Jewish settlement in the West
See also: Block settlement § Jewish
Graves in Jewish cemetery at Lipton Colony, Saskatchewan, 1916
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, through such utopian movements as the Jewish Colonization Association, fifteen Jewish farm colonies were established on the Canadian prairies; However, few of the colonies did very well. This was partly because, the Jews of East European origin were not allowed to own farms in the old country, and thus had little experience in farming. One settlement that did do well was Yid'n Bridge, Saskatchewan, started by South African farmers. Eventually the community grew larger as the South African Jews, who had gone to South Africa from Lithuania invited Jewish families directly from Europe to join them, and the settlement eventually became a town, whose name was later changed to the Anglicized name of Edenbridge.,   The Jewish farming settlement did not last to a second generation, however. Beth Israel Synagogue at Edenbridge is now a designated heritage site. In Alberta, the Little Synagogue on the Prairie is now in the collection of a museum.
At this time, most of the Jewish Canadians in the west were either storekeepers or tradesmen. Many set up shops on the new rail lines, selling goods and supplies to the construction workers, many of whom were also Jewish.[ citation needed ] Later, because of the railway, some of these homesteads grew into prosperous towns. At this time, Canadian Jews also had important roles in developing the west coast fishing industry, while others worked on building telegraph lines.[ citation needed ] Some, descended from the earliest Canadian Jews, stayed true to their ancestors as fur trappers. The first major Jewish organization to appear was B'nai B'rith. Till today B'nai B'rith Canada is the community's independent advocacy and social service organization. Also at this time, the Montreal branch of the Workmen's Circle was founded in 1907. This group was an offshoot of the Jewish Labour Bund, an outlawed party in Russia's Pale of Settlement. It was an organization for The Main's radical, non-Communist, non-religious, working class.
Growth and community organization
The Jewish General Hospital opened in Montreal in 1934.
By the outbreak of World War I, there were approximately 100,000 Canadian Jews, of whom three-quarters lived in either Montreal or Toronto. Many of the children of the European refugees started out as peddlers, eventually working their way up to established businesses, such as retailers and wholesalers. Jewish Canadians played an essential role in the development of the Canadian clothing and textile industry.[ citation needed ] Most worked as labourers in sweatshops; while some owned the manufacturing facilities. Jewish merchants and labourers spread out from the cities to small towns, building synagogues, community centres and schools as they went.
As the population grew, Canadian Jews began to organize themselves as a community despite the presence of dozens of competing sects. The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) was founded in 1919 as the result of the merger of several smaller organizations. The purpose of the CJC was to speak on behalf of the common interests of Jewish Canadians and assist immigrant Jews.
World War II (1939–1945)
Jewish soldiers fought in the Canadian military during World War II.
Almost 20,000 Jewish Canadians volunteered to fight for Canada during World War II.
In 1939, Canada turned away the MS St. Louis with 908 Jewish refugees aboard. It went back to Europe where 254 of them died in concentration camps. And overall, Canada only accepted 5,000 Jewish refugees during the 1930s and 1940s in a climate of widespread anti-Semitism. A most striking display of antisemitism occurred with the 1944 Quebec election. The leader of the Union Nationale, Maurice Duplessis appealed to anti-Semitic prejudices in Quebec in a violently anti-Semitic speech by claiming that the Dominion government together with Liberal Premier Adélard Godbout of Quebec had secretly made an agreement with the "International Zionist Brotherhood" to settle 100,000 Jewish refugees left homeless by the Holocaust in Quebec after the war in exchange for the "International Zionist Brotherhood" promising to fund both the federal and provincial Liberal parties. By contrast, Duplessis claimed that he would never take any money from the Jews, and if he were elected Premier, he would stop this plan to bring Jewish refugees to Quebec. Though Duplessis' story about the plan to settle 100, 000 Jewish refugees in Quebec was entirely false, his story was widely believed in Quebec, and ensured he won the election.
In 1945, several organizations merged to form the left-wing United Jewish Peoples' Order which was one of the largest Jewish fraternal organizations in Canada for a number of years. 
As in the United States, the community's response to news of the Holocaust was muted for decades. Bialystok (2000) argues that in the 1950s the community was "virtually devoid" of discussion. Although one in seven Canadian Jews were survivors and their children, most Canadian Jews "did not want to know what happened, and few survivors had the courage to tell them.' He argues that the main obstacle to discussion was "an inability to comprehend the event. Awareness emerged in the 1960s, however, as the community realized that antisemitism had not disappeared.
Post war (1945–1999)
After the war, Canada liberalized its immigration policy. Roughly 40,000 Holocaust survivors came during the late 1940s, hoping to rebuild their shattered lives. In 1947, the Workmen's Circle and Jewish Labour Committee started a project, spearheaded by Kalmen Kaplansky and Moshe Lewis, to bring Jewish refugees to Montreal in the needle trades, called the Tailors Project. They were able to do this through the federal government's "bulk-labour" program that allowed labour-intensive industries to bring European displaced persons to Canada, in order to fill those jobs. For Lewis' work on this and other projects during this period, the Montreal branch was renamed the Moshe Lewis Branch, after his death in 1950. The Canadian arm of the Jewish Labor Committee also honored him when they established the Moshe Lewis Foundation in 1975.
Since the 1960s a new immigration wave of Jews started to take place. Some South African Jews decided to emigrate to Canada after South Africa became a republic, and was followed by another wave in the late 1970s, which was precipitated by anti-apartheid rioting and civil unrest. The majority of them settled in Ontario, with the largest community in Toronto, followed by those in Hamilton, London and Kingston. Smaller waves of Zimbabwean Jews were also present during this period.
