No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging
This book begins with an audacious question: Has there ever been a better home for Jews than Canada? By certain measures, Canada might be the most socially welcoming, economically secure, and religiously tolerant country for Jews in the diaspora, past or present. No Better Home? takes this question seriously, while also exploring the many contested meanings of the idea of "home."
Contributors to the volume include leading scholars of Canadian Jewish life as well as eminent Jewish scholars writing about Canada for the first time. The essays compare Canadian Jewish life with the quality of life experienced by Jews in other countries, examine Jewish and non-Jewish interactions in Canada, analyse specific historical moments and literary texts, reflect deeply personal histories, and widen the conversation about the quality and timbre of the Canadian Jewish experience. No Better Home? foregrounds Canadian Jewish life and ponders all that the Canadian experience has to teach about Jewish modernity.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
"This is a fascinating volume that mixes the intellectual with the emotional, allowing us to think and feel through the subject and ultimately reflect on the place of Jews in Canada in fresh ways."
Hernan Tesler-Mabé, Department of History, University of Ottawa
"This collection engages an impressive cadre of scholars to evaluate the quality of home and life for Jews through a variety of factors, including religious participation, encounters with antisemitism, cultural production, and economic success. This book was thoughtfully curated with a wide readership in mind, embracing an interdisciplinary approach to critically examining more than 150 years of Canadian Jewish experiences and the contemporary place of Jews in Canadian society."
Adara Goldberg, Holocaust Resource Center, Kean University
"While focusing on Jews’ encounter with Canada, this interdisciplinary volume is comparative to its core. The contributors compare such things as Yiddish culture in Montreal and New York, Jewish education in Canada and the United Kingdom, and Ukrainian and East European Jewish immigrants who settled in Canada. These comparisons offer much to the reader interested not only in Jewish history but also the development of liberal, multicultural states in the twentieth century."
Rebecca A. Kobrin, Department of History, Columbia University
"No Better Home? examines Canada’s Jewish community within a comparative framework, posing important new questions and suggesting highly promising directions for the field of Canadian Jewish Studies."
Jonathan D. Sarna, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
Author InformationDavid S. Koffman is the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry and an associate professor in the Department of History at York University.
Table of contents
Introduction: What Does It Mean to Ask the Question “Has There Ever Been a Better Home for the Jews than Canada?”
David S. Koffman
Section I: Comparisons and Interactions
1. A Privileged Diaspora: Canadian Jewry in Comparative Perspective
2. Destination World Jewry: The US vs. the World
Hasia R. Diner
3. Montreal and Canada through a Wider Lens: Confessions of a Canadian-American European Jewish Historian
Lois C. Dubin
4. The “Cossacks” and “Bolsheviks” Who Made Modern Canada: Ukrainians, Jews, and the Origins of Canadian Multiculturalism
5. Vilna on the Saint Lawrence: Montreal as the Would-Be Haven for Yiddish Culture
6. Jewish Education in Canada and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Perspective
Randal F. Schnoor
7. The Unsettling of Canadian Jewish History: Toward a Tangled History of Jewish-Indigenous Encounters in Canada
David S. Koffman
Section II: Flashpoints and Viewpoints
8. Pictures of New Canadians: An Immigration Story for Our Time
9. Crossing in/to Canada: Canada as Point of Arrival in Holocaust Survivor Memoirs
10. Electing Nathan Phillips: The Jewish Question and Toronto’s First Jewish Mayor
11. The “Nu World” of Toronto in Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors
12. By the Rivers of the St. Lawrence: The Montreal Jewish Community and Its Postmemory
13. On Display: Canadian Museums and Narratives of the Canadian Jewish Experience
Section III: Intimacies and Languages
14. Nothing is Forever: Remembering the Centennial
15. Forgetting and Forging: My Canadian Experience as a Moroccan Jew
16. Under Gentile Eyes: My Jewish Childhood in Hamilton, 1950–1967
Judith R. Baskin
17. In der heym in kanada: A Survey on Yiddish Today
18. Which Canada Are We Talking About?: An English-Language Polemic about French in Canadian Jewish History
Post-Script: Thin Canadian Culture, Thick Jewish Life
Subjects and Courses