The Field of Canadian Jewish Studies and Its Importance for the Jewish Community of Canada

, October 27, 2009

Jewish Political Studies Review 21:3-4 (Fall 2009)

The Canadian Jewish community has emerged recently as one of the more interesting and culturally creative centers of contemporary Jewish life. This article explores an aspect of that development: the evolution of Canadian Jewish studies from something almost wholly internal within the Canadian Jewish community to a phenomenon of interest to academics and community members alike.

The Canadian Jewish Community has emerged in the past few decades to take its place as one of the more interesting and significant centers of Jewish life and cultural creativity in the world today.[1] Because of this, it is worthwhile to outline, however briefly, the development of that community’s self-understanding as an entity worth studying. This survey of the present state of Canadian Jewish studies is testimony to the contemporary fascination of the Canadian Jewish community for researchers, Jewish and non-Jewish, both in and out of the academy.

However Jews in Canada did not always possess the self-understanding that their community constituted something significant that was worth studying. The first organized Jewish community in what would become Canada was founded in Montreal in the mid-eighteenth century. Yet until the end of the nineteenth century Jews in Canada were relatively few in number and were dependent, culturally and in many other ways, on the Jewish communities of England, the mother country, and the much larger Jewish community in the U.S. to the south. In this respect the self-consciousness of Canadian Jews paralleled that of Canada as a whole: that which was culturally significant was not likely to be native to Canada, but imported from somewhere else.

In the early twentieth century, the Canadian Jewish community’s situation began to change on account of the mass migration of Eastern European Jews to North America and elsewhere. Canada did not receive nearly as many Jews as the U.S., and Jews began arriving in significant numbers somewhat later than to the country south of the border. Nonetheless, by the beginning of the twentieth century, Eastern European Jewish immigrants to Canada quickly created Jewish communities of demographic significance in large cities and smaller settlements from coast to coast.

In the eyes of one keen observer of this scene in 1914, the journalist and scholar Judah Kaufman, Canadian Jewry, despite the existence of a small, largely acculturated Jewish community prior to the Eastern European migration, was young; it was practically in its first generation. It had not yet established institutions of significance, nor did it possess any literature of its own other than journalistic. In this, he opined, it was not essentially different from Canada as a whole.[2]

But this situation was to change swiftly. By the 1920s Canadian Jews, again in parallel with Canada as a whole, had begun to understand themselves to be members of a separate community with its own identity. This understanding was spurred by the 1919 meeting of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal and the founding of Jewish institutions of all sorts by a cadre of people, many of whom, particularly in Montreal, were followers of Labor Zionist ideology.[3] These activists, whose working language was Yiddish, understood that they were making history and rapidly began publishing, as early as the 1920s, works like Abraham Rhinewine’s Der ‘id in Kanade [The Jew in Canada].[4] Another pioneering work of the 1920s compiled and edited by Arthur Daniel Hart in English was The Jew in Canada: A Complete Record of Canadian Jewry from the Days of the French Régime to the Present Time.[5]

In the 1930s, the Canadian Jewish Congress, which had renewed itself in 1934 in the face of rising anti-Semitism at home and the threat of Nazism abroad, turned to the scientific study of the social and demographic structure of the Canadian Jewish community, and entrusted this task to one of its staff, Louis Rosenberg. His book, Canada’s Jews: A Social and Economic Study of the Jews of Canada,[6] stands out as the first comprehensive portrait of the demographic, economic, and social reality of Canadian Jewry. It should be noted that in this era and long afterwards there was almost no interest in such “Jewish” subjects among Canadian academics or indeed anywhere outside the Jewish community itself. Canadian Jewish studies in this era was thus strictly a Jewish community project.

