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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Geographies of ethnic politics : Jewish survival and continuity in Vancouver BC Jackson, Sara Lindsay 2006

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GEOGRAPHIES OF ETHNIC POLITICS: JEWISH SURVIVAL AND CONTINUITY IN V A N C O U V E R BC By SARA LINDSAY JACKSON B. A. The University of Washington, 2003 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS OF T H E DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS In THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2006 © Sara Lindsay Jackson, 2006 ABSTRACT Judaism and the history of the Jewish Diaspora are full of stories of how the Jews have overcome innumerable threats to physical and spiritual survival. Assimilation is one of these pressures and today particularly in North America assimilation is commonly viewed as the greatest danger to Jewish survival and continuity. Historically, attempts to contain Jews and Judaism have been enforced from both inside and outside Jewish communities. Using Vancouver as a study site, this thesis investigates how the history of (Jewish) ethnic politics, intermarriage, matrilineal descent, and Canadian multiculturalism facilitate the racialization of Jewish boundaries from within the Jewish community itself. Through interviews with secular and religious community leaders as well as the use of archival materials the thesis also illustrates how smaller ethnic communities outside of Diasporic cultural centres (Toronto and Montreal in the case of Canadian Jews) both maintain and challenge dominant beliefs on assimilation and what it means to be Jewish. T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Figures v Preface vi Acknowledgements ix Chapter I Re-thinking Jews, Race and Representation 1 Racialization and Modern Jewish History 6 The 'New' Jewish Diaspora 13 Demystifying Canadian Jewish Scholarship 21 Methodology .. .29 Chapter II 'The War on Love': Intermarriage in Vancouver's Jewish Community 32 Family as Oracle or Measure of Social Ills 36 Reproduction of the Nation 42 Historical and Metaphorical Violence 49 Strategies for Improving Jewish Life 55 Conclusion .....68 Chapter III Policing the Ethnic Fence: A Brief History of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Canadian Multiculturalism 72 The Multicultural Zoo 77 Post WWII Jewish Whitening 80 Formulating Multicultural Policy (Cages) in the 1960s 85 The Institutionalization of Canadian Multiculturalism 91 Almost 3 decades of Multiculturalism (and the CJC) in Question 96 Enshrining Minority Rights .96 Multiculturalism and CJC on the fence 101 The Multicultural Zoo and the CJC Today 106 Conclusion..... 122 Conclusion 128 B i b l i o g r a p h y A p p e n d i x L I S T O F F I G U R E S Calgary Jewish Community Float salutes Canada's Centennial, 1967 PREFACE I cannot begin without first stating that in many ways this thesis is about the author as well as Vancouver's Jewish community. Or rather, the thesis is my way of working through my own struggle with the idea of Jewish 'survival' while living in Vancouver and going to graduate school. My relationship to Judaism and Jewish institutions will appear now and again throughout the thesis, but first I should mention at least a few of the more problematic aspects. They are not particularly uncommon for Jews in North America in my generation and may be familiar to non-Jews in North America as well. I am a child of intermarriage: my mother was raised more or less Jewish Orthodox, and my father is of Finnish descent.1 This combination has given me a strikingly Nordic appearance: tall, blond, almost blue eyes. Throughout my life as well as during the fieldwork conducted for this thesis, my appearance seems to confuse people. Although most deny the existence of a Jewish race that is recognizable through appearance (for the stereotypes of dark curly hair, big noses, etc. see Sander Gilman's The Jew's Body) or by name, my presence at Jewish events and my reasons for studying Jewish issues seems to be at times enigmatic. How did you become interested in this topic? Are you Jewish? Oh, you 're a child of intermarriage; ok, that explains why you 're here. Of course, once I explain my family history, I am welcomed. As one leader put it: I mean it might sound funny. I mean I hope I don't say anything to make you feel bad. You know I'm talking to a lovely fair skinned blond woman, blue-eyes, name Jackson. You're mother's Jewish. I'm like hey man, you're like, yah; right we're in there together. You know, you're me I'm you. In a way different from everybody else around here is. 1 He did eventually convert to Judaism, but now my parents are divorced. vi Now, this has always annoyed me. We're not supposed to be a race, yet my Jewishness is ambiguous because frankly, I look rather 'Aryan,' but then I say my mother is Jewish. Suddenly I'm welcomed, but continue to have to explain my family history every time I meet someone new at the synagogue or Jewish event. My experience as a racialized Jew is quite unlike my experience as a descendant of Finns. When I meet someone who has Finnish ancestry somehow we soon recognize each other and begin to talk about all the stoics in our families. And that's about it. My membership in a Diaspora has also caused me some consternation. Where is my home supposed to be? I'm certainly very American in many ways, but when I visited Israel as a young teenager I fell in love. I thought for some time I would retire to a kibbutz to teach music to children after a successful career in oboe. Then in university I began to learn more about the Israel-Palestine conflict and as the second intifada erupted, I chose to ignore, but not deny, my Jewish identity as Jewish holidays passed uncelebrated and often unnoticed. Around Passover one year I think I even told my mother that I didn't want to be Jewish anymore. But I have decided that being Jewish is impossible for me to ignore and in fact, I don't want to ignore my Jewishness, which is a decision that is in many ways an outcome of the thesis research and writing process. If I have children I want.them to be Jewish, regardless of the father's affiliation or family history. Sometimes I worry that I have become more conservative. Judaism, after all, is in many ways an exclusionary religion and culture, but many Jews realize there are ways to open up the circle and let more people in without threatening the survival of Judaism. For me, one way to open Judaism is to critique the 2 One of my history teachers in high school who was Jewish liked to use one of my brothers and me as examples of Hitler's fallacy in constructing an identifiable Jewish race. institutions, religious and secular, that draw the lines of exclusion. Hopefully, in some small way this thesis can do something to alleviate concerns about the future of Judaism in what is in many ways a rather conservative Jewish community in a very liberal city. v i n ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As with any project, there are many people without whom this thesis would not have been possible. First, I must thank my advisor David Ley for his patience and guidance throughout the last two years and for encouraging me to explore a variety of topics while also showing me how to focus on only one. Dan Hiebert for being a great intellectual and professional support throughout the thesis process as well as during my teaching assistantship this past year. Gerry Pratt for being a supportive member of my committee as well as giving me a number of excellent reading recommendations. Elvin Wyly for his encouragement, seemingly eternal optimism and 'positivism.' Greg Feldman for helping me figure out Geography and always having something amusing to say. Junnie Cheung for working incredibly patiently with flustered graduate students like me. A thank you must go to Carl, Sylvia and the Outlook Magazine Vancouver Collective for your support and encouragement. I must express my gratitude for all of the Jewish leaders in Vancouver who took the time out of their busy schedules to talk to me about what it means to be Jewish. Thank you Diane Rodgers from the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia for helping me dig through archives and Jeff Bradshaw of the CJC Pacific Region for granting me permission to use the CJC archives. I must thank my Geography 520 cohort for not taking themselves too seriously despite so much pressure. My writing group: Kevin, Gina, Bonnie, Caleb, Caro, Joanna, and Jessica for all of their wonderful encouragement and delicious snacks. Sonya Powell for fruit smoothies, unconditional love and knitting. Liz Lee for your verve despite Vancouver's inclement weather. Kathy Sherrell for your loving wisdom. Jo Long for wonderful wit and hot cups of tea. The 'other' Andrew Jackson for incredible love and inspiration despite too many frustrations and complications. Amanda, Caroline, Gina, Pablo, Vanessa, Tenny, Lachlan, Kristin, Jen, Kevin, and Luna for friendship and much amusement. I must of course also thank my Denver and Seattle friends for always reminding me where my homes are. Linda, hopefully we'll have at least another twenty years. Stephanie, Lara, Ellen, William, the Coopers, Erin, Meave, Hannah, Maria, Brook, Dan, Sarah, and Crystal for your love and hospitality worldwide. My final thank you goes to my family—mom, dad, Dan, Drew, and now Amelia, little Meyer as well as Grandma Fischer and Aunt Phyllis. Not only does my Judaism come out of the history you have tried to maintain and challenge, but also through the support and inspiration you have all given me in pursuing my path(s). This is for you Jacksons— past, present and future. I love you all. CHAPTER I Re-thinking Jews, Race and Representation Recently, Nathan Glazer has lamented the future of Judaism. In an essay entitled "American Jewry or American Judaism?" the Harvard sociologist and cornerstone critic of assimilation scholarship1 has made some frustrated reflections on Jewish identity in the United States since his 1972 book American Judaism. Not only is he disturbed that Jews have assimilated too much into mainstream American culture, but also with the ways that Jews are now challenging assimilation. He argues that practices have become more significant to all Jews (including the Orthodox) rather than the beliefs that have sustained Judaism in the past and that the idea of Jewish survival privileges ethnic over religious continuity. What sustains [Jews] now is the fear of physical destruction, a reality in the past, and a reasonable possibility in the future. That gives us our agenda today, and perhaps for many years to come. But it is a different agenda, I believe, from that of two thousand years of Jewish history, and not one that has the staying power of the religion of the past.3 As in the past, fear plays a central role in Jewish identity. However, the fear is no longer buttressed by religious belief, and religious belief he argues is what has sustained Judaism for over five thousand years, as well as the last two thousand years in Diaspora since the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem. Instead, what it really means to be Jewish, 1 Glazer co-authored with Daniel P. Moynihan Beyond the Melting Pot in 1963, which is a critique of the straight-line assimilation literature that came out of immigration scholarship in the first half of the 20 t h century. They worked to dispel the myth of a uniform 'American' and argue that although 'cultural pluralism' is unlikely due to loss of language and culture between immigrants and their children, assimilation and how immigrants view assimilation create different outcomes among groups. Glazer, Nathan and Daniel P. Moynihan. Beyond the Melting Pot. Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1963. 2 Glazer, Nathan. American Judaism. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1972. 3 Glazer, Nathan. "American Jewry or American Judaism?" Essential Readings on Jewish Identities, Lifestyles and Beliefs: Analyses of the Personal and Social Diversity of Jews by Modern Scholars. Ed. Stanford M . Lyman. New York: Gordon Knot Books, 2003: 11. 1 despite all of the other aspects of Judaism that continue, is to survive. Canadian Jewry, are in many ways facing a similar dilemma. Although Canadian Jewish history differs somewhat from that of the United States, assimilation remains a pressing issue as intermarriage rates increase and affiliation rates decrease. Irving Abella, a prominent Jewish scholar and leader, expresses concerns comparable to Glazer's. Canadian Jews live in a society in which Jewish lives are not in danger. What is in danger is Jewish life—and to many that is equally serious. Growing assimilation and intermarriage rates in the United States are a real concern to Canadian Jews. In North America, living as a Jew is only one option among many. No external force imposes itself on us or forces us to live in ghettos or wear badges or carry identifying labels in our passports. And when living as a Jew is a choice we must be able to offer our children more than simply an invitation to survive.4 Both internal and external boundaries of Judaism have eroded. The boundaries established by religious beliefs for example kosher food laws, eruvim,5 and the prohibition against intermarriage are no longer followed by many Jews. We are, according to the Orthodox, living an 'inauthentic' Jewish life.6 External boundaries due to religious and ethnic discrimination such as anti-Semitism and ghettoization have diminished tremendously in Canada over the last fifty or sixty years thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Congress and according to some, the establishment of Israel which legitimized Jews as a nation. The decrease of discrimination has on the other hand led to an increase in Jewish assimilation as well as the 'whitening' of most Jews. 4 Abella, Irving. "Foreward: Multiculturalism, Jews, and Forging a Canadian Identity." Multiculturalism, Jews, and Identities in Canada. Ed. Howard Adelman and John. H . Simpson. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1996: xix. 5 Evuvim proscribe where Jews may do work such as carrying something or pushing a pram on Shabbat. 6 See Charme 2000 for a discussion of the debates over authenticity in North American Judaism. 2 Although Canadian Jews tend to be more religious and conservative than American Jews, where the Reform movement is much stronger,7 in communities such as Vancouver the erosion of these boundaries feels like a problem to many Jewish leaders. In Vancouver, as the general population has grown so too has the Jewish population with current estimates between 25,000 and 30,000 in Greater Vancouver. Like many others, Jews are moving to Vancouver, but as many leaders expressed to me, you do not move to Vancouver to be around other Jews. You move to Vancouver for the anonymity. Outside of the major Canadian Jewish centres of Montreal and Toronto, Vancouver has surpassed Winnipeg as the city with the third largest Jewish population in Canada. Nonetheless, despite this continual growth the survival of the Jewish people both as a community today as well as the existential idea of a people is of great concern to many Jewish leaders and institutions in Vancouver. It has also caused me anxiety as I have struggled with my own Jewish identity for many years. But rather than be concerned about the survival of the Jewish people, I am more interested in what 'survival' means. In my thesis I am not investigating how Jews have assimilated into Canadian society, but how Jewish leaders and institutions understand and challenge assimilation. The claim of Jewish difference from other groups is central to how Judaism is maintained and fits well within the theoretical developments in Diaspora studies over the last fifteen years or so. No longer just a descriptive term, I want to use Diaspora as a politicizing term to understand how power is claimed and maintained through a unifying Diasporic identity within the modern bounded nation-state. For Jewish communities in North America like my family, a politicized Diaspora facilitates both solidarity within the community as Canadian, but it also can 7 See Abellal996 for US-Canada differences in the Reform movement, and Tulchinski 1993b for US-Canada Zionism. 3 increase connections and support to Israel-Palestine for both religious and political purposes that in many cases overlook the violence against the Palestinians perpetrated by the Israeli state. This leads me to a more specific question: How are Jewish institutions claiming difference as a Diaspora and how do these processes sustain and recreate both the Jewish and Canadian nations? Caigiry Jr**h Centie Calgary Jewish Community Float salutes Canada's Centennial, 1967 F igu re 1 Source: Canadian Jewish Congress. Pathways to the Present: Canadian Jewry and CJC. Toronto 21 s t Assembly 1986: 85. Reprinted with permission from the CJC Pacific Region. In this image we see the reproduction of the Jewish and Canadian nation through the Calgary Jewish community's 1967 centennial celebration float. The image draws on gender as the women are the sites of both Jewish and Canadian reproduction, and the historicity of the Jewish people is displayed in the women's robes and menorah. This image is a metaphor for the aims of this thesis transposed to Vancouver. Intermarriage, which in Judaism is a 4 heavily gendered issue, is a classic measure of assimilation and states such as Canada as well as many Jews have sought multiculturalism as an alternative to assimilation. In this thesis I argue that not only are national boundaries of Jewishness created through the institutions of marriage and multiculturalism, but also that rhetoric within Vancouver's Jewish community can be self-racializing. The boundaries that were once created externally are now being recreated internally and in many ways evoke a history of Jewish racialization. I am not attempting to recreate Jews as a race. Rather, I want to tease out the ways that discourses about Judaism and Jewishness often draw from constructions of race that remain despite all the efforts made (for the most part successfully) to debunk scientific racism. In Geography, studies of race and racialization often intersect with gender, whiteness and national identity and are rooted in place-specific contexts.9 This thesis attempts to address these issues while also adding to discussions in both Jewish and Canadian ethnic studies on how group boundaries are maintained, eroded and reinforced. Vancouver is defined both regionally and nationally as a Canadian city on the western frontier as well as a booming city located on the West Coast of North America. Both of these locations play an important role in the 'survival'—physically and philosophically—of Jews in Vancouver. The thesis is divided into three chapters and a conclusion. This chapter examines three literatures related to Jewish ethnic politics: racialization, Diaspora, and Canadian Jewish survival. Chapter Two will explore how intermarriage represents an anathema to Judaism and how matrilineal descent is interpreted in Vancouver's Jewish community. Chapter Three is a brief history of the relationship between the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Canadian state policy of multiculturalism and the evolving racial position of 8 See Clark 1998. 9 See Pred 2004, Mitchell 2004, Bonnett 1997, Kobayashi, 1994. ; 5 Canadian Jews. The sections of this chapter that follow provide some theoretical and historical context for the remaining chapters. I will end with a description of the methodologies used in the thesis. Racialization and Modern Jewish History The history of Jewish racialization begins in the late eighteenth century when Jews became emancipated in Europe, coinciding with the emergence of the modern nation-state, European colonization and the increasing salience of racial hierarchies. Jewish racialization led to exclusion and for the majority of Jews in Europe extermination during the Nazi Holocaust. Although this thesis is about Canada and Vancouver, the process of Jewish racialization in Europe has lasting affects on Jewish life worldwide and is a necessary starting point for understanding the internalization of Jewish difference. Hannah Arendt, writing after 1945, is a key scholar on Jewish racialization as she connects the emergence of anti-Semitism with the imperialism and totalitarianism that led to the Nazi Holocaust. In Part One of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt argues that the ways European states viewed Jews changed from a religious to a racial distinction in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as Jews were emancipated.10 Before emancipation, Jews were identified as a religious group and it was religious persecution and segregation that maintained Jewish difference from Christian (and to a lesser extent Muslim) Europe. The nation-states had a political economic motivation to emancipate the Jews, as Jewish credit and capital were needed to finance the development of the modern nation-state, because no one else was interested in lending money. However, by granting Jews equality, 1 0 Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 1976. The Jews were emancipated in what is now Canada in 1834. See Tulchinski 1993 for more on early Jewish communities in Canada and their political emancipation and participation. 6 n a t i o n - s t a t e s f e a r e d t h a t J e w s w o u l d a s s i m i l a t e i n t o t h e n o n - c r e d i t o r p o p u l a t i o n s . It w a s a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t t h e i d e a o f ' S e m i t e s ' e m e r g e d i n E u r o p e t o d e s c r i b e J e w s a n d A r a b s w h o s u p p o s e d l y s h a r e t h e s a m e a n c e s t r a l h o m e i n w h a t i s n o w I s r a e l - P a l e s t i n e a n d t h e M i d d l e E a s t . I n a d d i t i o n t o h e r d i s c u s s i o n o f J e w s a n d t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f n a t i o n - s t a t e s , w h a t I f i n d s o p r o v o c a t i v e a b o u t A r e n d t i s t h a t s h e a r g u e s t h a t t h e r a c i a l i z a t i o n o f J e w s w a s b e n e f i c i a l t o b o t h a n t i - S e m i t e s i n E u r o p e a n d t o J e w s w h o d i d n o t w a n t t o a s s i m i l a t e . A s t h e t r a d i t i o n s o f J u d a i s m b e g a n t o e r o d e , t h e o l d b o u n d a r i e s o f w h a t i t m e a n t t o b e J e w i s h b e g a n t o f a d e f r o m w i t h i n J e w i s h c o m m u n i t i e s a s e m a n c i p a t i o n l e d t o a s s i m i l a t i o n . T h e b i r t h a n d g r o w t h o f m o d e r n a n t i - s e m i t i s m h a s b e e n a c c o m p a n i e d b y a n d i n t e r c o n n e c t e d w i t h J e w i s h a s s i m i l a t i o n , t h e s e c u l a r i z a t i o n a n d w i t h e r i n g a w a y o f t h e o l d r e l i g i o u s a n d s p i r i t u a l v a l u e s o f J u d a i s m . W h a t a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d w a s t h a t g r e a t p a r t s o f t h e J e w i s h p e o p l e w e r e a t t h e s a m e t i m e t h r e a t e n e d b y p h y s i c a l e x t i n c t i o n f r o m w i t h o u t a n d d i s s o l u t i o n f r o m w i t h i n . I n t h i s s i t u a t i o n , J e w s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e s u r v i v a l o f t h e i r p e o p l e w o u l d , i n a c u r i o u s d e s p e r a t e m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , h i t o n t h e c o n s o l i n g i d e a t h a t a n t i - s e m i t i s m , a f t e r a l l , m i g h t b e a n e x c e l l e n t m e a n s f o r k e e p i n g t h e p e o p l e t o g e t h e r , s o t h a t t h e a s s u m p t i o n o f e t e r n a l a n t i s e m i t i s m w o u l d e v e n i m p l y a n e t e r n a l g u a r a n t e e o f J e w i s h e x i s t e n c e . 1 1 S h o r t s i g h t e d n e s s a n d t h e i n a b i l i t y t o a c t p o l i t i c a l l y t o i m p r o v e t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i s h o w A r e n d t e x p l a i n s J e w i s h i n a c t i o n l e a d i n g u p t o t h e N a z i H o l o c a u s t . O f c o u r s e t h e J e w i s h p o l i t i c a l m o v e m e n t Z i o n i s m c o m p l i c a t e s t h e s i m p l i c i t y o f t h i s a r g u m e n t , b u t I t h i n k i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e . T h e f e a r o f a s s i m i l a t i o n a n d n o t o n l y t h e a c c e p t a n c e b u t expectation o f a n t i - S e m i t i s m c o n t i n u e s t o d a y a s i n s t i t u t i o n s s t r u g g l e t o m a i n t a i n b o u n d a r i e s o f J e w i s h n e s s w i t h o u t t h e b l a t a n t a n t i - S e m i t i s m o f t h e e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . R a c e a n d t h e i d e a o f a J e w i s h r a c e a r e c e n t r a l t o t h e a s s i m i l a t i o n / a n t i - S e m i t i s m d i c h o t o m y . I n t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y a n d t h e s e a r c h f o r t o l e r a n c e f o r J e w s i n E u r o p e , W e n d y B r o w n a r g u e s t h a t J e w i s h n e s s w a s m a r k e d b y p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o s u s t a i n " J e w i s h n e s s 1 1 Arendt, Hannah. 1976: 7. 7 through the process of assimilation as definitions of Jewishness rooted in nationhood or religious belief could not."12 In a culture fascinated by scientific racism and social Darwinism,13 physical differences began to define Jews and Jewishness as social and cultural distinctions of Judaism eroded. Reflecting developments of the nation-state and secularism, without their own state and with new notions of citizenship, Jewishness as opposed to Judaism allowed for the decline of religious practice and national identity while allowing Jews to continue living in European society as individuals—circumstances strikingly similar to Glazer's lament today. The tolerance of the nation-state towards its Jews allowed political elites to maintain control over national populations, such as the British or French, who were not as homogeneous as the ideals of the nation-state model might suggest. The redefinition of Jews as a race facilitated their integration into nations such as France, which at the time was defined as the homeland for the 'French race.' For French Jews in the nineteenth century, Brown argues that even Jewish racial superiority was conceivable as the French race allowed Jews to be 'tolerated' as co-nationals. If both Jews and the French, as racial types, were figured as sharing a bourgeois orientation toward family, work, money, and the future, and if both the Revolution of 1789 and ancient Israel were figured as historical episodes expressing a collective aspiration to liberty, equality, and fraternity, then not only were the French and the Jews each an elect people, they were compatible elects. This line of thinking produced yet another argument of assimilation, one having utility for the French bourgeoisie as well as for Jews, in which Jewish blood coursing through France was conceived as strengthening French society and improving the overall stock of a nation already at the forefront of world history.14 1 2 Brown, Wendy. "Tolerance and/or Equality? The 'Jewish Question' and the 'Woman Question.' differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. 15:2 (2004): 6. 1 3 See Gould 1996. Arendt argues that Darwinism was so popular "because it provided, on the basis of inheritance, the ideological weapons for race as well as class rule and could be used for, as well as against, race discrimination." 1976: 178. 1 4 Brown, Wendy. 2004: 8. 8 The assimilation of bourgeois Jews in post-Revolutionary France was seen as a benefit to both the French and the Jews. It was later immigrations of the more stereotypic Jews from eastern European that were considered threatening to French national identity. Following this immigration of less desirable Jews, the Dreyfus affair in 1894 demonstrated the limits of tolerance in the late nineteenth century when Dreyfus, a French (and Jewish) military officer was falsely accused of being a German spy. The show-trial and the realization that there were limits to Jewish acceptance by French society became a turning point for the Zionist movement as many Jews realized they needed their own state in a world of nation-states.15 In seeking an explanation for the Nazi Holocaust, Arendt also probes the Jewish community for their own internalization of the racializing discourses that inevitably led to their demise. The figure of Disraeli, Member of Parliament and Prime Minister of Great Britain, is prominent in her discussion of Jews, race and anti-Semitism. He was in many ways emblematic of the paradox of Jewish chauvinism that evolved out of emancipation and assimilation. Judaism and belonging to the Jewish people, degenerated into a simple fact of birth only among assimilated Jewry. Originally it had meant a specific religion, a specific nationality, the sharing of specific memories and specific hopes, and, even among the privileged Jews, it meant at least still sharing specific economic advantages. Secularization and assimilation of the Jewish intelligentsia had changed self-consciousness and self-interpretation in such a way that nothing was left of the old memories and hopes but the awareness of belonging to a chosen people. Disraeli, though certainly not the only 'exception Jew' to believe in his own chosenness without believing in Him who chooses and rejects, was the only one who produced a full-blown race doctrine out of this empty concept of a historic mission.16 Judaism transformed to Jewishness as religious practice was abandoned in favour of increasing assimilation. However, Jewish identity was maintained through what could be 1 5 See Shain 2000 on Theodore Herzl a Jewish journalist who covered the Dreyfus Affair. Afterwards, he became a pioneer of the Zionist movement that sought a nation-state for the Jews as a Jewish homeland in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. 1 6 Arendt, Hannah. 1976: 73. 9 considered a perversion of religious belief: that Jews are spiritually chosen. Chosenness was no longer a religious distinction to Disraeli, but a racial one. Jewish destiny to be chosen based on religious practice was reinterpreted to mean racial superiority. A biological and racialized expectation of chosenness continues to be a way to contest assimilation. Susan A. Glenn sees blood as central to the phenomenon of 'Jewhooing'17 since the advent of Jewish emancipation. She argues "It is one of the ironies of modern Jewish history that concepts of tribalism based on blood and race have persisted not only in spite of but also because of the experience of assimilation."18 Disraeli's idea of Jews as the 'chosen race' is based on tribalism drawing from a religious metaphor. The perpetuation of the connections between Jews biologically by a prominent Jew in Europe turned out to be incredibly dangerous. Rather than fighting the construction of Jews as a racial, biologically defined group, what happened in the years leading up to WWII and arguably to some extent today, were not constructions of cultural definitions of Judaism as a religion or ethnicity defined by language,19 but, in fascist ideology, as a group defined biologically either through their appearance or birth. The visibility of Jewishness despite assimilation (that had yet to whiten Jews) is explored in Sander Gilman's The Jew's Body. Visibility through stereotypes and myths attached to the (male) Jewish body marks Jews as different. Maintaining Jewish visibility and preventing whiteness, Gilman argues, was the motivation behind creating the 'Semitic' race. The very choice of the label 'anti-Semitism' was to create the illusion of a new scientific discourse for the hatred of the Jews and to root this hatred in the inherent difference of their language. And their language was believed to reflect their essence. This canard had to do only with the social construction of ideas of race, not with any 1 7 A pun on the search engine Yahoo meaning the tracking of who is Jewish and disseminating the information. 