Multiculturalism, Jews and Identities in Canada
Howard Adelman, John H. Simpson (eds.), Multiculturalism, Jews, and Identities in Canada, 1996.
Some have called Canada the post-modernist society. Canada is widely acclaimed as a multicultural and immigrant experiment. In this lively collection of essays, Canadian scholars provide a wealth of information and analysis on how those abstractions actually operate in practice.
The history of immigration to Canada and the legal decisions, legislation and policies that have created Canadian multiculturalism are succinctly presented. Recent constitutional debates and the 1992 federal referendum focusing on Quebec as a "distinct society" are analyzed. In all cases, the significant roles of Jews and Jewish organizations and the impact on them of those critical events in Canadian national life are dissected.
These developments have not been without tensions and controversies. Anti-Semitism arose in the provocative Show Boat affair. To the shock of many, Russian nationals claiming persecution in Israel were as refugees in Canada. Recent immigrants from both Russia and Israel resisted assimilation into the Canadian Jewish community. These cases are subject to meticulous examination.
Scholars, journalists, policy-makers — anyone with an interest in multiculturalism and its prospects in general and/or with Jews and their identity struggles — will find this book provocative, informative and insightful.