One thing that unites all Jewish Canadians—from Victoria to Winnipeg to Halifax, across politics and religious denominations—is that we all came from somewhere else. Before there was here, there was there. And whether it’s a part of your recent or more distant memory, all of our families were once strangers in a strange land.
The idea of an organization to help Jewish immigrants from Europe began after the First World War, with many small groups volunteering in cities across Canada. On a summer’s day in 1922, all these groups came together to create Jewish Immigrant Aid Services, better known as JIAS.
This year marks the organization’s 100th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, JIAS hosted two special exhibits: the first, called Love the Stranger, was created with the Ontario Jewish Archives. It uses original documents and photos and oral histories to tell the story of JIAS and how Canada’s Jewish population arrived at our shores. The second is called the Refuge Canada Tent. Its a travelling exhibit created by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and it introduces viewers to Canada’s place in the global refugee crisis.
The CJN Daily producer Zac Kauffman visited both exhibits at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.
What we talked about:
- Learn about the JIAS exhibits, running until Nov. 28.
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.