1 8 Glen, Susan. 2002: 140. 1 9 Yiddish was the Jewish langue used in northern Europe and Ladino in the Mediterranean. Until the formation of the state of Israel, Hebrew was used only for religious purposes. 10 linguistic entity. It has no validity except as a marker of the discourse of Jewish difference. 2 0 Jewish racial difference was disguised as linguistic difference and the forms o f Yiddish culture. Semitism as a concept was developed in the late sixteenth century by August Ludwig von Schlozer "to designate both a family of languages and a related group of peoples." 2 1 However, according to Hess, Semitism soon became part of Orientalism and in the nineteenth century Semites were categorized as a race to compare with Aryans, Indo-Europeans and Indo-Germanics. B y the time the term anti-Semitism emerged in the 1870s, antagonism towards the Jewish race—defined linguistically but applied biologically— was situated within the discourse of European racialization that imperialism realized on a worldwide scale. Arendt argues that imperialism, justified by 'race-thinking,' in addition to anti-Semitism was also crucial to the rise of totalitarianism in Part Two of The Origins of Totalitarianism. A s European colonization of the world particularly in Africa expanded, new definitions and refinements o f race ideology emerged to justify the (violent) exploitation o f peoples and their lands. Bureaucracies also developed to manage and legitimize exploitation from afar. Arendt states the symbiosis of these two constructs eloquently. "Race, in other words, was an escape into an irresponsibility where nothing human could any longer exist, and bureaucracy was the result o f a responsibility that no man can bear for his fellowman and 22 no people for another people." This potent combination is undoubtedly what made the Naz i Holocaust so efficient and virulent after the collapse of the 'age of empire.' However, as 2 0 Gilman, Sander. The Jew's Body. New York: Routledge, 1991:5. 2 1 Hess, Jonathan M. "Johann David Michaelis and the Colonial Imaginary: Orientalism and the Emergence of Racial Antisemitism in Eighteenth-Century Germany." Jewish Social Studies. 6:2 (2000): 56. 2 2 Arendt, Hannah. 1976: 207. 2 3 See Hobsbawm 1987. 11 'vacant' lands outside of Europe were quickly claimed, external domination was soon complemented by internal colonization in the form of nationalist movements. A s nationalist movements were gaining strength in Europe, the Jewish question asked (as always) where the Jews belong since they lack a homeland. The success of Jews at maintaining a strong cultural identity despite their lack of a homeland, Arendt argues, is why the growing nationalist movements in Europe saw Jews as their adversaries. Jewish 'chosenness' and the success of this ideology in unifying the Jews competed directly with the espoused 'chosenness' o f the pan-German and pan-Slavic movements that were much more strongly identified with physical homelands. A s Jews maintained their identity as not-quite-European and therefore not-quite-white, their national identity as Jewish as opposed to German, Russian, etc. was a racial distinction. Although this is only a brief discussion of the racialization of Jews in the nineteenth century, the image of 'the Jew' as 'other' emerged as a way to distinguish an assimilating group from the dominant population. Jews for centuries were segregated from European societies because of religious convention and hostile neighbours and states. However, there always remained some level of interaction between Jewish and local elites. The racialization of Jews was a way for the newly emerging nation-states to manage what were inconveniently diverse populations. The acceptance of that category was a way for Jews to maintain their identities despite decreasing religious participation. Unfortunately, as imperialism collapsed and totalitarianism swept across Europe, the anti-Semitism-assimilation dichotomy and the racialization of the Jews failed to ensure Jewish survival. Both scientific racism and Jewish racialization have been discounted since the end of W W I I . However, ideas of race persist and categorizations of people based on their blood ties 12 continue to be an important source of cultural, social and political identities. Jewish uniqueness as a people also remains central to how many Jews see themselves and their history. This thesis explores how interpretations of Jewish uniqueness, if not 'chosenness', persist and I argue can pose a danger to Jews and Judaism. How Jews, both as individuals and groups, maintain interpretations as an 'original' and 'unique' Diaspora along with the potential power that brings to Jewish identity is the focus of the next section. The 'New' Jewish Diaspora What it means to be Jewish has been transformed radically in the last sixty years since the realization of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust and the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. At the same time, questions of how and why to maintain Jewish boundaries continue to be asked. In North America, one important aspect is the 'whitening' of Jews, which will be further discussed in Chapter 3 as increased economic, political, and social participation has created favourable new locations for Jews in Canada's racial hierarchy. What I will explore in this section is how the meaning of 'Diaspora' has changed for Jews in Canada and elsewhere since the formation of Israel and the role of racialization in this process. Traditionally, Jews have been seen as one of the 'original' Diasporas as Judaism, its culture, and religion have been maintained for some two thousand years after their exodus from the land of Israel.25 However, since the formation of the State of Israel, the Jewish Diaspora has more than just mythical, religious qualities. The contemporary Jewish Diaspora has real as well as emotional transnational connections that maintain Jewish difference in 2 4 See Glen 2002, Bonnett 2000, Hill Collins 2000. 2 5 Depending on who you ask the 'land of Israel' was not so much a physical place but the descendents of Jacob (Yisrael) whereas today the State of Israel has defined borders. 13 countries such as Canada where Jewish institutions play a large role in supporting Israel both politically and economically. The Diaspora that I want to understand is the politicized and active contemporary Diaspora that draws from religious and historical foundations to empower contemporary institutions. Since decolonization following WWII and rapidly expanding transportation and communication technologies, a bevy of new Diasporas has emerged complicating the traditional largely Jewish understanding of the term. This has led to a growing literature that seeks to define who is and who is not a Diaspora.26 The de-rooting of identities from place is one of the great attractions of the Diaspora literature both for geographers and immigration scholars. Researching the people, the places, the practices, and relationships that transnational movements (both physical and emotional) engender reveals new cartographies of belonging previously overlooked.27 However, I would like to take a moment to clarify some of my own confusion between Diasporas and transnationalism. Simultaneously with the growing popularity of Diaspora studies we see the emergence of transnational studies, which overlap some of the major themes of de-rooting identities. Clifford sees this overlap in Rouse's pioneering study published in Diaspora's first issue. Immigrants' movements between the towns of Aguililla in Mexico and Redwood City, California arguably have "diasporic dimensions" that shape "their practices and cultures of displacement." Rouse takes the boundaries of a community and extends his analysis of social relations beyond a specific, bounded place defying the functionalist's (and perhaps 2 6 See Brubaker 2005, Carter 2005, Reis 2004, Clifford 1994, Brubaker refers to the proliferation of definitions as the "'diaspora' diaspora—a dispersion of the meanings of the term in semantic, conceptual and disciplinary space." Brubaker, Rogers. "The 'diaspora' diaspora." Ethnic and Racial Studies. 28:1 (2005): 1. 2 7 See Glick Schiller et al 1995; Portes et al 1999; Vertovec 1999; Guarnizo 1998; Levitt 2001a for some examples of the relationships between immigrants, their children and sending societies. See Rouse 1991 and Mitchell 1997 for discussion of how transnationalism is as a theoretical construct interlinked with post-structuralism to destabilize categories that have often been viewed as fixed in time and space. 2 8 Clifford, James. "Diasporas." Cultural Anthropology. 9:3 (1994): 303. 14 structuralist's) desire for consistency and coherence. He also questions the core/periphery construct, which for Jews in Canada is multifaceted as Vancouver's community is oriented towards multiple cores: Toronto/Montreal, the United States, Israel, to a lesser extent (old and new) Europe and as will be seen throughout this thesis, the institutions in Vancouver that are in many ways autonomous. Like Gilroy's description of the Black Atlantic, the Jewish Diaspora is a webbed network, asymmetrical in its challenges to national identity. 2 9 However, what makes Rouse's analysis transnational in character rather than Diasporic according to Clifford is that the geography of Rouse's analysis is concrete as "borderlands are distinct in that t h e y presuppose a territory defined by a geopolitical line;" whereas "Diasporas usually presuppose longer distances and a separation more like exile." 3 0 Transnationalism and transmigrants are defined 31 by their practices that literally cross borders, which can also be emotional. However, it is both the distance and the pain of dispersal that create a Diaspora. The reasons for dispersal, whether they be economic, social or political, are not as significant as the longing and the undesirability of that separation. The loss of a homeland as opposed to simply leaving a homeland is one way of simplifying the definitions. For Jews, the blooming interest in Diaspora studies, coinciding with the creation of a new 'homeland,' produces a number of fascinating paradoxes. How does the meaning of Diaspora change for Jews? Does the historical loss of a homeland contradict the present ability of Jews to immigrate to Israel? Does this contradict our self-definition as a Diaspora? Why has this transformation been largely neglected by geographers? Leaving aside fictional 2 9 Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, M A : Harvard University Press, 1993. 3 0 Clifford, James 1994: 304. 3 1 See Wolf 1997 for a fascinating exploration of how second generation Filipinas in the United States exhibit what Wolf labels emotional transnationalism to ease generational tension. 15 accounts such as Philip Roth's Operation Shy lock32 where a call for Jewish authenticity means Diasporization or a return to Diaspora (something perhaps Glazer is unconsciously yearning for), how do we reconceptualize Jews as a Diaspora with a homeland? I think the key lies in Clifford's definition of distance and loss. The state of Israel that exists today is not the mythical, religious homeland of two thousand years ago. Rather, it is a geopolitical construct based on the modern concept of the nation-state not the tribes of Israel and their much less clearly defined territory. The Jewish cultures of North America and Israel are derived from cultures of exile whether they are European, African or Asian. Although there is a new 'homeland' for the Jews, the spatial and temporal distances and definitions from the original homeland remain. This is, obviously, not an interpretation of Israel according to Orthodox Judaism, but I think it is accurate from a geographic perspective. The idea of a culturally rooted homeland in the land of Israel was lost thousands of years ago. The word 'Jew' itself is derived from the Diasporic experience and comes from 33 the word Yehudi, the tribe of Judah, which appeared during exile in Persia. The contemporary Jewish state of Israel arguably came into being through anti-Semitism in Europe and colonization in an attempt to put an end to the Jewish question: 'where do the Jews belong?' But at the same time, although there are incredibly strong ties between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, many Jews have no desire to move there, especially due to the 3 2 Roth, Philip. Operation Shylock: A Confession. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. 3 3 The following explanation was given to me by Alternative leader A in Vancouver and is found in the story of Purim. The first person to be called a Jew was Mordechai. He's Mordechai hayehudi. And why was that? Because he was from the tribe of Judah and the nation and the kingdom of Judah in exile. If you live at home and you've always lived there for centuries and centuries and centuries you're not a yehudi, right? You live in the town or whatever. But when they were taken to Babylonia and the Persians conquered the Babylonians and he's living in this Persian place, he's identified in the book of Ester as Mordechai hayehudi and that's where the word yehudi came from and 'Jew' comes from that in English. 16 political climate. 'Dual loyalty' which in the past has threatened Jewish stability in 'guest' countries such as Canada34 continues to be a by-product of the Diasporic experience, complicated now if 'Jew' and 'Israeli' were understood as the same identity, which of course they are not. Since the formation of Israel and the Nazi Holocaust, as I have previously stated, the survival of Jews in Diaspora is in doubt and is a preoccupation of Jewry worldwide evident both in Jewish media and scholarship. Sheffer argues that we can no longer view the Jewish Diaspora as unique and must turn to recent theoretical developments to understand the relationships between Israel and worldwide Jewry.35 Alongside this fear, the perception of Jews as a unique 'classic Diaspora' has evolved, unique because the idea of a Jewish homeland has survived since antiquity and has created for many "a sense of national solidarity."36 However, the formation of the state of Israel transformed Jews from "historical stateless diaspora" to a "historical state-linked diaspora." A new power dynamic arose out of the formation of the state of Israel that modifies both how the Jewish Diaspora is seen and sees itself as a now legitimized player in the nation-state system. Although there are many avenues to pursue a contemporary analysis of'Diaspora' and what that means for Jews, I would like to focus on what Boyarin and Boyarin call the Powers of Diaspora?* The Boyarins argue that the existence of Diasporas has always disturbed and threatened the idea of a world polity made up of coherent, bounded 'autonomous centres;' in other words, the nation-state system. This is the power that 3 4 See Sheffer 2002. 3 5 Sheffer, Gabriel. " A Nation and its Diaspora: a Re-examination of Israeli-Jewish Diaspora Relations." Diaspora. 11:3 (2002): 331-358. 3 6 Sheffer, Gabriel. 2002: 336. 3 7 Sheffer, Gabriel. 2002: 334. 3 8 Boyarin, Jonathan and Daniel Boyarin. Powers of Diaspora: Two Essays on the Relevance of Jewish Culture. Minneapolis, M N : University of Minnesota Press, 2002. 17 Diasporas hold, that they constitute "a positive resource in the necessary rethinking of models of polity in the current erosion and questioning of the modern nation-state system and ideal."39 In an era of 'globalization' where the continuity and strength of the nation-state is often questioned40 collective identities can transcend territorialized nations. Diasporas, the Boyarins argue, create 'third time-spaces' that interrupt the core/periphery relationships, identified by Rouse as problematic, forging more dynamic interpretations of place and its politics. However, this power to disrupt can be a negative force just as easily as a positive force, something that Mitchell calls the 'hype of hybridity.'41 Mitchell is largely concerned with how a hybrid or Diasporic identity can facilitate neo-liberalism. She argues that the empowerment claims made by Diasporas "obscures the importance of contemporary economic processes and of various kinds of diasporic, deterritorialized, and hybrid subject positions that can be and have been used strategically for economic gain."42 In the following two chapters I hope to demonstrate how-challenging assimilation in Vancouver obscures processes of racialization that draw both from Jewish law and Canadian multiculturalism. However, unlike the Hong Kong immigrants and the Canadian state that Mitchell critiques for using hybridity and Diaspora politics to facilitate neo-liberal expansion and economic gain, I do not believe that Jews are intentionally or at least willingly racializing themselves. Similar in many ways to the situation of Jews in the nineteenth century, contemporary racializations are situational and come out of both fears both of anti-Semitism and assimilation. To understand the process of claiming power as a 3 9 Boyarin, Jonathan and Daniel Boyarin. 2002: 5. 4 0 For example, the 'World Cities' literature and its critics debate the potential of what in many ways are more regional, city-state like polities in areas such as London, New York and Tokyo. See Sasson 2000; Beaverstock, Smith, and Taylor 2000; Fainstein 2001. 4 1 Mitchell, Katharyne. "Different diasporas and the hype of hybridity." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 15 (1997): 533-553. 4 2 Mitchell, Katharyne. 1997: 533. See also Mitchell 2004. 18 Diaspora, I want to draw from Rey Chow's analytic construct of mimesis and coercive ethnic identity from The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism^ Mimesis is a concept employed to understand the process of imitation and the resulting copies of the 'original.' Chow is interested in unraveling problematic cross-ethnic representations of third world literature in the postcolonial world. To do this, she identifies three levels of mimesis. The first level sees the white man as original. The colonial subject is always a poor copy at best as she mime's the white man's ways. "She is damned if she tries; she is damned if she doesn't."44 The second level of mimesis blurs the Black/White dichotomy, as the potential for whiteness or perhaps more accurately civilizing is deemed possible. "Rather than simply lacking, the colonized is now seen in terms of a desire to be white, which exists concurrently with the shame accompanying the inferior position to which she has been socially ascribed."45 The identity of the postcolonial ethnic is layered, as a tension exists between the potential for a racialized mobility within the dominant racial hierarchy. The third level consists of a coercive mimeticism as the image of the ethnic herself is now the object of imitation. However, this is not the ethnic's self image of her ethnicity; it is the expectation to be recognizable as ethnic, undoubtedly as an ascribed ethnic stereotype.46 Bonnett critiques the racial hierarchy within which the colonized finds herself as both naturalized and oppressive. He argues that whiteness is a form of oppression because it "has been internalized, not merely as a sense of inferiority, but as a symbol of freedom, of Chow, Rey. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. 4 4 Chow, Rey. 2002; 104. 4 5 Chow, Rey. 2002: 105. 4 6 The consumable recognizable stereotype is similar to Hage's interpretation of consumable ethnicity discussed in White Nation that I will come back to in Chapter 3. 19 excitement, of the possibilities that life can offer." For the colonial subject aspiring to be white, whiteness is tied to aspirations for liberation from racism and with it social mobility. However, the process of naturalization and internalization makes "the history and the geography of the subject invisible." Whiteness without history or geography is invisible, whereas black and brown are visible. Jews have become in many ways invisible, but at the same time Jews hold onto their Diasporic losses. The loss of the land of Israel millennia ago and the Nazi Holocaust have not so much negated, but transformed the" Jewish Diaspora and their relationships to racial hierarchies since the formation of the State of Israel. For Jews, the history and geography of their whiteness are not so invisible. However, the ways that Jews have internalized both whiteness and difference through a process of ethnic mimesis illustrates the importance of reconsidering Jewish racializations post-Israeli independence. In the following chapters, the development of the self-image of Jews as a community and as individuals in Canada will be further explored. However, these three phases of mimesis can be seen historically for Jews as they shifted from non-white, to assimilating into whiteness, to the contemporary internalization of difference—a difference that implicates Jews as not-quite-white in a Christian oriented society. The need to confess difference to become the recognizable identity is what makes mimesis coercive. A Jewish identity as not-quite-white, imposed internally and to a lesser extent externally, occupies an ambiguous position in Canada's racial hierarchy. Jewish privilege as an older ethnic group that has assimilated more than many Jews would like, necessitates the confession of difference; perhaps even one defined by the 'safety net' that the anti-Semitism/assimilation dichotomy provides. 4 7 Bonnett, Alistair. 2000: 76. 4 8 Bonnett, Alistair. 2000: 120, Bonnett's emphasis. 20 But in a funny way, Jews are caught between the postcolonial groups that interest Chow and white Europeans. To be secure and legitimate as a Jewish community and as individuals is to uphold boundaries from within as externally created boundaries erode. The power of the Jewish Diaspora is that they are able to maintain status as an ethnic group in Canada who are for the most part white. Mimicry can also be used as a tool to unify Jewish Canadians as ethnic and religious minorities and as Canadians who have been able to largely overcome a history of discrimination. Just like any other minority group, not only confessing, but also privileging one identity over another can be useful. The politicization of Diasporas especially in postcolonial critiques challenges the uniqueness of the Jewish Diaspora. As will be seen in following chapters, self-mimicry in the form of racialization has emerged out of a process of maintaining Jewish difference despite assimilation. Confessing Jewishness and the uniqueness of the Jewish Diaspora, both historically and today, create images of what it means to be Jewish; which inevitably means there are threats to Jewish survival. D e m y s t i f y i n g C a n a d i a n J e w i s h S c h o l a r s h i p The final literature that I want to address is Canadian Jewish studies. Despite a long history of Jews in Canada and a growing population, Canadian Jewish scholarship is surprisingly limited. There have been a number of histories written throughout the twentieth century and a number of anthologies as well as the journal Canadian Jewish Studies that explore the Canadian Jewish experience.49 However, compared to the Jewish American literature, the Canadian field is relatively limited. Because the literature is sparse, I would 4 9 See Medres 2003, Tulchinsky 1993 and 1998, Abella and Troper 2000 for histories; Brym, Shaffir and Weinfeld 1993, Adelman and Simpson 1996, Menkis and Rawin 2004 for anthologies. 21 ( like to take what is a relatively recent major work and the 2002 winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award, to illustrate what this thesis will bring both to Geography and the Canadian Jewish literature. In Like everyone else...but different: the paradoxical success of Canadian Jews sociologist Morton Weinfeld uses demographic data, academic literature, and his personal experience as a Canadian Jew living in Montreal and Toronto, to construct an image of Canadian Jewry as paradoxical.50 The paradox he sees is the full societal participation that Jews have achieved in Canada over the last fifty years while maintaining strong cultural and religious identities as Jews. To explain the phenomenon of success, he argues that Jews are a dichotomous people who "have created a workable synthesis of opposites."51 In other words, Jews have successfully hybridized both a multiplicity of Jewish and Canadian identities, a process that he sees as mysterious, magical and particular in many ways to Jews. Drawing from biblical to contemporary Jewish history as well as Diasporic, political, social, economic and cultural aspects of Canadian Jewish life, Weinfeld sees the paradox of Jewish success as a consistent theme. Drawing from Weber and Marx, Weinfeld sees Jewish behaviour as different and successful, not due to innate genetic traits, but because of religious behaviours that affect social, economic and political behaviours, as well as Jewish social structures. Although there is not space here to critique every topic that this exhaustive work covers, I will select several aspects relating to the central themes of this thesis. Weinfeld, Morton. Like Everyone Else...But Different: The Paradoxical Success of Canadian Jews. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 2001. 5 1 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 2. He chooses to highlight in the introduction a number of potentially false dichotomies such as "Biblical and postmodern, religious and ethnic, devout and secular" to name a few. Somehow I think 'dynamic' would be a more positive and accurate way of describing the diversity of Jewish identities in Canada. 22 As a demographer, Weinfeld is critical of the fear of Jewish assimilation leading to the eventual disappearance of Jews that is so prevalent in Jewish communities across North America. He sees Jewish survival contingent on not so much the quantitative survival of the Jews that requires a rise in birthrates (something that is occurring within Orthodox communities and increases pressure on women), but a qualitative demography that emphasizes Jewish education and dynamic communities. He stops short of legitimizing intermarriage (something he has been accused of in the past), but argues that the opposites, or contradictions that exist among Jews are what keeps Judaism vibrant. This is a fairly common position, and I would argue a defensible one, in North American academic literature. Talking about the United States, Brettschneider argues that because elites and organizations attempt to present a unified Jewish voice that draws from histories of instability and the physical threats to Jewish survival, diversity within the Jewish community is not well received. However, Jews can no longer dwell on this paranoia if Jewish life is to continue. "The problem for Jewish life is, of course, that such a stance necessitates putting culture and honest self-exploration on hold. If this goes on long enough, Jewish life loses its vibrancy, meaning, and capacity to adapt. In trying to divert disaster from without, we risk disaster from within."52 However, Weinfeld's fellow Canadian Abella sees too much difference within the Jewish community as dangerous. "The world has become too dangerous 53 a place for Jews to allow themselves the luxury of internal dissent and divisiveness." Weinfeld is seeking a meeting ground between these two perspectives by concentrating on 5 2 Brettschneider, Maria. "Multiculturalism, Jews and Democracy: Situating the Discussion." The Narrow Bridge: Jewish Views on Multiculturalism. Maria Brettschneider Ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996; 14. 5 3 Abella, Irving. 1996: xviii. 23 the commonalities in the Canadian Jewish experience. He wants to highlight the best parts of being Jewish and being Jewish in Canada. Despite evidence for paradoxes in Jewish communities like any other, Weinfeld takes what I think can safely be called a 'Jewcentric' position. Similar to Eurocentricity, Americentricity or Africentricity, Weinfeld is guilty of Jewcentricity because he consistently describes Jews as mysteriously wonderful and unique without a critical inward gaze. Weinfeld's perspective is widely embraced by Jewish leaders and academics across Canada54 despite the fact that he is in many ways essentializing Jewish identity and has only a mild interest in demystifying what it means to be Jewish in Canada—something that Arendt warns against. But not only is he expounding the greatness of Jews, he also expounds the greatness of Canada in the same breath. To give an example, in the introduction he claims: "Jewish life in Canada today is as good as it has been anywhere since the Golden Age of Spain."55 Yes, life for Jews in Canada over the last fifty years has been good, but I find this analogy disturbing considering the fate of the Jews in Spain after the Golden Age with the emergence of the Spanish Inquisition. However, the threats to this 'Golden Age' according to many, he argues, are "assimilation, intermarriage and divisions within the Jewish fold."56 Despite this possibility however, he argues that in Canada "Jews have stumbled onto a magical equilibrium."57 On the other hand, Weinfeld agrees that Jews in Canada are successful as an The back of my copy of Like everyone else... includes words of praise from Canadian Jewish scholars Harold Troper and Gerald Tulchinsky, not to mention the leaders I interviewed who mentioned his work. 5 5 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001:1. 5 6 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 4. He does not try to stress divisions, but to celebrate differences. 5 7 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 2 24 'invisible' minority as most Canadian Jews are white and enjoy the benefits of white privilege in a racialized society.58 Just as Gilroy critiques Africentricity for perhaps being "useful in developing communal discipline and individual self-worth.. .but which supplies a poor basis for the writing of cultural history and the calculation of political choices"59 so too does Weinfeld fall into this trap. Fanon argues that these types of pan-identities, such as African and Arabic, tend to racialize the colonized who are seeking power from these identities.60 But then again a cultural history and"making political choices are not necessarily Weinfeld's projects. Like the Africentrics, he wants to portray Canadian Jewish unity through diversity. But as he articulates throughout the book, Jews are not exactly a disempowered group. The ways that Weinfeld confesses difference, uniqueness, and the paradoxical unity of Jewishness reveals how his perspective on Canadian Jewish life claims power for the Jewish Diaspora and Canada. Whereas Gilroy sees Africentricity as a way to possibly resist "the encroachments of crack cocaine," 6 1 arguably Weinfeld is perhaps merely celebrating the greatness of Jews and why we should be proud of being Jewish and envied. This diasporic claim of uniqueness reflects the ironies of Jewish racial 'chosenness' and tribalism championed by Disraeli in the nineteenth century. Taking a generalist approach, Weinfeld does attempt to portray at least some geographic differences within Canadian Jewish communities. However, he is more interested in overall commonalities between Jewish communities across Canada because he argues that 5 8 In the United States, there is a larger critical literature on Jews and race that include critiques of the idea that Jews are 'off-white' complementing Canada's 'invisible' minority category. See Glenn 2002; Bar On and Tessman, 2001, Brettschneider 1996; Brodkin 1998. 