Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil: Yiddish Cultural Life in Montreal, 1905-1945 by Rebecca Margolis


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In 1931, ninety-nine percent of Montreal's sixty thousand Jews reported that Yiddish was their mother tongue. In the succeeding decades, Yiddish culture has continued to have a prominent place in Montreal's social landscape. In Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil, Rebecca Margolis shows that the city's vibrant Yiddish culture is the legacy of a driven group of the city's Jews who devoted themselves to the revitalization of the Jewish community, creating a long-lasting infrastructure and institutions that have bolstered Yiddish identity.

Looking at Montreal's Jewish community during the first half of the twentieth century, Margolis explores the lives and works of activists, writers, scholars, performers, and organizations that fuelled a still-thriving community. She also considers the foundations and development of Yiddish cultural life in Montreal in its interaction with broader issues of diasporic Jewish culture.

An illuminating look at the ways in which Yiddish culture was maintained in North America, Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil is the story of how a minority culture was transplanted and transformed.

Hardcover 2011

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