T O P I C
THE FIRST JEWS IN CANADA
CJN Allan Levine, July 28, 2017
Historian and writer Allan Levine’s next book,
Seeking the Fabled City: The Canadian Jewish Experience
will be published in 2018 by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada.
When Canada first became a country, 150 years ago, there were slightly less than 1,200 Jews living here. But Jewish settlement in French, and then British, North America, goes back much further.
In 1677, Joseph de la Penha, a young Sephardic Jewish merchant, ship owner and financier of privateers from Rotterdam, Netherlands, landed on the coast of Labrador and claimed the territory for the Stadtholder William of Orange. Some years later, one version of this story goes, when William became King William III of England, de la Penha saved the king from drowning during a stormy sea voyage. Another version has it that one of de la Penha’s ships had protected the English coast from attack by the French in 1696. In any event, to show his gratitude, William bequeathed de la Penha all of Labrador. This generous gift was confirmed in an official document in 1697.
More than three centuries later, in 1927, when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled that Labrador belonged to the then colony of Newfoundland, Isaac de la Penha, the cantor at Montreal’s Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue and one of Joseph de la Penha’s direct descendants, filed a lawsuit claiming Labrador for the family. The case stalled, but was restarted in 1950 by a group of de la Penha’s descendants in Europe and Israel. Nothing came of that, either. Then, in 1983, Daniel de la Penha, a retired physician in South Carolina who was also a descendant, launched a third claim for part of Labrador in the Newfoundland courts. After losing his first challenge, he appealed to the province’s Supreme Court. Alas, Newfoundland chief justice Alex Hickman ruled that de la Penha did not have sufficient proof “that he was entitled to a piece of Labrador.” De la Penha appealed his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, but the court refused to consider it.
Catholic pre-revolutionary France absolutely forbade non-Catholics – including Huguenots, other French Protestants and Jews – from settling in New France and most other overseas colonies. Still, large numbers of Huguenots managed to immigrate to the Antilles during the 17th century, and some, at least briefly, made it to New France, as well. So, too, did a handful of Jews.
The most well-known story of a Jew attempting to settle New France is the tale of 23-year-old Esther Brandeau, except she tried to elude the authorities disguised as a young man named Jacque La Fargue. Once she arrived in Quebec in 1738, she decided that continuing her charade was not practical and revealed her true identity as a Jewish woman. At first, she declared her intention to convert to Catholicism, yet within a few months, she began to have second thoughts, which aggravated the intendant (the colony’s chief administrator), Gilles Hocquart. By the fall of 1739, Hocquart, annoyed by her “frivolity” and “stubbornness,” deported her back to France, where she vanished from the historical record.
Determining who was truly the first Jew to call Canada home is a toss up between two entrepreneurial traders: Samuel Jacobs, a resourceful merchant and accomplished fiddle player, and Aaron Hart, the patriarch of the celebrated Hart (originally Hertz) family, whose illustrious members appear so prominently in the annals of Quebec. In this contest, the historical evidence suggests that Jacobs was most likely “Canada’s first Jewish settler,” yet Hart can claim the title of the “father of Canadian Jewry,” as Denis Vaugeios, the Hart family’s biographer has argued.
Like many of their Jewish contemporaries in British North America, both men were born in central Europe, probably in the early 1720s – Jacobs in Alsace and Hart in Bavaria (or possibly England). As young Dorfjuden – village Jews of Ashkenazi ancestry, who spoke German, Yiddish or English – both these men came to North America in search of economic opportunities, adventure and the relative freedom that was offered to Jews in the British colonies.
Jacobs and Hart journeyed to North America and found work as purveyors to the British army during the Seven Years War in the years before the British conquest of New France in 1759-60. Supplying the armies of Europe was a profitable enterprise that attracted numerous Jewish merchants during this era. Yet Jacobs, Hart and other Jewish merchants who wound up in Nova Scotia and Quebec after 1760, had to make their way in a Christian world – a world filled with prejudice, discrimination and innumerable obstacles.