5 9 Gilroy, Paul. 1993: 188. 6 0 Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1968. 6 1 Gilroy, Paul. 1993: 188. 25 regional analyses would take several volumes. Instead he assumes "that events or 62 experiences drawn from one setting are generic, and apply to all others." Unfortunately, this assumption may miss nuances and the political ramifications of Jewish identities. Rouse worries that a universalist approach to identity formation, such as an all inclusive Diaspora and national Canadian Jewish consciousness, creates "a lack of critical self-consciousness" that may lead to misreadings of particular situations... [and] may circumscribe the scope of political analysis, diverting attention simultaneously from the key ideas themselves, the related limitations of those challenges that remain within their frame, 63 and the other ways in which people understand and deal with their problems. Weinfeld is concerned with an overarching Canadian Jewish experience and so am I. However, from a geographical perspective, there are reasons to look at local communities outside of Montreal and Toronto. After all there are challenges made to major institutions (such as Judaism) in smaller, distinct locales. As indicated in the introduction, there is obviously something going on in Vancouver's Jewish communities that cannot be accounted for by a few index citations by Weinfeld. The need to assess local Jewish populations follows the work of Ira Sheskin, one of the few North American geographers who studies Jews. He argues that scholars need to look at local Jewish populations because of the particularities of every city and community.64 Taking a local approach will also help to explore the larger, but perhaps less concrete power relations in Canadian Jewish communities. Looking at Canada as a whole, attention to b l Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 12. 6 3 Rouse, Roger. "Questions of Identity: Personhood and collectivity in transnational migration to the United States." Critique of Anthropology. 15:4 (1995): 352. 6 4 Sheskin, Ira M . "Local Jewish Population Studies: Still Necessary After A l l These Years." Essential Readings on Jewish Identities, Lifestyles and Beliefs: Analyses of the Personal and Social Diversity of Jews by Modern Scholars. Ed. Stanford M . Lyman. New York: Gordon Knot Books, 2003; 288-290. He notes'for example that the New York Jewish population is not 'eroding' because of its size and continual immigration whereas he has found evidence of a decline in Orlando no doubt in part due to the age of the population. 26 specific communities prevents the researcher from uncovering many of the structures that maintain particular local, regional and even national structures of Jewish identity. Similar to Rouse, Mitchell argues, "Abstract analyses also tend to privilege macro formations that relate to state or economic articulations and de-articulations rather than examining the particular socio-cultural configurations of power/knowledge that constitute and maintain them at a smaller scale."65 Canadian experience in Montreal, where intermarriage rates for example are much lower and anti-Semitism is historically more vicious, cannot entirely explain the Jewish experience in Vancouver—or vice versa. Geography matters and as Vancouver has been largely neglected in studies of Canadian Jewry, the particularities of the communities may say more about what it means to be Canadian and Jewish than previously explored. In addition to geographic inconsistencies, Weinfeld while denying the existence of a Jewish race does in some ways reify the category. Due to centuries of segregation and the taboo of intermarriage, according to anthropologists and geneticists Jews often share some genetic commonalities. Of course, since the publication of Like Everyone Else... the Human Genome Project has shown that we all share 99.9 percent the same genetic heritage. Weinfeld, however (and maybe he has changed his opinion since the Project's outcome), is indeed excited by the possibility that variations on the Y chromosome could possibly be evidence for Jews who are descendents of the priestly caste and therefore have "a common 66 67 genetic ancestor—presumably Aaron!" Apart from appearance and the 'Jewish look,' health and intelligence are also attributed to a combination of historical social and cultural Mitchell, Katharyne. Crossing the Neoliberal Line: Pacific Rim Migration and the Metropolis. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004: 9 6 6 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 23. 6 7 See Gilman 1993 for a thorough analysis of racialized stereotypes of Jewish appearance over the last two hundred years. 27 factors relating to economic status and Jewish laws. However, the acceptance or even excitement of such arguments is hauntingly familiar to social Darwinism. In the end, Weinfeld concludes that it is a combination of Jewish history and culture within particular circumstances in Canada that have led to the 'paradox' of success. Jews as an ethnocultural and religious group, the Diasporic experience with multiculturalism, whiteness, Jewish history of internal and external boundaries, and the lack of separation of church and state in Canada leading to religious schools have all helped to create Jewish CO success and difference in Canada. The goal of this thesis is to further probe how several of these criteria - whiteness, internal and external boundaries as well as relationships with the Canadian state - work to construct and maintain Jewish ethnic 'fences,' a metaphor I will explore in more detail in the following chapters. Certainly Weinfeld does convey a general overview of Jewish life in (eastern) Canada. However, his book is more appropriate for an audience who want to feel good about being a (eastern) Canadian Jew, not for an audience who want a more critical analysis of Jewish life in Canada. Weinfeld is of course not entirely representative of Canadian Jewish scholarship. Gerald Tulchinski's histories of Canadian Jewish life Taking Root and Branching Out are rigorous and reflective accounts, but are also limited for the most part to eastern Canada.69 More geographical approaches to Jewish communities and landscapes in Canada can be found in Dan Hiebert's work on early 20 th century Jews in Toronto as well as several graduate student theses in Vancouver. A recent anthology, The Canadian Jewish Studies Reader, provides geographic breadth in an array of topics that look at local, urban, 6 8 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001: 351-2. 6 9 Tulchinsky, Gerald. Branching Out: The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community. Toronto, ON: Stoddart, 1998. Tulchinsky, Gerald. Taking Root: The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community. Hanover, M A : University Press of New England [for] Brandeis University Press, 1993a. 7 0 See Hiebert 1993,Wisenthal 1987, Hier 1973. 28 Diasporic, national and regional issues. Nonetheless, the trend particularly in popular Jewish scholarship in North America to glorify the successes of Jews is both common and problematic.72 My hope for this thesis is to bring a more critical analysis of how Jewish institutions in Canada and Vancouver shape what it means to be Jewish. What I want to bring to Canadian Jewish studies is a geographic approach that bridges several gaps in the literature: 1) a perspective on Canadian Jewish life and institutions from an understudied site, Vancouver; 2) an anti-essentialist approach to Canadian Jewish scholarship that I find is lacking; and 3) a critique that through the use of theory and empirical research attempts to demystify Canadian Jewish identity. This is not to say that Jews are without agency in the creation of our own identities, but I want to take two issues, intermarriage and multiculturalism, and put them under a post-structural, anti-essentializing lens to better understand some of the paradoxes that do indeed shape Canadian Jewish life and may not be so different from anyone else. M e t h o d o l o g y You know there's this thing about setting up fences around, you know, around you, around your family, around your community and if you 're in a place with no fences, it's very easy for you just to drift away, right? Jews need an infrastructure, Jews need a sense of community. I think Jews need a sense of identity. And you have to be very strong and very rooted to go to a place like this, which is a beautiful place, and be able to proudly and strongly say I'm a Jew and I'm going to live a full Jewish life. —Jewish Federation Greater Vancouver community leader To understand how Jewish boundaries, or 'fences' as the leader above calls them, are established, maintained and challenged in Vancouver I performed both ethnographic and archival research. Interviews were conducted in the Greater Vancouver region. I used the 7 1 Menkis, Richard, Norman Rawin Eds. The Canadian Jewish Studies Reader. Calgary: Red Deer Press, 2004. 7 2 For critiques on these trends particularly in relation to the Nazi Holocaust and the Israel-Palestine conflict see Norman Finkelstein 1995, 2003, and 2005. 29 archives of the Canadian Jewish Congress Pacific Region held by the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia archives. I also attended some events and worked with a magazine in the Jewish community to understand some of my own 'fences' that shape this thesis. Using the Internet and community contacts, I identified nineteen religious and secular Jewish leaders. I sent each leader a letter describing my research and then made follow-up phone calls. Nine of the leaders interviewed were religious, many of them rabbis from across the denominational spectrum,73 but mostly Ashkenazi as the Sephardic population in Vancouver is relatively small. The ten secular leaders represent funding, social service, educational and cultural organizations. Three out of the nineteen interviews took place in the suburbs, but the majority took place in the city of Vancouver. The names of the respondents have been coded to match either their denomination or institution. Of course the small size of Vancouver's community makes anonymity difficult to guarantee, but I have done my best to obscure the identities of the respondents. I used a semi-structured interview schedule with a focus on assimilation, intermarriage, and multiculturalism.74 Using the CJC archives I tried to glean an image of both Canada and Vancouver from 1945 to the present. The CJC website also provided contemporary data that augmented the historical data. The archival materials used in Chapter 3 are certainly not exhaustive of the CJC archives in Vancouver. However, I believe that the selection of speeches, media, press releases and correspondence used are suggestive of the larger history of Jewish participation in multiculturalism. Undoubtedly, there are omissions, but my purpose is not so much to 7 3 Including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox as well as Renewal and Reconstructionist denominations, but my phone calls to an Ultra Orthodox rabbi were never returned. One female leader who is familiar with the community told me 'don't bother' because I am a woman. 7 4 See the appendix for a complete list of questions. 30 provide a detailed history, but snapshots of the relationship between the CJC and the Canadian state. There are many ways that I could have approached questions of Jewish racialization and Jewish boundaries. I decided to use discourse analysis to understand how individuals and organizations interpret and shape what it means to be Jewish in Canada. Interviewing Jews who are not necessarily leaders of the community, merely participants or those who are not affiliated with the Jewish community would have been another approach, although it could have been much more difficult to find respondents. However, I want to interrogate the structures that have shaped my own identity both in the United States and in Canada. In this way, I am definitely biased. For example, there are no maps of the Jewish community because every time I discussed mapping Jewish organizations and Jewish residential concentrations I began to cry—revealing my own emotional geography.75 The ways that I interacted with respondents, archival materials, and theories have everything to do with my own experiences and self-perceptions not only as a Jew but also as an American young woman and graduate student living in Canada. That being said, those perceptions have become more nuanced through the research process. This not only means that I have learned a lot more about myself and Judaism, but that I have also (hopefully) been able to create a more sophisticated critique than I had originally set out to make. I think I react this way because of the use of maps in locating Jews during WWII in Europe. Had I conducted a historical analysis similar to Hiebert's analysis of Jews in the early twentieth century, I probably would not have had the same reaction. 31 CHAPTER II 'The War on Love': Intermarriage in Vancouver's Jewish Community Experience has told me, has clearly established, that in the majority of the cases intermarriage leads to somewhat [of a] disruption of the Jewish community as a community. Conservative leader A / think intermarriage is definitely an issue here. The question of course always is what kind of an issue is it? Is it an issue that threatens the survival of the Jewish people? I don't really think so....Does it threaten families? Yes. Does it cause tension in communities? Yes. Is life a lot more complex for the family? Yes. Alternative leader B If there wasn't a taboo against intermarriage Jewish life would die out. Successful Jewish communities are built on family structures, family units coming together to be a part of the Jewish community. Orthodox leader B It's an enigma. It's a hard, really tough one to answer and it's a very emotional topic. It's not something that's logical, it's emotional. So it's a tough one and you need to discuss it. Conservative leader D In a 2006 report published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the United Israel Appeal Federations Canada, data from the 2001 Census on Jewish identity was used to analyze Vancouver's Jewish population. Using halakhic (Jewish law) and Census definitions as well as the 'Jewish Standard Definition'77 of Judaism, the census data was used to create an image of the contemporary Jewish community and scenarios of where the community is headed. The report focuses on three themes: 1) ethnic and/or religious identification, 2) intermarriage, and 3) Jewish day school attendance. However, the second theme, intermarriage, is the focus of the study suggesting that choice of marriage partner is Shahar, Charles, Jean Gerber. "Issues of Jewish Identity." 2007 Census Analysis Series: The Jewish Community of Greater Vancouver. Vancouver, B C : Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and UIA Federations Canada. February 2006. 7 7 Because the Canadian census allows individuals to identify as ethnically and/or religiously Jewish, the 'Jewish Standard Definition' was developed to exclude people who identify as ethnically Jewish, but select a religion other than Judaism. Although the halakhic definition may still include these individuals as Jews, the authors of the report argue that they only exhibit a minimal level of Jewish identification through an ancestor. Shahar and Gerber 2006: 5. 32 the best way to quantitatively measure Jewish identity. Other variables such as income, education, immigration, and location are only discussed in relation to intermarriage. The findings of the study have a strong geographic component and echo the descriptions of Jewish life in Vancouver I heard from numerous community leaders. Outside of the southern suburb of Richmond, and to some extent the west side of Vancouver, intermarriage rates are increasing rapidly. The Vancouver region has the highest intermarriage rate of any large Canadian city at 41.3 percent compared to the national average of 21.7 percent.79 Between 1981 and 2001, the intermarriage rate in the GVRD increased by 144 percent as the Jewish population has grown and moved to the suburbs.80 Of course, this is only one study, but the focus of the study reflects a broader perception of the problem of assimilation and the 'problem'81 of intermarriage. Many Jewish leaders in Vancouver I spoke to sense the community has a problem: too many Jews, especially young Jews, are not marrying Jewish. Instead, they are marrying non-Jews and disappearing into the laid-back anonymity that a city like Vancouver provides. The Jewish population of the Vancouver region is estimated at 25,000 to 30,000, with intermarriage rates as high as eighty percent for Jews under the age of thirty—well above the North American average of around fifty percent. Although not everyone in Vancouver's Jewish community is against intermarriage, the majority of Jewish institutions and their leaders view it as a pressing issue. This is evident in Jewish newspapers, studies conducted by scholars and community organizations, community events, conferences, and adult and children's educational programming that are typical across North America. In Canada, 7 8 Please see the methodology section of Chapter I for an explanation of 'community leader.' 7 9 Shahar and Gerber 2006: 13. 8 0 Shahar and Gerber 2006: 15. 8 1 I use quotation marks around problem because as a product of intermarriage and as a Jew who does not have a problem with intermarriage they seem fitting. 33 Vancouver has the fastest growing Jewish population, but as a representative from the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) noted: Vancouver's west coast, it's as far away from your parents in Montreal as you can get, ok? So a lot of people end up here and some people end up here if they're going away, because they're trying to get away or they're happy on whatever level to get away, but they don't want to move to the States. So Vancouver's kind of it for a lot of people.... What ends up happening though, as you lose the entrenched generations, and as you lose the grandparents and the great grandparents and that sense of continuity and roots and then legacy, as you lose the immediate threads of family connections there's less awareness maybe of the roots. And so the newer, younger waves of people who come here are maybe less inspired because they don't have the same family customs that are keeping them in the loop. So you know where as they might have gone to their hubbies and zaidies82 every Friday night or every yuntov83 or something they're here now so that they don't do it because hey, we'll go for sushi instead. This movement away from the Canadian centres of Jewish life—Toronto, Montreal and formerly Winnipeg—to the frontier has led to both a physical and social distancing from Judaism for many Jews in Vancouver. This distance from Montreal and Toronto as well as the increasing dispersal of Jews within the GVRD from Richmond to the North Shore, Point Grey to Port Coquitlam has led to a feeling of dilution and many Jewish leaders are concerned that despite flourishing secular and religious institutions, the future of Jews in Vancouver and Canada remains uncertain. However, the 'problem' of intermarriage is not new and is rooted in Jewish tradition. Since the Jewish elites returned to Judea from Babylonian exile some 2,500 years n ago, matrilineal descent has been the law that governs who is and is not Jewish. In other words, you can only be Jewish if your mother is Jewish, unless you convert—something that is not encouraged in Judaism. Before the return from exile, the father determined the lineage of the children as is evident in the story of Abraham and Isaac. One rabbi told me that the Bubbie and zadie are Yiddish for 'grandmother' Jewish holiday or celebration. 34 reason was that "the woman just did not count as much... she left her father and joined someone else's tribe." However, after the Babylonian exile, two prophets, Ezra and Nehemiah, saw high rates of intermarriage occurring among the Jews who had remained in Judea to tend the lands and it was declared that non-Jewish wives should be thrown out. At the time Jewish women were not immediately affected by this decision because they were not allowed to intermarry nor did they have the power of divorce. However, to keep Jewish men from intermarrying, matrilineal descent became the accepted practice and continues to be the way that Judaism is typically passed on: from mother to child. In Vancouver this practice is strictly maintained as no rabbi with a synagogue in Vancouver will perform a marriage service if one partner is not Jewish, and no rabbi will allow a child whose mother is not Jewish to have a bar or bat mitzvah unless the child converts. No rabbi I talked to in Vancouver is the least bit interested in being flexible on any of these matters unless there is a conversion. In this chapter I will explore how many of Vancouver's Jewish leaders interpret intermarriage as anathema to Judaism and Jewish law and how they cope with intermarriage as a lived reality for a large part of the community. This has led me to consider several questions: How do strict laws on intermarriage and matrilineal descent preserve the boundaries of Judaism and Jewishness? How is intermarriage discussed and discouraged? What are the values that intermarriage threatens? A central theme in my conversations with community leaders in Vancouver was that the survival of the Jewish community and the Jewish people depends on the preservation of the Jewish family. However, through Jewish laws and the interpretations of secular and religious Jewish leaders, not only is the ideal family being constructed, but so too is the racialization of gender and nation, a process that is 3 5 not necessarily unique to Jews or Vancouver. To preserve the boundaries of Judaism, the boundaries of the family must be preserved. This means that intermarriage for the most part is discouraged and matrilineal decent (or conversion) is the accepted marker for who is and who is not Jewish. To understand the construction of the ideal Jewish family, how intermarriage threatens this ideal and how the idea of race is evoked I will explore three themes. The first theme looks at the social and biological reproduction of the Jewish nation and the role of the mother. The second them explores how violence explains both historical and contemporary interpretations of intermarriage. The third theme investigates some of the strategies adopted in Vancouver's community to cope with and challenge intermarriage. Before I delve further with empirical research, first I would like to develop an anti-essentialist critique of'the family'. . Family as oracle or measure of social ills In relation to conceptualizing causality, essentialism is the presumption that among the influences apparently producing any outcome, some can be shown to be inessential to its occurrence while others will be shown to be essential causes. Amid the multifaceted complexity of influences apparently surrounding, say, some historical event..., one or a subset of these influences is presumed to be the essential cause of the event. The goal of analysis for such an essentialist theory is then to find and express this essential cause and its mechanism of producing what is theorized as its effect.84 Gibson-Graham became central to the anti-essentialist debate in Geography with their book End of Capitalism (as we knew it). A feminist critique ofpolitical economy, which extended social constructionism from identity politics to political economy. In the second chapter they argue that Marxian political economy has failed to confront economics "as the' 8 4 Gibson-Graham, J. K . End of Capitalism (as we knew it): a feminist critique ofpolitical economy. Cambridge, M A : Blackwell Publishers, 1996: 25, quoted from Resnick and Wolff 1987: 3. 36 fundamental, necessary or essential constituent of social systems and historical events." In other words, economics continues to dominate analyses of social life as essentialized and unchallengeable. To save social theory from capitalist infiltration, the word economy must be "explicitly written out, or until it is deconstructively or positively rewritten, it will write itself into every text of social theory, in familiar and powerful ways. When it is not overtly theorized, it defines itself as capitalism because it lacks another name." In other words, the economy comes to mean capitalism and capitalism the economy leaving little room for other potential formations and interpretations of either economics or capitalism. Extending Gibson-Graham's argument back to the social construction of identity, if the 'problem' of intermarriage is accepted in the eyes of many Jewish leaders as a matter of faith, then it comes to define Jewish identity as an outcome of situated social, historical and geographical processes. The (re)production of Judaism as a religion and Jewishness as a racialized ethnicity proceed from these processes. Hall argues: the term ethnicity acknowledges the place of history, language and culture in the construction of subjectivity and identity, as well as the fact that all discourse is placed, positioned, situated, and all knowledge is contextual. Representation is possible only because enunciation is always produced within codes, which have a 87 history, a position within the discursive formations of a particular space and time. Although intermarriage has been an issue in Judaism throughout its history, the manifestation of intermarriage as a 'problem' in Vancouver is constructed in particular ways. Although the landscapes and cultures of Vancouver and Seattle are somewhat similar, the histories of the Jewish communities fragment the geographies of Judaism in the Pacific Northwest. Alternative leader A sees the ambiguity of his position on whether or not to sanction 8 5 Gibson-Graham, J. K . 1996: 24, Gibson-Graham's emphasis. 8 6 Gibson-Graham, J.K. 1996: 39. 8 7 Hall, Stuart. "The New Ethnicities." Race, Culture, and Difference. Ed. James Donald and A l i Rattansi. London: Sage, 1992: 257. 37 intermarriage as a geographical dilemma that would be alleviated if he lived in another city on the other side of the border. I want to say first and foremost I do have my own integrity as a rabbi. And then secondly I want to say, and I think this is an important point, is that I am influenced by the environment that I'm in.... [I]n Seattle there's plenty of Reform rabbis and others.. .then in a way it wouldn't matter whether I did or not [sanction intermarriage]. And I could be very comfortable not doing it because whoever wants to marry a non-Jew or a non-Jew wants to marry a Jew and they want to have a Jewish ceremony with a rabbi—they can do that. It's not up to me to make that happen. They'll do it you know. I feel more responsibility to enable mixed couples here to start their married life Jewishly. And at the same time I feel more possibility of kind of delegitimizing myself in the Jewish community. This ambivalence mirrors Hall's discussion of representation in time and space and Silberstein's emphasis on the spatialization of identities and the importance of place to identity formation. Silberstein argues, "As a subject moves among various sites, social, political, or cultural, he or she is positioned in different ways."88 Because no Jewish religious leader in Vancouver will sanction intermarriage, the pressure to maintain Jewish boundaries is shared among (religious) community leaders. Despite the desire of members of a congregation and Jews throughout Vancouver for a rabbi to perform at a wedding between a Jew and a non-Jew, the preservation of the community depends on the preservation of tradition formed through the Jewish family. As the Alternative leader A and many others argue, once you begin to sanction intermarriage "all hell breaks loose" as the 'vessel' that contains Judaism begins to crumble. The obligations of rabbis within Vancouver's community—as opposed to those in Bellingham or Seattle:—are to maintain stricter boundaries of tradition because they are in Canada and due to the history of Canada and Vancouver. So why is this disruption of Jewish identity and the Jewish community through intermarriage significant? Silberstein, Laurence J. "Mapping, Not Tracing: Opening Reflections." Mapping Jewish Identities. Ed. Laurence J. Silberstein. New York: New York University Press, 2000: 4. 3 8 Families, as Patricia Hill Collins argues, "constitute primary sites of belonging" and if the boundaries of belonging to the family are destabilized so too are the boundaries of the community.89 Although Collins sees the rhetoric of 'the family' as useful for both the Conservative movement as well as marginalized groups in the United States, I am interested in how 'the family' can also be useful for groups that are challenging assimilation. More specifically I want to understand how intermarriage is viewed as 'bad' assimilation in contrast to the 'good' forms of assimilation such as economic and political participation and the 'Judaization' of cultural forms. I chose to interview community leaders because they represent the institutions that work to mediate the good and bad assimilation in the Jewish community. To facilitate this exploration throughout the chapter I will draw from several of Collins' six dimensions of the construction of the ideal family and belonging. The six dimensions are: 1) naturalized hierarchies, 2) meanings of'home', 3) blood ties, 4) privileges of membership, 5) genealogy and inheritance, and 6) reproduction. The ways that gender, race and nation articulate or construct one another reveal how 'the family' in Judaism is constructed as the foundation of Jewish life both materially and spiritually. The centrality of the family to institutions at a variety of scales (local, national, as a transnational Diaspora) can be seen historically in the development of liberal societies. Jacques Donzelot argues that over the last two hundred years the family, like an oracle, has become a locus used to uncover the collective consciousness of western societies. And that" It has become an essential ritual of our societies to scrutinize the countenance of the family at regular intervals in order to decipher our destiny, glimpsing in the death of the family an impending return to barbarism, the letting go of our reasons for living; Hil l Collins, Patricia. "It's A l l in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race and Nation." Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial, and Feminist World. Eds. Uma Narayan and Sandra Harding. