The Contours of Canadian Jewish Life

By Randal F. Schnoor

Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ), 2011

Though a small minority (approximately 1% of the Canadian population), Jews have been important in shaping Canadian culture and identity and have had an open presence in the country since 1760. This paper seeks to provide an historical overview of the immigration and settlement of Jews into Canada and the subsequent growth and development of the community. Using recent Canada census data and local Jewish community studies, it identifies key demographic features of contemporary Jewish life and, where possible, compares this to the United States. The paper paints a picture of Jews as fulfilling the twin promise of Canadian multiculturalism: they have been successful in integrating into larger Canadian society while at the same time retaining a vibrant internal Jewish religion and culture. By outlining current issues and trends in Jewish life in Canada, this work demonstrates the growth and maturation of the Canadian Jewish community. The paper moves beyond the outdated "time-lag" theory in order to explain the more traditional nature of Canadian Jewry compared to the United States. It identifies a range of other historical, political and geographical factors to account for this

Topic: History, Multiculturalism, Demography

Name of Publication: Contemporary Jewry

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Canada

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

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Bibliographic Information:
Schnoor, Randal F. The Contours of Canadian Jewish Life. Contemporary Jewry. Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ). 2011:


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