Book Launch in Ottawa: Seymour Mayne

Students, staff, and members of the public are cordially invited to a triple launching of this University of Ottawa special event that is being held at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

Bridges includes the work of published writers who studied with Seymour Mayne and worked with him over the years at the University of Ottawa.  Cusp: Word Sonnets was recently published  in Saint Petersburg, in a Russian edition, and is for sale at bookstores in the Russian Federation; this collection was originally released in English in 2014 and has now appeared in French, Portuguese, and Spanish editions. Nicola Vulpe, author of Insult to the Brain, served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa and is also an alumnus of Seymour Mayne’s creative writing courses.
The launching will take place on Thursday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m., Library and Archives Canada.   Free and open to the public. Refreshments to follow presentations.

ACJS Bulletin Submissions

The time has come for the biannual call for submissions for the ACJS Bulletin! Please send Adara Goldberg ( your updates for publication in the Fall Bulletin: current research, publications, conferences, seminars, and lectures on Canadian Jewish studies.

 As with the past two issues, we are also soliciting short features on significant, but lesser known, figures in Canadian Jewish history. 
Please send your submissions to with the subject line “Submission – ACJS Bulletin.”
We welcome photos, logos, or other images as accompaniments to your submission – please include these in your email, as well as captions where applicable.
Please note: – All submissions must be in .doc or .rtf format.- All photos, logos, and images must be in .jpg, .jpeg, or .png format.
All materials must be submitted by October 7 to ensure timely publication and distribution. Submissions received after that date will be held for the Spring edition.

“The Keneder Adler and Yiddish community life in Montreal, 1944”

Have you read “The Keneder Adler and Yiddish community life in Montreal, 1944” by Professor Rebecca Margolis? Make sure to read this page turner now available on the online Canadian Jewish Studies Journal! Margolis’s work has focused on Yiddish as it has moved from an immigrant to an ethnic language among Canadian Jews. She is the current President of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies, and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa.

Make sure to check out her entire article on Vol 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies Journal!
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Memoirs of a Refugee: The Travels and Travails of Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung

Have you read “Memoirs of a Refugee: The Travels and Travails of Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung” by Dr. Steven Lapidus from Concordia University’s Department of Religion? This article explores the extraordinary rescue of Chief Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung from Poland to Vilna, Moscow, Vladivostok, Kobe, Shanghai, San Francisco, Chicago, Sarnia, and finally Montreal in 1941. In a rare and unprecedented move, the Canadian government, despite its anti-refugee stance, offered a haven to twenty-nine rabbinic scholars – including the son of the Chofetz Chaim – who arrived in Canada on the last passenger ship to leave the Far East prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

Make sure to read the entire article on Vol 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies Journal now! Online Journal:

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A Big Thank You to our Conference Partners!

The ACJS would like to thank everyone who made the conference the success that it was! You all contributed to making the conference a positive and successful event! A special thank you goes to Richard Menkis and Jesse Toufexis for all of their hard work organizing this wonderful conference! Thank you to our marvellous presenters as well as our community partners:

-Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir
-Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies
-The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies
-Vered Canadian Jewish Studies Program
-Peretz Institute for Secular Jewish Culture
-The Jewish Museum & Archives of BC
-Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Without you this conference would not have been what it was. We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s conference!

Volume 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies journal is now available online!

Volume 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies journal is now available online! 

This annual journal publishes research on various topics on the Canadian Jewish experience. 

The electronic version of journal is free and accessible at

Print copies are available to members of the Association, or by special order.

To learn more about contributing to the journal, or to read issues of the journal, please visit the journal’s website:

ACJS Conference in a Month!

Get excited because the ACJS conference is almost one month away! Check out the sessions below and make sure you get to be part of it all because this year we have some thought-provoking presentations and one of a kind sessions in store! 

Session 1: Jewish Space in Literature and Popular Culture

Session 2: Antisemitism and the Holocaust

Session 3: Media Studies

Session 4: Challenging the Status Quo

Session 5: Religion and Culture

Session 6: Protest!

Session 7: Canadian Mysticism (CSJS)

Session 8: Building Community

CHA/ACJS Joint Holocaust Panel: “Memory Wars” and the Holocaust seen from the German, Polish and Canadian Perspectives

To be even more in the loop about everything that ACJS will be promoting, follow us on social media, become a member, and join our annual conference:

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New Volume of Canadian Jewish Studies

Volume 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies / Études juives canadiennes journal is now available! It is an annual journal (since 1993) by the ACJS and it covers various topics on the Canadian Jewish experience. 

