In 2018, Parliament unanimously passed a bill proclaiming that throughout Canada, the month of May will be marked as “Canadian Jewish Heritage Month”, celebrating the inspirational role that Jewish Canadians have played and continue to play in communities across the country. From law, to politics, to culture, to sports, this important initiative celebrates the contributions Jewish Canadians have been making to this country for 250 years.
This type of initiative helps Canadians understand one another by allowing different communities and cultures to be showcased and celebrated. Jewish Canadians have made enormous contributions to the fabric of Canadian society, and regardless of their cultural background, all Canadians are rightly proud of the country we have built together. Understanding and appreciating the contribution different communities make to Canada brings us close together.
All parliamentarians who supported this important legislation deserve recognition for their efforts to bring Canadians closer together. We particularly commend and thank Senator Linda Frum and MP Michael Levitt for their leadership in bringing this bill forward. From drafting the initial bill to stick-handling it through the long Parliamentary process, Senator Frum and MP Levitt deserve enormous credit for their cross-partisan effort.
by Jack Switzer for the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta
It all began when Jacob and Rachel Diamond became Alberta's first permanent Jewish settlers in 1889. By the time the province of Alberta was born in 1905, some 50 Jews had followed in their footsteps and settled in Calgary. By 1911, the community numbered over 600. Most came from Russia and Romania anxious to leave pogroms and persecution behind them and to embrace the freedoms and economic opportunities that were the twin hallmarks of the west. The newcomers bought land for a Jewish cemetery in 1904, and for their first synagogue, aptly named the House of Jacob, in 1911… Read more