Both Jacobs and Hart were assimilated and not overtly religious. (It goes without saying that truly observant Jews would have stayed in Europe with established Jewish communities, synagogues and access to kosher food). Jacobs, like some of his other fellow Jewish traders, married a French-Canadian Catholic woman, Marie-Josette Audet dit Lapointe, while Hart returned to England to seek a Jewish wife, Dorothea (or Dorothy) Judah, his cousin. Both had large families and sons who caused them headaches. Hart was by all accounts more conscious of his Jewish religious duties, though Jacobs had a rudimentary understanding of the Hebrew language and often signed his name as “Shemuel.” Swept up in the times, the vast majority of both of their descendants did not end up remaining Jewish. (This did not include Cecil Hart, the great-great-grandson of Aaron Hart, who coached the Montreal Canadiens in the 1930s. In 1923, his father, Dr. David Hart, donated the Hart Trophy, to be awarded to the “player judged most valuable to his team.” After Cecil died in 1940, the trophy was renamed the Hart Memorial Trophy in his honour.)
Jacobs moved from New Brunswick to Quebec by 1760. Settling along the Richelieu River in Saint-Denis, he prospered as a merchant and landowner. Jacobs, who died around 1786, did not belong to a synagogue, nor did he ever make a donation to the synagogue in Montreal. He raised his children as Christians. Yet, he never stopped thinking of himself as a Jew. “I was disputing all last night with a German officer about religion,” he wrote a non-Jewish friend in 1778. “I am not a wandering Jew, yet I am a stirring one.” In other words, there was no commercial challenge or issue that scared him.
Based in Trois-Rivières by 1762, Aaron Hart enjoyed life as a pioneer aristocrat until the day he died in late 1800. He also was a successful merchant, landowner and wisely invested in the fur trade, partnering with other Jewish traders. Unlike Samuel Jacobs, Hart and his wife raised their large family in a Jewish home, as much as that was possible in Trois-Rivières.
In August 1763, Frederick Haldimand, the military governor of Trois-Rivières, had to appoint an English-speaking postmaster in a predominately French-Canadian village. The choice came down to a selection between what he described as “a Jew, a (British) sergeant and an Irish soldier on half pay.” He selected the Jew, Aaron Hart – “my Jew,” as he referred to him. This appointment meant that Hart was in all probability the first Jew to hold a public office in Quebec after the British had assumed control of the territory.
The Canadian Encyclopedia, Stuart Schoenfeld,
Published Online, December 3, 2012, Last Edited March 4, 2015
Unlike most immigrants to Canada, Jews did not come from a place where they were the majority cultural group. Jews were internationally dispersed at the time of the ancient Roman Empire and after unsuccessful revolts against it lost their sovereignty in their ancient homeland.
Unlike most immigrants to Canada, Jews did not come from a place where they were the majority cultural group. Jews were internationally dispersed at the time of the ancient Roman Empire and after unsuccessful revolts against it lost their sovereignty in their ancient homeland. Subsequently Jews lived, sometimes for many centuries, as minorities in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
Jews in western Europe participated in the opening up of the Americas to European settlement, but were legally barred from residence in New France, where immigration was restricted to Catholics. Jews settled in the British colonies to the south and after the incorporation of New France into the British Empire began also to settle in Lower Canada. By 1768, the number of Jews in Montréal had grown to the point where they decided to establish Canada's first synagogue, Shearith Israel. By the late 18th century Jews had also settled in Québec City and other parts of Lower Canada. The Hart family were prominent in the area of Trois-Rivières; Ezekiel Hart was elected to the legislature of Lower Canada in 1807 but was denied his seat on the basis of his religion. Jews participated in the settlement of Upper Canada, establishing the first synagogue in Toronto (later Holy Blossom Temple) in 1856.
The 1871 census, the first after Confederation, counted 1115 Jews in Canada - 409 in Montréal, 157 in Toronto, 131 in Hamilton and smaller numbers in Québec City, Saint John, London, Kingston and Brantford. A community of over a hundred was also settled in British Columbia when it joined Confederation. British Columbia's first delegation to the House of Commons included Henry Nathan, the first Jewish Canadian MP.
At the end of the 19th century, 80 per cent of the world's 10 million Jews lived in the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German empires. The possibility of better conditions elsewhere, prejudice, legal discrimination, and violence encouraged emigration. Pogroms - violent mob attacks on Jewish neighbourhoods involving rape, injury, murder, looting and destruction - began in the Russian Empire in 1881. Jews fled eastern Europe to many places, including Canada, in the period from the 1880s to the beginning of WWI. Jews also moved north from the United States, part of the cross-border migration common in much of Canadian history.
