Jews of Montreal

By definition, every ethnic group has its own characteristics and often is diverse within itself.
When personal stress rises and when these problems attain some significance, every group exhibits some degree of phobism. The level of protection needed for the family,
or for the group itself, creates or recreates, tribalism.
As a social creature, almost everyone lives in a particular milieu. In Montreal, Jews are a driving force, and their religion
is multi-faceted. This study offers a view on their demographics, on their basis of their thought, and on the difficult and different problems within the community.

“The insider draws on a special empathy, and inward familiarity the outsider may never attain. The outsider, however, takes less for granted, and may therefore bring to bear a more critical attitude, a move demanding standards of judgment, and a wider range of reference. When a book addresses both insiders and outsiders the writer crosses a mine field of rival sensibilities, and his own particular vulnerabilities become glaringly apparent.”

John Higham.

At the beginning of my investigation, the first move I made was to go over to the Bibliophile Book Store and ask for information. I emerged with three books and later, somewhat confused, had my first interview with Rabbi C. Bender. The voyage had started.
The book is in six parts:
The preliminary section deals mostly with demographic statistics within Canada, combined with a number of personal interviews, the next area covered concerns how Judaism has spread in the world and particularly in Montreal, part three covers the quandaries that I have found that affect all Jews in Montreal, portion four is on biases. My bias shows here- I hope fairly, the next to last division is ‘What has to be done', and the last part is the conclusion of my voyage of discovery.
I do not pretend to have any earth-shattering opinions, even after seven years
of research as most of the material – for instance my 650 citations – is available somewhere. Academics will miss the footnotes, other readers can skip the references if need be, and the appendices will satisfy those who have waded through this book
and amazingly want more.
The primary purpose of this study is to help all ethnic communities in Montreal realize their priorities and be able to continue to exist in the cosmopolitan milieu of our wonderful city.
Table of contents