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000; 157. See also Bonnett who argues that women embody the racial ideal through "chastity, purity and as biological reproducers" (2000: 23). 39 or indeed, in order to reassure ourselves at the sight of its inexhaustible capacity for survival.90 The family is a source of both anxiety and comfort, as the future seems uncertain. For the purposes of this study, the family represents the vitality of Judaism and the community's ability, or inability, to reproduce itself over time and place. As Conservative leader B remarks: Family is the basic building block of the Jewish community and that's how we imagine the family as the basic link. We imagine ourselves as one great extended family and that we are linked to other Jews around the world and we think about that in terms of family. And so we have holidays, which celebrate ... the family as the basic unit. So if indeed there is an intermarriage there is a concern that indeed that commitment to Jewish life will not be there and we will be significantly diluted. Here, the dilution of Jews both as a faith community and a people is interlinked with the idea of the family in contemporary Vancouver and worldwide. Although Donzelot explains how the family became the primary site of social intervention by the state in the 19th century, I want to understand how the Jewish family in contemporary Vancouver works as a measurement of the Jewish community's health. In particular, how do we theorize the maintenance of the 'problem' of intermarriage? In her recent book Crossing the Neoliberal Line Katharyne Mitchell explores how hegemony must be conceptualized spatially as well as temporally.91 Cities, she argues, are an important site to understand both dominant and subordinate/acquiescent groups. As highlighted in the previous chapter, scholars underestimate the significance of the experience of Jews in Canadian cities outside of Toronto and Montreal. Maintaining traditional (read: hegemonic) views on intermarriage is, according to many of the respondents, of greater 9 0 Donzelot, Jacques. The Policing of Families. Trans. Robert Hurley. London: John Hopkins University Press, 1997:4. 9 1 Mitchell, Katharyne. Crossing the Neoliberal Line: Pacific Rim Migration and the Metropolis. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004. 4 0 importance in cities with smaller Jewish populations. Vancouver, its identity, its economy and its geography all play a central role in the construction of the 'problem' of intermarriage. What Mitchell contributes to this thesis is hegemony as a [broken] process that constantly needs to be refreshed. "Hegemony is not so easily produced or maintained by conservative forces as its theoretical legacy seems to bear witness; the acquiescence of dominated groups by their own subordination is always uneven, fragmented and partial."92 In Judaism, the hegemony of tradition, family and community are broken in Vancouver by its geography: its distance from major Jewish centres, the size and dispersal of the community, high housing prices in the city, and a laidback culture. The unevenness of acquiescence emerges not only within the city but also within the family and ethnic community. Mitchell urges us to investigate the difficulties of maintaining hegemony and the apparatuses behind dominant discourses, such as intermarriage, because they are inevitably more difficult to produce and reproduce than theorists such as Foucault contend. Challenging the blind maintenance of dominant discourses returns us to Donzelot and the family as oracle. Although Jewish institutions rely on the Jewish family to interpret the strength and health of the community, that oracle is difficult to manage particularly in a city like Vancouver where even finding 'oracles' can be difficult due to the high rates of unaffiliated Jews.94 Although the goals of anti-essentialist critiques are not to reduce analysis to essential social processes and historical events, it is important to remember that identities are powerful regardless of their social construction. Returning to political economy for a moment, n Mitchell, Katharyne. 2004: 20. 9 3 See Foucault 1995 and 1990 for explanations of the internalization of hegemonic discourses and apparatus' of power such as self-monitoring. 9 4 One community leader discussed how there was hardly a reply received from a survey sent out to known Jews in the suburbs of Vancouver illustrating the lack of interest of Jews living far from the more 'Jewish' areas of central Vancouver. 41 Timothy Mitchell argues that the idea of the economy, which emerged in the mid-twentieth century, should not be described and theorized solely as a social construction as Gibson-Graham suggest. He argues that merely using a social constructionist critique "leaves the economists to carry on undisturbed, pointing out that they are not concerned with the history of representations, but with the underlying reality their models represent."96 By inscribing boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, the 'problem' of intermarriage is a means to create realities: the ideal Jewish family and by extension the health of the Jewish community. Of course, community leaders in Vancouver have their own ways of imagining, maintaining and challenging dominant views of intermarriage and 'the family'. To understand how Jewish leaders and Jewish institutions shape the Jewish family in Vancouver, the remainder of this chapter will draw from sixteen interviews conducted with religious and secular leaders in the Vancouver region. Through discourse analysis I will further explore and flesh out the theories and theme described above. Although the leaders have lived in Vancouver and Canada for varying lengths of time, each has a strong opinion on the future of Jews in Vancouver, Canada and the world. R e p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e N a t i o n The 'problem' of intermarriage is integrally connected to what it means to produce and reproduce Judaism and Jews, both socially and biologically. Social reproduction is achieved through the practice of Judaism in the home. Biological reproduction occurs as the mother passes Jewishness to her children because her mother is Jewish or because she 9 5 This is the only reference to Timothy Mitchell in this thesis. A l l other references to 'Mitchell ' refer to Katharyne Mitchell. 9 6 Mitchell, Timothy. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-politics, Modernity. Berkeley, C A : University of California Press, 2002: 5. 42 converted. The Jewish nation emerges out of these two processes to create a social Jewish identity and a biological Jewish identity. Social reproduction, according to many that I interviewed, is based on the domestic role of the mother through the education of the children and maintaining a Jewish home. This can mean many things including keeping kosher food laws and celebrating holidays. Frequently leaders refer to the mother's role as key to the survival of the Jewish people. The mother is the one who educates the children. It doesn't mean the father doesn't , do it, but since the mum usually is the one who is home and she raises the children she has this connection that he will not have. Therefore, if the mother is Jewish she will transmit Judaism to her children. If she's not, there's going to be the father there. So that's where [matrilineal descent] comes from and that's what maintained Judaism for the last 2,000 years since the temple was destroyed. If it [were not] for those Jewish mothers who spend their time educating the children we wouldn't be able to be sitting here today as Jews and proud of who we are. Orthodox leader A identifies Jewish mothers as central to the continuity of the Jewish people not only in Vancouver, but also for millennia in Diaspora as the educators of Jewish children. The assumption of the Jewish woman's domesticity creates a gendered hierarchy in the Jewish family and community. This demonstrates the assumption of a heterosexual, two-parent household with the mother performing the majority of domestic tasks no matter the number of Jewish working women. The mother creates the safe, private space for Judaism to flourish and to protect from intruders. Both Hill Collins and Brown argue that the home or private space is where difference is maintained, "for members only," and as sanctuaries from the non-Jewish spaces of the assimilated lives of Jews.97 In this interpretation of matrilineal descent, there are gendered spaces of difference where hierarchies are performed and maintained. However, not all the leaders interviewed agree that the role of the mother is a good explanation for matrilineal descent. 9 7 Hi l l Collins 200: 161; See Wendy Brown 2004. 4 3 That was the classical explanation of how it came or why there was a change from father to mother, but there's no proof to that. It's a nice argument, it's nice, but is there meaning to it? Does it mean that my wife is only responsible and I have nothing to do with it? Nothing? ... Lazy thinking, [snap] Not real. I think the responsibility for education is mother and father. ... The argument goes even further because it seems to me that the mother was at home when the father had to travel somewhere else and come after three, four months. Everybody traveled? Ninety percent of the people traveled? ... I would say that the minority of the minority of the minority of people traveled in old times. ... So you see that argument is not very appealing, convincing to me. I understand, but I don't buy it that easily. I think both, truly my wife and myself I mean we are a team and we deal with our kids and by the fact that we both before our first kid came to this world we made our minds of what type of education, what do we want for our kid, where do we want to go? ... Whatever we want. According to Conservative leader A, the role of the mother draws from interpretations of domesticity that assume a particular historical family hierarchy. Although he believes that matrilineal decent should be upheld because of tradition, it is not enough to say that the mother is the one who makes all of the decisions regarding the child's Jewish upbringing. Blaming the mother for the faults of her family is not only implied by an emphasis on domesticity, but also echoes the ways that women and their behaviour are consistently J transformed into symbols from family to community to nation.98 Managing the woman and thereby managing the representatives and reproducers of the community is one way that laws on intermarriage and matrilineal descent maintain boundaries of Judaism. However, alternative religious leader B explains that the hierarchy of the family is addressed in the Talmud" to include the father in religious education and socialization. One [of the reasons for matrilineal descent] is biological, right? That we always do know who the mother is and we don't always know who the father is biologically and so if you want to ascertain somebody's biological line you have to go with the mother. That was before DNA testing. And the other one being an assumption that the mother creates the home and that the mother educates the children. Because, yOu know, the Talmudic literature, again Talmud is.. .one historical slice but it's full of these exhortations from men to educate their children in Judaism, right, why? See Pettman 1996, Volpp 2000. The Talmud consists of critiques of the Torah. 44 Because you know they need the reminders, right? So the assumption is that the mums are naturally doing it because they're with them and creating that context up to a certain age. In the traditional Jewish family, it is assumed that the mother by virtue of her being a mother will properly socialize and educate the children to be good Jews; particularly at younger ages. Orthodox leader A argues that it has been Jewish mothers who have sustained Jewish traditions and the Jewish people through their domestic role. However, the Talmud reminds men that they too must play a role in Jewish education. Despite the claim of many leaders that matrilineal descent comes from the domestic role of the mother, the actual as opposed to the assumed role of the father in the family hierarchy is often overlooked. The 'pathology' of the mixed marriage in the Jewish home is also a reason according to many leaders to discourage intermarriage. Using phrases such as 'stupid, immoral, irresponsible' and 'the children have a split mind' Jewish leaders see competition from other religions within the home and community as a danger. As Orthodox leader B argues, religious stability is key to a stable home and community. Jewish tradition sees the home as the primary vehicle of Jewish education. You can't be a successful vehicle of Jewish education if one of the parents is not Jewish and does not see the importance of that agenda. And so intermarriage is simply a very challenging issue because it significantly threatens the success of the next generation of Jews.... Some people sometimes ask me well is this racial, is this chauvinistic? And to me it's not. It's a very simple fact. If you want to create a home that educates Jewishly you need two Jewish parents there. You can't even say 'oh what about single parent homes?' It's not an issue of how many parents. It's an issue of how many frequencies are there. A home where they put Christmas lights on the house and light a Chanukah menorah only succeeds in confusing children. It does not succeed in promoting Jewish identity. Again, we see how the Jewish home and not only the role of the mother but also the father will determine the strength of the child's Jewish identity. Assimilation, here represented by Christmas lights, cannot infiltrate the Jewish home if children are going to be raised 4 5 Jewishly. It is the responsibility of all Jews to maintain the boundaries of Judaism particularly within their family. What is particularly salient about this leader's response is that although the perception of Jewish racialization exists, it is an irrelevant interpretation when it comes to Jewish survival because it is education that is his primary concern. As this leader also notes, the taboo of intermarriage is often perceived as racialization. If intermarriage is framed as an issue of education and consistency of tradition, then forbidding intermarriage is not racialization. However, when considering the biological dimension of the taboo on intermarriage, which is interlinked with matrilineal descent, the argument that intermarriage is racializing is more difficult to discount than ethnicization alone as suggested by Orthodox leader B. The biological reproduction of the nation locates Jewish survival in racialized women's bodies. In 19th century post-Revolutionary France, Jewish bodies were becoming racialized as women's bodies were becoming increasingly sexed.100 In the 20 th century in Vancouver, it is Jewish women's bodies that are both racialized and sexed. Although matrilineal descent is often touted as one of the few powers that Jewish women have in an often otherwise patriarchal religion and culture, this reliance on their sexuality can also obfuscate power relations.101 The gendered power relations of intermarriage are racialised through blood ties. Hill Collins argues, "Representing the genetic links among related individuals, the belief in blood ties naturalizes the bonds among members of kinship networks."102 The salience of the mother's body in Judaism demonstrates how the cultural See Wendy Brown 2004. A history of Jewish sexuality can be found in Sander Gilman's The Jew's Body, which describes depictions of Jews and their body parts. However, I have yet to find a satisfactory history of Jews and Judaism that includes how women's bodies were subject to monitoring both within Jewish communities and broader societies during the 19 t h century. 1 0 1 See Pratt 2004. 1 0 2 H i l l Collins, Patricia. 2000: 163. 4 6 and the biological blur and naturalize gender and racialization of Jews. According to Alternative leader A, even "children of a Jewish mother who abandoned them when they were six months old and they were raised by their Catholic father. You know, ok you're a Jew." Although no Jewish leader explicitly used the phrases 'Jewish blood' or 'blood ties,' it is the religion of the mother's body and her blood that determines the religion of her children. Despite the claim of the significance of the mother's domestic role in the home, her success at raising good Jews is not what determines the Jewishness of the children. It is only the fact that she is Jewish that allows the children unquestioned membership in the Jewish community no matter her education. The monitoring of women's bodies (and men's choices) as the sites of Jewish reproduction is not only measured qualitatively (who are they marrying, what kind of home they create), but also quantitatively. Foucault argues that the surveillance of citizens requires a closer attention to demography as well as pedagogy and medicine "whose objective was the spontaneous or concerted regulation of births."104 In the Jewish community, fertility rates of women are often measured next to intermarriage rates. Reform leader A describes the issue in terms of the ethnic market. y ~ The reality is, is that we are losing a market share in terms of our own people. We are a small people in the world and we are getting smaller primarily because of intermarriage. Now, there are other factors involved: people are not getting married to the same extent, they're not having children to the same extent. You know how many children you need to have zero population growth? Sociologists tell us, what, 2.1, 2.2 kids to have zero population growth because two kids replace mom and dad your net growth is zero. In the Jewish community of North America right now we're somewhere between 1.6 and 1.8 kids. So we're below two, which means we're in the negative territory, ok. So that's also contributing to a diminution of the number of Jews who are born today, ok. But the big reason out there today is intermarriage. SeeKobayashi 1994. Foucault, Michel. History of Human Sexuality. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books, 1990: 116. 47 Put more bluntly: the majority of Jewish women are not producing enough children to maintain the population. Although scholars and community leaders often praise the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox for increasing Jewish birth rates, many feel that they will be unable to make up for the larger part of the Jewish population with lower birth rates. This has led community organizations to create and fund a variety of educational and social programs to try and get young Jews to meet each other, as I will discuss later in this chapter. Citizenship through birth is one way that the racialization of Jewishness is constructed as national belonging. When I told Conservative leader C about my discomfort with the fact that the children of my non-Jewish sister-in-law will have to convert to be Jewish and that my children will in effect be 'naturally Jewish' he drew upon the idea of 1 national citizenship to justify the law. I don't know if this works in the situation, but it's the definition of who is part of the Jewish people and how it happens. If you come into Canada from the States and you have a kid and the country doesn't know it and you raise your child as a Canadian, the kid speaks Canadian, thinks Canadian, thinks he's Canadian. But unless the child has been naturalized or gone through citizenship procedure.. .legally the child is not Canadian, right? Looks, acts, thinks, identity, etc. So this for me, that's all we're talking about. What makes someone part of the people. What makes citizenship. The rule for the past twenty-five hundred years except for Reform changes, but the rule, the standard rule is the mother. That's the citizenship rules so that you look Canadian, act Canadian, think Canadian unless you've done it legally you're not Canadian. And so too the same here. It's arbitrary, so with that I'm agreeing with you, but every law is arbitrary at some point. Belonging to the Jewish nation, although removed from the territoriality of the Canadian example, is imagined as a process that inscribes belonging through the (different) pregnancies of the Jewish and non-Jewish mothers. Perhaps if being Jewish was tied to a place more concretely than even the contemporary state of Israel, matrilineal decent would be less of an issue today or in the past. However, similar to Hill Collins' discussion of family planning, Jewish women's bodies are transposed from producers of the family to producers 48 V . of the national family. "Just as women's bodies produce children who are part of a socially constructed family grounded in notions of biological kinship, women's bodies produce the population for the national 'family' or nation-state, conceptualized as having some sort of biological oneness."105 Citizenship and biological 'oneness' are also rooted in the history of Jewish assimilation and the idea of Jews as a chosen people. [Intermarriage].has been an issue since the French Revolution since Jews were allowed to become citizens in western countries. So once we became citizens then this became an issue. This is the reason why we have the different denominations. ... It's been an issue throughout our history, it goes back to ancient times.... So it's part of the whole idea of being chosen, right? We have this idea of being chosen then a question of who is in and who is out becomes a big question, right? So I think it's related to that imagining yourself being a select people.. .and this whole sense of we are a family.... But conversion has been a part of Judaism since ancient times. We do welcome outsiders in, but there's the vetting process. Conservative leader B identifies the sanctity of Jewish marriage and Jewish citizenship as protecting the imagery of the Jews as the chosen people. Dilution of a Jewish family and dilution of the chosen people are the same. Conversions complicate the 'biological oneness' of the chosen people, but do not threaten boundaries of Jewish citizenship. In fact, if anything they reaffirm those boundaries as well as the Canadian boundaries discussed above because converts must prove their commitment to Judaism for themselves and future generations. To be Jewish for the convert and the intermarried requires a commitment to earning the privilege of Jewish membership that for others is unquestioned because their mother's blood is Jewish. Historical and metaphorical violence Violence, as expressed by community leaders, is rooted in the past experiences of Jews and the present 'problem' of intermarriage. Both the histories of Jewish suffering and assimilation constitute physical threats from non-Jews, but they have significantly different 1 0 5 Hill Collins, Patricia. 2000:169. 4 9 meanings for the Jewish community. For example, the Jewish Community Centre leader recounts the historical explanation for matrilineal descent that is outside of Jewish law and rooted in the physical realities of Diaspora. Well historically, I mean my understanding is because sometimes you didn't know who the father was. There were rapes, there were pogroms, there were pillages. I mean you know husbands went off and never came back, you weren't quite sure. I mean I'm pretty sure that that's what the reason is. You always know who the mum is. And the mum is the one who is going to take care of the kid when dad goes off and doesn't come back. Violence against women was an explanation that I received only from female respondents while the male respondents talked more about domesticity and reproduction. However to some leaders, historical violence has little salience in present acceptance of Jewish law. Orthodox leader B gave me the following response when I asked him why there was a switch from patrilineal decent to matrilineal in the Torah and Talmud. So tribal identification is a patrilineal issue. So a Cohen is only a Cohen if he's descended from Cohen. A Levy is only a Levy if he's a son of a Levy. And there's no question about that, but as far as I'm concerned that's what the Talmud says, that's what's law. I don't engage in legal anthropology on that level. ... My assumption is, it's almost a religious assumption, is that in the Talmud, if that's the way it's reported in the Talmud that's the way Moses got it at Sinai. Jewish law had its purposes in the past and continues to serve a function today. Questioning the history of the law is in many ways irrelevant. The fact that it has worked to preserve Judaism for thousands of years is reason enough to disregard historical explanations. Nonetheless, mistrust of women as well as violence against women are a part of Jewish history and contemporary understandings of who is Jewish. I do not want to characterize Jewish women as victims of historical circumstance, but silences or disavowals of violence against women in Judaism are dangerous. Then again, Judaism as a religion depends upon distinctions that can be seen as both empowering and 5 0 disempowering. On the one hand, women determine the inclusion of their children through their very being Jewish. They can marry anyone, Jew or Gentile, and their children will be welcomed unquestioned into the Jewish community. On the other hand, it is the woman's body not her choice that establishes her child as Jewish. As Kobayashi argues "One of the reasons that patriarchy is such a complex and durable form of social relationship is that it contains much that women have traditionally viewed as positive; the major sources of women's happiness in 'traditional' terms have involved marriage, love, motherhood."106 Biblical and Talmudic interpretations wash over the historical circumstances of violence that played a role in the formation of Jewish law. What was once a necessity of physical survival several millennia ago today continues to evoke the Jewess' body as the racialized carrier of the Jewish nation. As Jews have assimilated into Canadian society some of the violent reactions to intermarriage have subsided. The changes in attitudes over the last fifty years towards intermarriage have been a shock to Conservative leader D. It was a real shock, when my wife and I got married almost 41 years ago it was unheard, really. It was just no one talked about it. But that's not the case anymore. Most of our friends have at least one member of the family who has intermarried. I think it's perhaps because of that sort of drifting away from some of the traditional imposed laws the old Judaic way of doing things that if you intermarried, my father in-law is a good example. 'If my daughter intermarries I'm going to go to the synagogue and then say a kaddish' the prayer for the dead because she'll be... we don't say those sort of things anymore.... So we encourage our children to be independent, like to think for themselves, to be self-sufficient and then I think sometimes we're a little upset when they do exercise those options that we taught them and go the way we think they shouldn't go. Kobayashi, Audrey. "Unnatural Discourse: 'Race' and Gender in Geography." Gender Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. 1:2 (1994): 229. 51 There is a slight sense of nostalgia for the taboo in this quotation. Although the violence of considering a child dead for intermarrying has diminished,107 his generation has some misgivings about loosening the boundaries of Jewish identity for their children. My mother, part of the first generation of Jews in the United States to intermarry in large numbers in the 1960s and 1970s, told me once that her generation had collectively 'made a mistake.' I disagree. Metaphors of violence are also used to maintain intermarriage as a 'problem'. The language that leaders use to discuss intermarriage is sometimes drawn from metaphors of violence. Reform leader A discusses intermarriage as a 'war on love.' What's the future of Canadian Jewry? We're involved in a war right now and it's a very, very difficult war. This is not a war with bullets. It's not a war with gas. Those wars we fought, those wars we sort of understand as horrific as they are. This is a war with emotion. And something called feelings. So how do you fight that? ...The love is that the Jew is in love with a non-Jew. I'm talking about emotional, romantic basis. That's the war that we're involved in. Through racialized and gendered interpretations of Jewish law and reproduction, the Jewish family becomes the battleground in the war on love. The oracle that reveals the health of the Jewish community is under attack. Non-Jews and Jews are falling in love and threatening the future of the Jewish community. However, unlike past wars that were tangible, bloody conflicts, the 'war on love' pits individuals and families against community and tradition. Intruders, outsiders, the non-Jewish other are sullying the sanctity, the purity of Judaism. Orthodox leader A characterizes the 'war on love' as the current ultimate threat to Jews and Judaism. I mean all rabbis from all denominations even though we do disagree, I mean we have our disagreements on conversion how should we do it, what should be the process. But everyone will agree that intermarriage is I would say the holocaust of the 21 s t From what I understand my grandparents ostensibly excommunicated my mother for marrying my Gentile hippie father—until my oldest brother was born of course. 52 century and pulpit rabbis deal with it on a daily basis and I tell you that we lament about it. Really it hurts us, it's painful for all of us. And I say from all denominations it hurts us when we see a couple getting married when one of the partners is not Jewish. Now, don't get me wrong, it does happen that people convert and it's great. Not that we encourage conversion. Judaism is not a religion that proclaims and goes and says 'you know what, become Jewish.' But at thesame time, when we see that the candidates out there, people who really sincerely want to become Jewish for the right reasons, we go through conversions. And then if they want to get married after that, why not? That's great. But coming back to intermarriage yes, .. .definitely it's a problem all over North America. And it is something that we try to the best of our abilities to stop. Although this leader is not opposed to conversions and any subsequent marriages, he not only politicizes but also racializes the effects of intermarriage by drawing an analogy to the Nazi Holocaust. The Nazi Holocaust took away the future of European Jews in the twentieth century and now a holocaust of intermarriage threatens to do the same today. Conversion is seen as a potential weapon against the onslaught of intermarriage that threatens not only to dilute, but also to wipe out Judaism. The threat of the non-Jewish other and their love with a Jew are not so subtly equated with Nazism. As the child of intermarriage I cannot help but feel this is a dangerous, exaggerated form of paranoia. However, using the term paranoia may seem for many in the Jewish community too cynical a position on intermarriage in Vancouver. Alternative leader A warned me against using strong language such as 'paranoia' in exploring the racialization of Jewish identity through intermarriage (and anti-Semitism in the following chapter). I mean as you're doing this work and thinking about, and I'm not putting you down or anything, using words like 'paranoia.' You know just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not trying to kill you. In fact it could happen quite a lot and like I said there's people who would do that today. The president of Iran trying to build an atom bomb. Wants to get rid of all the Jews in Israel. I take that seriously and heavily. But if my son wants to marry a Chinese girl, like I have to work with that you know. It's not because somebody is trying to kill all the Jews over there that he shouldn't marry someone in his class in high school. 