ACJS Presentation Series: Call for Proposals

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies is pleased to announce plans for a series of online events exploring contemporary and past issues relevant to the Canadian Jewish experience. 

The first events will take place in July and August of 2020 and will draw from papers that would have been presented at the postponed annual conference. There will be, in addition, presentations and discussions relevant to this challenging moment of racial tensions and anxieties relating to the COVID pandemic.

We are also calling for proposals for a second stage of presentations, beginning in the Fall of 2020. There will be two formats, and the proposal should be appropriate to the preferred format.

We will hold a live event at least once a month which would be akin to a session at a conference; that is, two or three presenters of twenty-minute papers with a moderator. A proposal should include a summary of the session (about 150 words) and abstracts of the papers (about 300 words), and short biographies (about 100 words) of the presenters and moderator. All presenters must agree to be recorded. 

In addition, we will post for view a number of pre-recorded presentations (of about twenty minutes) of interest to both lay and professional audiences; for example, a discussion with the author of a new book or a recently-defended PhD dissertation; or “tours” of libraries, archives and museums, explaining what they can tell us about the Canadian Jewish experience, with an emphasis on recent acquisitions. Please provide a summary of the presentation (about 300-500 words) and a short biography of the presenter (about 100 words).

Please send your proposals to Jesse Toufexis ( and /or Richard Menkis ( The deadline is 15 July 2020. Please do not send recordings, but we will need assurances that you have access to the necessary technology for clearly recording your proposed presentation. 

We are also looking for co-sponsors. We believe this initiative will afford Jewish studies archives, departments, and organizations across Canada the opportunity to join closer together and co-sponsor a scholarly event with minimal—if any—financial commitments. Organizations who join us in this endeavor would then share the presentations once they are posted, thus fulfilling their major mandate as “co-sponsor” of the initiative. If you are interested in a co-sponsorship, please contact Jesse and/or Richard, at the above addresses. 

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay healthy, stay connected, and “stay tuned” for information about our events this summer and after.


L’Association d’études juives canadiennes est heureuse d’annoncer qu’elle prévoit une série d’événements en ligne explorant les enjeux liés à l’expérience juive canadienne passée et contemporaine. 

Les premiers événements auront lieu en juillet et août 2020 et s’inspireront de communications qui auraient été présentées lors de la conférence annuelle que nous durent reporter à l’an prochain. Il y aura, en outre, des présentations et des discussions en rapport avec ce moment difficile de tensions raciales et d’angoisses liées à la pandémie de COVID-19.

Nous lançons également un appel à communications pour une deuxième phase de présentations, qui débutera à l’automne 2020. Il y aura deux formats, et la proposition devra être adaptée au format préféré.

Une fois par mois, nous organiserons au moins un événement en direct qui s’apparenterait à une session de conférence, c’est-à-dire deux ou trois communications de vingt minutes ainsi qu’une période de questions modérée par un.e président.e. Pour ce format, votre proposition doit comprendre un résumé de la thématique de la scéance (environ 150 mots) et des résumés des communications (environ 300 mots), ainsi que de courtes biographies (environ 100 mots) des présentateur.trices et du/de la président.e de scéance. Tous les participants doivent accepter d’être enregistrés pour l’occasion.

Ensuite, nous présenterons un certain nombre de communications préenregistrées (d’environ vingt minutes) qui intéresseront à la fois les professionnels et le grand public ; par exemple, une discussion avec l’auteur d’un nouveau livre ou d’une thèse de doctorat récemment soutenue ; ou des “visites” de bibliothèques, d’archives et de musées, expliquant ce qu’ils peuvent nous apprendre sur l’expérience juive canadienne, en mettant l’accent sur les acquisitions récentes. Veuillez fournir un résumé de la présentation (environ 300-500 mots) et une courte biographie du/de la présentateur.trice (environ 100 mots).

Veuillez envoyer vos propositions à Jesse Toufexis ( et/ou Richard Menkis ( La date limite est fixée au 15 juillet 2020. Il n’est pas nécessaire de nous envoyer des enregistrements, toutefois devrez nous confirmer que vous avez accès à la technologie nécessaire pour enregistrer clairement votre présentation. 

