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B y: Hibaq Ali, Jordan Apostoli and Karina Motalleb. The Jewish Experience In Twentieth Century Canada. Jewish orphans immigrate to Canada in the 1900s 17Jan.2011<> . 1897- The Jewish Times N ewspaper is Born.

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the jewish experience in twentieth century canada
By: Hibaq Ali, Jordan Apostoli

and Karina Motalleb

The Jewish Experience In Twentieth Century Canada

Jewish orphans immigrate to Canada in the 1900s


1897 the jewish times n ewspaper is born
1897-TheJewish Times Newspaper is Born

The first publication of an exclusively

Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Times, was

printed in Montreal, Quebec. Founded

by Lyon Cohen and Sam Jacobs, the

newspaper intended to support

Jewish rights and advocate for the

socialand economic freedoms of

Jewish Canadians. The paper began

as a platform for the Jews of Montreal to

speak-out against the injustice of the

anti-Semitic articlescirculated in

Montrealnewspapers in the wake of the

Dreyfus Affair scandal. The paper

became an avenue for Canadian Jews

to voice their grievances and support

each other in the face of adversity.

The Jewish Times, the first Canadian Jewish newspaper, in its first year in circulation

17.Jan 2011 <>

1903 the jacob pinsler case
1903-The Jacob Pinsler Case

School aged kids in Toronto, 1900.

17Jan. 2011 <>


1903 jacob pinsler case
1903- Jacob Pinsler Case

The Jacob Pinsler case sparked the Jewish Educational Rights

Movement, when Pinsler failed to receive a tuition scholarship promised

to him at Dufferin School in Montreal. Pinsler was denied the scholarship

under claims that by law, Jewish students were not eligible for provincial

education grants in Protestant school boards. After many demonstrations and

protests the Statues of Quebec was finally revised in 1903 to allow a portion of

the taxes paid by Jewish proprietors to be allocated to Protestant school

boards, making them eligible for Protestant education grants. The same law

also gave Jewish pupils certain rights in both Protestant and Catholic schools

including the right to refuse compulsory classes and daily activities which

infringe upon their religious freedoms. This new law was significant for the

Jewish community in Montreal because it guaranteed their social and economic

access to education. It provided them with many educational opportunities that

were denied to their ancestors. It gave them hope and inspired them to work

with the Provincial and Federal government to improve the circumstances of

Jews across the nation.

1906 the canadian committee of the jewish colonization association
1906-The Canadian Committee of the Jewish Colonization Association

The Jewish Colonization Association

opened its first Canadian committee

in Montreal. The organization

assisted the mass emigration of Jews out

ofRussia and Eastern Europe. The JCA

prepared immigrants to become

agricultural laborers andencouraged them

to take up unoccupied land in the Prairies.

This event was significant for Canadian

Jews because it assisted in their

professional and economic

assimilation into Canadian society.

The organization presented new

immigrants with the opportunities in

housing and work. It trained them,

and prepared them to be successful

contributors to Canadian society.

A JCA photo of the Lipton Jewish farming Community in Saskatchewan, just one of the many Jewish communities assisted by the JCA.

17Jan.2011 <>

1917 the balfour declaration
1917-The Balfour Declaration

Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour and a copy of the Balfour agreement, addressed to Baron Rothschild, leader of the Jewish community in Great Britain.

17Jan. 2011 <>

1917 the balfour declaration1
1917-The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration was signed by British Foreign Secretary Arthur James

Balfour on behalf of the British government promising to aid in the

establishment of Palestine as the national home to the Jewish people. This

event was met by positive reaction from the Canadian Jewish community which

rallied together in support of the declaration, holding demonstrations in many

major cities such as Montreal and Toronto. This was a significant event for

the Jewish community in Canada because it was seen as a reward for their

hard work and dedication to the home front during the war efforts. The British

and Canadian support of Palestine as the Jewish homeland created a unity

amongst politicians and the Jewish community. It was seen as one of the first

major political decision to support Jewish refugees and informed them that they

were not alone in their battle.

1919 immigration act of 1919
1919 - Immigration Act of 1919

Immigrants arriving in Canada by boat in the early twentieth century.

