From Fragment to Whole

The foreword From Fragment to Whole, written by Arielle Berger and Jody Spiegel, provides the background to how Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung’s 1944 Yiddish manuscript came to the Azrieli Foundation’s publishing program and was given a new life and audience through its transformation into the new 2016 edition, The Vale of Tears.

Arielle Berger is the Managing Editor of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program at the Azrieli Foundation, where she has worked since 2010. She has managed the publication of more than 40 memoirs, including the foundation’s first anthology, an award-winning volume focusing on women’s survival during the Holocaust. Arielle has spoken about editing survivor memoirs and the future of Holocaust testimonies at a variety of events.

You can find the foreword here.

Switzer-Cooperstock Prize in Western Canadian Jewish History For 2020

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada invites applications for the 2020 Switzer-Cooperstock Prize in Western Canadian Jewish History.  This prize, established by the Switzer family to honour parents and grandparents, will be awarded for a publishable essay on Jewish history in Western Canada with some preference for essays on secular Jewish schools in Western Canada, Jewish settlers, farmers,  and traders in rural areas of Western Canada, and the immigration experience of Jews to Western Canada. Preference will be given to research specific to the Jewish experience in the urban centers and rural communities of the Canadian Prairie Provinces.

To apply or request further information, contact Mr. Stanislao Carbone, Director of Programs and Exhibits, Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada; 123 Doncaster Street; Winnipeg Canada , R3N 2B2. Email:

The Concordia University Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies Fall Schedule

The Concordia University Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies presents its Fall 2019 Programs:

September 16:  Professor Sarah Imhoff (Indiana University) spoke on  ” The ‘Crippled ‘ Zionist: Jessie Sampter, Religion, and Disability.” Co-sponsored with the Journal of Religion and Culture.

September 18:  Professor Samuel Kassow (Trinity College) presented the film “Who Will Write Our History” based on his book.  Co-sponsored with the Jewish Public Library and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center.

September 19: Professor Samuel Kassow (Trinity College) spoke on “Reportage in the Ghettos:

the writings of Peretz Opoczynski and Joseph Zelkowicz.” Co-sponsored with the Jewish Public Library and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center.

October 30: Conference on “Judaism and Gender” Co-sponsored with the Jewish Law Association and the Judaic Studies Program of the Department of Religions and Cultures.

October 31: The 2019 Joseph A. Kagedan-Kage Memorial Lecture: Professor Pierre Anctil of the University of Ottawa will speak on “Exploring the Complexity of Anti-Judaism in French Canadian Catholicism: the case of L’Action catholique newspaper (1931-1939)”

November 14: Le lancement du livre Les Juifs hassidiques de Montréal  en présence des deux directeurs de la publication, Pierre Anctil et Ira Robinson.  Avec le Réseau des études Québécoises à l’université Concordia (RÉQUC).

November 26: A public reading by writer George Ferenczi of his novel in progress, “Circus.”

For further information on the Institute:

email:; telephone: 514-848-2424, x2074; 



Call for Papers: ACJS 2020 in Ottawa

This just in! The time has come for the annual call for papers for the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies Conference! Mark your calendars, because this year’s conference will be held at the at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, on May 24-26, 2020. This year’s theme? “Canada’s Jews: Maintaining and Constructing Identity in a Multilingual Country.” 

We encourage proposal submissions for paper presentations of 20 minutes in length on any topic relating to Canada’s Jews in both official languages. Paper proposals are due on January 14th, 2020.

For more info on the specific requirements check out the official call for papers:

Translation of Rabbi Hirschprung in CJS

In 1941, Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung escaped nazi-occupied Poland and eventually arrived to Canada that same year. Just three years after his arrival, Rabbi Hirschprung published a remarkable book in Yiddish called “The Vale of Tears”. Continuing his influence, in 1969, Rabbi Hirschprung became the chief rabbi of Montreal. An excerpt from “The Vale of Tears” was translated by Vivian Felsen and is available in Vol 27 of the Canadian Jewish Studies (CJS) Journal. This book has resonated with many people in quite a profound way. Make sure you give it a read on the online CJS Journal (link below!)

Online Journal:

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Instagram Page: @acjsaejc
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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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Facebook Page: @Acjs.aejc

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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Instagram Page: @acjsaejc

Twitter Page: @ACJSaejc

Facebook Page: @Acjs.aejc

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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!