By the time the outbreak of WWI curbed immigration, there were over 100 000 Jewish Canadians. Montréal and Toronto together accounted for about three-quarters of the Canadian Jewish population, but Jews could be found in every major city and in dozens of smaller places. Jews worked as retailers and wholesalers, many beginning as pedlars and working their way up to established businesses. Jews also provided much of the labour for the urban sweatshops of the new ready-to-wear clothing industry. Jewish merchants spread out to small towns, adding synagogues to the places of worship found in rural Canada. Eleven Jewish farm colonies were founded in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, assisted by the Jewish Colonization Society.
ORGANIZATION AND IDENTITY
During their long period of international dispersion, Jews had developed an identity based on being a national minority with a distinctive religion and communal structure. When Jews settled in Canada, they founded organizations which expressed each of these dimensions of their identity.
In accordance with their religious traditions of thousands of years (see Judaism) places for worship were usually set up soon after the arrival in a new place of only a handful of families. Often the need to establish a Jewish cemetery was the source of the first Jewish organization. Synagogues and schools followed shortly after.
Turn of the century Jewish immigrants came almost entirely from the multinational empires of eastern Europe. Nationalist movements (see Nationalism) within these empires were organizing in pursuit of greater autonomy and eventual national independence. Modern nationalism encouraged the revival of Jewish national identity, which took two forms. Each had mass support in eastern Europe. The first was the movement for the reconstruction of modern Jewish life around guaranteed minority rights within modern nation-states, with separate social institutions controlled by the Jewish minority, and the recognition that the primary language of modern Jewish cultural life would be the everyday language of eastern European Jews - Yiddish. The second form of modern Jewish nationalism, Zionism, aimed at the re-establishment of an independent national state in the ancient Jewish homeland.
Jewish immigrants to Canada from eastern Europe were sympathetic to both of these movements. The Montreal Jewish Public Library - one of the major institutions of that community - Yiddish theatres, and Yiddish literary creativity had their social base in the attachment to Yiddish culture. The generation of Jews who were being transformed into urban factory workers were particularly strong supporters of secular Yiddish culture. The language of their unions and fraternal organizations was Yiddish; through it they shared and interpreted their experiences in the new land.
The mounting enthusiasm for Zionism in eastern Europe was paralleled in Canada. The Federation of Canadian Zionist Societies, founded in 1899 - two years after the first World Zionist Congress - became the first nation-wide Canadian Jewish organization. Zionism attracted wide support, including many affluent Jews, who followed the example of Clarence de Sola, the leader of the Federation of Canadian Zionist Societies, by joining the movement. The Zionist movement was an important setting where women's talents were encouraged; women's Zionist organizations took on distinct projects and produced their own cadre of leaders. By the first decades of the 20th century the Canadian Zionist movement, like Zionism world-wide, also contained organizations with competing philosophies. Mizrachi blended Zionism with religious Orthodoxy. Poalei Zion ("the Workers of Zion") had a strong following among the Jewish working class.
Jewish immigrants also brought a tradition of establishing a communal body, called a "kehillah," to look after their social welfare needs. The first Jewish social welfare body in Canada was the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society, founded in Montréal in 1863 to assist Jewish immigrants (in recognition of financial support, the name was changed to the Baron de Hirsch Institute in 1900). Montréal and Toronto, with large populations, developed a wide range of communal organizations - hospitals, social work agencies, homes for the aged, libraries and more. There was a gradual movement towards the formation of organizations to co-ordinate fundraising in local communities. Immigrant Jews also founded landsmenschaften - literally, organizations of people from the same place. Landsmenschaften would sometimes sponsor synagogues, but they were primarily organizations in which immigrants helped each other and which could reply, as a group, to appeals for help from those left behind.