17Jan 2011. <>

1919 immigration act of 19191

1919- Immigration Act of 1919

Immediately following the First World War the Canadian government revised its immigration policies in the Immigration Act of 1919. To protect the nation from an influx of foreign immigrant, the Immigration Act formalized immigration policies which allowed officials to turn down immigrants and refugees on the basis of cultural and ideological traits. This event was significant not only for the Jewish community but for Canadian history as a whole. It projected an image of Canada as one that was unsympathetic to victims of war. It was a period of institutionalized racism that was followed by the exclusion and restrictions of many marginalized groups. While the period following the First World War is usually represented as one of economic and cultural prosperity in history books, it was also a dark period for Canadian minorities struggling to overcome deep-seated cultural and religious tension.

1930 north america the promised land
1930 - North America, the Promised Land

Canada’s Jewish population

exceeded 155, 000. The pogroms in

Russia and Eastern Europe in the late

19th century and the early 20th century

caused millions of Jews to seek

refuge in North America. After the

United States, Canada was the

second choice. Its Democratic

government promised freedom from

dictatorial rule and the Canadian

Pacific Railway guaranteed

transportation and freedom of

movement to various places in

Canada and the United States.

Immigrating to Canada

provided closer proximity to the

U.S. and the possibility of

immigration there at a later date. The massive exodus of Jewish emigrants from European countries is significant in Canadian History because it reveals the extent to which Canada was seen to be a place of refuge where displaced populations could start over and flourish.

A map of North America, symbolizing where European Jews immigrated in the 1930s.


1931 economic crisis in canada
1931 - Economic Crisis in Canada

“The Unwanted” – In the 1930s and 1940s, Winnipeg was a place rife with Anti-Semitism.Jan.19.2011<,r:2,s:0>

1931 economic crisis in canada1
1931 - Economic Crisis in Canada

The Canadian government decided to limit immigration because of the failing

economy. They attempted to limit immigration by implementing two orders-in-

council. In 1930, they implemented the first order-in-council, which prevented

Europeans from immigrating to Canada, except for those who were

economically independent and/ or had families in this country. The second

order in council prevented Jews from entering the country altogether, by stating

that only immigrants from Britain and America who were economically

independent and worked in an industry could come to Canada. Some people

speculated that Canada had ‘dirty hands’ in this immigration policy and was

deliberately attempting to exclude Jews from entering. Only 15, 800 Jews were

allowed to immigrate to Canada. Within 1930 and 1934, 16, 785 immigrants

were expelled from Canada. The restriction is significant in that it reveals how policy makers in Canada, at this time, might well have been anti-Semitic in their orientation. This is a fact that is somewhat repressed in mainstream History.

1933 christie pits riot
*1933 - Christie Pits Riot

In August, there was a riot at

Christie Pits during a baseball game in

which Jews attacked Germans that they

suspected were plotting hate crimes. A boy

moved his sweatshirt and out tumbled a

swastika. This inaugurated the riot. It is

considered to be one of the most serious

riots in the History of Toronto. The Jews rioting against

Germans was initiatedby their

knowledge of anti-Semitism, their awareness

of their fellow Jews distress in Europe under

Hitler’s Nazi regime and their awareness

of swastika clubs in Toronto. The

emergence of the swastika at the baseball

game was enough to initiate the riot because it reminded them of Jews distress in Europe and they assumed that an attack on them might be

imminent. The significance of this event is that it reveals that anti-Semitism existed, to some extent, in Toronto, in the 30’s, not necessarily as an entrenched, organized movement, but more on the level of local friction and occasional outbursts. Also, it reveals that Jews felt free and entitled to openly defend themselves in Canada whereas they did not feel this way in their countries of origin.

A plague at Christie Pits, memorializing the riot between two groups.

