The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Johnny Abush and the Twice Blessed Collection

Johnny Abush (1952-2000) was an active member of the Queer Jewish community in Toronto. He founded the Jewish GLBT Archives, known as Twice Blessed, as well as the Queer Jewish Culture Committee.

The ArQuives houses many materials regarding his activism and involvement within his community, while his vast archive was donated to ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries in California, who have published a finding aid of the materials in the collection here.

Click on the links to the right of the page for more information on various aspects of Johnny’s life and queer Jewish communities in Toronto during his lifetime, and click on images to enlarge.


This digital exhibit is based on the in-person exhibit at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in 2019 curated by Liv Mendelsohn (Miles Nadal JCC) and Lo Humeniuk (The ArQuives), with design by Jo Michaels (Miles Nadal JCC) and additional support from Michael Friesen (Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre), Deanna Di Lello (Miles Nadal JCC), and Zohar Freeman (The ArQuives). This work draws from Daniel Heller’s “Creating Community: An Organizational History of Toronto’s Queer Jewish Community, 1975-2003,” in the Ontario Jewish Archives.