No Better Home?

Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

Edited by David Koffman
Categories: Religious Studies, Diaspora Studies, Race & Ethnicity, Immigration, Emigration & Transnationalism, Psychology, Linguistics, Language & Translation Studies, Canadian History, Sociology, World History, Anthropology, Regional & Cultural Studies
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Hardcover : 9781487504892, 328 pages, January 2021
Paperback : 9781487523572, 328 pages, January 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781487531102, 328 pages, October 2020
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781487531119, 328 pages, November 2020

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 One. Comparisons: Canadian Jewries and Other Jewries, Canadian Jews and Other Canadians

1. A Privileged Diaspora: Canadian Jewry in Comparative Perspective
Morton Weinfeld
2. Destination World Jewry: The United States versus the World
Hasia R. Diner
3. “To Guarantee Their Own Self-Government in All Matters of Their National Life”: Ukrainians, Jews, and the Origins
of Canadian Multiculturalism
Jeffrey Veidlinger
4. Vilna on the St Lawrence: Montreal as the Would-Be Haven for Yiddish Culture
Kalman Weiser
5. Jewish Education in Canada and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Perspective
Randal F. Schnoor
6. The Unsettling of Canadian Jewish History: Towards a Tangled History of Jewish–Indigenous Encounters
David S. Koffman

Section Two. Case Studies: Historical Episodes, Literary Creations

7. Crossing in/to Canada: Canada as Point of Arrival in Holocaust Survivor Memoirs
Mia Spiro
8. The “Nu World” of Toronto in Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors
Ruth Panofsky
9. Nathan Phillips: The Election of Toronto’s First Jewish Mayor 147 Harold Troper
10. By the Rivers of the St Lawrence: The Montreal Jewish Community and Its Postmemory
Ira Robinson
11. In from the Margins: Museums and Narratives of the Canadian Jewish Experience
Richard Menkis

Section Three. Reflections: Personal Stories, Language

12. Pictures of New Canadians: An Immigration Story for Our Time
Norman Ravvin
13. Under Gentile Eyes: My Jewish Childhood in Hamilton, 1950–1967
Judith R. Baskin
14. Montreal and Canada through a Wider Lens: Confessions of a Canadian-American European Jewish Historian
Lois C. Dubin
15. Forgetting and Forging: My Canadian Experience as a Moroccan Jew
Yolande Cohen
16. Nothing Is Forever: Remembering the Centennial
Jack Kugelmass
17. In der heym in kanade: A Survey on Yiddish Today
Rebecca Margolis
18. Which Canada Are We Talking About? An English-Language Polemic about French in Canadian Jewish History
Pierre Anctil

Postscript. Thin Canadian Culture, Thick Jewish Life
David Weinfeld




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.