It publishes research in the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, economics, geography, demography, education, religion, linguistics, literature architecture, performing arts, and fine arts, among others.

The electronic version of journal is free and accessible at

Print copies are available to members of the Association, or by special order.

To learn more about contributing to the journal, or to read issues of the journal, please visit the journal’s website:

Dr. Norma Baumel Joseph to receive 2019 Louis Rosenberg Award

It is a great honour for the ACJS to announce that Dr. Norma Baumel Joseph is the 2019 recipient of the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Joseph brings together the highest standards of scholarship, creative and effective dissemination of research, and activism in a manner without rival in our field of Canadian Jewish studies, as well as being a respected voice in Jewish feminist studies more broadly.

Dr. Joseph’s scholarship is remarkable for her mastery of both traditional rabbinic sources and anthropological methods. Her work on the responsa of Rabbi Moses Feinstein, including an award-winning article published in American Jewish History83,2 (1995), is based on a close reading of some of the most technical and difficult halakhic texts. Her mastery of these sources is also apparent in articles on women and prayer, the mehitzah, and the bat mitsvah. She has used her knowledge of halakhah in her academic work on Jewish divorce in Canada, including an article in Studies in Religion(2011) and is a collaborator in a recently awarded grant project, “Troubling Orthopraxies: A Studies of Jewish Divorce in Canada.” As a trained anthropologist, and as a feminist, she realizes that food is also a text and she has made important contributions to both the history of Iraqi Jews in Canada, and to our understanding of the history of food in the Jewish community. Her SSHRC-funded research has resulted in recent essays such as “From Baghdad to Montreal: Food, Gender and Identity.” Her ongoing reflections on Jewish women in Canada, first appearing as early as 1981 in the volume Canadian Jewish Mosaicare foundational texts in the study of Jewish women in Canada.

Dr. Joseph has chosen to disseminate her research and wisdom in a variety of effective ways. Her undergraduate and graduate students at Concordia praise her innovative student-centred teaching. Recently, she instituted a for-credit internship at the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish archives which has been beneficial to both the student and the archive. She is in constant demand as a lecturer in both professional and lay settings. Her work in film has reached a wide audience. She is unforgettable in Half the Kingdom, a 1989 NFB documentary on Jewish women and Judaism where she explores with sensitivity the challenges—and rewards—of being both a feminist and an Orthodox Jew. She also served as consultant to the film, and was a co-author of the accompanying guidebook to what has become one of the most important Canadian documentaries on a Jewish theme ever made. Since 2002 Dr. Joseph has also committed herself to public education by taking on the task of writing a regular column on Jewish life for the Canadian Jewish News. Her views are based on a deep understanding of Judaism and contemporary Jewish life and are worthy of anthologizing.

Dr. Joseph’s work as an activist is perhaps best known in the Canadian Jewish world. She is a founding member of the Canadian Coalition of Jewish Women for the Get and worked for the creation of a Canadian law to aid and protect agunot. As part of her Women for the Get work Dr. Joseph also participated in an educational film, Untying the Bonds – Jewish Divorce, produced by the Coalition of Jewish Women for the Get in 1997. She has also worked on the issue of agunot, as well as advocated for the creation of a prayer space for women at the Western Wall among international Jewish organizations.

Dr. Joseph is perhaps less known for her significant and lasting commitments to the study of Canadian Jewry. She helped in the founding of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia, and convened the Institute from 1994 until 1997, when a Chair was hired. She was also a founder and co-director of Concordia University’s Azrieli Institute for Israel Studies. In 1998 she was appointed Chair of the CJC National Archives Committee, and has remained in the position since then, under the new designation of Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives. In this capacity, Dr. Joseph has been a forceful and effective advocate for protecting and promoting the preservation of Canadian Jewish archival material and for appreciating the professionalism of the staff. She has also lent her time and experience to multiple meetings and interventions at various crucial junctures in the recent history of the Canadian Jewish Archives, during which she has balanced and countered arguments that would have led to the dissolution or extreme diminishing of the Archives as we know it. Her perseverance in networking and using her powers of persuasion on key people of influence has been a significant factor in its continued existence. Her work on behalf of the Archives has drawn her into diverse committees and consultations. Notably she contributed her expertise to the chairing of a sub-committee convened by Parks Canada when their Commemorative Places section was in search of Canadian Jewish woman-related content. Her suggestions made during our 2005 meetings have resulted in several site designations over the course of the past twelve years.

Dr. Joseph has had a unique role in Canadian Jewish studies and Canadian Jewish life, and is richly deserving of the Louis Rosenberg Award.