53 As I was warned against using extreme language, this religious leader highlights how tossing around phrases such as 'war on love' and 'holocaust of the 21st century' obfuscate other dangers to Jews. As I will discuss further in the next chapter, Norman Finkelstein has staked his career on the argument that some Jewish institutions frequently abuse the term 'anti-Semitism' for their own political and economic gain. 1 0 8 Equating the marriage of a Jew to, say, someone of Chinese descent, to genocide or even a war of survival for the Jewish people abuses the history of the Jewish people and creates even more hostility towards non-Jewish partners. To some in the Jewish community, raising money is directly related to threats against the physical survival of Jews. The following quote from a leader at the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver109 identifies fear as central to galvanizing support for Jewish survival. When a Jew has a gun to his head or a knife to his throat, it's always easy to raise money for that, all right? Jews are being killed. Jewish survival on a physical level, everybody's there: vigils, rallies, they're there, right? Jewish survival on a spiritual level is very hard to sell, very hard to market because that's where it gets involved with the personal or the personal you know is like political right? People will say you know I'm intermarried. I don't feel comfortable with you looking at me and saying that I'm suffering a spiritual demise over here, right? So Jewish survival has many levels to it... . It's easier to raise money when Jews are in crisis in Israel because there's war, terrorism. It's not easy to raise money if I say that seven out of ten couples who are below the age of thirty in this city are married to non-Jews, right? That's a lost generation. That's a lost generation that is never coming back. It's not easy to raise money for them. The leader agrees that intermarriage is a great threat to Judaism in Vancouver and it is not receiving proper funding. Although the community identifies intermarriage as a threat, the cause is too personal to successfully rally people to become involved in the fight. Intermarriage is almost a more painful cause than physical violence because it threatens 1 See Norman Finkelstein 2005, 2003, and 1995 for more on his critique of Jewish elites and Israel. 1 0 9 As will be discussed in the following chapter, Federations are the major funding bodies in Jewish communities of North America, and are generally located in major cities. 5 4 families who may value independence as Conservative leader D argued. Intermarriage as a cause is ironically not as far away as Israel, but intermarriage is perhaps more abstract despite its effects on Vancouver's Jewish community. However, this 'problem' is leading to a 'lost generation' of Jews who will not be around to support Judaism and Jewish causes in the future. Perhaps the intermarried can be recovered when they have children and have a desire to reconnect with Judaism. But according to the census report mentioned in the introduction, in Vancouver at least, most intermarried Jews are disconnected from the Jewish community. This leads us to the final section of this chapter on strategies employed by Jewish organizations to challenge intermarriage and reclaim the 'lost generation.' S t r a t e g i e s f o r i m p r o v i n g J e w i s h l i f e Both religious and secular leaders view intermarriage as an issue in Vancouver and have adopted a variety of strategies to cope with this new/old threat to Judaism and the Jewish family. Because Jews are not defined entirely by their practice, marrying Jewish is one practice that is heartily encouraged through adult and youth education, developing connections with Israel, conversion and in some cases reinterpretations of Jewish law. The goal of these strategies is the reproduction of the Jewish people, the cohesive Jewish family, and the affiliated Jew. To maintain current member levels and to entice new members, institutions must choose to either flex their definitions of inclusion or maintain a staunch traditional stance no matter the effects experienced by families. Returning again to Mitchell's understanding of hegemony, one goal of Jewish institutions is to facilitate the acquiescence of Jews to their guidelines whether this is through education, conversion, or more flexible membership rules. How is this achieved? Mitchell 5 5 contends "This acquiescence is based primarily on the insistent and inexorable effects of numerous unequal institutional apparatuses in society that take on the characteristic of the self-evident, the normal and the correct."110 As the history and mythology of Judaism dictates belonging, the moral, the traditional and in some cases the religious must be naturalized to facilitate the reproduction of the Jewish people. In Judaism, 'the self-evident, the normal and the correct' are the rabbinical definitions of who is Jewish. However, to be inclusive, leaders must (re)create the boundaries of Judaism to include at least to a certain extent those who are not self-evidently Jewish, who are abnormal and not entirely correct because of their mixed heritage. This is a particular struggle because traditionally Judaism maintains strict definitions and boundaries precisely to limit the inclusion of (hostile) non-Jews. However, institutions are now struggling to redraw the boundaries of inclusion throughout the life cycle from birth to b 'nai mitzvoh to marriage to death. As highlighted throughout this thesis, marriage as an instrument in maintaining the boundaries of Judaism has been a consistent theme throughout Jewish history. Discouraging intermarriage was used by Isaac's wife, Rebecca, to ensure the purity of Jacob. As Alternative leader A recounted: Sarah didn't want Isaac influenced by Ishmael. Cast them out! You know, stay pure. And then the very next generation, Isaac and his wife had two sons, right. And when Rebecca heard Esau say he's going to kill Jacob because Jacob you know stole the blessings his father wanted to give him, 'I'm going to kill him' in this kind of agony and passion, impulsive person that he was... .The way she dealt with it, she didn't go to her husband the boys' father and say 'you know we've got a problem here let's deal with it.' She said 'I'm worried that our son might marry one of the Canaanites around here. Let's send him back to the old country so he can marry somebody from our tribe.' And that's what he did. Discouraging intermarriage is a historical strategy to maintain the integrity of the Jewish family and therefore the integrity of the Jewish people. In this story we see how the role of 1 1 0 Mitchell, Katharyne. 2004: 20. 5 6 the mother (Sarah and Rebecca) in raising her children with a strong connection to family and community is a way of ensuring the future of Judaism. The Jewish children (Isaac and Jacob) are to be protected from their non-Jewish brothers (Ishmael and Esau). However, it is the threat of intermarriage that Rebecca uses to convince Isaac that Jacob must be separated from Esau to save his life, to save his family, to save his people. Similar to Rebecca, some leaders and institutions in Vancouver encourage parents to send their children to universities with large Jewish populations and many are involved with the creation of target programs for teens and young adults. • . / Education is one of the primary strategies that not only encourages higher education, but also religious reproduction. Hand in hand with the creation of the Jewish home is education. Education is one of the most frequently cited ways that Jewish organizations (secular and religious) discourage intermarriage and manage those who have already intermarried. We teach our children about this world and about society and that we are part of society, but at the same they have to know the difference, we are Jews and as Jews we don't intermarry. So the child grows basically with a balance. Yes, I could have a profession. Yes, I could become whatever I want to become, but at the same time I want to keep my tradition. My home is going to be a Jewish one. I'm going to get married to someone who is Jewish, I'm going to raise Jewish children exactly like my father and my mother did. So this is something that we are trying to build. For Orthodox leader A, part of being a Jew and receiving Jewish education is learning that tradition requires you to marry Jewish—just like your parents, well, at least for some Jews. However, Conservative leader B is unsure how well the strategy of stemming intermarriage by increasing access to Jewish education will work. There's been a great effort not only in Vancouver but throughout North America, there has been a significant increase in investment in Jewish education throughout North America [including for Jewish day schools and high schools]. .. .1 think a lot of that is fueled by anxiety over intermarriages. And so on one hand I think it's very 5 7 good. On the other hand I worry that if it doesn't change the statistics around in another ten years people will take the investment out. Although he sees education as a valuable good and an integral part of what it means to be Jewish, the extent to which education can preserve the Jewish family is questionable. However, Jewish high schools may decrease the rates of intermarriage in Vancouver according to one school administrator. Research tells us that there are three important factors as far as the assimilation of Jews. One is a summer camp experience, two a connection with Israel, and three high school, Jewish high school experience. So we believe that the kids who graduate from here, if the research is correct, have a much better chance of not assimilating. When we say assimilating we mean not intermarrying if they graduate from us. They say that your high school connections last much longer than your elementary connections do and it makes sense, so we're hoping that in fact this is true... .If we had every Jewish teenager in our school, we expect that the intermarriage rate would probably plummet. That won't happen of course. The experience of kids in Jewish day schools in Vancouver he argues is evidence of the effects of Jewish education and community participation. In cities with larger Jewish populations, there may be concentrations of Jewish kids that may help curb intermarriage. However, there are not very many Jewish high schools or day schools in the Vancouver area and according to Conservative leader B the experience of kids at the Jewish schools is mixed. CLB: A lot of the kids going to the day schools here and many of those kids come out of it. . . they just can't wait to be in a more secular and general environment. .. .It's too intense they needed some relief from it I think. They don't come away from it with a lot of positive feelings towards it. A lot of them have very negative feelings. It's not because the school is bad. ... I think the way to do it is to build the kids' positive view of their Jewish self-image and be involved in the Jewish community; I think that's the challenge. SJ: where does the negative image come from? CLB: It's a small community, it's not that small a community, but it is a small community, small and sometimes very small minded. I think that filters down to the kids. There are real social economic divisions in the community; I think that lends itself an issue. ... Well I think half the kids that go to the Talmud Torah ... get some kind of scholarship. The other half live in another world economically. And you can see the SUVs lining up to pick these kids up every afternoon.... Somehow I think that contributes. I'm not sure how but it does. 5 8 Enclosing Jewish students daily with one another, according to the above leader, is not a proven way to decrease intermarriage. Nonetheless, using education to improve the intermarriage rates is one of the most common ways seen to perpetuate the Jewish family. This reflects Donzelot's critique of the ways that the family became the locus of control for governments and philanthropists. He argues that if the government did not establish the needs of the family through social benevolence, then the family would control the government; in other words, "control its needs or be controlled by them."111 For the Jewish institutions to maintain their salience to Jews in Vancouver they must continually recreate themselves as needed for the perpetuation of Judaism through the Jewish family. Nonetheless, Conservative leader B and many others are pessimistic about the possibility of education fulfilling the needs of Jewish families in Vancouver. One of the reasons for this pessimism is funding. Despite the increase of interest in education and its ability to curb intermarriage, funding programs is a constant struggle particularly for secular institutions. See with the synagogues they have a bit more of a challenge because they can educate the people who aren't afraid to walk into their building. But there are lots of people who are still interested in being Jewish but are afraid to go back into a schule 1 2 for a zillion different reasons. So we're aware of that and one of our challenges as an institution in this city is to get understanding and awareness and buy-in....But it's been formal education and until [flinders] see the validity of the informal education that we can do, we're not necessarily going to get the funding in that envelope for those programs. So we see a huge need to reach out to the unaffiliated sections of individuals within the community. But we don't always necessarily get the funding. for that and it's a constant challenge. The JCC representative goes on to argue that what is needed are some 'champions of the cause' but no one is willing to take on the challenge. Enticing non-affiliated Jews to get 1 1 1 Donzelot, Jacques. 1997: 70. 1 1 2 Synagogue. 5 9 involved in the Jewish community is a greater struggle than ensuring that the participating , population has access to education and programming. She argues that it is the secular programs that will have a better chance to successfully reach out to the unaffiliated, but the funding structures in Vancouver sometimes make it difficult to reach out effectively. Inclusion rather than explicit exclusion is another way institutions cope with the realities of the intermarried and their children. Frequently, religious leaders discuss how members of the Jewish community who want to intermarry react to strict adherence to Jewish law. Some people are threatened and turned off if they find out that I can't perform their wedding or that... any of our previous rabbis couldn't perform their weddings. Other people will say we'll do our wedding elsewhere and then I'll come and.participate in the community. It's not a big deal. I think for children of interfaith families studying for bar and bat mitzvah,1^ the biggest thing that I've found.. .is they just want that to be acknowledged. They're not looking for any special teaching, but they just want to know from me and from their classmates that we don't marginalize them or think of them as weirdoes. As Alternative leader A describes, Jewish laws discourage the participation of intermarried couples and their children in synagogues, but from my discussions with community leaders, there is no strong desire to ostracize those who intermarry. Despite the number of secular institutions that make little to no effort to define who is or who is not Jewish, there is no obvious reason why so many Jews in the Vancouver region have little to no interest in participating in the Jewish community. Nonetheless, discouraging intermarriage continues to be an important part of Judaism and what it means to be Jewish, which, in addition to the geographical factors, also appears to be discouraging individuals who may otherwise participate. 113 B 'nai mitvah means child of the commandments, bar means son and bat means daughter in Hebrew. B 'nai mitvah is a Jewish coming of age ceremony that usually takes place at the age of thirteen and traditionally are not held for girls. 6 0 Bar and bat mitvot,114 decisions on where to have them, how much they should cost, and whether or not to even have one are often more difficult to make for intermarried families, particularly when the mother is not Jewish. One institution, the Peretz Centre, offers secular b 'nai mitzvot. They provide an alternative to religious interpretations (and their costs) while maintaining Jewish cultural traditions. Now the reason why we have such a large bar and bat mitzvah group is .. .traditional bar mitzvah at any one of the synagogues is ultra, ultra, ultra expensive. I mean I know many people are quite prepared to go into debt in order.. .for their child to have a bar mitzvah. But mainly it's large because we're very accepting of mixed marriages. I think our motto is anyone who really wants to be Jewish, we consider that they are and so .. .it's a wonderful service for a lot of families. And they're all wonderful events from every single, you know, point of view. But, and this is something that we share together with the synagogues, once a kid has a bar mitzvah and he's off to college or university, you know, forget it. There's so many competing interests even before they get to the university stage. Although Peretz provides an alternative to religious practices and therefore guidelines, once past the b 'nai mitzvah phase it is difficult for most Jewish institutions to compete. However, exploring new ways of categorizing people may become a way to include non-Jews who are normally excluded from participation in life cycle events besides marriages and b 'nai mitzvot. Because marriage is assumed to be for life and as the number of Jews who intermarry grows, religious institutions must decide how to respect those relationships in death as well as in life while preserving Jewish practice. Including non-Jewish partners has become an issue for one synagogue as they work towards building a Jewish cemetery. Well, we're in the process of building a cemetery so we're in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the intermarried. There's a whole book put out by the Conservative movement recently. Rather than calling them 'non-Jews' to call them crovay yisrael, which means people who come close to the Jewish people. It's not a . no—it's a yes. So changing the nomenclature can be significant. And so where do you bury someone who is not, right if someone is involved with their church, they're B 'nai mitzvot is the plural form o f b 'nai mitzvah. 61 not going to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, they belong elsewhere. For someone who is not churched, someone who does not want to administer burying them, someone who has been coming in as a part of the community except they never converted, that's who crovay yisrael is in the terminology book. I'm trying to figure out exactly what they're doing, but it sounds like they're burying them but it's in the Jewish cemetery. Conservative leader C wants to accept the realities of intermarriage in life and death for the community, while maintaining Jewish boundaries. Jewish law includes strict rules for burial grounds and the Conservative movement is attempting to work within the confines of the law to include the intermarried. Adopting an alternative nomenclature is an example of how some Jewish leaders are (re)creating Jewish structures that are more appealing to unaffiliated Jews and their children, opening new avenues of inclusion. Education and redefining the Jewish community through life cycle events are also closely tied to conversion. As has been noted throughout this chapter by several leaders, encouraging conversion, without proselytizing, is frequently seen as the most acceptable solution to the 'problem' of intermarriage outside of encouraging Jewish in-marriage. OK, out of the ninety percent that bother to do it, I would tell you a hundred percent of them feel very rewarded, enriched and actually Jewishly empowered by it. They're no longer kind of straddling, no longer kind of like maneuvering, hoping that they'll be OK and screw the ones that don't buy their.. .no they're there and it's like OK that's resolved, you know. No more issues, no more ambivalence. As alternative leader A notes, the community not only prefers conversion, but it also enables those who feel like they are on the borders of Judaism to (finally) be included. Of course, because Jews do not proselytize it is up to religious leaders to decide how far they are going to push couples to consider conversion for the spouse or the non-Jewish child. A radical alternative to conversions for children of non-Jewish mothers was adopted in the 1980s. The Reform movement, which is larger and stronger in the United States than in Canada, began to accept patrilineal descent in an attempt to be more welcoming of 6 2 intermarriages and the feelings of discrimination that come from the law of matrilineal decent. The Reform movement in the 1980s.. .came with an alternative to try somehow to solve the problem of assimilation and all that by introducing patrilineal. It is true that in the Bible, just the Bible... a Jew was based upon what the father was, not the mother. But later with the oral for the last two thousand years it was matrilineal and that's how the Jewish community has been organized. For whatever reason which is not important. But once the community has accepted that principle and it worked, and it worked perfectly for two thousand years. Why change? Now today the Reform movement who introduced it, admit that they failed, that nothing changed. Absolutely nothing changed for the better. That the same problems there were in 1980 we have in 2006. Conservative leader A articulates how this solution has done little to alleviate the 'problem' of intermarriage. Conservative leader C illustrates the tensions caused by one denomination accepting patrilineal descent in the following story. We put our teens together, took them up to New York for a New York Jewish experience. We went to a Labbovitcher or some Hassidic place. Boys put on tafilin"5... and all of them were asked what's your mother's name, what's your father's name, what's your Hebrew name. So one boy said my mother's not Jewish. They said did you convert? No. And they, they just stripped the tafilin off the boy. He was shattered and shocked and I spoke to him, actually the Reform rabbi wasn't around right then, but I said that the Reform rabbi made a huge mistake. That he didn't educate, that he didn't either by his own tradition he's not going to insist on conversion, but he didn't tell him and that was a mistake. The kid had to know that while he and his family and the synagogue, their temple may consider him Jewish, he's going to be out there finding that he's not in other people's minds. And it's sad, very sad. The trip that ended in disaster for one boy demonstrates how breaking with tradition can cause heartbreak within the broader Jewish community. The trouble with the Reform experiment is that it broke with one of the most strongly held Jewish definitions of who is Jewish. Certainly secular institutions that do not need to emphasize Judaism as a religion or as an ethnic group also do not need to adhere to strict interpretations. However, because 1 1 5 Tafilin are used in prayer (davening) by Orthodox Jewish men along with the more commonly used prayer shawl (talis) and skull cap (yarmulke). 63 matrilineal descent is a question of faith, unless the Orthodox reconsiders its salience to Judaism, undoubtedly children of non-Jewish mothers, without conversion will continue to be excluded. A secular leader for youth and young adult programs does not see Jewish education as necessarily the solution to intermarriage. Just getting Jewish kids together will hopefully create an environment conducive to in-marriage in Vancouver. Our goal is to limit the number of intermarriages. That's how we view it. Our goal is to get, is to create an environment here where Jews are meeting Jews and part of our mandate is Jews doing Jewish with other Jews, OK? Whatever that means to them. If that's sports, if it's an environmental project, if it's a social event, as long as they're together, meeting each other, doing things together. But being Jewish transcends all ethnic lines, OK? So you can be an Afro-Canadian Jew [etc.] It's a peoplehood or religion, OK? So we want Jews marrying Jews regardless of whatever ethnicity they come from. How one defines what it means to be Jewish is not important, just that Jewish youth are active with other Jewish youth. One of the activities that the youth leader sees as integral to doing Jewish with other Jews is travel and identification with Israel. The transnational dynamic to his solution to the intermarriage 'problem' simultaneously territorializes Jewish national identity in both Canada and Israel. We find that once a student has gone to Israel, they're inadvertently connected to their Judaism however they define their Judaism for the rest of their life. It's an experience that just never leaves them having been to Israel. And so I would be interested to see the rate of assimilation five, ten years from now. I think it will have dropped. I think we're doing a very good job now at meeting students on their terms. So I think there's a lot more opportunity for Jews to meet Jews than there was before... We believe that every Jew is born with an umbilical cord attached to Israel, OK? So Israel is a very strong component of who we are and we believe that Israel is the foundation of Jewish life worldwide, OK? He suggests that the development of a 'Canadian Israeli' identity for youth and young adults facilitates a life-long connection to both Judaism and Israel, encouraging young Jews to marry Jewish rather than explicitly discouraging intermarriage. Going to Israel with other 6 4 young Jews (often paid for by Jewish institutions such as 'Birthright') is seen as one method to encourage Jewish youth to marry Jewish and maintain connections to Judaism through Israel. Considering Canadian Jewry's strongly Zionist history, this is a powerful way not only to maintain connections with family and the past, but also to ensure future connections through a transnational identity. As Vancouver's population of Israeli as well as Russian immigrants grows, parents and their children face similar choices as the native Canadian Jews. Another aspect of transnationalism and intermarriage are the choices of Israeli immigrants. I think most of them are here to stay. .. .You know you come with kids who are five years old and then they become 18 and all of a sudden you see that I know some of them are afraid of assimilation and they don't want them to marry goyim116 and things like that so they go back to Israel. But it's asmall percentage. While Canadian Jews may want to send their children back east or to the United States for university where there may be more Jews, some Israeli parents choose to send their children home to Israel. This highlights how the Diasporic experience of Israeli Jews is different than that of the Canadian born. Israelis send their children back to Israel to meet someone who will most likely be Israeli; whereas North American tour programs such as Birthright will connect young Jewish Canadians to other North American Jews. Despite the concern of many about Vancouver's intermarriage rates, no leader gave me the sense that Vancouver's community is shrinking or even in danger of disappearing entirely through assimilation. The Orthodox and in particular the Chabbad movement are growing in Vancouver and have changed the Jewish landscape in just a few years. As this high school administrator argues: I can tell you that Vancouver is much different than it was even just five years ago. We have a much larger, stronger, more obvious Orthodox group here in Vancouver. ' 1 1 6 A rather derogatory term for non-Jews; shiksa refers to a female goy and shagus a male goy. 6 5 We have various Chabbad synagogues around. We have more people in black hats then we ever did before.. ..We have a larger number of people who maintain a very, not only just a Jewish life, but a very Orthodox Jewish life. And so it is possible to maintain a definite Jewish identity here in town.... I really have to hand it to Chabbad because they've come in and they've really done something to increase the identity of many Jewish people. And I think that they made it more comfortable to be an Orthodox person here in Vancouver. Chabbad is an ultra Orthodox movement that is quickly growing in North America and 117 Israel. Many leaders see them as reviving Jewish communities and the Jewish spirit. However, Chabbad's increasing presence is somewhat controversial because they proselytize Jews to become in effect more Jewish. Two secular leaders, one from the JCC and the second from Peretz, expressed their concerns. JCC: There's one of the organizations that has benefits and negatives. The Chabbad organization re-stimulates people in a way and offers them like free shabbos dinners, come, come, come, come. Be part of it. So maybe it nourishes and reawakens part of people's lives that they sort of haven't had connections with for many years. But the flip side by offering all of these free, subsidized paid-for experiences, there's a whole chunk of that young Jewish population that doesn't understand that to be part of a community you need to pay your dues. Peretz: On Saturday, Sara, I was so upset. I was just beside myself. I went to a bar mitzvah. An ultra, ultra religious you know bar mitzvah. The men walked in through the front door, but the women had to walk in through the back door. The men sat in one part of the room and the women sat in another part of the room and in-between there was what's called a m 'chaytzah. They put up screens so that the women can't see the men, the men can't see the women. In the evening, and it was you know the regular bar mitzvah ceremony with lunch. But in the evening there was you know sort of a big, big party. They rented the Peretz School even though we're not kosher, but all of the food was kosher and in our kitchen they even covered all the worktables with table clothes. So even for that they had half way down the auditorium they had a screen so that if you were sitting on the women's side you could not see the men dancing and the men could not see the women dancing. I mean this is what they believe in and they have every right to do so. But what still drives me crazy... and this is a very, it's a new sort of organization. It's Chabbad which is you know part of the Lebbovitcher and they've already started ayeshiva here. But what I can't understand is young people who are well educated, intelligent, knowledgeable about everything, how can they still believe so strongly? 1 1 7 1 attempted to interview someone from Chabbad, but was unable to make a contact. 