Page 52 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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LITERATURE OF JEWISH CANADIANA
B
y
D
avid
R
ome
T
HE observance of the bicentenary of Canadian Jewry pro-
vides the occasion for a summary of its literature. When
allowance is made for the small size of the community and for
its youthfulness—eighty years ago some 3,000 Jews lived where
230,000 now reside—the literature of Jewish Canadiana is seen
to be considerable and possibly worthy of scrutiny.
A rather extensive listing appears in the
Selected Bibliography
of Jewish Canadiana
(Montreal) just published by the Canadian
Jewish Congress and the Jewish Public Library. It might be
added that no complete collection exists; the largest is the
Bronfman Collection of Jewish Canadiana in the Jewish Public
Library of Montreal. There are no private collections on this
subject, although some organizations such as the Canadian
Jewish Congress have useful libraries which may be consulted.
The books that come to mind for a smaller collection are
Arthur Daniel Hart’s
The Jew in Canada
(Toronto, 1926)
which, though naturally outdated, is still the most useful for its
accuracy and general coverage. The article on history by B. G.
Sack which opens the Hart volume has since been expanded
somewhat in his
History of the Jews in Canada
(Montreal,
1945) and in its Yiddish version
Geschichte fun di Yidn in
Canada
(Montreal, 1948), but it has not been carried beyond
1900 in any edition. Nor for that matter by any other historian.
There are no up-to-date histories of Canadian Jewry in book
form, but Louis Rosenberg has filled this gap in part with his
pamphlet
Chronological List of Important Events in Canadian
Jewish History
(Montreal, 1959).
Of monographs on aspects of community history we may
note Arthur A. Chiel’s
Jewish Experiences in Early Manitoba
(Winnipeg, 1955); Israel Medres’
Montreal fun Nechtn
(Mont-
real, 1947); Abraham Rhinewine’s
Der Yid in Canada
(Toronto,
1925-27, 2 vols.) and his
Looking Back a Century: On the
Centennial of Jewish Political Equality in Canada
(Toronto,
1932); David Rome’s
The First Two Years: a Record of the
Jewish Pioneers on Canada’s Pacific Coast, 1858-60
(Montreal,
1942); and E. C. Woodley’s
The House of Joseph in the Life
of Quebec
(Quebec, 1946) which also appeared in French trans-
lation.
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