Stories from Jewish Canada

Kanadish: Antologye Anthology of Canadian writings in Yiddish, IWO Buenos Aires Musterverk Series, 1974

Since the 1920s, Canada has been home to a thriving Jewish minority culture. Our narrators tell stories of growing up first-generation in Canadian towns and cities, learning languages and neighborhood survival techniques, and remaining loyal to the Montreal bagel.

Michael Wex talks about how relatives of Yiddish poet, Esther Shumiatcher, funded Yiddish Literature by the sale of cowboy hats. The true cowboy hats, Smith Built not Stetsons.

Bracha Weingrod warmly remembers growing up in Jewish Winnepeg. She reflects on economic status of different generations.

Haim Gunner gives a short lesson on the history of the Canadian city Ottawa. He remembers what it was like to grow up there as a Jewish kid. Michael Wex gives a short and interesting history of Jewish community in Canada in a small town in the south of Alberta.

Miriam Isaacs describes the Yiddish world she grew up in in Montreal. While Yiddish was the language of the family and home, it was a multilingual environment.(Yiddish)


Jack Kugelmass on the Montreal-New York City bagel debate, and the appearance of bacon in "Jewish-style" delis in the U.S.

To learn more about Jewish Culture in Canada, see:

- A recent program at the Yeshiva University Museum about Growing up Jewish in Montreal

- A review of a new book  by YBC summer faculty Rebecca Margolis.

- The Montreal Jewish Public Library

- A collection of articles  about Canadian Jewish Experience.


  • To see full interviews of these and other interviews, visit the project's digital archive here.
  • For more information on the Wexler Oral History Project, click here.