La description

The output of the Yiddish press published in Montreal, starting in 1907, sheds a bright light on the mass migration of East European Jews to the city at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the period about ten years following the appearance of the first Yiddish paper, Der Keneder Odler (The Canadian Eagle), Montreal Jews developed a dense network of religious, cultural and benevolent institutions. The number of Yiddish speakers was at that time increasing very rapidly in certain neighbourhoods in the city, and for the first time one could speak of a visible Jewish community. Translated into English for the first time by historian David Rome (1910-1996), and edited by Pierre Anctil, these selections from the early Montreal Yiddish press offer a rare glimpse of the forces at play in the community during its formative period. They also afford the reader a sense of the intense emotions that the Jewish newcomers grappled with. Writing in the Keneder Odler Yiddish-speaking immigrants reflected on their situation, made plans for the future and even laughed at themselves in a unique humorous vein. The Montreal Yiddish press at the time also contained exceptional descriptions of important strikes in the garment business, Yiddish theatre at the Monument National and even French Canada as seen through Jewish eyes. Illustrated with archival photographs selected by Janice Rosen, director of the Canadian Jewish Congress Archives.