Jan.19.2011 <>

1939 jewish refugees refused entry
1939 - Jewish Refugees Refused Entry

In May of 1939, Prime Minister William Lyon

Mackenzie King disallowed a

steamship, containing 901 German

Jewish refugees, fleeing Nazi

Germany, from entering Canada. This

is consistent with the ‘none is too

many’ policy he came to adopt. That is,

no Jew in Canada was still too many

Jews, in Mackenzie’s eyes. During

World War II, Canada accepted only 1

percent (8, 000) of 811, 000 Jewish

refugees. The rest were internationally

accepted. This boat first went to the

Havana Port, in Cuba, where the

government would not acknowledge

their passenger entrance visas. No

other Latin American country would

allow the refugees admittance. The significance of this event is that it most certainly reveals the limited, anti-Semitic orientation of Mackenzie King and, perhaps, his entire government. It does not, however, reveal, a widespread anti-Semitism throughout Canada as most people were not economically in a position to contest government policies, nor where they even cognizant of what his policies were.

A picture of the St. Louis steamship, containing 907 German Jews who were disallowed entry into Canada after escaping from Nazi Germany. Jan19.2011<>

1939 jewish canadian soldiers
*1939 - Jewish Canadian Soldiers

In September, 1939, Canada entered

World War II. One-fifth of Canadian

Jews entered the armed forces

(around 17, 000). Many Jewish

soldiers who survived received

military awards. Some were

commemorated by having parts of the

natural landscape of Saskatchewan

named after them. The significance of this event is that Canada entered World War II against Nazi Germany and anti-Semitism and Jews were enabled to fight for their own cause. In Canada, Jewish efforts were recognized and commemorated.

This is a picture of the first Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canada’s entrance into the World War II was a unique event in Canadian History, as it was the first World War that they fought, because they enlisted the services of women and a sizeable number of Jewish men were enlisted in the Canadian armed forces.Jan.19.2011<,r:0,s:0&tx=101&ty=87>

1941 immigration policy amendments
*1941- Immigration Policy Amendments

The war ended and Canada

implements anti-racist and anti

discrimination legislation. They

became more lax with immigration

laws. Within 1941-1951, 16, 275

people of Jewish descent entered

Canada. The significance of this event is that Canada became more compassionate and liberal in its immigration policy.

This is an picture of a Canadian solider, fighting abroad.

Canada entered World War II to protect the interests

of the British Crown. Its participation in the war effort

and the excellence of its service caused it to be

recognized as an important country.Jan.19.2011


1950 halychyna members welcomed in canada
*1950 - HalychynaMembers Welcomed in Canada

A picture of Canada’s rising immigration levels accelerating in the 1950s and 1960s with its new immigration policy which allowed immigrants back into Canada.

Jan.19.2010 <,r:32,s:42&tx=87&ty=94>

1950 halychyna members welcomed in canada1
1950 - HalychynaMembers Welcomed in Canada

Canada permits more immigration and allows people from Europe, including displaced persons, back into Canada. Unfortunately, by the same token, this meant that S.S. members (Halychyna members) were given entrance. The Jewish population was aghast and the Canadian Jewish Congress resisted the government’s decision. The Government was surprised by the Jewish reaction and was willing to negotiate. It deferred the reception of the Halychyna members to permit Congress to demonstrate evidence that the Halychyna members were plotting against the Jews. The Jewish Congress did not produce evidence implicating the Halychyna members as responsible for committing hate acts and so no evidence could be used against the members. The government enabled immigration to continue. The Halychyna members entered Canada the following year. Although Canadian Jews suspected that many were Nazi sympathizers, and, potentially, war criminals, the government did not enlist support to forcibly remove them, nor did they have jurisdiction to do so. The significance of this event is that Canada’s more liberal immigration policy allowed members of nations/ ethnic groups in conflict to carry their antipathies into Canada.

1960 the trial of adolf eichmann
*1960 - The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

In May of 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a

German Nazi, was tried for war

crimes in Israel. These include

crimes against humanity under Israeli

law and crimes against the Jewish

people. His case exposed the

atrocities committed during the

Holocaust to the world and to

Canadians. It transformed the trial

from a private issue that the Jews

were facing into a public issue that

has since become one of the most

notorious events in History. The significance of this event is that the world was made cognizant of the fact that Jews had become more powerful globally and were making it known that the horrific events of World War II and would not go unpunished.