The movement to organize the Canadian Jewish Congress through countrywide elections spoke on behalf of the common interests of this diverse group of Jews, who thought of themselves in religious, cultural and communal terms. The Canadian Jewish Congress was organized in 1919 while the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI was being drafted. The treatment of national minorities under the new postwar arrangements was of great interest to Canadian Jews; very many had relatives who were to become citizens in the newly independent country of Poland. The Congress was also part of the groundswell of support for Zionism, which had been endorsed by the British government during WWI and was further endorsed by the new League of Nations. In anticipation of the renewal of Jewish immigration after the end of the war, the Congress established the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, which continues as a national agency of Canadian Jewry.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND WWII
In 1930 the Canadian government responded to the unemployment caused by the beginning of the Depression by imposing severe restrictions on immigration. Although the cabinet could, and did, approve certain kinds of immigrants, permission for Jews to enter was almost never given. Religious intolerance was still a common feature of Canadian society. Anti-Semitism, which compounded religious intolerance with the new "science" of racism, was found among cultural and political leaders (see Prejudice and Discrimination).
In the face of strong opposition within the Cabinet and the upper levels of the civil service to admitting Jews, the Canadian Jewish Congress was reorganized under the leadership of Samuel Bronfman to work for a safe haven in Canada for some of the increasingly desperate Jews of Europe. Despite mass protests and continuous lobbying by political and communal leaders throughout the Depression and war years, pleas on behalf of the trapped Jews of Europe went unheeded. Canada took in proportionately fewer Jews than any western country. At the same time, 17 000 Jewish Canadians responded to the call to arms in WWII and served in the armed forces.
The hard economic times of the Depression led to a greater awareness of the need to co-ordinate the fundraising for communal organizations. The level of co-ordination increased in Toronto with the organization of the United Jewish Welfare Fund in 1937 and in Montréal with the formation of the Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign in 1941.
THE POST-WWII PERIOD
With a growing economy in need of workers, Canada opened its doors to immigrants soon after the end of WWII. About 40 000 survivors of the Holocaust came in the late 1940s, seeking a peaceful country, a place where they might have a chance at rebuilding their lives, or simply coming because they had relatives here. In the 1950s, Jews fleeing hostility in newly independent countries in North Africa immigrated to Canada, settling mostly in Montréal, where their French language was an asset.
During the postwar period, Jews became more fully integrated into Canadian life. Human rights legislation, which began to be introduced in Canada in the late 1940s, removed discriminatory practices which had been previously common. The introduction in 1971 of the federal policy of multiculturalism (latter supplemented with provincial policies and the incorporation of multiculturalism into the Canadian Constitution) highlighted the legitimacy of cultural pluralism within the Canadian mosaic.
Social patterns were also changing as 2nd- and 3rd-generation Jews born in Canada became a larger part of the community. Children of immigrant businessmen and labourers persevered through university, joining the professional ranks of doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers and professors. The growth of Canadian cities in the postwar period was accompanied by the movement of Jews to new suburbs. Rather than dispersing, the 2nd and 3rd generation of Canadian Jews moved as a group. Synagogues, schools, community centres and other institutions relocated to these new neighbourhoods.
There was continuing internal Jewish migration in the postwar period. The Jewish populations of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver increased during periods of economic growth. In contrast, the Jewish population of small towns and rural areas almost disappeared, with the exception of those small towns within commuting distance of large cities.
THE CONTEMPORARY COMMUNITY
Canada is now home to the 5th-largest Jewish community in the world - following the US, Israel, the former USSR and France. Based on 1991 census data the Canadian office of the Council of Jewish Federations estimated the Canadian Jewish population at approximately 356 000. This figure includes those who responded "Jewish" to the census question on religion plus those who responded "no religion" but indicated Jewish ethnic origin on the census. In the 2006 census, 351 705 people reported being Jewish. The largest number - about 141 700 - were in Toronto. Despite much talk of a Jewish "exodus," the Jewish population of Montréal had dropped only slightly, to about 68 500.
The most recent data available indicate that significant Jewish immigration continues. Data from the 1991 census indicated that about 30 000 Jews immigrated into Canada from 1981 to 1991. These immigrants account for over 8 per cent of the Canadian Jewish population, which roughly corresponds to the percentage of 1981-1991 immigrants in the Canadian population as a whole. Jewish immigrants from 1981 to 1991 came mainly from the former USSR, Israel, South Africa and the United States. A continuing small stream of converts to Judaism also adds to the community. These sources of population increase may be offset by the disaffiliation of some of the growing number of Canadians who are of partial Jewish descent.
