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.

Publications by Prof. Ira Robinson

Virtual Reality Comes to Canadian Jewry: The Case of the Canadian Jewish Congress Plenary

This article deals with the issue of the changing nature of the “public square” of contemporary Jewry through an account of the Canadian Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1998. The CJC Plenary has historically been, par excellence, Canadian Jewry’s “public square.” The program of the 1998 Plenary differed from that of previous Plenaries in that a major portion of the event’s schedule was shifted from “traditional” activities, such as speeches and resolutions, to a “talk show” format of sessions on issues of contemporary Jewish concern. This major shift in format raises questions – most particularly that of the control of public discourse in the Jewish polity. Read More »

Virtual Reality Comes to Canadian Jewry

The Canadian Jewish Congress and the staging of a plenary are focused on. Read More »

The Foundation Documents of the Jewish Community Council (Vaad Ha’Ir) of Montreal

This article examines the founding document of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal in the context of the North American kehillah movement of the early twentieth century. It also situates the document in the context of the internal dynamics of the Montreal Jewish community of the 1920s.
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Individual and Community: Rights and Obligations as Reflected in Two Nineteenth Century Responsa

This essay examines the relevance of the responsa literature to the investigation of the issue of “individual and community” in modern times. It does so through an analysis of two nineteenth century Hungarian responsa, written by Rabbis Moses Sofer and Moses Schick. The analysis indicates that exrra-halakhic considerations were introduced into the halakhic discourse in both cases. The ultimate decision in both responsa was largely determined by these exfra-halakhic factors. Read More »