This situation would not appreciably change through the 1960s. In Yiddish and increasingly in English, Canadian Jews connected either with the Jewish press – for example B. G. Sack[7] – or the Canadian Jewish Congress and other Jewish institutions – including H.M. Caiserman,[8] Joseph Kage,[9] and David Rome,[10] contributed significantly to the historiography of the Jews in Canada. They did so, however, largely outside the view of university-based Canadian historians, and their works would mostly be published by Jewish organizations and not by either Canadian university presses or mainstream commercial publishers. A Canadian Jewish Historical Society was founded in 1976 and published a Journal from 1977 to 1988,[11] which included some studies prepared by academically trained scholars, but generally subsisted in a Jewish community framework and obtained its articles from amateurs as well as professionals. The Canadian Society was paralleled by a number of local Jewish historical societies that developed in communities such as St. John, New Brunswick,[12] Winnipeg, Manitoba,[13] Vancouver, British Columbia,[14] and elsewhere, creating valuable publications, archives, and museums of local and regional Jewish life.

This situation changed dramatically, at least in English Canada, in the early 1980s. First, a pioneering anthology of articles on Canadian Jewry entitled The Canadian Jewish Mosaic was published in 1981, edited by three academics, Morton Weinfeld, William Shaffir, and Irwin Cotler.[15] The next year, Irving Abella and Harold Troper, based at York University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education respectively, published their None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948.[16] The book became a great sensation in Canada, and brought home to the Canadian public at large not merely the lamentable response of the Canadian government to the Jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s and 40s, but also the value of understanding the relationship of the Jews of Canada to Canadian history. Canadian awareness of the history of Canadian Jewry was spurred by a museum exhibition in 1990 entitled “A Coat of Many Colors: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada” that was accompanied by an illustrated book of the same title written by Irving Abella.[17]

The breakthrough that Troper and Abella’s works represented in English Canada gathered steam as academically trained historians, sociologists, and literary scholars such as Gerald Tulchinsky,[18] Michael Brown,[19] Morton Weinfeld,[20] William Shaffir,[21] and Michael Greenstein,[22] among others, began publishing on various aspects of the Canadian Jewish experience. Significant also was the 1990s revival of the Canadian Jewish Historical Society, which, in 1993 changed its name to the Association of Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) and began the publication of its journal, Canadian Jewish Studies.[23]

It is worthy of note that the crossover of Canadian Jewish studies to the academy and the growing importance of “professional” scholars led to a reaction that came to a head when the Canadian Jewish Historical Society changed its name. This move was understood by a significant number of the “amateurs” in the organization to mean that the ACJS was no longer “their” organization and many, though by no means all of them, left the organization’s ranks.

Another important trend in the 1990s was the integration of Canadian Jewish studies into the curricula of Jewish studies programs in Canadian universities. Though, as has been noted above, the pursuit of research in various areas of the Canadian Jewish experience had become accepted in Canadian academic life, the academics that did so were, with the exception of Michael Brown of York University, not directly connected with Canadian programs in Jewish studies.[24] This changed dramatically in the 1990s as the result of an initiative by the Canadian government’s Department of Multiculturalism, which had instituted a series of endowments at Canadian universities to establish chairs of Canadian ethnic studies. Under this program, the Jewish studies programs at Concordia University in Montreal and at York University in Toronto were given substantial funding that was supplemented by both universities. York University established the Shiff Chair in Canadian Jewish studies, held by Professor Irving Abella. Concordia not only established a chair in Canadian Jewish studies, held by Professor Norman Ravvin, but also was able to create an Institute of Canadian Jewish studies that has, over the past decade, been able to fund graduate student fellowships, conferences, lectures, and publications in the field.[25] More recently, the University of Ottawa has established its own Jewish Canadian studies program.[26]

In French Canada the issues relevant to Canadian Jewish studies have had a parallel, but somewhat different development, one bound up with the evolution of Quebec’s identity in the last fifty years. In that period, Quebec society has moved away from the strong influence, both societal and cultural, of the Roman Catholic Church and an equally strong economic domination by English-speaking elites, and gone through a “Quiet Revolution.” This has resulted in a society in which the French language has become dominant and the Church has been transformed into a minor influence. In this period, the relationship between the French Canadian majority and Quebec’s ethnic and linguistic minorities has become an important public issue. In the context of the public discussion of this issue in Quebec, the Jews, as Quebec’s first non-French, non-aboriginal, non-English, and non-Christian community became a significant part of the public discussion.

