Awards

Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award

Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper

Inaugural Meeting of the Jewish Historical Society, Montreal, 1964

Inaugural Meeting of the Jewish Historical Society,  Montreal, 1964. Louis Rosenberg at the podium. Photo credit: Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives

About the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award

The ACJS established this award in 2001 to recognize the significant contribution by an individual, institution or group to Canadian Jewish Studies.In tribute to the scholarship of Louis Rosenberg, as of 2008 the award was named the “Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award.” Louis Rosenberg was a pioneer in the social scientific study of Canada’s Jews. Born in Poland in 1893, he moved with his family to England and studied at Leeds University (B.A., 1914). In 1915 he moved to Canada and, served as the director of settlement of the Jewish Colonization Association between 1919 and 1940. While in Saskatchewan he became active in the CCF and published, under the pseudonym Watt Hugh McCollum, a study of the concentration of wealth in Canada entitled Who Owns Canada? (1935, 1947). In 1939, he published his magnum opus on Canadian Jewry, Canada’s Jews (reprinted, 1993). Using the census data in a comprehensive and profound fashion, Rosenberg had few peers in the area of the study of Canadian demography. In 1945, Rosenberg was appointed to serve as “National Research Director” (and only employee) of the Bureau of Social and Economic Research at Canadian Jewish Congress, and he moved to Montreal. He produced a steady stream of social studies of Canada’s Jews, continuing to use the Canadian census material, but also conducting his own surveys. He wrote the several works of Jewish history, occasionally transcribing long primary sources in the process. His archives are located in both Ottawa (LAC) and Montreal (CJCCC). He died in 1987.

CJS Louis Rosenberg Distinguished Service Award 2018: Richard Menkis

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) is very pleased to announce Richard Menkis as the 2018 recipient of the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award. Professor Menkis has a long and very distinguished career as a strong advocate for and practitioner of the scholarship and teaching of Canadian Jewish studies.

Dr. Menkis received his PhD from Brandeis University in 1988 and for many years held a position in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies with a cross-appointment to the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. He is currently Associate Professor of Medieval and Modern Jewish History in the History Department at UBC. In addition to the surveys of medieval and modern Jewish history, he has taught advanced undergraduate courses on the Holocaust; Canadian Jewish history; fascism and antifascism; the historiography of genocide; and Jewish identity and the graphic novel. He continues to supervise both MA and PhD student theses at UBC and has served on PhD committees at other institutions.

Dr. Menkis’s research interests focus on Canadian Jewish studies, and he has published widely on the cultural and religious history of Canadian Jewry. His articles have appeared in American Jewish History, American Jewish Archives, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Canadian Jewish Studies and in a number of edited volumes. Dr. Menkis was co-author, with Harold Troper, of More Than Just Games: Canada and the 1936 Olympics (University of Toronto Press, 2015), a seminal work in the field that presents a thorough investigation of the responses and reactions of both Jewish and non-Jewish Canadian athletes and their communities to participation in the games. He is continuing the research for a publication, begun with Gerald Tulchinsky (z”l), on an aspect of the Canadian Jewish garment industry.

Dr. Menkis has helped lay the infrastructure for the study and teaching of Canadian Jewish history. He was the founding editor of Canadian Jewish Studies (CJS), the Association’s scholarly journal, guiding it carefully through the many stages of design and editorship to the successful publication of its first issue, in 1993. He taught one of the first courses in Canadian Jewish history, and his syllabus was widely consulted.

He was co-editor (with Norman Ravvin) of the landmark Canadian Jewish Studies Reader (Red Deer Press, 2004), which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Scholarship on a Jewish Subject in 2006 and is used in courses in Canadian Jewish studies.

For the 22-volume revision of the Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd edition, Macmillan, 2007), Menkis and Harold Troper were the Divisional co-editors for Canadian subjects, commissioning and editing some 240 individual articles; this represented a greatly expanded and a virtual reworking of all the entries dealing with Canada.

Dr. Menkis has played a very important role in the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies. In addition to founding CJS, he continued in his role as editor until the publication of a special issue devoted to a bibliography of works published since 1965 on “Jews and Judaism in Canada” in 1999-2000. He also was one of the four compilers of that bibliography. Another noteworthy special issue was the 1996-1997 volume focusing on Canadian perspectives on the Holocaust, for which he shared editorial responsibility with Paula Draper. After stepping down as CJSeditor, Richard co-edited (with Ira Robinson) one more double issue of the journal in 2005-2006, co-published with Jewish History.

He chaired the local arrangements committee (Faith Jones, Betty Nitkin and Ronnie Tessler) for the Association’s extremely successful Vancouver conference in 2008, when he also worked with his committee to assure funding through gifts and grants from local donors and agencies. He also co-edited with Faith Jones a “mini- festschrift” in honour of Seymour Levitan’s receiving the Association’s Louis Rosenberg Distinguished Service Award that same year.

Working with the lay community is of importance to the Association, and the award also acknowledges that Dr. Menkis has been extensively involved with Vancouver’s Jewish community. He has supported institutions such as the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) and the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia. He has served as the co-author of two exhibitions for the VHEC and has participated in public history projects with the Museum.

For his body of research, his leadership in the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies, his selfless devotion to academia, and his deep engagement with the wider Jewish community in Vancouver and beyond, Professor Richard Menkis is the very deserving recipient of the 2018 Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award.

