Rekindling the Torch: The Story of Canadian Zionism begins with the long and troubled history of the Jewish people that informed the nineteenth-century idea of Zionism: the search for a homeland. After surviving anti-Semitic laws and pogroms, Jewish refugees faced not only the ultimate crime against humanity, but also the shocking indifference of the West when they were turned back from safe havens.
Far from weakening the spirit, these combined tragedies strengthened their collective will. In Canada, Jewish immigrants created communities, pooled their resources, and rose to become captains of industry, among them the Bronfmans, the Batshaws, and the Hayes. They organized and actively pursued the goals of nationhood in Palestine.
Richly illustrated and extensively researched, Rekindling the Torch celebrates the struggle of the Canadian Jewish people and their contributions to the state of Israel.
Excerpt from Rekindling the Torch from the Preface by David J. Azrieli:
The remarkable accomplishments of Canadian Zionism have left their marks across their length of the tiny land of Israel: in the arts and sciences, business and education, on all seven university campuses, in the forests lovingly planted in once barren hills. Their extraordinary contributions to the Jewish State, on an organizational and individual basis, have inspired industrial development, changed the way Israelis shopped and even lived?
More than a decade ago, when I served as president of the Canadian Zionist Organization, I promised myself that this exceptional story would be told, that the most outstanding figures in Canadian Zionist history be identified and their accomplishments described. With the great assistance of the Joe King and Gil Troy, herewith is that story.
In researching and writing this book, we have delved into dusty archives and jogged the memories of many of the principals to ensure that the tale was truly well told.
I believe that with the publications of this book, we have recorded the unique and important role played by Canadians as momentous partners in the historic reappearance on the world scene of a Jewish State after an absence of twenty centuries.
About the author
DAVID J. AZRIELI, C.M., C.Q, M.ARCH. was born in Poland in 1922, came to Canada in the 1950s, and fought with distinction in the Israel War of Independence. He has extended his considerable business acumen from Canada to Israel, and had a major impact in both countries through his philanthropic work. He is responsible for the New School of Architecture Building at the Technion in Haifa; Yeshiva University in New York City established the David J. Azrieli Graduate Institute of Jewish Education and Administration; and he endowed Concordia University’s David J. Azrieli Graduate Fellowship and Holocaust and Resistance Library. He lives with his wife in Montreal, Quebec.