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The Jews of Toronto

A History to 1937

by (author) Stephen A. Speisman

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Sep 1987
General, Jewish, Demography
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1987
    List Price

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The present-day Jewish community of Toronto, its character, its institutions, and to an extent its attitudes, was shaped by the events of the formative one hundred years between the 1830s and 1937. In the first full-scale study of an urban Jewish community in Canada, historian Stephen Speisman traces the origins, settlement patterns, and often peculiar problems, encountered by the immigrant Jew during that period.

The adjustment to the Canadian experience, the tensions between various community components, the strained relationship with the population at large, and the determination to preserve traditional practices and established authority contributed to a life of relative isolation for Toronto Jewry while at the same time forces were working within it to propel local Jews into Canadian society. The Jews of Toronto: A History to 1937 is a unique contribution to the documented record of Toronto’s past, and an invaluable study of the development of immigrant Jewry in Canada.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Dr. Stephen A. Speisman is a well-known authority of Jewish Toronto and frequently lectures on the topic. He was the director of the Toronto Jewish Archives from 1973 to 2001, and is currently the executive director of the Toronto Hebrew Memorial park. He is the recipient of the Toronto Historical Board’s Award of Merit. Dr. Speisman lives in Thornhill, Ontario.