Canadian Jewish Heritage Month: A Reading List

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In honour of Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, here are some wonderful books that UTP has published in the past few years that would be ideal to read during this time:

None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933–1948

By Irving Abella and Harold Troper

Foreword by Richard Menkis

Afterword by David S. Koffman

Rigorously documented and brilliantly researched, None Is Too Many tells the story of Canada’s response to the plight of European Jews during the Nazi era and its immediate aftermath, exploring why and how Canada turned its back and hardened its heart against the entry of Jewish refugees. This new anniversary edition features a foreword by Richard Menkis on the impact the book made when it was first published and an afterword by David Koffman explaining why the book remains critical today.

The Ever-Dying People?: Canada’s Jews in Comparative Perspective

Edited by Robert Brym and Randal F. Schnoor

Demise by assimilation or antisemitism is often held to be the inevitable future of Jews in Canada and other diaspora countries. The Ever-Dying People? shows that the Jewish diaspora, while often held to be in decline, is influenced by a range of identifiable sociological and historical forces, some of which breathe life into Jewish communities, including Canada’s.

Faces in the Crowd: The Jews of Canada

By Franklin Bialystok

Starting with the first steps on Canadian soil in the eighteenth century to the present day, Faces in the Crowd introduces the reader to the people and personalities who made up the Canadian Jewish experience, from the Jewish roots of the NHL’s Ross trophy to Leonard Cohen and all the rabbis, artists, writers, and politicians in between. Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom and experience at the heart of the Canadian Jewish community, Franklin Bialystok adds new research, unique insights, and, best of all, memorable stories to the history of the Jews in Canada.

Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II

By Ellin Bessner

“He died so Jewry should suffer no more.” These words on a Canadian Jewish soldier’s tombstone in Normandy inspired the author to explore the role of Canadian Jews in the war effort. As PM Mackenzie King wrote in 1947, Jewish servicemen faced a “double threat” – they were not only fighting against Fascism but for Jewish survival. Added to this fascinating account are Jews who were among the so-called “Zombies” – Canadians who were drafted, but chose to serve at home – the various perspectives of the Jewish community, and the participation of Canadian Jewish women.

The Riot at Christie Pits

By Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir

Ethnic tensions had been rising in Toronto throughout the hot summer of 1933. Hitler had recently come to power in Germany and some residents of the eastern beaches neighbourhood had formed “Swastika Clubs” to protect their community from “undesirable elements.” The riot at Christie Pits remains a disturbing, even legendary part of the city’s history. Authors Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir, carefully sifting fact from fiction, provide a compelling perspective on how ordinary Canadians reacted to the intensifying antisemitism in Europe.

For more reads in Jewish History, click here.

Follow us on social media!


Subscribe to our newsletter to find out about new and forthcoming releases in your field, books for courses, and special discounts and promotions.

Featured Posts