23, 2019

Leiser Lajewski

My father, Leiser Lajewski, lived in Kielce, Poland until the Holocaust. After surviving the Holocaust in many concentration camps, including Auschwitz, he returned to Kielce with some of his friends who also survived. Their ambitions were to rebuild Kielce into a thriving Jewish community as it was before the Nazis destroyed it.