In the fall of 1956, Holy Blossom Temple, a Reform Jewish congregation in Toronto, celebrated its hundredth anniversary. For the oldest Jewish congregation in the city, a centennial celebration was a memorable event which its officers and members deemed worthy of genuine commemoration. The development of a book of essays which would add substantially to the understanding, both by Jews and by non-Jews, of certain aspects of the evolution and faith of the Canadian Jewish community, was thought to be such a commemorative act.
The essence of the approach to the preparation of this collection of essays was an attempt to place the Jewish community in its proper perspective in Canadian life and the non-Jewish community in its proper perspective with respect to Jewish life in one part of Canada. These essays, therefore, include some that are frankly historical in nature, some which deal with contemporary issues in historical perspective, some which reveal the essence of Jewish existence, and some which deal with the faith of Reform Judaism and its probable direction in the second half of the twentieth century.