Re Jewish Immigration to Canada #general

Avrum Lapin <avrum113@...>

wrote: Barbara Siegel

I am looking for information re Jewish immigration patterns >from Europe
to >Canada, especially during the second half of the 19th century.(snip)
What were the circumstances that resulted in earlier Jewish
immigration to Canada as opposed to the U.S., the destination chosen by
the majority of Jews >from Eastern Europe?
I am not referring to the use of Canada as a transit point on the way to
the U.S., but to those who remained permanently in Canada. (snip).......
Also, I am very interested in reading accounts of the Jewish immigration
experience in Canada, and would appreciate some suggestions.

Why Canada and not the US

The Canadian Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway actively
recruited immigrants in Central Europe and subsidized their passage
to the Canadian West. The motivation was fear that Americans coming
north >from Minnisota and the Dakotas would settle Western Canada and
annex it to the US (like Texas was annexed >from Mexico) and the need
for the railway to have customers. Cheap fares may have been one reason.

The second reason may have been the perception that opportunities in
Canada were better than in the States or alternately the slums of
Montreal and Toronto were not as squalid as the the slums of New York.

On the other hand prominent Canadian politicians (some in the last
century and certainly some in this century) were definitely not
enthusiastic about the immigration of Jews into Canada - I have the
impression that Canadian politicians were less enthusiastic about
Jewish immigration than Americans were.

My father's father came to Montreal in 1903 possibly because his older
half brothers were already there. He later went to New York by train in
1905 (per the St Alban's register) and while he met my grandmother in
NYC he returned to Montreal to live the rest of his life.

My mother's father came to Winnipeg possibly because he dreamed of
farming (a forbidden occupation in Russia) and possibly because some
cousins/landsmen preceed him.

My parents lived in Canada. I came to the US in 1963 because of
career opportunities.

I don't know if you can find it in Isreal but a book published in
Toronto in 1980 by Harry Gutkin called Journey Into Our heritage - The
story of the Jewish People in Western Canada has a good description of
the life of Jewsih immigrants in Western Canada. If that is not
available you might try articles on Canada, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg
and Manitoba in the Encyclopedia Judicica. On the web try the Canadian
Jewish Congress ( and research the name kessler in
JewishGen archives.

Avrum Lapin,
Upland, CA

LAPIN Grodno
LAPUNSKI Grodno,Indura and Sokolka
KATZ,Abraham Bialystok and Sokolka
LUBELSKY Bialystok
RODIN Winnipeg and Gomel

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