The beginnings of a significant French Canadian interest not only in the history of the Jewish community of Quebec, but also in the relationship between Jews and French Canadians, can be traced to the l980s. It is symbolized by the fruitful collaboration between David Rome, a firm proponent of dialogue between Jews and French Canadians, and Jacques Langlais, a Catholic priest and tireless worker on behalf of understanding between all religions and cultures.[27] It is noteworthy that their collaboration took a somewhat different direction from previous attempts at Jewish-French Canadian dialogue.[28] It resulted in a major publication, Juifs et Québecois français-200 ans d’histoire commun [Jews and French Quebecers: Two Hundred Years of Shared History].[29] This book, specifically addressed to French Canadians, is a remarkable work which combines history and apologetics, and possesses some of the faults of apologetic works as well as their virtues.

Other French Canadian intellectuals from this period expressing interest in the history of the Jews included Denis Vaugeois, a cabinet minister in the Parti Québécois government from 1978-1981, both as author of works on early relations between Jews and French Canadians[30] and through his publishing house, Éditions Septentrion, which has published numerous books and translations in this field, both in French and English. Also among this generation of researchers should be included Gérard Bouchard (coincidentally the younger brother of the former premier of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard), whose interest in the demography of Quebec society, and his conviction that Quebec needs to constitute a society open to all who live in Quebec, and not merely those of French Canadian origin, led him to an interest in Quebec’s Jewish community.[31]

Of the highest importance for this development is the work of Pierre Anctil. He was trained in Anthropology at the New School in New York and did work on the French Canadian ethnic community in New England before he made the great intellectual discovery of his life: the Jewish community of Montreal.[32] With the encouragement of David Rome, Anctil plunged into the study of Jewish civilization in general and of the Jewish community of Montreal in particular. He acquired expertise in the Yiddish language, which provided him with direct access to important source material. Along with the realization that he had found a phenomenon of interest and of substance came a mission: to let the French Canadian intellectual world in on his discovery. One of his earliest works was a collection of articles he edited, along with Gary Caldwell, entitled Juifs et réalités juives au Québec [Jews and Jewish Presence in Quebec].[33] In the introduction to this work he stated his purpose:

“To make the history and sociology of the different ethno-cultural communities of Quebec more accessible to francophones…. Connected with this intention is a desire to better understand something which constitutes in our eyes a profound change in Quebec society…to understand that the ethno-cultural communities of Quebec have become a fundamental factor for this society.[34]”

A few years later, Anctil published two interpretive works, Le rendezvous manqué[35] and Le Devoir.[36] These two books went beyond the earlier anthology in that they were designed to do more than impart interesting and important historical and sociological information to Quebec francophone readers. They constituted an attempt by Anctil, in full consciousness of the importance of the creation and sustaining of a dialogue between French Canadians and Jews in Quebec, to create a “usable past.” Anctil’s strategy was not to deny French Canadian anti-Semitism. Rather, what he did was to minimize the practical importance of French Canadian anti-Semitism by emphasizing the ways in which the anti-Semitic statements of French Canadian intellectuals remained theoretical, with little importance for practical day-to-day relationships of ordinary people. Furthermore, he sought to contextualize the anti-Semitic manifestations of French Canadian society in the early twentieth century by bringing into the picture Anglo-Canadian anti-Semitism, which was less “public” in nature but, perhaps because of that, even more effective in restricting the opportunities of the Jewish community.[37] During the same period, Anctil was active, along with Langlais, Rome, and others, in establishing a dialogue group between Jews and French Canadians entitled “Dialogue St. Urbain.” In 1987, basically the same group established the Institut Québécois d’études sur la culture juive [Quebec Institute for Jewish Culture] to foster understanding through scholarship and publication.[38]

However this “usable past” that Anctil had carefully built up in his publications, soon came to be fundamentally challenged by the work of Esther Delisle. Her doctoral dissertation at Université Laval, entitled “Antisemitisme et nationalisme d’extrème dans la Province du Québec, 1929-1939,” [Antisemitism and Extreme Nationalism in the Province of Quebec, 1929-1939] caused an immediate stir within French Canadian intellectual circles and echoed long in the op-ed pages of Quebec newspapers. The well-known author Mordecai Richler utilized Delisle’s interpretation of the nature of French Canadian anti-Semitism in the 1930s in his satirical book, 0h  Canada! 0h Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided Country.[39] This particularly infuriated French Canadian intellectuals and served to pour fuel on the flames of controversy.