6 6 For many Jews the goals of Judaism have been transformed from the traditions of the ultra Orthodox to the assimilation of western familial values. Nonetheless, Chabbad is transforming Vancouver's Jewish landscape both for secular and religious Jews and institutions. Perhaps Chabbad is a struggle against the modern liberal reconfiguration of the family that through assimilation has led to such sharp increases in intermarriage. In his foreword to The Policing of Families, Gilles Deleuze argues that in the 19th century, and extending to today: Not only does the family tend to detach itself from its domestic setting, but marital values tend to break loose from familial values properly speaking and assume a certain autonomy. Marriages will still be regulated by family hierarchies, of course; but now it is less a matter of preserving the order of families than of preparing people for married life... .Preparation for marriage as an end, rather than preservation of the 118 family by means of marriage; a concern for descent more than a pride in ancestry. Through assimilation many Jewish homes in Vancouver are failing to prepare children to preserve the Jewish family. Competing interests are leading Jews not necessarily to entirely abandon Judaism, the practice of their ancestors. The growth of Orthodoxy and the ultra Orthodox achieved through high birthrates and activities such as Chabbad's are seen by some in the community as a threat to the other traditions in Judaism such as secularism and, as the quote above demonstrates, the importance of earning your place in a community. Autonomy is certainly an issue in marriage choices in Vancouver and it is yet to be seen if the strategies enacted by the variety of institutions discussed in this chapter will be successful in both stemming intermarriage and helping the Jewish community to continue to grow and to flourish. 1 1 8 Deleuze, Gilles. "Foreward: The Rise of the Social." In Donzelot, Jacques. The Policing of Families. Trans. Robert Hurley. London: John Hopkins University Press, 1997: xii . 6 7 Conclusion As the family, gender and nation are constructed, the 'other'—the non-Jewish partner and non-Jewish children—are constituted not necessarily as a pollutant, but as a source of the dilution of the traditional cohesion found in Jewish families and communities. According to many Jewish leaders, the ideal family is under attack from secularization, geographic dislocation, and love of the 'other.' Families become not only battlegrounds, but also oracles for the future of Judaism as Jews are pitted against the invading non-Jews who may be unwilling to convert. Many organizations appreciate this reality and non-Jewish partners and children are welcomed to participate, but sometimes only to a limited extent. More radical (and generally more secular) members of the Jewish community argue that the battle is lost, that Judaism must change for it to survive. However, it is ultimately the religious leaders who decide who is and who is not Jewish according to Jewish law despite the secular institutions that make few rules about who can participate. The laws that govern who should love whom will undoubtedly continue to shape Jewish communities. Although the Canadian Census is one way to define Jews, it is the Jewish institutions that create the boundaries of inclusion beyond the abstraction of statistics and self-selection. Foucault argues that in the nineteenth century elite classes sought to ensure their health or 'maximize life' by turning sex into an object of study. Interestingly, self-monitoring did not emerge to repress the exploited classes, but rather that the creation of sexuality was to ensure "the body, vigor, longevity, progeniture, and descent of the classes that 'ruled.'""9 Is discouraging intermarriage a way to 'maximize' Jewish life? The health of the Jewish body (the family) is the health of the Jewish community and institutions, which is in turn the health of the chosen people in Diaspora. As the elite returned from Babylonian exile, they chastised 1 1 9 Foucault, M i che l . 1990: 123. 68 those who stayed behind to tend the lands for intermarrying, for not maintaining the purity of the Israelites. Although Foucault envisions the technology of sex as a development of bourgeois self-affirmation in the nineteenth century, the reproduction of Jews has been a preoccupation since Biblical times. The gendered dimension of reproduction first came as a matter of tribal patrilineal descent and later as national matrilineal descent. Gilman argues ' • 120 that the Jewess' body/sex was to be protected from the pollution of the male gentile. But in Judaism it is the male who ultimately transgresses his faith when he reproduces with a gentile woman. Many times, as a Jewish woman, I wonder who has the greater pressure to maintain the boundaries and therefore the health of Judaism? Is it my responsibility to have more children or is it my brothers' responsibility to marry Jewish? Or both? Certainly the authority of the rabbis and Jewish law create the boundaries of who is and who is not accepted—boundaries that are much stricter in Vancouver than across the US-Canada border in Bellingham or Seattle. Many scholars argue that Judaism is not truly compatible with democracy because of the 'traditional' authority of rabbis.121 The study on 122 Jewish identity used to open this chapter illustrates how the expression of Jewish sexuality is a central concern to Jewish institutions in Vancouver and that ethnically defined partners are the key marker of Jewish identity. From the interviews conducted in Vancouver, marrying Jewish certainly emerges as key to what it means to be Jewish both religiously and ethnically. Although Judaism is more ambiguous than marriage choices alone, effectively a person can only practice as a member of the Jewish community after it has been established 1 2 0 Gilman, Sander. 1993. 1 2 1 See Michael Brown 2003, Glazer 2003. 1 2 2 Homosexuality is also a contentious issue in Judaism and many denominations accept wholeheartedly gay and lesbian members and couples. Trembling Before G-d is an excellent documentary that explores the taboo of homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism. 69 that their mother was Jewish or that they have converted. Foucault argues that by the end of the eighteenth century "sex became a matter that required the social body as a whole, and 123 virtually all of its individuals, to place themselves under surveillance." In a significant proportion of the interviews I conducted, leaders frequently mentioned the statistics of the fate of the intermarried and their children. Although they almost always had anecdotes to the contrary, they used statistics to portray the 'problem' of intermarriage and the census report becomes another way to see the 'problem' in Vancouver. The 'problem' of intermarriage in Vancouver, despite community leaders' best intentions and a growing, flourishing population, is probably not going to disappear. The cultural, economic and environmental landscapes of the city lure Jews to move to Vancouver, but then they often disperse throughout the Lower Mainland. Far away from the old centres of Canadian Jewry, it is easy to assimilate into the laidback city with few family ties or desire for the conservative ways of the Jewish community. Although Jewish institutions attempt to police the Jewish family to ensure the continuity of the community, divisions remain among leaders and institutions. Nonetheless, the aim of many of their strategies are to perpetuate . Judaism and engage both individuals and families to see their own difference as Jews and understand their obligations to reproduce Jewishly. The eternal struggle for Jewish survival and continuity is rooted in the health of the Jewish family and according to tradition the weakening of the Jewish social structure weakens the community as intermarriage threatens to dilute and diminish the Jewish Diaspora. However, the need to police Jewish boundaries and pressure to encourage Jews (and others) to recognize their uniqueness also extends outside Vancouver's Jewish community itself to local and national ethnic politics. I will now turn to the history of the 1 2 3 Foucault, Michel. 1990: 116. 70 Canadian Jewish Congress and its relations with the Canadian state to examine further the ironies of Jewish assimilation and anti-assimilation efforts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that reflect the earlier ironies of the nineteenth century. 71 CHAPTER III Policing the Ethnic Fence: A Brief History of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Canadian Multiculturalism In addition to giving Canadian Jews unity, national status and a voice on the national and international scenes, the CJC would prove to be a veritable forum for Judaism in Canada, as well as a major force in integrating the Jewish community and in recognizing and channeling the contributions of its members. —Stephane Dion, Minister of Parks Canada 1 2 4 At a time where so many Jewish institutions are restructuring, and people are wondering whether we need CJC, it seems to reinforce the significance of an organization that continues after more than 85 years. 125 —Janice Rosen, CJC national archivist In late 2005, the federal government of Canada recognized the founding of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) in 1919 as a nationally historic event. Founded with the mandate to protect the rights of Canadian and world Jewry, the CJC is an umbrella organization that includes members from across Canada represented by three regions: Ontario with jurisdiction over the western Prairie provinces, the Quebec region which includes the eastern provinces, and the Pacific region which includes British Columbia, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Although each region is relatively autonomous, they are all responsible to the head office in Ottawa. As a democratic institution that seeks to be inclusive of all Jews who agree with their mission,126 the CJC claims to be the political voice for all Arnold, J. "Ottawa designates CJC founding as 'historic'" The Canadian Jewish News. [Online] «http://www.cinews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=7383». 22 Dec 2005; 1. 1 2 5 Arnold, J. 2005: 2. 1 2 6 The CJC mission as is follows: "Canadian Jewish Congress is the democratically elected, national organizational voice of the Jewish community of Canada. It serves as the community's vehicle for defence and representation. Committed to preserving and strengthening Jewish life, CJC acts on matters affecting the status, rights and welfare of the Canadian Jewish community, other Diaspora communities and the Jewish people in Israel. CJC combats antisemitism and racism, promotes human rights, fosters inter-faith, cross-cultural relations and strives for tolerance, understanding and goodwill among all segments of society in a multicultural Canada. CJC speaks on a broad range of public policy, humanitarian and social-justice issues on the national agenda that affect the Jewish community and Canadian society at large. Through its charitable operations, CJC provides domestic and international relief aid on a non-sectarian basis, following natural disasters and to isolated Jewish communities in need. 72 Jews in Canada. At almost ninety years old, the CJC has worked for causes such as Israel, Holocaust reparations, immigration questions, human rights issues in Canada and abroad. The CJC is also a major advocate for ethnic and cultural rights as a fierce proponent of multiculturalism. However, circumstances both external and internal to the CJC and Canadian Jewry transformed the role and power of the CJC throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. I will begin with the 1930s and the looming crisis of the Jews of Europe. After the CJC's founding in 1919, it lay dormant for a number of years as internal conflicts split Jewish communities across Canada.1 2 7 Hate propaganda circulated by French Canadian weeklies by newspapermen such as Adrien Arcand and others created an atmosphere sympathetic to Nazism and anti-Semitism across Canada. Campaigns to close Canadian immigration doors to Jewish refugees were adopted by the federal government in Ottawa in response to fears over a massive influx of immigrants at the height of economic depression. Most Jews who were not admitted to countries such as Canada and the United States inevitably perished in the concentration camps. The CJC national office located in Ottawa and works closely with CJC regions and affiliated offices across the country." CJC. Mission Statement July 8, 2000. [Online] « h t t p : //cjc.ca/template.php?action=briefs&item=66#». 17 July 2006; 1. 1 2 7 Medres, Israel. 2003: 55. The conflict in Quebec was over education and Zionism was a contentious issue throughout Canada. 1 2 8 Frequently, the explanation for the Canadian closed-door policy as economists Green and Green argue is for economic reasons as immigration was closed to everyone except the British, Americans and 'farmers with capital.' Green, Alan G., David A . Green. "The Economic Goals of Canada's Immigration Policy: Past and Present." Canadian Public Policy. 25:4 (1999): 428-9. However, Israel Medres notes that in 1933 Jewish leaders in Quebec were able to have the anti-Semitic additions to the decision to close off immigration removed, but in other provinces the exclusion of German Jews remained in the bill . The controversy was over die claim that 100,000 German Jews were going to settle on Quebecois farms purchased by Jews worldwide. Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec and his supporters argued that the Jews were communists and anti-Christian. Duplessis later recanted his anti-Semitic past. A n excellent historical document, Medres' Between the War Years also discusses French Canadians who defended the Jews such as Premier Taschereau and Henri Bourassa. For more on the decision to exclude specifically Jewish immigration to Canada please see Abella and Troper's None is Too Many. 73 Like Hannah Arendt, H.M. Caiserman, one of the founding members at the re-launching of the CJC in 1934, felt that "Jewish weakness was a historical cause for anti-Semitism."130 This I interpret as political weakness, as Jews in Canada, just as those all over Europe, lacked a unifying voice and political infrastructure. Local communities were centered on religious and economic structures, but at the time there was no overarching Canadian Jewish presence.131 Despite the conflicts that had eroded the unity of Canadian Jewry in the 1920s, the peril faced by Jews in Europe and potentially at home from increasing anti-Semitic propaganda and immigration legislation led to the re-formation of the CJC in 1934. This was done with the idea that the CJC would be a permanent institution, as "the organizational body representative of Canadian Jewry."132 The 1934 reorganization took place largely in Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg, but in 1939 the CJC created the Pacific Region division. Based in Vancouver, the Pacific Region stretches from the Prairies to Vancouver Island to the Northwest Territories. Although Vancouver is in many ways the frontier of Canadian Jewry and at the time was a community of only a few thousand Jews, the CJC helped organize the community around increasingly pressing Jewish causes in Canada and abroad from anti-Semitism to Zionism to kosher practices. Despite the small size of the community, local Jewish newspapers in Vancouver demonstrated their concern for rising anti-Semitism. In several 1930 spring editions of the Independent Jew, suicides of Jewish bankers in Germany, attempts to make the koshering of meat illegal in Berlin, exclusion of Jewish students from universities in Vienna, and the role 1 2 9 See chapter 1. 1 3 0 Medres, Israel. 2003: 80. 1 3 1 Particularly the trade unions in eastern Canada. See Medres 1964, Hiebert 1993, Tulchinski 1993a for more on the power of the Jewish unions in the early twentieth century. 1 3 2 From the Official Opening of the Samuel Bronfman House, "The Decisive Years: A condensed history of the Canadian Jewish Congress with special emphasis on the decisive years 1939 to 1969." Montreal, May 24 1970: 28. 74 of French Canadian weeklies in spreading anti-Semitism were headlines in Vancouver. Although concerns about assimilation were also editorialized as Jews in Vancouver were losing their religiosity, the newspaper conveys a palpable sense of danger arising for Jews in Canada and abroad. The CJC became a way for what was a cohesive but largely rabbinically dominated community to become more politically active. Since the reformation of the CJC and to the present, the organization has worked for the rights of Jews and other minorities in Vancouver, Canada and worldwide. In this chapter I will explore some organizational changes throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first with a focus on CJC as both a national and regional organization, but in many ways local to Vancouver. More specifically, I will investigate the relationship between the Canadian state and the CJC through the development of Canadian multiculturalism policy. The founding principles of the CJC are to ensure Jewish survival. Throughout the early 20 th century Canada maintained racist immigration policies, similar to those in the United States, which restricted the immigration of Jews and peoples who were not considered white. The height of the exclusion of these groups was during World War II. After 1945, Canada reopened its doors to immigration and welcomed more Nazi Holocaust survivors per capita than the United States. And in the 1960s, Canada finally repealed its racist immigration policies specifically targeted at immigrants from Asia, and the 'look' of Canadian society began to transform dramatically from one of British and French dominance, becoming increasingly multiethnic. This change in the makeup of the Canadian population as well as the threat of Quebecois nationalism to Canadian unity led the government to adopt a policy of multiculturalism in 1971. The CJC was one of many ethnic organizations that played an 133 Independent Jew. 1:2 March 27, 1930; 1:5 April 17 1930; 1:6 April 24, 1930. 75 integral role in the formulation of the policy and continues to identify multiculturalism as central to its mandate. In contrast with the experience of Canadian Jews in the first half of the 20 t h century, I want to understand how the CJC as the representative of Canadian Jewry pursues Jewish survival in a changing racial and ethnic landscape. How has the CJC viewed multiculturalism as integral to Canadian Jewish survival? How does this benefit the Canadian state? How does it benefit Canadian Jews and the CJC? How does the CJC construct, shape and reshape the Jewish community to create a cohesive Jewish voice that stands in allegiance with Canada? Through the use of multicultural policy the CJC links the survival of Canadian Jewry to the survival of the Canadian (multicultural) state. As an ethnic umbrella organization recognized nationally as a mediator between the Jewish people and state policy, the CJC has had a tremendous role in shaping both contemporary Jewish Canadian identity and multiculturalism by lobbying and galvanizing support from the Canadian Jewish community.134 The participation of organizations such as the CJC allows government to both better manage and see diversity; diversity being something that Canada has struggled to control since Quebec became a part of the British Empire and even earlier through ongoing 1 3 5 negotiations with the indigenous populations of North America. The CJC as an ethnic organization typifies a process of self-management. Through both the structure of the institution and their actions, the CJC illustrates how ethnic groups constitute multiculturalism through their visibility. In other words, if ethnic groups and their institutions sought invisibility, multiculturalism as a social and political institution would be counterproductive. Rather, the CJC promotes multiculturalism in Canada as an alternative (and an antidote) to 1 3 4 See Srebrnik 1996. 1 3 5 See Day 2000 for the history of the rhetoric of 'diversity' in Canada. 7 6 assimilation into the dominant English and French cultures and as a way to protect and promote minority rights. Using documents collected at the C J C Pacific Region archive and interviews conducted with pivotal members in Vancouver, I w i l l highlight several key moments in the C J C ' s relationship with multicultural policy to illustrate how it has^sought to ensure Canadian Jewish survival in the later half of the 20 t h century. I w i l l then discuss the C J C at the opening o f the twenty-first century. To facilitate this analysis, first it w i l l be instructive to visit Rey Chow's metaphor of an ethnic zoo in The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The Multicultural Zoo A s the C J C has sought legal protections for Jews and others to maintain their cultural identities, they have also sought to inscribe boundaries around Canadian Jewish identity to protect Jews against both discrimination and unwanted assimilation. This in a sense has created an ethnic cage within the Canadian mosaic, or I think more accurately, the Canadian (Jewish) multicultural zoo. Rey Chow draws the metaphor of the ethnic zoo from John Berger's exploration on the origins of the zoo and the separation of people from nature as modernity has forced society's knowledge of animals into enclosed, observable spaces. Chow sees the zoo reflected in our quests for ethnic identity in a capitalist, globalizing world, as culture appears to be increasingly 'McDonaldized. ' To gaze at difference, she argues, is marginalizing and consumed within a white society that encages us by ethnicity. Multiculturalism demands that we confess our ethnicities as a means of inclusion in a society that once excluded people 1 3 6 See Berger 1991. 7 7 based on these same differences. Certainly the history of blatantly racist immigration policies in Canada and elsewhere clearly illustrates the origins of societies based on hierarchical racialized differences. Furthermore, Chow argues that the transformation of the word 'ethnicity' demonstrates a shift from exclusion to inclusion of difference. She states "ethnicity has, to all appearances, shifted from its early, religious significance as a term of exclusion and a clear boundary marker (between Jew and gentile, Christian and heathen) to being a term of inclusion, a term aimed at removing boundaries and at encompassing all and sundry without 137 discriminating against anybody." Ethnicity has become a way for all of us, no matter who we are, to be included in society and as Canada articulates it, into an ethnic mosaic. What creates the cages is that to be included in society one must now confess their ethnic identity. Chow argues "to be ethnic is to protest—but perhaps less for actual emancipation for any 138 kind than for the benefits of worldwide visibility, currency and circulation." The ethnic as protestant follows critics of multiculturalism such as Abu-Laban, Hage, Mitchell, Zizek and many others who argue that multiculturalism, hybridity, and the 'celebration of difference' are often just a way of perpetuating capitalism without actually challenging the racism that is systemic in many multicultural capitalist societies. Ghassan Hage adopts a less metaphorical use of the ethnic cage in White Nation.140 Instead of the cages that we create for ourselves to distinguish us from fellow multicultural citizens, Hage's caging is real and it is not a noun, it is a verb. In detention centres, Australia 1 3 7 Chow, Rey. 2002: 25. 1 3 8 Chow, Rey. 2002: 48; Chow's emphasis. 1 3 9 See Mitchell 2004, Abu-Laban 2002, Hage 1998, and Zizek 1997. The change from racial to ethnic is historical and comes out of the history of Jewish racialization. After the shocking implications of categorizing people by race after WWII and the Nazi Holocaust, racial categories were abandoned as Canadians adopted ethnicity to describe differences formerly attributed to race. See Day 2000. 1 4 0 Hage, Ghassan. White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society Sydney: Pluto Press, 1998. 78 is caging the 'too many ethnics' that threaten the white national fantasy. In other words, ethnic caging in Australia is directed at 'non-persons' deemed by the State to be unacceptable and forced to live in desert camps for extended periods of time. He sees ethnic cleansing and multiculturalism (both having led to caging) as two extremes of nationalism: "a nationalism of extermination and a nationalism of tolerance."141 In Canada, there are no official ethnic cages at present142 and white Canadians are free to make their ethnicity as visible as they please (or can). However, Hage brings to light the dark and dangerous side of the multicultural bureaucracy and nation when it is felt that ethnicity has gone out of control; when caging goes from voluntary to forced, abstract to concrete. The management of diversity in Canada is explored by Richard J. F. Day in Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity.143 He argues that multiculturalism is not a policy designed to promote equality, but a way to manage difference in a liberal society. Multiculturalism became a solution to a history of Canadian diversity conceived as a 'problem,' evident in the history of the First Nations and Quebec, disrupting any possibility of a unified Canada. Day contends throughout Canadian history "those forms of local autonomy and identity which currently exist have survived, not by virtue of a history of multiculturalist tolerance, but through determined resistance to a statist dream of a perfectly striated space of social order.... Far from achieving this goal" as a solution to the problem of diversity "this state-sponsored attempt to design a unified nation has paradoxically led to an increase in both the number of minority identities and the amount of effort required to 1 4 1 Hage, Ghassan. 1998: 106. As discussed in chapter 1, ethnic politics in Europe during the 1800s were greatly concerned with 'toleration' and the Jews leading to catastrophe in WWII. See Wendy Brown 2004. 1 4 2 Hage's ethnic caging in Australia is of course reminiscent of Japanese interment during WWII in Canada and the rumored building of camps by Halliburton in the United States, 'just in case....' 1 4 3 Day, Richard. Multiculturalism and the history of Canadian diversity. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. 79 'manage' them."144 A national policy of 'unity through diversity' leads to the creation of more identities, because if you do not have an ethnic identity, who are you? 1 4 5 Not only do the increasing number of ethnics become a problem, but also a multicultural identity becomes a political tool. What is more, the actions of the Canadian state to initially eliminate, then assimilate and now integrate difference assumes a position that diversity is contrary to a cohesive nation-state thereby requiring management as a 'solution.' The institution of multiculturalism is used to forge a unified Canadian identity with ethnic identities; however, ethnic groups continue to be measured by white Anglo and French dominance and conformity. This chapter-investigates the 'unity through diversity' mantra that is sought by scholars such as Kymlicka to understand how one (model) group interprets, shapes and reshapes multiculturalism.146 Chow, Hage and Day all discuss the ways that diversity is managed and seen. Hage and Day are looking from the outside to understand states that emerge from British imperialism. Chow, on the other hand, is looking from the inside to understand how ethnics themselves participate in multiculturalism through self-management. In this chapter I want to bridge this gap to understand how the CJC is a link between these two perspectives on multiculturalism: how the self-management of the ethnic facilitates the management of the multicultural society by the multicultural state. The conjunction of these three critiques not only questions the possibility that multiculturalism can unite a nation such as Canada, but also the critiques interrogate how multiculturalism and the CJC mutually constitute the Canadian Jewish community and its concerns. 1 4 4 Day, Richard. 2000: 3 1 4 5 This I have found is something that has often frustrated my white Anglo students. 1 4 6 Kymlicka, Wi l l . Multicultural Citizenship: a liberal theory of minority rights. New York: Oxford University press, 1995. 80 Post WWII Jewish Whitening The war and its impact on Canadians, the war and its dreadful meaning for overseas Jews, brought to our immediate agenda so many emergency matters that I am reminded to say that we only had three sets of files -IMPORTANT—URGENT—and FRANTIC. The record of these years manifests a great tribute to the officers of Congress who instantaneously grasped the significance of the role with which destiny confronted us. —Address by Saul Hayes, National Executive Director on "The Dominion Council is the legislature of the Canadian Jewish Community" 1947 7 t h CJC Plenary147 Montreal The future of Canada is a most auspicious one; in the building of that future, the Canadian Jewish Congress community means to play a role as distinguished to that which it played in its defense. , —Samuel Bronfman in his 1947 Presidential Address on how Canadian Jewry will continue to support Canada and its ideals after WWII After 1945, the Canadian government revised its immigration policies and attitudes towards Jews and other formerly marginalized groups. The Jewish location in Canada's racial hierarchy also began to shift, with Jews becoming 'white' as they assimilated and therefore became a new kind of Canadian. Not only did Canada welcome many Nazi S Holocaust survivors, but Canada also contributed to the international effort to ensure the emergence of the state of Israel and the safe relocation of Jewish refugees. In a 1949 Passover address in the Congress Bulletin, CJC President Samuel Bronfman praised the efforts of the Canadian government to repair its relationship to the Jewish people. : For Canadian Jewry these events and successes have been of a manifold significance. They afforded pride both in the Canadian Government which implemented, and in the Canadian Jewish community which aided, the solutions which at last took on shape and reality [as the state of Israel]. They meant that to Canadian Jewry, as to all Jewry, there had been granted the grace of seeing an age-old wrong righted, an ancient tradition vindicated, and the old-new home established. They meant, too, that. Canadian Jewry, its task of rescue and reintegration in large measure though far from The plenary sessions are an important part of what makes the CJC a democratic institution. "The source and centre of all Congress authority, forum for all public discussion and final court of appeal for resolution of policy, was the Plenary Session. This was the convocation, usually biennially triennially, of all Canadian Jewry as it stood represented by delegates from most every city, town, and hamlet, each elected either by their respective organizations or by the franchise exercised at large. Its members democratically chosen, the procedures of the Plenary session were equally democratic." From the Official Opening of the Samuel Bronfman House, "The Decisive Years: A condensed history of the Canadian Jewish Congress with special emphasis on the decisive years 1939 to 1969." Montreal: May 24, 1970: 52. 