Nous sommes également à la recherche de commanditaires pour ces événements. Nous pensons que cette initiative permettra aux archives, départements et organisations d’études juives de tout le Canada de se rapprocher et de parrainer un événement universitaire avec peu ou aucun engagement financier. En guise de mandat, les organisations participantes s’engagent à disséminer les présentations une fois qu’elles seront affichées. Si vous souhaitez commanditer cette initiative, veuillez contacter Jesse et/ou Richard, aux adresses ci-dessus. 

Nous attendons avec impatience de recevoir vos propositions. Restez en bonne santé, restez en contact et “restez à l’écoute” pour obtenir des informations sur nos événements de cet été et des années suivantes.

Book Announcement: New Canadian Holocaust Memoir by Ferenc Andai, Published by the Azrieli Foundation

Ferenc Andai’s memoir is a riveting story that sheds light on a little-known chapter of the Holocaust, when thousands of Hungarian Jewish men were sent to do forced labour in a mining camp complex in Bor, Serbia, in 1944. In the lush mountains of Serbia, young Ferenc finds a community of poets, artists and intellectuals whose lives are shattered by Nazi terror.

Andai toiled alongside the Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti — one of the greatest Hungarian poets of the twentieth century — in the forced labour camp in the months preceding Radnóti’s murder, and much of the first half of the memoir recounts time spent with him and his literary circle in the camp as Radnóti composes and recites his poems. The author includes many excerpts of Radnóti’s poems, which are about their shared experience in the labour camp. 

The book is a haunting remembrance of a man’s experience as a nineteen-year-old, told in present-tense but clearly as remembered many decades later by someone who became a well-educated and masterful storyteller.

This is the first English translation of Ferenc Andai’s Hungarian memoir, which was published in 2003 and won the Miklós Radnóti National Prize the following year.

Titles in the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Memoirs are available free of charge to Canadian scholars, students, and teachers. Request copies by email:

The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program was established by the Azrieli Foundation in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the Holocaust who came to Canada.

For more information, visit:

ACJS Bulletin Call for Submissions

Dear friends,

I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and indoors during these challenging times.  
The time has come for the biannual call for submissions for the ACJS Bulletin. Please  send me your updates for publication in the Spring Bulletin: current research, publications, conferences, seminars, and lectures on Canadian Jewish studies. I would also appreciate news from your community, museum, or historical society. This includes any news as well as changes in organizational leadership. We also invite 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. Submissions many be in English or French. Bonus points for those whose submissions are bilingual!
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 April 16 to ensure timely publication and distribution. Submissions received after that date will be held for the Fall edition.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Wishing you and yours a peaceful Shabbas and Chag Pesach Sameach,

Mahler’s Forgotten Conductor: Heinz Unger and his Search for Jewish Meaning, 1895–1965

Our very own President, Hernan Tesler-Mabe has just released his new book Mahler’s Forgotten Conductor: Heinz Unger and his Search for Jewish Meaning, 1895–1965.
This is a must-read book that looks at how the strands of German Jewish identity converge and were negotiated by a musician who spent the majority of his life trying to grasp who he was.

This book sets this exploration of Unger’s “performative ritual” within a biographical tale of a life lived travelling the world in search of a home, from the musician’s native Germany, to the Soviet Union, England, Spain, and finally, Canada.

Click here to get your own copy:

Cancellation of ACJS 2020

Dear Association for Canadian Jewish Studies members:

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization reclassified COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to the status of pandemic. Taking into consideration the level of risk confronting us all and the measures being put in place to limit the transmission of the disease, the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies has taken the extraordinary step to cancel its 2020 conference, to be held May 24-26 at Library and Archives Canada and the Soloway Jewish Community Centre in Ottawa. We still hope to hold our Annual General Meeting via alternate means and will update you on this as our plans evolve. We regret any inconvenience this may bring and look forward to seeing you all at our 2021 conference.