The 40,000 'survivors' would also have included (mostly) collaborators that were allowed in under new names just as they were in the US under Operation Paperclip.
The history of Indian hospitals (1920s - 1980s) in Canada is not as well known as that of residential schools but is as horrific in both its actions and the implication of those actions. This aspect of Canadian history shows that care for the health of Indians was never a priority and never on par with the care available for Europeans. Health care for Indians, such as it was, was motivated by a number of factors that range from keeping as many patients 'interned' as possible to maintain government funding, to ensure a steady number of subjects for medical and nutritional experiments, and to ensure that the European population was protected from exposure to 'Indian tuberculosis.'
"Repeatedly referring to the disease as “Indian tuberculosis,” a common practice among bureaucrats and the medical professionals in the Canadian Tuberculosis Association, was tantamount to racial profiling, and indeed pathologized the very notion of Indianness.” Segregated medical treatment for Indian patients was the norm in community hospitals where they were treated in the basement or 'Indian annexes' but the outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) introduced segregation on a larger scale.
“Death rates in the 1930s and 1940s were in excess of 700 deaths per 100,000 persons, among the highest ever reported in a human population…..Tragically, TB death rates among children in residential schools were even worse.” It is important to understand the symbiotic connection between the high incidence of TB in Indians and residential schools. Many of the residential schools, with the overcrowding, malnutrition, and lack of heat were fertile sites for the rampant spread of the highly communicable tuberculosis virus. Children who became infected were sent to the Indian hospitals, and when they showed signs of recovery, were sent back to the residential school. This mutually beneficial arrangement maintained the numbers and funding of both organizations.
Just as it was legal, under the Indian Act, to apprehend Indian children and put them in segregated (residential) schools it was legal to apprehend Indians suspected of having TB and quarantine them. Interestingly, that part of the Act remains today.
“Not yet having achieved the status of “persons,” never mind citizens of Canada, they were susceptible to quarantine or incarceration at the whim of doctors, Indian agents, or government officials. Declaring individuals contagious was a good means of control, keeping them out of trouble or out of circulation while the task of clearing the land was underway.” In some centres, the local doctor was also the Indian agent.
Jewish immigrants, primarily from Western Europe, began arriving on North American shores by the middle of the eighteenth century. However as proclaimed by law, colonization to New France was restricted to Catholics only. Some Jews circumvented this restriction by converting to Catholicism while others chose to settle further south in British occupied territory. After the fall of New France, Jews began to settle openly in Canada as British rule resulted in more religious tolerance.
The first significant arrival of Jews to Canada was a direct result of the establishment of the British forces. Many Jewish immigrants to Canada arrived as troops of General Jeffery Amherst who overthrew the city of Montreal in 1760. Several of these men chose to remain and within years Montreal's first Jewish community was established. It was this burgeoning Jewish community that built Shearith Israel, Canada's first synagogue in 1768.
In 1831, census results for Upper and Lower Canada listed 197 Jewish people. By 1851 this number had more than doubled to 451. Whereas earlier Jewish settlers were primarily drawn from the ranks of the British military, the Jewish Canadian in the mid nineteenth century was primarily middle class and engaged in business and trade.
Faced with increasing hardship, violence and anti-Semitism throughout Europe, 15,000 Jews immigrated to Canada in the latter half of the nineteenth century. By the outbreak of the First World War, Canada's Jewish population had grown to 100,000. Roughly three-quarters of this Jewish population was located in the cities of Montreal and Toronto. Canadian immigration laws became more restrictive and selective after the First World War with only 15,000 Jews granted entry into Canada.
In the years leading up to and throughout the Second World War, Canada failed to adopt any kind of refugee program. By the time the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933 and until 1945, it was basically impossible for Jews to seek asylum in Canada. With the end of the war, Canada loosened its immigration policy and by 1949 accepted over 40,000 Holocaust survivors. In following years, Canada was again the destination, this time for many French-speaking Jews, seeking refuge from aggression and volatility in several North African nations.
Today, Canada's 370,000 Jews make Canada home to the fourth largest Jewish population in the world. Most Canadian Jewry lives in the provinces of Québec and Ontario and particularly in the city of Toronto.
Introduction Jews started coming to the Canadian West in the 1880s for the same reasons as other immigrants: to escape religious persecution in their European homelands, and for the promise of vast tracts of cheap land. More specific Jewish reasons for immigration were to escape pogroms in Russia, or to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. Some came for the gold rush, and some were merely following the maxim, “Go West, Young Man.” While many started out in farming colonies run by the Jewish Colonization Association, the Baron de Hirsch Society or the Montefiore Society, most of these ventures eventually failed, as the Jews of Eastern Europe insofar as they had farming experience, were primarily mixed - crop farmers, and the climate and soil of the prairie provinces was not conducive to this kind of farming. It didn’t help that they were mostly given land in the infertile and arid Palliser Triangle. When the failure of their farms forced them to move off their colonies, the Jews tende d to migrate first to the small towns, where they set up general stores . While the general store was the popular choice for a business, there were also Jewish clothing stores, Jewish doctors embarking on their first practice. Jewish teachers and nurses co uld be found in rural areas, as could a number of Jewish farmers, those who raised and sold cattle, fur traders, hotel owners, and auto dealers. There were also Jewish pedlars, who traveled their small town routes and were treated as long - lost relatives wh en they met other Jews in a town or village.