In her dissertation, and in the version of the dissertation which was shortly after published in both French and English,[40] one of the major things Delisle demonstrated was that there was considerably more anti-Jewish editorial and news content in the Montreal journal of opinion, Le Devoir, in the years Anctil had surveyed in his book than he had indicated. Her trenchant remarks on the pervasiveness of racism and anti-Semitism, particularly in the thought and the writings of a widely-revered intellectual figure of French Canada of the time, Father Lionel Groulx, were particularly galling to those within French Canadian nationalist circles for whom Groulx was a heroic and even mythic figure.

Whatever the merits of Delisle’s research, the public controversy over her dissertation, which erupted even before it was approved, caught Anctil in a particularly delicate position. As a member of the jury for the dissertation, he had advocated that it not be accepted as is, but generally refrained from public comment on “l’affaire Delisle.” However, his former collaborator on the anthology Juifs et réalités juives [Jews and Jewish Presence], Gary Caldwell did go public with his reaction. In an article in which he noted that the Jewish members of the jury supported acceptance of the dissertation and the French Canadian members opposed it, he included the following remarks on his perception of the difference between Jewish and French Canadian perspectives on the Canadian Jewish community:

“Jewish studies in Canada…are characterized by being almost all made by individuals who identify as Jews. E. Delisle is a notorious exception. The subject has become a monopoly of Jews while everything written by non-Jews is ignored…. The exclusivism of Jewish intellectuals when they write about the Jewish problem in Canada is regrettable and, in the long term deplorable, because observers who are more critical and impartial have much to offer.[41]”

In the last paragraph of his article, he wrote that he was “quite conscious that, according to the accepted contemporary understanding of anti-Semitism I can do no other than to pass for an anti-Semite.”[42]

A double tragedy had occurred. Bridges that had been built were damaged. In particular, the politicization of what began as an academic dispute made cooperation between Jewish and French Canadian researchers much more difficult and between French Canadian researchers and Esther Delisle practically impossible.[43] Anctil, who had been teaching at McGill University, left academia for the Québec civil service, and his pen remained relatively silent for several years. When he reemerged as a scholar, it was with a new research orientation, in which he largely concentrated on translating early twentieth century works by Montreal Jews from Yiddish to French.[44] More recently he has moved back to academic life at the University of Ottawa.

Time has begun to heal some of the bitterness of “l’affaire Delisle,” and an interchange between French Canadian and Jewish researchers in Quebec has resumed. This resumption was symbolized by a colloquium which took place in March 1999, co-sponsored by the Jewish Public library of Montreal and the Institut interuniversitaire de recherche sur les populations [Inter-university Institute for Population Research], led by Gérard Bouchard. The French language colloquium was entitled “Relations judéo-québécoises: identités et perceptions mutuelles” [Jewish-Quebec Relations: Identities and Reciprocal Relations]. This colloquium attracted an extraordinary audience, both in terms of numbers and in terms of its mixture of Jewish and French Canadians. It also, importantly, signaled the debut on a public stage of a newer generation of Jewish and French Canadian researchers on the subject of the Jewish community of Quebec.[45] In the Fall of 2004, a graduate students’ conference, organized jointly by the Institut Québécois d’études sur la culture juive [Quebec Institute for the Study of Jewish Culture] and Concordia University’s Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies took place, bringing forward still other young French Canadian scholars along with their counterparts from English language university programs.[46] It is this new generation of scholars, who are just at or just beyond the doctoral dissertation stage and others like them, who are likely to bring an entirely new dimension to the study of the Jewish community of Montreal.