81 completely accomplished, could now in its own home on the Canadian scene 148 intensify its educational and cultural activities. Throughout WWII the CJC worked to ensure that at war's end there would be a place for European Jewry either in North America or in Palestine. Here, Bronfman is praising the Canadian government for finally supporting the Jewish people not only for Jews in Europe and Israel, but also for those in Canada. By supporting the creation of the state of Israel, the Canadian government legitimized the Jewish presence in Canada. The relationship between the Canadian government and the CJC was solidifying as the Jewish community became more organized around the formation of Israel and recovery from the Nazi Holocaust. The change in the Jewish racial location is also evident in Canadian media. Before and during WWII Jews in Canada often suffered the same ambiguous position in society as Jews in Europe: as non-white and inferior. However, after 1945 the phenomenon of the 'whitening' of Jews occurred in North America through increased political and social acceptance that led to increasing assimilation.149 Maclean's Magazine in 1959 illustrated this transformation with an article entitled: "The Jew in Canada: Where does he stand today?" Fifty years ago the Jew was a stock character with a hooked nose in Canadian vaudeville who got hit on the dirby7"50 with a length of salami. Today he is respected, often esteemed, sometimes the voice of our conscience, and no modern prime minister would be as politically reckless as Sir John A. MacDonald who called him 'the old clo'man.' Jews have made contributions out of all proportion to their numbers to Canadian business and trade, art, literature, music, entertainment, medicine, law, science, research and university life... .Despite the blandishments of assimilation and a probable decrease in their population, no one can doubt Canadian Jews will stay Jewish. Judaism is in their blood.1 5 1 1 4 8 Bronfman, Samuel. "Passover—1949" Congress Bulletin. 5:10 (April 1949); 9. 1 4 9 This also occurred at the same time in the United States and an excellent book on the subject is Karen Brodkin's How Jews Became White Folks and What that Says about Race in America. 1 5 0 A man's hat similar to a bowler. 151 Maclean's. 72. October 24, 1959: 22, 65. 82 The figure of 'the Jew' had changed substantially by 1959 as barriers to Jewish participation eroded so much that they had a new political salience for Canadian politicians. Jews were successful and their ability to hold onto their Judaism is in many ways a precursor of what makes them a model ethnic minority when multiculturalism emerged in the 1960s. Nonetheless, there were some barriers to Jewish assimilation in the 1950s with the emergence of the 'communist threat.' Perhaps in many ways a remainder or reminder of anti-Semitism, McCarthyism had a powerful effect on Jewish communities in the 1950s throughout North America. Although the Jewish working class and unions were most prevalent in Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg, Vancouver also experienced a backlash against the Jewish Left that continues to cause divisions today. In 1951, the original 1934 CJC constitution was amended to include that "its national executive [has] the right to exclude 'persons who are members of an organization which is itself.. .in opposition to the aims and objectives of the Congress.'"152 The next year, the national CJC ordered all 153 branches to expel a socialist group, the United Jewish Peoples Order (UJPO). Although many within Vancouver's Jewish community felt that expunging the Left would preserve relationships with the Canadian government, the Pacific CJC opted to keep the UJPO under its umbrella. However, the national office forced the regional division to remove 'communist Robinson, Ira. "They Work in Faithfulness: Constitutional Documents of Jewish Communal Organizations Other than Synagogues." Eds. Daniel J. Elazar, Michael Brown and Ira Robinson. Not Written in Stone: Jews, Constitutions, and Constitutionalism in Canada. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2003: 116. 1 5 3 The UJPO also founded the Peretz Centre for Jewish Secular Humanism in 1945 and in the following interview one founding member discusses the affects of McCarthyism on the Peretz Centre School. It was a very...a wonderful, wonderful organization and we did very, very well until McCarthy appeared on the scene and because there were some left-wing people who were involved, certainly not all, not all at all. Now when McCarthy came... it was a terrible blow because the rumour got around that the R C M P was watching who was walking in or out of the building... .The rumour got around that we had a picture of Stalin on the wall. Stalin and Peretz both had similar little mustaches. To make a very long story short... the campaign was very effective because it scared an awful lot of people. So a lot of people you know fell away.... I don't think we ever, ever fully recovered. I don't think so to the point where we had like large class enrollments. 83 sympathizers' lest the Jewish community's image become more sullied than it already was by the RCMP and the influence of McCarthyism.1 5 4 In the 1950s we begin to the see the formation of Canadian Jewish ethnic cages. The whitening of Jews and the erosion of ethnic and religious barriers formed by social, economic, and political exclusion led to greater Jewish assimilation. The Maclean's article argues that Jews will be Jews because there is an almost innate quality driving (us) to maintain Judaism. Bronfman, however, sees Jewish identity as legitimized by the state. McCarthyism also served to prove Jewish and CJC loyalties, not necessarily to their own people as the Pacific Region intended, but to the Canadian state in a less than democratic fashion. The CJC national office made a national decision, despite the protests of a local community, to preserve the status and arguably the emerging whiteness of Canadian Jewry. Despite the setbacks of McCarthyism, Vancouver's Jewish community continued to grow and Jews throughout Canada were experiencing-upward mobility into 'whiteness'. The CJC continued to work to promote Israel, to settle Jewish refugees and immigrants leaving countries such as Hungary,155 Poland, and Egypt, as well as to organize Jewish education in Vancouver and to a lesser degree the surrounding areas. At the same time, the civil rights movement in North America was generating momentum and throughout the 1940s and 1950s there was a strong Jewish presence in the Canadian civil rights movement. In the 1960s particularly after the June War, 1 5 6 many Jewish groups moved away from a universal approach to rights and moved towards more particular rights that would be more suited to 1 M See Jones 1998. 1 5 5 About 300 out of 3,000 Hungarian Jewish refugees to Canada were settled in Vancouver in 1958. From the Report of the CJC Pacific Region. H . Altaian June 1958. 1 5 6 Also referred to as the Six Day War and in many CJC documents from the time as the 'emergency'. It was during the June War that Israel illegally occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. 84 address particular Jewish causes. It was in the 1960s when we could see the CJC as a model minority organization pursuing group rights, later called multiculturalism, within an individualist, liberal framework. Formulating multicultural policy (cages) in the 1960s The large enduring purposes of Congress—the advent of healthy and flourishing Canadianism; the maintenance of Canadian Jewish unity; the preservation of the Jewish heritage; the safeguarding of human rights and human dignity—these remain as valid and urgent as ever... .Here we have a language and cultural problem; we have two founding peoples trying to find a way to retain identities and yet create an enduring Canadian nation. We have this task of building a unified country ....In this milieu we have the difficulty of keeping our third generation interested in Jewish values. During dramatic events there is a great magnet to which large numbers ofpeople are drawn. Indeed, we faced some of the most dramatic events of recorded history in the last thirty years. Will the same magnetism prevail in less dramatic times? --Samuel Bronfman, Montreal, May 24, 1970158 In the 1960s as assimilation in Jewish communities across Canada increased and anti-Semitism decreased, the CJC began to shift directions to maintain its relevance and power as spokesman for Canadian Jewry. Increasing assimilation and the loss of an authentic identity were concerns in the 1960s as documents including letters between CJC members expressed concern over rising intermarriage rates, small Jewish communities and immigration.159 In a letter to members of the Self-Study Committee, N. Eisenstat argued that there had been significant changes in the demographics of Canadian Jewry since the "CJC was established Such as Israel and anti-Semitism. Walker, James W. "The 'Jewish Phase' in the Movement for Racial Equality in Canada." Canadian Ethnic Studies. 34:1 (2002): 29. 1 5 8 "In Appreciation." The Official Opening of the Samuel Bronfman House: Commemorating Fifty Years of service by the CJC. Montreal. May 24,1970: 22, 24. 1 5 9 Perhaps similar to today it was decided that due to the size of Vancouver's Jewish community it would be "difficult to conduct" a survey adequately, so census data were used instead. Correspondence February 22, 1965 from Louis Rosenberg CJC research director to Lou Zimmerman, CJC Pacific Secretary. 85 and organized"160 and that the CJC should change its focus to take into account demographic shifts. One reason posited for the increasing interest in multiculturalism in Canada was not only the divisions and power struggles between English and French Canada, but also increased immigration from traditionally non-white countries. The transformation of Canada included the repeal of racist immigration policies in the 1960s, and the CJC lobbied to have Canada's immigration policy reviewed. In the minutes from a National Executive committee meeting in 1967 immigration and discrimination were concerns. In the matter of Immigration it was reported that Congress is very hopeful that Canada is moving very quickly towards the Bill of Rights goals in matters of migration. The question of race, religion, or colour now is removed as criteria and it is only after the application has been made that such questions are asked so that the proper referral to welfare and church agencies may be made.161 Although a national bill of rights was not enacted until 1982 with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the CJC saw a non-discriminatory immigration policy as an important step towards equality for minorities in Canada. This is particularly poignant considering the history of Canadian immigration policy and the Jewish community. Interests in ethnic groups also arose after the 1967 celebration of Canadian Confederation. In Vancouver, the celebrations appear to have whetted the appetite of the younger generation. The following correspondence between the research director of the CJC and the Pacific office illustrates the 'ethnic revival' that was occurring in the late 1960s, in this case spurred by national recognition of ethnic groups. From your letter of April 29 it seems that in Vancouver, as in Montreal and in many other places in Canada, considerable interest has been aroused in Canadian affairs, and particularly those of the various ethnic groups in Canada, as a result of the "February 15, 1967: 1. 1 September 17, 1967; 3-4. 2 See Glazer and Moynihan 1963. 86 celebration of Canadian Confederation. We have received a very huge number of requests from university students, high school students and even children attending 163 the elementary grades, for information about the Canadian Jewish community. Academic interests coincided with increasing assimilation and the CJC's attempts to limit it through education and lobbying the Canadian government. As ethnic cohesion was decreasing while diversity was simultaneously increasing, the Canadian state encouraged the exploration of ethnic and cultural heritages to reproduce difference as distinctively Canadian.164 The climate towards Jews in Canada was also changing in Vancouver. In 1963 it was felt that the Pacific Region no longer needed an executive secretary for the Community Relations Committee. This was largely due to a decrease in anti-Semitism in Vancouver. In the President's Biennial Report it was stated, "We have been fortunate in not being plagued by swastika smearings of synagogues as has occurred in Toronto and incidents of an anti-Semitic nature have been few and far between."165 However, in the aftermath of the June War, the Pacific region established a new Community Relations Committee "which will be more effective in dealing with similar emergency situations."166 President Waldman argued that the conflict "presented covert anti-Semites with an opportunity to bring their hostility out into the open in the name of what they termed international justice. They expressed themselves through letters to the editor, on open line programs of which we have many in Vancouver, and at meetings under various auspices." Defending Israel and promoting May 4, 1967 letter from Louis Rosenberg to Anne Zimmerman: 1. 1 6 4 In the 1970s Jewish studies became an academic subject in the United States as anti-Semitism decreased. The CJC also gave the University of British Columbia funds in the 1960s to establish a Judaica collection to encourage Jewish studies as an academic subject. See Endelman 2001 for more on Jewish historiography. 1 6 5 Dr. H . L. Stein, CJC Pacific Region President. October 30, 1963; 1. 1 6 6 Report to the National Executive Meeting November 1967 by Dr. Roy Waldman, President of CJC Pacific Region: 6. 1 6 7 Report to the National Executive Meeting November 1967 by Dr. Roy Waldman, President of CJC Pacific Region: 6. 87 Zionism has always been an objective of the CJC. However, as many scholars argue, 1967 was a turning point in North American Jewish identity as Jews began to look increasingly towards Israel as central to Judaism. ' In the 1967 June or 6-Day War, Israel not only successfully maintained its borders, but also occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Through this successful defence of the Jewish homeland, Israel caught the attention of the US government and Jewish Diaspora. To many Jews in the Diaspora the war demonstrated the strength of Israel, the Jewish people and their virility. To the US government, the war indicated the geopolitical significance of Israel 168 and with the urging of Jewish elites the government aligned itself more closely with Israel. The anti-Semitism that arose out of the June War, Walker argues, was one reason why many Canadian Jews left the civil rights movement to pursue multiculturalism as a way to ensure Jewish survival in Canada.1 6 9 And certainly documents from the CJC archive illustrate the hearty support that the community gave to Israel and their relative disinterest in Jewish education and cultural survival in Vancouver.170 Rather than continuing to work alongside other ethnic minorities in the civil rights movement, in the 1960s the CJC began to work with the Canadian government to support the materialisation of state multiculturalism.171 The shift from universalism to particularism is evident from the CJC's participation with the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism Report}12 Although the first three volumes were dedicated to the English and French, the fourth volume published in 1969 was entitled The Cultural Contribution of the 1 6 8 See Shain 2000, Gans 1979 for more on how 1967 changed Israel-Diaspora relations. 1 6 9 See Walker 2002. 1 7 0 This is evident in Pacific Region President Report on June 29, 1959 where the president complains about the lack of interest of the community. In a Community Service Report from January 28, 1965 and many others there are discussions of the failure to establish young adult education programs. 1 7 1 See Walker 2002 for a history of Jewish involvement in the Canadian civil rights movement from the 1940s to the 1960s. 1 7 2 From here on I will refer to the Royal Commission as the B & B Report. 88 Other Ethnic Groups.,173 The B & B Report gives a portrait of various ethnic groups in Canada in the 1960s. Canadian Jews stand out in the categories of educational achievement and concentration in urban areas where ninety-nine percent of Canadian Jews lived at the time of the study.174 The situation of refugees from Europe after WWII and anti-Semitism in Canada are just a few of the topics included in the study and similar issues for other groups were addressed as well. 1 7 5 The B & B Report argues that although English and French cultures dominate, ethnic minorities can maintain their distinctiveness. "It is within these [English and French] societies that their cultures [as ethnics] should find a climate of respect and encouragement to survive."176 The English and French cultures formed the perimeter of the ethnic zoo while all of the 'other' ethnics formed their own cages, to some extent self-defined by elite ethnic organizations such as the CJC. Fears for Jewish survival were no longer about the physical survival of Canadian Jewry, but their cultural and ethnic continuity. The CJC and its role as voice of Canadian Jewry had a particular prominence in the report. Early in the B & B Report the CJC is highlighted as a model organization that "act[s] as a spokesman for the group, may use the group's ancestral language, and create, as far as possible, a climate propitious to the maintenance of the group's own culture."177 As a model multicultural organization and symbol of Jewish integration, the CJC was able to integrate itself into the increasingly multicultural milieu of the Canadian bureaucracy. This integration 1 7 3 None of the volumes addressed First Nations groups although attempts were made in the 1990s to create a similar report. 174 B & B Report. 1969: 38. 1 7 5 Ukrainians in the Prairies, the Japanese internment, and the ethnic press are just a few examples. "6B&B Report. 1969:10. 177 B &B Report. 1969: 8. 89 was facilitated by their upward mobility and the transformation of Jewish racial status from a non-white to a white minority. But the report was also wary of ethnic institutions. The B & B Report explores the role of ethnic institutions in Canada such as the CJC, why they form, and why they are a barrier to assimilation, thus leading the state towards a policy of integration. "Generally, it appears that the more an ethnic group finds its origin a handicap, the more likely it is to form a strong structure of ethnic associations."178 Certainly in the early 20 th century the CJC and other Jewish organizations were founded because of anti-Semitism and Jewish exclusion from Canadian society. For the Jewish community, part of this 'handicap' are the religious laws that require Jews to separate themselves from non-Jewish society (as discussed in the previous chapters). However, the report also highlights Orthodoxy as a strength of the multicultural agenda because it maintains strict boundaries around at least part of Jewish identity. According to the B & B Report, the Orthodox provide one way that the Jewish community successfully challenge assimilation and maintain an 'authentic' identity as Orthodoxy continues to flourish and the number of immigrants 179 increases: After the completion of the B & B report, the CJC lobbied the government to ensure that any legislation made on the Report's recommendations would "be founded on a concept of complete equality of all citizens in Canada, irrespective of their origin." The reason for this concern on behalf of the CJC is due to the language used to describe Anglo and French dominance as the Commission was doing research and gathering submissions for the final reports. In his meeting with the Royal Commission in Ottawa on November 7, 1964, Michael Garber, the National Executive Vice-President, protested a description in the preamble of the m B & B Report. 1969: 111. 119 B & B Report. 1969: 98. 180 Congress Bulletin June 1969 cited in Congress Bulletin May/June 1972; 5. 90 Report. The controversial statement described the goal of the Commission as expressed by the Order-in-Council. The mission stated that the goal of the B &B Report was to establish "steps to be taken to develop the Canadian Confederation on the basis of an equal partnership 1 9,1 between two founding races." Gerber objected to the use of the term 'race' because it "can be stretched into 'racism' and it is reminiscent of the suffering of smaller groups whenever this word was emphasized." 1 8 2 Canada as not only white, but also as an English and French 'white race' at the exclusion of the 'other ethnic groups' (who now may or may not be considered white) evoked histories and arguably present sufferings due to racism and white domination. The CJC argued that the Royal Commission must look at its own whiteness and be critical of what that means to 'others.' Fortunately for the CJC, their objection was noted and the final document erases 'race' and in its place discusses the importance of the two dominant cultures and languages.183 T h e I n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f C a n a d i a n M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m In 1971 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau responded positively to the Commission's findings. He stated that, "[t]he objective of our policy is the cultural survival and development of ethnic groups to the degree that a given group exhibits a desire for this'''' and that "Cultural identity is not the same thing as allegiance to a country."184 The integration of multiculturalism into Canadian policy officially ended the first phase of multiculturalism, a solely demographic multiculturalism, and ushered in the second phase, whereby the government not only recognized, but also supported cultural difference through education, 181 Congress Bulletin February 1964 cited in Congress Bulletin May/June 1972; 5. 182 Congress Bulletin February 1964 cited in Congress Bulletin May/June 1972; 5. 183 Congress Bulletin October 1971 cited in Congress Bulletin May/June 1972; 5. 1 8 4 Trudeau, Pierre. Federal Government's Response to Book IV of the Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. October 8, 1971: 5, 3; Trudeau's emphasis. 91 language and other ethno-cultural organizations to eliminate barriers to social and political 185 participation. This was something the CJC heartily supported as many documents consistently address the cultural needs of Jews including access to kosher foods and religious education. The CJC made a resolution at the 1971 Plenary not only to support multiculturalism, but also to take advantage of the Canadian government's new respect for minority communities. "Be it further resolved that the Canadian Jewish Congress take steps to ensure that the needs of the Jewish community are adequately recognized and supported by the government with the definitions of this new policy."186 The CJC successfully lobbied the Royal Commission to include not only the Jewish community but also all ethnic minorities (excluding First Nations) to guarantee their rights to practice their culture and religion. However, there were limits set on how much cultural maintenance was acceptable. In an issue of the Congress Bulletin in the spring of 1972 focusing on multiculturalism, the CJC published a speech given by Jennifer McQueen, an official from the Department of the Secretary of State, to the CJC in Montreal. She argued that although multiculturalism provides a space for minorities such as Jews in Canada to hold onto their cultural and religious heritage in the face of increasing assimilation, they must do so within the confines of Canadian culture. Younger members of some ethnic groups are being turned away from their own culture because it seems to have no form of expression which is relevant to modern life. It is our hope that the cultures of Canada will seek new ways to encourage the development of modern art forms, modern methods of expression which are rooted in their ancestral heritage but which are growing in the twentieth century, here in Canada. If we succeed in doing this, we shall have taken the first important step to 187 creating a real communication between cultures, between people. See Kobayashi 1993. Congress Bulletin November 1971 cited in Congress Bulletin May/June 1972: 5. "Multiculturalism: A Declaration of Cultural Freedom." Congress Bulletin May/June 1972: 3. 92 In this passage, McQueen articulates Canada's emphasis on integration rather than assimilation. As the youth lose interest in their cultural heritage to the frustration of their elders, multiculturalism is perhaps a way to renew their interests by legitimizing at the state level ethnic retention. As Jewish children are Canadianizing and modernizing, multiculturalism is a way to retain and value practices and beliefs that have in the past been considered antithetical to 'Canadian.' The use of the dichotomy of modern and ancestral by McQueen is suggestive of { Day's and Hage's critiques of multiculturalism. For Day, ethnicity and cultural heritage must fit within Anglo and French dominance. The 'pre-modern' forms of identity such as Judaism are perhaps unconsciously identified to some extent as inferior because they do not come out of English and French modernity, while at the same time Jewishness is an 'authentic' identity on its own. To Hage, the (white) Canadian state is telling the ethnic what is and is not acceptable within the national Canadian (white) space. To be Canadian means to be tempered of too much exoticism no matter the government's praise of Orthodoxy in the B & B Report. In other words, is the state (through McQueen) not asking, but really telling Jews not to be too Jewish? If so, the CJC fits that framework perfectly as traditionally Judaism is subject to the authority of the rabbis, but with multiculturalism Judaism continues to be subject to the 188 / authority of the Canadian state while shaped by the CJC. As the Congress Bulletin praises the Canadian government for "at last giving tangible recognition to the many varied ethnic-cultural-religious groups which make up the A recent example of this is the federal decision to ban Shari'a law, which also means that the Jewish get or law of divorce can no longer be arbitrated by religious leaders. The government's decision was protested by Ontario CJC but supported by the Pacific Region. 93 189 population of our Country" and reaching a legislative milestone, the Canadian government also had praise for Canadian Jewry and the CJC. Prime Minister Trudeau on March 24, 1972 addressed the CJC in Toronto stating his appreciation of Canadian Jewry. He sees Canadian Jewry "in many ways a microcosm of Canada.. .having an admirable record of community participation with great distinction... [and]...you have been able to protect and pass from generation to generation your own priceless heritage as a people."190 Jews to Trudeau are a model minority. What Trudeau saw was not only a reflection of the best of Canada, but the best of multicultural Canada. The CJC is a powerful institution that voices Jewish opinions to the government democratically. The Jewish community's Jewishness and ability to maintain a distinct identity reflects positively both on of Canada and Canadian Jews who were exemplified as the 'model minority' at the 1974 Plenary. The CJC celebrated the introduction of multiculturalism as fears about the integrity of Judaism in Canada particularly among younger generations intensified. In his 1974 President's Report to the 17th Plenary in Toronto, Sol Kanee expressed his concern about the future of Canadian Jewry and the CJC. "Viewing the scene as I saw it in 1971,1 struggled with a serious conundrum. Was the Congress structure, which stood for the Jewish world here and abroad so well for so many years, adequate for the 1970s with a different demographic make-up, with a youth component difficult to reach and when reached to retain its interest?"191 Despite these concerns, he also thanked Prime Minister Trudeau and other Canadian politicians "for their understanding of Canadian Jewish identity, the ambitions of the Canadian Jewry and the indissoluble links it has with Israel. Their help has been most 1 8 9 Saltzman, Morris. "Brief Presented to the CJC Conference in Vancouver March 1, On Behalf of CJC, Pacific Region" Congress Bulletin May/June 1972: 6. 1 9 0 CJC. " Implementation: Jewish community challenges." Congress Bulletin. May/June 1972: 2. 1 9 1 Sol Kanee President's Report. 1974 CJC Plenary, Toronto; 2. 94 useful, aided and buttressed by the civil service of their offices."192 A brighter future for Canadian Jewry (and the CJC) according to Kanee is ensured through the support of the Canadian government both through their liberal ethnic policies (multiculturalism) and their support of Israel. At the same Plenary that the CJC declared itself to be the 'Parliament of Canadian Jewry'. Kanee argues that the changing climate in Canada towards recognizing ethnic groups has redefined Canadian identity and the CJC has played an important role in this process. In this ambiance the Canadian Jewish Congress is the main address [for Canadian Jewry]. Witness its recognition by all elements of the Canadian polity— organizational, political, governmental, cultural and educational forces which look to Congress to mobilize Canadian Jews as influential members of Canadian citizenry. As multiculturalism becomes institutionalized, the CJC aids state access to the Jewish community; undoubtedly leading to increased access to Jewish votes and Jewish money. However, in 1973 an article in the Congress Bulletin questions the CJC as a Jewish parliament. "Few people are naive enough to believe that Congress presently plays such a role [as parliament of Canadian Jews], but not very many have tried to figure out exactly what role Congress does play and whether its activities are commensurate with that role."194 Waller goes on to argue that in Canada, Parliament is where "the formal authoritative allocation of values" takes place. Parliament as a model for the Jewish community to follow is difficult to manage, but he sees it as a more democratic alternative than the Federation model, which dominates Jewish politics in the United States.195 Waller argues that the CJC is at a disadvantage because he sees government values as financial values and the local welfare state controls allocation, not the CJC. This is an issue that will continue to plague the CJC. 1 9 2 Sol Kanee President's Report. 1974 CJC Plenary, Toronto; 3. 1 9 3 1974 Plenary Toronto; 4. 1 9 4 Waller, Harold. "Its position in the Community Today." Congress Bulletin. 28:4 (June 1973): 5. 1 9 5 See Robinson 2003. 