Lazare Halberthal was a lawyer in Bucharest as well as leader in the Jewish community. He studied international law and philosophy in Paris and then returned to Bucharest to teach and practice. According to some news reports, he left the country briefly circa 1937, possibly to Italy, but returned in 1939. During the 1940s, Mr. Halberthal was a chairman of the Jewish community in Bucharest.
Mr. Halberthal and his wife, Suzette, remained in Europe and Israel until their immigration to Montreal in 1952. Suzette Halberthal was a well-trained artist, studying sculpture under Schweitzer Cumpana and painting under artist Sarbo. She also studied plastic arts in Vienna and Berlin.
The Halberthals are best documented for the exact miniature of the Holy Temple they created. The model took more than 15,000 hours to complete and took up 440 square feet. The Halberthals work was featured on the Ed Sullivan Show and then displayed at the Pavilion of Judaism at Expo ’67, at McGill University, and at the Masonic Grand Lodge. The Holy Temple miniature was eventually moved to the Jerusalem Museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
According to an inscription within this album containing photographs of the Bucharest Jewish community, the Halberthals donated the work to the Jewish Public Library in 1981. The Halberthals wrote, “Let future generations know about Jewish life in Bucharest”.
There is no date affixed to the album however photographs of the Caritas Hospital with the new Maternity Hospital are featured. The Hospital was originally completed in 1880 but the Maternity Hospital was added later, officially inaugurated in 1933. It is presumed therefore that the original photographs date from between 1933 and 1939.