Studying the history of attempts to understand the Canadian Jewish experience in the twentieth century is an important opportunity to trace the development of the consciousness of Canadian Jews that there is something distinctive about them worth investigating. Examining the development of the academic study of the Canadian Jewish community demonstrates as well how far that study has come. Studying the public impact of the scholarship on Canadian Jewry tells us much about the position of that community in Canadian public discourse. Finally, insofar as the Canadian Jewish community has matured and become a significant and culturally creative part of the contemporary Jewish world, the large and growing scholarly literature on that community needs to become an integral part of the curriculum of contemporary Jewish studies.

 

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Notes

          

[1]. For some important cultural and political aspects of the Canadian Jewish community see Ira Robinson, “Canadian Jewry Today: Portrait of a Community in the Process of Change,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Changing Jewish Communities Publications 12 (15 September 2006): 7, For a history of the community see Gerald Tulchinsky, Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007).

[2]. Judah Kaufman, “Zu der frage vegn dem da’as ha-kohol” [On the Question of Public Opinion], Keneder Odler, 18-19 June 1914 [Yiddish].

[3]. See Ira Robinson, “They Work in Faithfulness: Studies in the Constitutional Documents of Canadian Jewish Organizations Other Than Synagogues,” inNot Written in Stone: Canadian Jews, Constitutions and Constitutionalism in Canada, eds. Daniel Elazar, Michael Brown and Ira Robinson (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2003), 110-150. Cf. Simon Belkin, Le Mouvement Ouvrier Juif au Canada, 1904-1920 [The Jewish Labor Movement in Canada] trans. Pierre Anctil, (Sillery:Septentrion, 1999).

[4]. Volume 1: Fun der franzoisher periode biz der moderner zeit [From the French Period to Modern Times] (Toronto: Farlag Canada, 1925); Volume 2:Materialen zu der geschichte fun di kanader ‘iden [Material for the History of Canadian Jews] (Toronto: Farlag Canada, 1927).

[5]. (Toronto: Jewish Publications, 1926.)

[6]. (Montreal: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1939). It was reprinted in 1993 by McGill-Queen’s University Press as Canada’s Jews: A Social and Economic Study of Jews in Canada in the 1930s with an introduction by Morton Weinfeld.

[7]. B.G. Sack, History of the Jews in Canada (Montreal: Harvest House, 1965). Cf. Richard Menkis, “Historical Writing, Historical Memory & Canadian Jewry,” http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/www.arts.ubc.ca/research/single-page-news/browse/1/article/321/historical-writing-historical-memory-canadian-jewry.html.

[8]. Bernard Figler and David Rome, Hannaniah Meir Caiserman: A Biography (Montreal: Northern Printing and Lithographing Co., 1962). Cf. Pierre Anctil,Tur Malka: Flâneries sur les cimes de l’histoire juive montréalaise [Tur Malka: Strolls on the Peaks of Montreal Jewish History] (Sillery: QC, Septentrion, 1997), 75-107.

[9]. Ira Robinson, “Dr. Joseph Kage: Interpreter of Canada and Its Jews,” Canadian Jewish Studies 6 (1998): 81-87.

[10]. Ira Robinson, “David Rome as an Historian of Canadian Jewry,” Canadian Jewish Studies 3 (1995): 1-10.

[11]. Rachel Levitan, “Index to the Canadian Jewish Historical Society Journal,” Canadian Jewish Studies 1 (1993): 125-133.

[12]. http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/sjjhm/, last accessed 7 December 2008.

[13]. www.jhcwc.mb.ca/, last accessed 7 December 2008.

[14]. www.jewishmuseum.ca/visiting/, last accessed 7December 2008.

[15]. (Toronto and New York: J. Wiley, 1981). Shaffir and Weinfeld, joined by William Brym, published another such anthology, The Jews in Canada (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 1993).

[16]. (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1982).

[17]. Second edition (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1999).

[18]. Taking Root: The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community (Toronto: Lester, 1992); Branching out: The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community (Toronto: Stoddart, 1998); Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).

[19]. Jew or Juif? Jews, French Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians, 1759-1914 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1986).

[20]. Like Everyone Else – but Different: The Paradoxical Success of Canadian Jews (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2001).

