Canada's Jews: In Time, Space and Spirit

Canada's Jews: In Time, Space and Spirit

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Edited by Ira Robinson

Series: Jews in Space and Time
ISBN: 9781934843864 (hardcover) / 9781618113887 (paper)
Pages: 504 pp.
Publication Date: July 2013

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Canada is home to one of the world’s largest and most culturally creative Jewish communities, one of the few in the Diaspora that continues to grow demographically. With its ability to mirror trends found in Jewish communities elsewhere (particularly in the United States) while simultaneously functioning as a distinct society, Canada’s Jewish community holds great interest for scholars, exercising a measurable influence on the culture and politics of world Jewry. Consisting of a series of essays written by experts in their respective fields, Canada’s Jews is a topical encyclopedia covering a wide variety of topics from history and religion to the intellectual and cultural contributions of Canada’s Jews.

Ira Robinson (PhD Harvard University) is Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion of Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, and serves as president of the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies. His recent books include Rabbis and Their Community: Studies in the Eastern European Orthodox Rabbinate in Montreal, 1896-1930 (2007) and Translating a Tradition: Studies in American Jewish History (2009). Dr. Robinson is the 2013 recipient of the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award.


Canada’s Jews has the potential to be a “go-to” resource for Canadian Jewish studies, to be used as a textbook and reference book. It is up to those in the field to promote and encourage its use.
— Susan Landau-Chark, Metivta of Ottawa, The American Jewish Archives Journal (Vol. LXVI, Nos. 1 & 2)
This collection of 26 essays offers a comprehensive snapshot of the history of Jews in Canada, their contemporary situation, their spiritual/cultural life, and their representation in Canadian literature. . . . The essays are written in a clear style largely by experts in their respective fields. . . . This book would serve equally well as a University text book on Canadian Jewish Studies for the uninitiated and as an introduction to the topic for the curious lay person.
— Leah Cohen, Jacob M. Lowy Collection, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in The Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, September/October 2014, Volume IV, No. 3

Table of Contents


Section I: In Time: Canada’s Jews and Their History
1. Jews and New France
By Pierre Anctil
2. Struggles and Successes: The Beginnings of Jewish Life in Canada in the Eighteenth Century
By Maxine Jacobson
3. The Golden Century?: Jews in Nineteenth-Century British North America
By Steven Lapidus
4. East European Jewish Migration and its Impact: Farming Colonies across Canada
By Howard Gontovnick
5. Communities and Conflicts: East European Jewish Immigrants in Ontario and Quebec from the Late 1800s through the 1930s
By Ruth Frager
6. In Search of Unity: Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the Canadian Jewish Congress to 1945
By Jack Lipinsky
7. Post-War Canadian Jewry
By Frank Bialystok
Section II: In Space: Jews in Contemporary Canada
8. The Jews of Canada: A Demographic Profile
By Randall Schnoor
9. The Politics of Canadian Jewish Life
By Harold Waller
10. Atlantic Canada
By Ira Robinson
11. Jewish Life in Montreal
By Morton Weinfeld
12. Sephardi Jews in Montreal
By Yolande Cohen
13. Steps Forward and Steps Backward: Toronto Jewry at the Beginning of the Second Decade of the Twenty-First Century
By Michael Brown
14. Jewish Life in Ontario Outside of the Metropolis
By Ellen Scheinberg
15. Winnipeg
By Ira Robinson
16. Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the North
By Debbie Shocter
17. Vancouver
By Cyril Leonoff and Cynthia Ramsay
Section III: In Spirit: The Religious and Cultural Expressions of Canadian Jews
18. Orthodox Judaism
By Ira Robinson
19. Hasidim in Canada
By William Shaffir
20. Reform Judaism in Canada
By Richard Menkis
21. Conservative Judaism, and its Challengers From the Left (Reconstructionism and Renewal) and Right
By Richard Menkis
22. Yiddish
By Rebecca Margolis
23. Jews in English Literature
By Alex Hart
24. Jews in French Literature
By Chantal Ringuet
25. Jews in Canadian Art
By Loren Lerner and Suzanne Rackover
26. Canadian Jewish Studies since 1999: The State of the Field
By David Koffman

General Bibliography