A picture of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war

criminal. Eichmann was tried for war crimes,

including crimes against humanity and crimes

against the Jewish people in Israel in 1961.



1967 immigration point system begins
1967 – Immigration Point System Begins

Canada implemented a new point

system for the selection of new

immigrants based on education,

language skills, and employability as

well as age and Canadian

destination. The changes practically

banished subjective assessment and

discrimination from the selection

process. As a result, Jews have

continued to immigrate to Canada

over the past several decades.

This image from Canadian Immigration Lawyers captures the idea that Canada is open to immigration and is inclusive of culturally diverse peoples.

17Jan. 2011 < ?tag=assessment-Canadian-immigration>

1976 the parti qu b cois win provincial e lection
1976 - The Parti Québécois Win Provincial Election

René Lévesque was the founder of the Parti Québécois. He was the Premier of Quebec from 1976 to 1985. His government passed the Quebec Charter of the French Language.

17Jan. 2011 < histfrqc_s4_modernisation.htm>

1976 the parti qu b cois w in p rovincial e lection
1976- The Parti Québécois Win Provincial Election

The Parti Québécois won the provincial election. The party put forward French

language regulations and passed Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language,

in 1980, ensuring the primacy of French in all aspects of life in Quebec. The

francizationof the workplace implicitly excluded non- Québécois from

employment even if such persons were bilingual. Surveys at this time reveal

that Jews were concerned that this piece of legislation would narrow their

employment opportunities. Moreover, certain provisions of Bill 101 that govern

the language of education and almost entirely eradicate admission to English

language schools have a directly negative impact on the Jewish community.

While the Canadian Jewish population across Canada has increased, the

community in Montreal has decreased between the years 1981 and 1991

because Bill 101’s language restrictions on employment and education are

unfavourable to Jews and have caused many in the community to emigrate

from the city. The result is that the Montreal Jewish community is struggling

because there are no longer enough members to support the group.

1981 montreal divorce conference
1981- Montreal Divorce Conference

Montreal held its first conference on

divorce to educate the community,

suggest strategies, and provide

resources for Jewish men and women

undergoing issues with divorce.

According to Jewish law, only a man

can give his wife a get, a Jewish

divorce document that is administered

by a rabbinic court. Montreal’s

conference was a step toward greater

equity for Jewish women and led to

the contribution of Canadian Jewish

women in the national amendment to

the country’s Divorce Act on August

12, 1990. According to the

amendment, agunot, women bound to

disintegrated marriages, can now be


The Jewish wedding ceremony is traditionally held under the huppa or canopy. It is here that the blessing, the giving of the ring, the signing of the ketubah, or marriage contract, and the breaking of the glass take place.

17 Jan. 2011<http:// weddings.htm>

1985 big m drug mart case
1985- Big M Drug Mart Case

In the Big M Drug Mart case, the

Supreme Court invalidated the Lord’s

Day Act of 1906, which prohibited

business and recreational activity on

Sunday. The Jewish community of

Canada contributed to this ruling by

submitting an argument that the

government should either create

policy on strictly secular foundations

or make laws that take into account

minority religions and not just the

religious observations of the dominant

group. The Supreme Court’s ruling,

though it upheld the concept of

religious freedom, did not make note

of the articulate objection put forward

by the Jewish community against the

Lord’s Day Alliance.

Schwartz’s Deli is a Jewish establishment in Montreal that was founded in 1928.

17 Jan. 2011 <http://www.schwartzs /index_fr.html>

1996 ofl kosher food compromised
1996- OFL Kosher Food Compromised

The French Language Office of

(OFL) compromised the availability o

imported kosher foods that were

necessary for Passover meals on the

grounds that the products lacked

French labelling. Eventually, OFL and

the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC)

came to an agreement that permitted

the sale of such dietary goods for

Passover without French labels for a

limited period during the religious

holiday. B’nai Brith Canada was

unhappy with the decision because

they had preferred to prove that the

sale of such goods without

French labelling in the province of

Quebec had constitutional validity.

Kashrut, or Jewish dietary laws, is referred to as kosher in English.

17 Jan. 2011 <>