Past Award Recipients

 Learn more about the Award Recipients

2017 – Ruth Panofsky
2016 – Janice Rosen
2015 – Pierre Anctil
2014 – Adam Fuerstenberg
2013 – Ira Robinson
2012 – Harold Troper
2011 – Marcia Koven
2010 – Eiran Harris
2009 – Seymour Mayne
2008 – Seymour Levitan
2007 – Cyril E. Leonoff
2006 – Irving Abella
2005 – Gerald Tulchinsky
2004 – Abraham Arnold
2003 – Ruth Goldbloom
2002 – Rabbi Gunther Plaut
2001 – Miriam Waddington

About the Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper

In  2011 our annual “best student paper” award was named the “Marcia Koven Award.” Marcia Koven was born in 1926 and throughout her life has been devoted to the preservation and transmission of the history of the Canadian Jewish community. She is the founder of the Saint John Jewish Historical Society and the creator of the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum. Koven received the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award in 2011. This award is sponsored by friends and relatives of Marcia Koven. There is a cash prize associated with this award.

Marcia Koven Award 2018:

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) is pleased to announce Magdalene Klassen as the recipient of the 2018 Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper presented at the 2018 ACJS conference, held at the McCord Museum and Concordia University in Montreal on May 12-14, 2018. Vardit Lightstone and Christopher Chanco also received honourable mention. This award is sponsored by friends and relatives of Marcia Koven.

L’Association d’études juives canadiennes (AÉJC) est heureuse d’annoncer que Magdalene Klassen a reçu le Prix Marcia Koven 2018 pour la meilleure communication par un(e) étudiant(e) présentée à la conférence annuelle de l’AÉJC, tenue au Musée McCord et à l’Université Concordia à Montréal du 12 au 14 mai 2018. Vardit Lightstone et Christopher Chanco ont également reçu une mention honorable. Ce prix est commandité par les amis et la famille de Marcia Koven.

Marcia Koven Award 2017:

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies is pleased to announce Gesa Trojan as the recipient of the 2017 Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper presented at the 2017 ACJS Conference held at Ryerson University in Toronto on 28-30 May 2017.  Simon-Pierre Lacasse also received Honourable Mention.  This award is sponsored by friends and relatives of Marcia Koven.

Winner of the 2017 Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper:
Gesa Trojan (Technische Universität Berlin): “’Add Matzo meal and stir well’: Food as a Practice and a Representation of Urban Jewishness in Interwar Toronto.”

Honourable Mention:
Simon-Pierre Lacasse (Université d’Ottawa):  “À la croisée de la Révolution tranquille et du judaïsme orthodoxe: l’implantation de la communauté hassidique des Tasher au coeur du Québec francophone et catholique (1962-1967).”

Marcia Koven Award 2016:

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies is pleased to announce Lindsey Jackson as the recipient of the 2016 Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper presented at the 2016 ACJS Conference held at the University of Calgary on 30-31 May 2016.  Daniel Simeone also received Honourable Mention.  This award is sponsored by friends and relatives of Marcia Koven.

Winner of the 2016 Marcia Koven Award for Best Student Paper:
Lindsay Jackson (Concordia) “Bloodless Bris: Intactivism and brit shalom in the Montreal Jewish Community”

Honourable Mention:
Daniel Simeone (McGill) “In Prison for Debt: Jewish Debtors in the Montreal District Prison between 1865 and 1900”

Yosef Robinson (Concordia) “‘Rewritten Bibles’ in Modern Canadian Literature”

Past Award Recipients

2015

Co-winners:

Antoine Burgard (UQÀM)/Université Lumière Lyon 2), Entre exigences administratives et attentes de la communauté, le Congrès Juif Canadien et l’immigration d’orphelins de la Shoah depuis l’Europe de l’immédiat après-guerre

Rebecca Margolis, PhD (University of Ottawa) and Meghan Cavanagh (University of Ottawa), Canadian Yiddish in the Internet Age

Honourable Mention:

Yosef Robinson (Concordia University),Montreal’s Keneder Odler in the 1920s and 1930s

2014

SJ Kerr-Lapsley, McGill University
“Roots, Routes and Bridges: An Introduction to the Involvement of Holocaust Survivors in Holocaust Education in Vancouver”

Honourable Mention:

Allie Cuperfain, Ryerson University
“The Identities of Toronto: An Analysis of UJA’s Annual Campaign 2012”

2013

Amy Coté, University of Victoria
“Analyzing Stories: (Re-)Reading Anne Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces after the I-Witness Field School”

Honourable Mention:

Maxa Sawyer, York University
“The Voices of Birthright Israel: Going Beyond the Jewish Homeland Narrative to Create a Realistic Relationship between the Jewish Canadian Diaspora and Israel”

2012

Kata Bohus, PhD student, Central European University, Budapest
“Standing together or staying apart? Contradictions of integration among 1956-er Hungarian Jewish refugees in Toronto”

Honourable Mention:

Faith Jones, University of British Columbia
“Grade’s Quarrel in Montreal”

2011

Adara Goldberg, PhD student, Clark University
“Left in the West: Orphaned Holocaust survivors in Western Canada”

and

Gary Smolyansky, MA student, York University
“Class, identity and ethnicity in Russian-speaking Jewish communities in post-WWII Canada”

2010

Faith Jones, MA student, University of British Columbia
“‘Di ershte un greste Yidishe bukh stor’: Miller’s Books advertising, 1910-1920”

2009

Tanhum Yoreh, York University
“Religious Geographies: A case study of Haredi consumption patterns in Canada and Israel”