The generation of survivors of the Holocaust is now elderly, but the challenge of living with the history of being the victims of a campaign of mass extermination has not disappeared. The effort to bring to justice war criminals who had sought refuge in Canada became a major issue in the 1980s and continues. Remembrance of the Holocaust and the struggle with its implications are not only personal issues for children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, but also communal issues in Canadian Jewish life. Museums, lectures and other activities are resources for the younger generation of Jews and for other Canadians who are troubled about the threat of another genocide.
The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 marked the success of the Zionist movement and initiated a period of gradually closer ties between Israelis and Canadian Jews. Jewish federations have cultivated close relations with Israel, as have the organizations of each of the branches of Judaism. The Canada-Israel Committee was created to establish an organization that would speak about Israel on behalf of the Jews in Canada. Specialized organizations connect Canadian Jews with particular parts of Israeli society - universities, hospitals, social welfare projects. Visits to Israel have become much more frequent, often in the form of tours sponsored by organizations. Most adult Canadian Jews have visited Israel; many have visited more than once. The number of Canadian Jews who can speak in Hebrew is increasing.
Jewish federations have moved beyond meeting social welfare needs, developing co-operative relations with other community groups, and defending Jews against discrimination and anti-semitism into activities directly related to Jewish identity and continuity. In Montréal, a new inclusive body, the Allied Jewish Community Services, was established in 1965. The Toronto branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress merged into the United Jewish Welfare Fund in 1976; the new organization is now named the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto. In the recent period of governmental cutbacks in social services, individuals and organizations have looked more for assistance to the social welfare services supported by Jewish federations. The 12 Jewish communities affiliated with the Canadian office of the Council of Jewish Federations share responsibility for the Canadian Jewish Congress, student services at Canadian universities, a Jewish continuity commission, the Canada-Israel Committee, the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services, a detailed analysis of census data on Jews and other activities. The Canadian office is recognized as a regional organization within the North American umbrella organization, the Council of Jewish Federations.
Canada, according to the Berman Jewish Databank, is home to 391,665 Jews, making it the fourth largest Jewish community in the world. The Canadian Jewish community is mainly Ashkenazi, but has a sizeable Sephardic community that is primarily centered in Montreal and includes immigrants from Northern Africa. Prominent in public life, including popular culture and high offices of the state, Canadian Jews contribute largely to the country’s national sense of self. The main body of representation for the Canadian Jewish community is the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Telephone: (416) 638-1991 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.cija.ca Co-Chairs: Joel Reitman & Jeffrey Rosenthal, also WJC Vice-Presidents
Executive Director: Shimon Fogel
Originally excluded from settling in Canada during the period of French rule, Jews first arrived in Montreal with British soldiers during the French and Indian War in the early 1760s. After the war, a small number of Jews remained in the area and, by 1768, the first synagogue, Shaarei Israel, was consecrated there.
The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the Jewish population gradually increase as immigration from Eastern Europe saw many Jewish communities sprout in various cities across the country. A sizeable number of Jewish immigrants continued to enter the country in the early 1900s. Post-war Canada saw a large increase in immigration from Holocaust survivors and refugees from North Africa – largely due to the energetic campaign of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), CIJA’S predecessor organization, during and after WWII. This immigration, of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, significantly increased and diversified Canadian Jewry over the course of the 20th century.
The Jewish community in Canada today is stable and very active in Canadian society.
There have been numerous notable Jewish Canadian political figures throughout Canadian history. Ezekiel Hart – whose father had arrived with British soldiers during the time of the French and Indian War – became the first Jew elected to Canadian parliament in 1808. David Croll, who had emigrated from Russia during this time, became the first Jewish senator in 1955. Herbert Gray was Canada’s first Jewish federal cabinet minister, serving as Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 to 2002. Irwin Cotler, who had been counsel to Nelson Mandela in 1981, served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General from 2003 to 2006. The Honorable Rosalie Silberman Abella, daughter of two Holocaust survivors and champion of human rights, was the first Jewish woman appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court, where she continues to serve today.
Go to WJC -World Jewish Congress for information om the following
The Years of the Holocaust, Demography, Community life, Religious and Cultural Life, Jewish education. Youth, Jewish Media. Information for Visitors.Israel, Updated
Jewish organizations based in Canada Wikipedia
History of the Jews in Canada Wikipedia
Canada Virtual Jewish History Tour | Jewish Virtual Library
Canadian Jewry Canada's multicultural society has shaped its Jewish community. By Sharonne Cohen My Jewish Learning
The first Jews immigrated to Canada in the 1750's. As non-Catholics were prohibited from settling they either converted to, or pretended to be, Catholics.