[21]. Life in a Religious Community: The Lubavitcher Chassidim in Montreal (Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Wilson of Canada, 1974); The Riot and Christie Pits (with Cyril Levitt) (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1987).

[22]. Michael Greenstein, Third Solitudes: Tradition and Discontinuity in Jewish-Canadian Literature (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1989).

[23]. Volumes 1-10 of this journal are available online at https://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/cjs/index.

[24]. Richard Menkis, “A Threefold Transformation: Jewish Studies, Canadian Universities, and the Canadian Jewish Community, 1950-1975.” In A Guide to the Study of Jewish Civilization in Canadian Universities, edited by Michael Brown (Jerusalem and Toronto: International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization and the Center for Jewish Studies at York University, 1998).

[25]. http://web2.concordia.ca/jchair/en/aboutus/index.htm, last accessed 7 December 2008.

[26]. www.canada.uottawa.ca/en/vered.htm, last accessed 7 December 2008.

[27]. See Langlais’ autobiography, Du village au monde: à la rencontre des cultures [From Village to World: the Meeting of Cultures] (Outremont: Carte Blanche, 2000), especially 373-400, in which he discusses his collaboration with Rome. In that chapter he also remarks that the reception of their book was generally greater among Jews than French Canadians.

[28]. On that dialogue, see Jack Jedwab, “The Politics of Dialogue: Rapprochement Efforts between Jews and French Canadians, 1939-1960,” in Renewing Our Days: Montreal Jews in the Twentieth Century, eds. Ira Robinson and Mervin Butovsky, (Montreal: Vehicule Press, 1995), 42-74.

[29]. (Montreal: Fides, 1986). English translation (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1991). Rome and Langlais also collaborated with photographer Edward Hillel on Les pierres qui parlent: deux cents ans d’enracinement de la communauté juive au Québec [Stones that Speak: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Quebec] (Sillery: Septentrion, 1992).

[30]. See Richard Menkis, “Myth, Historiography and Group Relations: Jews and Non-Jewish Quebecois on the Jews and New France,” Canadian Ethnic Studies 33/2 (1991): 24-38.

[31]. See especially Gérard Bouchard, Les Deux chanoines: Contradiction et ambivalence dans la pensé de Lionel Groulx [The Two Canons: Contradiction and Ambivalence in the Thought of Linel Groulx] (Montreal: Boréal, 2003).

[32]. Cf. Pierre Anctil, Tur Malka, introduction.

[33]. Pierre Anctil and Gary Caldwell (eds), Juifs et réalites juives au Québec [Jews and Jewish Presence in Quebec] (Québec: Institut Québécois de rechereche sur la culture, 1984), 9.

[34]. De rendre plus accessible aux francophones l’histoire et la sociologie des differents communautés ethno-culturelles du Québec…sousjacente a cette intention se trouve aussi une volante de mieux connaitre ce qui constitue–a nos yeux–une mutation profonde de la société québécoise a savoir le fait que les communautés ethno-culturelles du Quebec sont devenues un enjeu fondamentale pour cette même société. (Translation by the author)

[35]. Pierre Anctil, Le rendez-vous manqué: les Juifs de Montréal face au Québec de l’entre-deux-guerres  [The Meeting that was Missed: Montreal Jews Confront Quebec in the Interwar Period] (Québec: Institute québécois de recherche sur la culture, 1988).

[36]. Pierre Anctil, Le Devoir, les juifs et l’immigration: de Bourassa a Laurendeau [Le Devoir, Jews and Immigration: From Bourassa to Laurendeau] (Québec: Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture, 1988).

[37]. For an English language summary of Anctil’s position, see his article “Interlude of Hostility: Judeo-Christian Relations in Quebec in the Interwar Period, 1919-1939,” in Antisemitism in Canada: History and Interpretation, ed. Alan Davies (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992), 135-165.

[38]. www.cjc.ca/archives/institut.htm, last accessed 7 December 2008.

[39]. (Toronto: Penguin, 1992).