Most sincerely, 
Hernan Tesler-Mabé
ACJS PresidentJesse Toufexis 
ACJS Conference Chair 

Magdalene Klassen

Magdalene Klassen is a PhD student at Johns Hopkins University. She studies the history of Jewish life in the British empire during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Her article in the Canadian Jewish Studies Journal is about elite Jewish women who participated in the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire during the early twentieth century. Focused on the activities of two sisters, Irene Wolff and Rosetta Joseph, it explores their strategic approach to advocating for Jewish causes through a conservative women’s patriotic organization. Though their successes were minimal, their efforts demonstrate the concerns and methods of Canada’s Anglo-Jewish community after the demographic and cultural changes resulting from Eastern European Jewish immigration.

“The ‘Malestrom’ at Christie Pits: Jewish Masculinity and the Toronto Riot of 1933”

Monda Halpern is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at The University of Western Ontario where she teaches Canadian Social, Gender, and Jewish History. Her most recent book is Alice in Shandehland: Scandal and Scorn in the Edelson/Horwitz Murder Case, an examination of a 1931 homicide in the Ottawa Jewish Community.

The article, “The ‘Malestrom’ at Christie Pits: Jewish Masculinity and the Toronto Riot of 1933,” is the first detailed examination of the gendered aspects of the Riot at Christie Pits, including analysis of violent and virtuous masculinity by the Jewish combatants, the rhetoric of masculinity in personal and collective memory, and the historically neglected  involvement of women.

Read her article on the CJS Journal!

‘A Jewish Maestra and a Lady too’: Reflections on Femininity in the Career of Ethel Stark

Maria N. Rachwal is a musicologist and music teacher from Toronto, ON. Her work on women in classical music has been featured on the CBC Radio, as well as media throughout North America. Her book, “From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall: Ethel Stark and the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra,” was shortlisted for a Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature.

Ethel Stark changed the face of classical music forever by forming the first full all-women’s symphony orchestra and including the first Black female musician. The article in the Canadian Jewish Studies Journal titled “‘A Jewish Maestra and a Lady too’: Reflections on Femininity in the Career of Ethel Stark” highlights how this Austro-Canadian Jewish woman who lived outside the constraints of conventional domesticity, both navigated through and defied the ideals of the “Cult of True Womanhood”, to spearhead a movement of feminism in music. Read this article and more on the CJS Journal by clicking here: (

ACJS Louis Rosenberg Distinguished Service Award 2020 / Prix d’excellence Aéjc Louis Rosenberg en études canadiennes juives 2020

Français à suivre

The Rosenberg Award Committee of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies is now inviting members of our Association to submit nominations for the 2020 Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award.

Submissions should be accompanied by a statement outlining the individual’s or the institution’s background and justifying the suggestion. Since 2001, the award has been presented annually by the ACJS to an individual, group or institution that has made significant contributions to Canadian Jewish Studies in one or more fields. The deadline is March 15, 2020. If an appropriate recipient is identified, the award will be presented at our next annual meeting in Ottawa, Ontario on May 24-26, 2020.
 Please send your nominations to the chair of the award committee, Barry Stiefel,

Le comité du Prix Rosenberg de l’Association d’études juives canadiennes invite maintenant les membres de notre association à soumettre des candidatures pour le prix Louis Rosenberg 2020. Il s’agit d’un prix remis pour souligner l’excellence dans le domaine des études juives canadiennes.

Les propositions doivent être accompagnées d’une déclaration décrivantla personne ou la vocation de l’institution et qui justifie la candidature. Depuis 2001, leprix a été décerné chaque année par l’Aéjc à un individu, un groupe ou une institution qui a apporté une importante contribution aux études juives canadiennes dans un ou plusieurs champs. La date limite est le 15 Mars 2020. Si un candidat approprié est identifié, le prix sera remis lors de notre prochaineassemblée annuelle à Ottawa, en Ontario, le 24-26 Mai 2020.
 S’il vous plaît envoyer voscandidatures au président du comité de sélection, Barry Stiefel,

Canadian Jewish Studies

Canadian Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal devoted to original scholarship that illuminates any and all aspects of the Canadian Jewish experience. The Jounral publishes research in English and French in the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, economics, geography, demography, education, religion, linguistics, literature architecture, performing arts, and fine arts, among others. Published since 1993, the electronic version of the journal is free and accessible at .

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

To learn more about membership in the organization, please visit our website:

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