The first significant wave of Jewish immigrants to make Canada their home arrived with General Jeffery Amherst in 1760. Most were from the United States and settled in urban centres, the majority in Montreal. By 1851 the number had increased to 451. Most were middle class and well educated. From 1850-1900 about 15,000 arrived from Europe. 120,000 between 1900 and 1920, 60,000 from 1920 to 1940 and 135,000 from WWII to the 1980' predominantly from the United States, North Africa and the Middle East.
The 1991 Census sows the Canadian Jewish population was estimated to be 356,000. The largest Jewish populations exist in Toronto, with 162,000, Montreal with 98,000, Vancouver, with 25,000. Jewish immigration to Canada continues: 30,000 Jews entered Canada from 1981 to 1991. The American Jewish Year Book of 2012, shows a population of 385,000 making it the fourth largest Jewish community (after the USA, Israel and France).
Immigration restriction s tightened after World War I and throughout the Depression years when upheavals in Europe made Jews desperate to leave and was completely sealed off between 1933 and 1945 when antsemitism appeared.
This changed with the introduction of social legislation and tens of thousands of refugees arrived after the end of World War 2.
STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
THE JEWS OF WINNIPEG
NFB 2017 (27.25)
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at the turn of the century
and founded a new community
in a Canadian city.
(NORTH OF BLOOR)
Torontopia 2011 (13.22)
I took a trek up Bathurst Street,
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THE HISTORY OF JEWISH TORONTO
UJAFederation 2009 (8.50)
JEWS IN CANADA
Eva Gellman 2012 (2.11)
THE STATE OF QUEBEC JEWRY
cdnjewishcongress 2010 (3.53)
HOLOCAUST EDUCATION -
Chair of CJC's Ontario Region
THE STORY OF BUKHARIAN JEWS -
2500 YEARS OF HISTORY - SILK ROAD TO CANADA
Jewish Bukharian Community of Toronto (JBCT)
This is an example of how an ethnic community preserves its identity
while joining into Jewish cultural life.
SHA SHTIL: AN INSIDE LOOK INTO
CANADA'S JEWISH COMMUNITY
Ben Fef 2016 (45.04)
Sha Shtil is a film that looks into many of the problems facing Canada's Jewish community. The film was scheduled to premiere at Beth Tikvah in August 2012 but was pulled days before the screening due to pressure from UJA Federation.
My hope for this film is to raise awareness about the gross mismanagement of community funds and the gross mismanagement of priorities. Hopefully, together, we can build a stronger Jewish community.
This is a documentary produced
in memory of Rose A"H
a lifelong supporter of Israel
and the empowerment of Jewish leaders.
RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN JEWISH
Carnegie Hall 2018 (5.02)
The immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1881 and the National Origins Act of 1924 brought timeless musical traditions and inspired new ones in America. Carnegie Hall’s exploration of this music includes ecstatic klezmer music with the Andy Statman Trio, Michael Feinstein performing popular songs rooted in the Eastern-European tradition, and a revue celebrating the journey of Yiddish culture from the Old to New World.
The history of America is indelibly linked to the movement of people. Some were brought here not of their own free will, and their perseverance and resilience transformed the nation. Others came here—or moved within the borders of this country—because they sought a new life, free from poverty, discrimination, and persecution. The many contributions—cultural, social, and political—of these migrations, and the people who helped to build this country and what it means to be American, are honored in Carnegie Hall’s festival Migrations: The Making of America.
Carnegie Hall examines the musical legacies of three migrations: the crossings from Scotland and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries, the immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1881 and the National Origins Act of 1924, and the Great Migration—the exodus of African Americans from the South to the industrialized cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1917 into the 1970s.
With performances of bluegrass, old-time, klezmer, Yiddish musical theater, blues, jazz, and more, Carnegie Hall celebrates the American musical traditions that flourished as a result of these migrations.
MS ST. LOUIS
ON CANADA’S APOLOGY
CBC News: The National 2018 (5.09)
THE JEWS OF CANADA