[40]. Le Traitre et le juif: Lionel Groulx, le Devoir et le délire du nationalisms d’extreme droit dans la province du Quebec, 1929-1939 (Outremont, QC: l’Étincelle, 1992); The Traitor and the Jew: Antisemitism and Extreme Right Nationalism in Quebec from 1929 to 1939 (Montreal:  Davies, 1993).

[41]. Les études juifs au Canada…ont pour characteristique d’avoir presque toutes été faites par des individus qui s’identifient comme juifs.  E. Deslisle est une exception notoire.  Le sujet n’est venu d’être un monopole des juifs tout comme est ignoré ce qui est ecrit par les non-juifs…. L’exclusivisme des intellectuals juifs quand ils ecrivent sur le probleme juif au Canada est regrettable et à longue, deplorable car les observatuers plus critiques et plus impartiaux ont beaucoup a offrir. “La Controverse Delisle-Richler: Le discours sur l’antisemitisme au Québec et l’Orthodoxie néo-liberale au Canada” [The Delisle-Richler Controversy: The Debate over Anti-Semitism in Quebec and Neo-Liberal Orthodoxy in Canada], L’Agora 1, 9 June 1994, http://agora.qc.ca/reftext.nsf/Documents/Antisemitisme–Le_discours_sur_lantisemitisme_au_Quebec_par_Gary_Caldwell (translated by the author).

[42]. “bien conscient que, selon l’acceptation contemporaine de I’antisemitisme, je ne peux faire autrement que passer pour un antisemite.”

[43]. Francine Dubé, “Exposing Quebec’s Shameful Secret: Researcher Claims Province’s Nationalism Rooted in anti-Semitism,” National Post, 27 April 2002.

Delisle has continued her research on fascism and anti-Semitism in Quebec, and has published a book on post World War II Vichy French war criminals who entered Quebec, Mythes, memoire et mensonges: l’intelligentsia du Quebec devant la tentation fasciste, 1939-1960 (Montreal: Multimedia Davies, 1998); Myths, Memory & Lies: Quebec’s Intelligentsia and the Fascist Temptation, 1939-1960  (Montreal: Davies Multimedia, 1998) as well as other works. She remains an independent scholar, unconnected with any academic institution, anglophone or francophone.

[44]. Anctil’s translations include Poèmes Yiddish [Yiddish Poems] by J. I. Segal (Montreal: Noirot, 1992); Le Mouvement ouvrier juif au Canada, 1904-1920 [The Jewish Labor Movement in Canada, 1904-1920] by Simon Belkin (Sillery: Septentrion, 1999); Mayn lebens rayze: un demi siècle de vie Yiddish á Montréal [The Journey of My Life: A Half Century of Jewish Life in Montreal] by Hirsh Wolofsky (Sillery: Septentrion, 2000); L’Empire de Kalman l’infirme[The Empire of Kalman the Cripple] by Yehuda Elberg (Montreal: Lemeac, n.d.); Cent ans de littérature yiddish et hébraïque au Canada [One Hunderd Years of Yiddish and Hebrew Literature in Canada] by Haim Leyb Fuks (Sillery: Septentrion, 2005); Nostalgie et tristesse; mémoires littéraires du Montréal Yiddish [Nostalgia and Sadness: Literary Memories of Yiddish Montreal] (Montreal: Éditions du Noirot, 2006).

[45]. Janice Arnold, “Premier Bouchard’s Brother Poses Questions for Quebec Jews,” Canadian Jewish News 9 April 1999, www.cjnews.com/pastissues/99/apr8-99/front1.htm. The proceedings of this conference were published in Juifs et Canadiens Français dans la société Québécoise, eds. Pierre Anctil, Ira Robinson and Gérard Bouchard (Sillery: Septentrion, 2000).

[46]. The proceedings of this symposium will be published in a future issue of the journal Canadian Jewish Studies/Études juives canadiennes, edited by Pierre Anctil and Ira Robinson.

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PROF. IRA ROBINSON is professor of Judaic studies in the Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is an associate fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former president of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies.

Prof. Ira Robinson

Ira Robinson is professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has written extensively on issues relating to Judaism and science as well as on the Canadian Jewish community.