95 Regardless, the 1970s was a celebratory time for the CJC as multiculturalism increased its power to represent Canadian Jewry and influence the Canadian state. Three Decades of Multiculturalism (and the CJC) in Question The 1980s was a period of transition and ushered in new phases both for Canadian multiculturalism and the CJC: the third phase of multiculturalism196 and a new phase of 197 Jewish self-confidence. The third phase of multiculturalism is a 'structural' stage where human rights and anti-racism are at the centre of multicultural policy and discourse. As the 'other ethnic groups' in Canada grew in size due to non-Anglo and non-white immigrantion, new 'problems of diversity' arose.198 According to Kobayashi the multiculturalism of the 1970s was "broad ranging, [with] loosely focused objectives [that] did not provide a clear or effective multiculturalism programme" and a change was necessary to preserve Canada's multicultural identity and unity.1 9 9 This led the Canadian government to shift the focus of multiculturalism away from heritage preservation and towards ensuring equality and freedom for all Canadians. Enshrining Minority Rights The right to maintain ethnic and religious identities while being fully recognized as Canadian has been a consistent theme for the CJC as multiculturalism has evolved. In 1982, 1 9 6 See Kobayashi 1993. 1 9 7 See Abrams 1987. 1 9 8 Katherine Mitchell (2004) has an excellent critique of some of die new immigration policies of the 1980s and 1990s particularly the neoliberalizing Business Class immigrant category that allows for comparatively easy entry for uiose with hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in Canada. This program was arguably targeted at Hong Kong migrants particularly in British Columbia. This philosophical shift from humanitarian to purely economic immigration classes was also an attempt to increase trade links and adjust for an aging Canadian population. See also Green and Green 1999. 1 9 9 Kobayashi, Audrey. 1993:215 96 the Charter of Rights and Freedoms made Canada the first constitutionally multicultural state, as the right to maintain cultural identities and freedom from racial, gender and sexual discrimination became federal law. In support of the Charter and in response to later challenges to multiculturalism, the CJC argued that the Charter is "an instrument which both symbolically and substantatively affirms the rights of the individual in Canadian society and provides an important remedy to secure them."200 The CJC also argued that group rights are contingent upon the rights outlined in the Charter and that "any future constitutional accords should acknowledge the multicultural fact as a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society."201 The realization of both individual and group rights as fundamentally Canadian is also articulated by the statement of CJC Vice President Alan Rose in a 1986 Plenary document. He argued "[w]e can be better Jews if we are better Canadians, and better Canadians if we are better Jews."202 Canadian values are Jewish values and vice versa—all central to the CJC and the Canadian state's operation. The Charter marks the end of the second phase of multiculturalism and ushered in the third and perhaps final phase where human rights, anti-racism and anti-hate policies have become the focus of the government's multicultural agenda. However, multiculturalism was further institutionalized in the 1988 Multicultural Act when multiculturalism became official federal policy and included the creation of the Human Rights Commission. Canada's Minister of Multiculturalism at the time, Gerry Weiner, described the legislation as "world class—the first of its kind anywhere," and said that Parliament's actions underlined "the Canadian Jewish Congress: Brief on the Future of Canada, April 1991: 3. Canadian Jewish Congress: Brief on the Future of Canada, April 1991: 5. Rose, Alan. "View to the Future." Pathways to the Present: Canadian Jewry and CJC. Toronto; 1986: 105. 97 fundamental importance of multiculturalism in our society." The spending for multiculturalism for the next five years would be $192 million, an increase of $62 million, reflecting changes in Canadian multiculturalism to include: "race relations and cross-cultural 20^  understanding; heritage cultures and languages; and community support and participation." The CJC responded positively not only to the changes but to the introduction of the legislation. In 1987, CJC President Dorothy Reitman praised David Crombie, Minister of 205 State Responsible for Multiculturalism, when he introduced the Multiculturalism Act. Our organization has long pressed for multicultural legislation to enact into law what is now a reality of Canadian life and officially proclaimed by the federal government in 1971. Canadian Jewish Congress will be responding to the Standing Committee on the Multiculturalism report Building the Canadian Mosaic, with detailed proposals to further multiculturalism. The Multiculturalism Act is but a foundation we must build. 206 It is a first step, but we have a long road to travel. Around the same time at the 1986 Plenary in Toronto, as Canada's multiculturalism was evolving, the CJC was undergoing a parallel transformation. One of the central issues at the Plenary was how to extend Jewish social action beyond the Jewish community, something new to the CJC. What emerged was a sense that the CJC was becoming "dangerously isolated from society" and that because of contemporary Jewish successes it is Weiner, Garry. "Canadian Multiculturalism Act Passed Unanimously by House of Commons." CJC News Release Ottawa July 12, 1988; 1. 2 0 4 Weiner, Garry. "Canadian Multiculturalism Act Passed Unanimously by House of Commons.'''' CJC News Release Ottawa July 12, 1988; 2. 2 0 5 Several months later Reitman castigated Crombie and the Canadian government for remarks Joe Clark, External Affairs Minister, made to the Canada Israel Committee on March 10, 1988 in Ottawa. Unfortunately in the letter she does not repeat what Clark said, but she says that his remark has led to an increase of anti-Semitism in "the media together with hates calls, etc, directed to our offices and to individual members of our community." She also cites an editorial from the March 1988 Toronto Star, which read "Clark's remarks may have cost his party votes in the next federal election. But his message was a timely one. It was also a necessary reminder to members of the Jewish community Canada that they are citizens of Canada, not Israel." Citing the history of anti-Semitism in Canada she adds "It is a sad day for us all i f Canadians who have cause for concern criticize their government [and] are then accused of the old pre-war canard of'dual loyalty' in one of Canada's leading newspapers. I believe that the consequences of Mr. Clark's speech must be of concern to you and, indeed, to the entire multicultural community. The Jewish community has been unwittingly diminished, and with it the multicultural fabric of Canada" Reitman's emphasis. Correspondence March 22, 1988. 206 CJC Press Release. "Multiculturalism B i l l Encourages Preservation of Ethnic Heritage: Canadian Jewish Congress" Montreal December 2, 1987: 1. 98 time to help non-Jews. This would result in a shift of Jewish self-perception: "it means that, for the first time in 2,000 years, the majority of Jews in the world no longer regard themselves as a community of victims." 2 0 7 As Canadian Jews are no longer struggling for physical survival and have achieved a high level of economic and political success, tikkun 208 olam meaning 'healing the world' became the focus of the CJC. Moving beyond the Jewish community to embrace the causes of non-Jewish groups is evident in press releases from the CJC in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Increased rights for Aboriginal groups, Sikhs, and the Kurds of Iraq as well as the prosecution of individuals who perpetrated racially motivated crimes are all prevalent. Increased attention to neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activities also surfaced. One synagogue in Vancouver was firebombed in the mid-1980s and another was defaced in 1989 in Richmond. In his response, Michael Elterman then chairman of CJC Pacific articulated the link between Canadian and Jewish values for multiculturalism and anti-racism. In Canada, racial and religious minorities are protected by some of the most advanced human rights legislation in the world. Canada proclaims itself to be a multicultural society, where those of different cultural backgrounds live in mutual tolerance, respect and appreciation. As a community, we are an integral part of Canada's political, business, artistic and intellectual life. And yet, the swastikas on the synagogue do remind us that the most tolerant society can harbour intolerance and even hatred, there are surely thousands who think and feel it. The silence of a decent, tolerant majority can only encourage those whose views are in sympathy with the paint sprayers. As Canadians we must remind ourselves of what we cannot forget: 2 0 7 Abrams, W i l l i a m . "The Covenantal Drama: A c t T w o Begins." Judaism. 36:3 (1987): 353-4. Similarly, a history o f Canadian Jewry from 1970 argues that Jews i n Canada are able to express themselves democratically without fear o f rousing the suspicions of host societies and anti-Semites. "The era o f shtadlonus—the condescending intercession on behalf o f Jewry effected by 'its men o f influence' boasting 'friends at c o u r t ' — now belonged to the past. Through the President o f Congress, through its executive, Canadian Jewry could speak on its own behalf. It required neither agents nor proxies, it was itself articulate, and had standing." 2 0 7 F r o m the Off ic ia l Opening o f the Samuel Bronfman House, "The Decisive Years: A condensed history o f the Canadian Jewish Congress with special emphasis on the decisive years 1939 to 1969." Montreal , M a y 24, 1970: 52. 2 0 8 Abrams, W i l l i a m . 1987: 358. 99 that our security rests not only in the law but on a genuine and public abhorrence by Canadian society of racism in all its forms. 2 0 9 Here, Elterman invokes multiculturalism as a force that is supposed to protect not only the Jewish community, but all Canadians. Speaking out against racism is part of maintaining Canadian law and Canadian values to protect each other from hatred. CJC President Les Scheninger wanted to bring threats to the Jewish community such as those in Vancouver and all minorities to the attention of the Canadian state. In September 1989, a CJC delegation was sent to see Prime Minister Mulroney to "discuss matters of concern to the Jewish community." In their meeting with Mulroney The CJC delegation expressed concerns about increasing signs of bigotry and intolerance in Canada. Attacks have been leveled against visible minorities, together with the desecration of synagogues and monuments and Jewish cemeteries. The government is alert to these issues and will, in conjunction with the CJC and other 211 NGOs, continue to plan strategies to combat racism in Canada. The cooperation between the regional and national offices of the CJC helps to advance the concerns of local and national scales of the Jewish community. Because Vancouver's community is comparatively small, having such strong political links across the country is a way to guarantee that federal as well as provincial governments will address their concerns. Local CJC branches reporting to national headquarters ensures a complete map of Jewish concerns across Canada that can be used when petitioning the government for increased protections through legislation. The 1980s brought many successes for the CJC despite some signs of increasing bigotry. They moved beyond Jewish survival to pursue multiculturalism and human rights 2 0 9 CJC Pacific Region Press Release. Vancouver, B C . August 29, 1989: 30. Despite these attacks, the majority of the community leaders that I interviewed in Vancouver have experienced very little anti-Semitism. 2 1 0 From a CJC memo from Les Scheninger to National Officers and Regional Directors, September 21, 1989: 1. 2 1 1 CJC memo from Les Scheninger to National Officers and Regional Directors, September 21, 1989: 2. 100 within a broader spectrum of Canadians. However, the apex of CJC had passed and the 1990s brought new struggles as Canadian policy and public opinion moved away from multiculturalism. Multiculturalism and CJC on the Fence The early 1990s brought new threats to the CJC with the proposal of the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. Pushed by Prime Minister Mulroney, the Meech Lake Accord was drafted to persuade Quebec to sign the Canadian Constitution by including Quebec's right to maintain a distinct identity, increasing provincial power over immigration, Senate, and Supreme Court decisions and perhaps most threatening to the CJC, the right of provinces to receive federal funding even if they opt out of federal programs such as multiculturalism and all of the legislation that goes with it. Although the CJC agreed that Quebec should have the right to a distinct identity and that Canada is a bilingual nation, the CJC submissions to the government stridently opposed much of the Meech1 Lake Accord. The Charter is central to the CJC's argument against Meech Lake and is repeatedly invoked. The CJC argued that the Accord would "immunize multicultural and aboriginal rights contained in the constitution and the Charter" and that "the Accord is designed to diminish the role of the courts in interpreting the Charter and, therefore, the Accord potentially downgrades the protection of individual rights the Charter now affords."212 In another document the CJC argues, "As a matter of principle, governments should not tamper with the Charter, directly or indirectly, unless it is strengthened by amendments. The Meech Lake Accord weakens it."2 1 3 The Accord to the CJC would take 2 1 2 CJC. "Summary" from Brief on Meech Lake Accord. 1988:1. 2 1 3 CJC. Brief on the 1987 Constitutional Accord. 1987: 4. 101 away Canadian equality rights that it argued should belong to individuals no matter their location, ethnicity, origins or affiliation.214 Despite support from provincial premiers, fortunately for the CJC and other proponents of multiculturalism, the Meech Lake Accord ended in failure. In 1992, the Charlottetown Accord was an attempt to pacify the conflicts over the division of power between federal and provincial governments as well as aboriginal and Quebecois sovereignty issues..Decided by a national referendum, the Charlottetown Accord would have further defined Canadian values as the values of multiculturalism. For the CJC, the decision linked the future of Canadian Jewry to Canada. In the same year as the Charlottetown referendum, CJC president Irving Abella stated in his address to the CJC Plenary that "[c]oupled with the question of survival as a people must be survival as a nation."215 The CJC also formed a coalition with the Congres Hellenique du Quebec and the Congres National des Italo Canadiens to secure the future of the accord and ethnic votes by 216 forming "a unique alliance to broaden the range of debate" beyond the English and French. Among the Coalition's suggestions were: recognizing Canada as a pluralistic nation that must include Quebecois and aboriginal rights (including settling land claims), and that "Quebec's 217 character as a distinct society must be understood to include its pluricultural reality." Dangers to multiculturalism were becoming more palpable as the government was focusing on ways to mediate Quebecois nationalism that threatened to divide the nation. The Congress Coalition was an attempt to remind federal and provincial governments that the future of 2 1 4 CJC. Brief on the 1987 Constitutional Accord. 1987: 6. 2 1 5 Srebrnik, Henry F. "Multiculturalism and the Politics of Ethnicity: Jews and the Charlottetown Accord." Eds. Howard Adelman and John. H . Simpson. Multiculturalism, Jews, and Identities in Canada. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1996:112. 2 1 6 CJC "National Constitutional Coalition of Greek, Italian and Jewish Congress' Submits brief to Beaudoin-Dobbie Committee," Press Release Quebec City, February 3, 1992: 1. 2 1 7 CJC "National Constitutional Coalition of Greek, Italian and Jewish Congress' Submits brief to Beaudoin-Dobbie Committee," Press Release Quebec City, February 3, 1992: 2. 102 Canada is not just an Anglo-French issue, but that a plurality of groups must be taken into 9 I R consideration. Changes to the 1951 CJC constitution in the 1990s illustrate how the CJC has adopted Canadian unity as integral to the organization's mission. The 1951 constitution stated that part of the CJC's mission is "To develop the highest standards of citizenship in the Jews of Canada by encouraging, carrying on and participating in activities of a national, patriotic, cultural and humanitarian nature; in the furtherance of the best interests of the country and that of the Jewish people."219 However, in 1992, the year of the Charlottetown Accords, the phrase "participation in the democratic process by the Canadian Jewish community" was replaced by "citizenship of the Jews of Canada" implying a definition of "Canada as a 990 'community of communities.'" Robinson argues that the CJC constitution was changed to encourage Canadian Jews to participate more in the Canadian political process. In other words, the CJC altered the constitution to reflect support of multiculturalism as a way to ensure that Jews could be a community on their own as well as part of Canada as a nation-state. Unfortunately for the Canadian government and even more so for the CJC, the referendum failed to be accepted both at the federal and provincial levels. Weinfeld argues that the Greek-Italian-Jewish Coalition was a strategy that worked in the eastern provinces, but was less successful out west. He argues "In the West, the Jewish grassroots may have felt less obliged to support the directives of the national Jewish elite organizations, catching the 2 1 8 Another threat to multiculturalism in early 1992 was the call of Alberta Premier Don Getty "for the abolishment of official bilingualism and the scrapping of legislated support for multiculturalism in Canada." The CJC sent the National Unity Committee chair along with the CJC coalition with the Greek and Italian Congress to visit provincial premiers and urge them to support multiculturalism. From CJC. "CJC Commends Alberta Minister's Rejection of Getty's Views." Press Release. Montreal January 14, 1992: 1. 2 1 9 Robinson, Ira. 2003: 127. 2 2 0 Robinson, Ira. 2003: 127. 103 221 very populist spirit that sunk both the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords." Jews in areas outside of Toronto and Montreal also rejected the measure due to other political affiliations, particularly in British Columbia where, voting with the Liberal Party, the Jewish community rejected the accord. Srebrenik also sees geography as a reason for Jewish dissent in Vancouver. "Due to the distance of the larger Jewish centres from smaller communities, though formally tied to the national institutions, they have tended to feel neglected and 999 ignored." This voting pattern demonstrates how Canadian Jews voted as members of a 'societal cultural' that encompass political and social identities beyond ethnicity and religion as defined by multiculturalism.223 The CJC has been able to be influential in Canadian politics (and arguably to resist assimilation) because of the spatial cohesion of its constituency. Jews are the "most concentrated minority group in Canada" and this high cohesion has led to increased "political power and access to resources and opportunities, since it translates into the ability to vote in a statistically significant bloc" including smaller Jewish communities found in cities such as 994 Vancouver. However, as the Charlottetown Accord demonstrates, voting blocs only facilitate the CJC position when smaller Jewish communities and their perspectives are taken into account by the CJC base in central Canada. The Charlottetown Accord shows how the CJC's attempt to link the maintenance of Canada as a multicultural state to Jewish survival failed because it did not take into account geographical and political differences within the Jewish community. The outcome of the referendum also reflects Abu-Laban's critique of multiculturalism and scholars such as 2 2 1 Weinfeld, Morton. 2001; 277. 2 2 2 Srebrnik Henry F.1996: 98. 2 2 3 Kymlicka, William. 1995: 78. 2 2 4 Srbr6nik, Henry F. 1996: 97-98. 104 Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka for often assuming that individuals only belong to one cultural group.2 2 5 Rather than rejecting multiculturalism altogether, Abu-Laban is critical of the ways that the identities of all Canadians are simplified to solely reflect ethnic connections and argues for a more nuanced perspective on ethnicity, culture and race. She is concerned with how multiculturalism represents people and sees this as the difficulty in seeking ethnic pluralism within a liberal political philosophy. She wonders whether "multiculturalism itself is really 'a problem', or whether the problem resides elsewhere such as in the essentialist 226 understandings of cultural diversity which pervade some current discussions and policies." Abu-Laban nuances Day's argument by adding that not only is it problematic that unity is perceived to be a requirement for Canadian survival, but also that diversity discourses miss the difference within groups as well as between that can lead to an exaggeration of "the possible differences between cultures."227 Although the CJC was able to work with Italian and Greek organizations to overcome difference, it was difference within the Jewish community that was overlooked and fragmented the CJC's influence. The CJC as it claims to represent Canadian Jewry, geographically essentialized Jewish Canadian values by overlooking communities outside Toronto and Montreal despite its identity as a national democratic institution. The Charlottetown Accord marked the decline of the CJC's power within Canadian Jewish politics both in the eyes of the Canadian government for their failure to deliver the Jewish vote and for Jewish communities outside Montreal and Toronto for the CJC's inability to address local concerns. The struggle to unite Canadian and Jewish survival is 2 2 5 Abu-Laban, Yasmeen. "Liberalism, Multiculturalism and the Problem of Essentialism." Citizenship Studies. 6:4 (2002): 459-482. See also Abu-Laban and Gabriel 2002. 2 2 6 Abu-Laban, Yasmeen. 2002: 460-1. 2 2 7 Abu-Laban, Yasmeen. 2002: 464. 105 problematic in that Jewish political and social perspectives are n'ot as homogenous across Canada as Abella projected in his speech. Rather, the CJC was forced to realize that geographically and politically Canadian Jews have contrasting opinions on multiculturalism. Although this may not come as a surprise, the outcome of the Accord signaled the decline of the CJC as Jewish Federations, the United Jewish Appeal and other groups have become increasingly powerful in Canadian Jewish communities. The Multicultural Zoo and the C J C Today In the twenty-first century, assimilation remains a pressing issue for Canadian Jewry and the CJC continues to work to seek protections for integration policies.. In 2003, the CJC suggested that the preamble to Bill C-18 An Act Respecting Canadian Citizenship include integration'as an essential part of Canada's identity. "Whereas Canada encourages distinctiveness, pursuing the path of integration rather than assimilation recognizes that strength comes from harnessing the special qualities of its diverse citizenry and ensures that the cohesive whole is truly greater than its parts."228 Integration is the answer to assimilation. How do we maintain distinct cultural identities and therefore Canada's 'greatest natural resource'? Through multiculturalism. However, challenging assimilation is not an explicit but rather implicit mandate of the CJC. The mandate of the Canadian Jewish Congress as an organization is not to.. .counteract assimilation per say. Congress' original mandate was to attempt to facilitate the full integration of a discriminated community into the mainstream of the Canadian community. Now having said that, clearly the Congress as the representative voice of the Jewish community is concerned about assimilation and it's the unstated obverse of its mandate. Obviously if we want to have Jews fully 2 2 8 CJC Press Release Annex A 2003, <<http://www.cic.ca/template.php?Laneuage=EN&action=briefs&item=28» [Online] 22 July 2005; my emphasis. 106 participating we believe that it's important to stay as a strong Jewish community and each individual Jew should strongly identify with their heritage. But you know I want to make that point that there are other institutions in the Canadian Jewish community that are more focused specifically on dealing with the challenge of intermarriage and assimilation. The second point is that in actual fact even though addressing assimilation is not part of the stated mandate, the development of the support for a multicultural ethos in Canada I think can be seen as sort of two-pronged: one is an effective way to combat anti-Semitism and generally racism in Canada, and secondly to permit individuals from countries of origin or with religions that maybe different than the colonial peoples' religions, to permit those to continue to flourish in a way which is not inconsistent with the influences of Canada. So, I guess I see multiculturalism as a potential vehicle to combat assimilation. As CJC leader C articulates, multiculturalism is an indirect way for the Jewish community to challenge assimilation. Multiculturalism, according to this perspective, both preserves and protects the rights and interests (to the extent allowed by law) of ethnic groups. He also links Jewish continuity to the multicultural ethos that requires the non-dominant groups to conform to some degree with the standards set by the colonial powers—the British and the French. Being Canadian means shaping your cultural practices and beliefs within the accepted national space. This is encouraged not only by the Canadian state, but also by the CJC as a strategy to maintain Jewish identity (group and individual) through both physical protections (anti-racism and anti-hate legislation) and cultural acceptance. CJC leader A uses metaphor to describe the goals of multiculturalism and its relationship to assimilation for the Jewish community. The Canadian mosaic has afforded us the ability to maintain our Jewishness but also maintaining a Canadian identity....there's two paradigms at work there. One is the protections aspect, which is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which allows us to not import everything from different communities and cultures, but it gives us sort of a basic foundation of respect and civility that extends out. And then beyond that cultural celebration is more like a fence, right? So we think of it like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a wall, right? You cannot oppose anything within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, right? . . . . So multiculturalism works like a fence, right? Where it allows porous exchanges between organizations and groups but it doesn't force them to tear down their fence to become part of something larger, right? So you can still segregate the ideas of your community that are unique to your 1 0 7 own, but also it's a celebration in a more porous environment to be doing it. So you share ideas and commonalities and experiences with other groups and ... what it does is build a big mosaic, right? Of protections, rights and welfare of different organizations and community groups. CJC leader A invokes the metaphor of a fence to make tangible the abstract protections offered in the Canadian constitution. The metaphorical barriers between people are not sought to exclude people but to permit a higher degree of inclusion within a society that has defined ethnic and religious communities. If we think about the walls of the ethnic zoo as derived from Western liberal political culture and philosophy, it is the constitution that comes out of this tradition to build the exterior walls of the Canadian mosaic. And it goes without 'saying that these are English/French walls. However, within the zoo, fences allow each Canadian individual and group to maintain and protect their culture from all the other ethnics as much as they choose to 'import' from different communities. It is porous, but it is still a The job of the CJC then, according to CJC leader B is to patrol that fence to guarantee both the physical and political safety of the Jewish community in all of their activities. It's just like the police or security guards. We're protecting people we have no idea what they're doing there. I'm using that as a lame analogy, but.. .the group is generally counter-authoritarian.... The CJC. . .a hundred years ago was founded on [the] basis, it comes out of a paranoid beginning; an intelligent paranoid beginning, historically informed paranoid beginning. And I would say that the CJC. . . [is]... a security guard in a building, I would say that's the most apt metaphor. When emergencies [happen] of course we're very important because of course the whole notion of the Jew leaving the country because it has to sense when the political dimensions aren't right, we're the sensing mechanism. I mean we're the early warning device of pack up, get your hats on, we're leaving! You know pack up your PhDs we're heading out! Which is what we do... .But the CJC is there for a purpose and the purpose is that when you're in borrowed homes you have to pay attention to Although this may work well for the Jewish community, this import/export regime particularly when the trades are material can also exoticize groups whose goods may be desirable, but not necessarily the people who made them or sold them. One of the major exports of the Jewish community is the CJC, which exports services through education programs and lobbying efforts on behalf of a variety of communities and issues. See Hage 1998 for more on this critique. 108 the landlord. You know and to be frank the CJC is an attempt to pay attention to the landlord. It does not matter what Jews are doing within that fence, only that they have the right to practice Judaism and live Jewishly. Although Canada affords many protections for minorities, the history of the Jewish people continues to shape the CJC as voice, representative and protector. Not only do they attempt to secure rights for minorities and act as a beacon for various groups, but the CJC also is in essence the warning lights for the Jewish community before ethnic cages turn into ethnic caging, which Jews experienced during the Nazi Holocaust and arguably in the ghettos of Europe before emancipation. To prevent caging, the CJC works with the 'landlord' or 'zoo keeper' (here being the multicultural Canadian state) to mind the Jewish cage. However, since the turn of the twenty-first century there have been a variety of challenges to the CJC that also reflect the challenges to the Canadian state in maintaining not so much a multicultural identity, but a multicultural policy. One change in the last few years has been in the CJC's funding structure. In January 2004, the Canadian Council for Israel Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) was formed due to a schism among some of the Canadian Jewish community's major donors. CIJA is an umbrella organization that oversees four Jewish advocacy agencies: the Canada Israel Committee (CIC), the Quebec-Israel Committee ( Q I C ) , the CJC and National Jewish Campus Life. Before 2004, the United Israel Appeal Federations Canada (UIAFC) directly distributed monies to the CJC and a variety of other organizations. However, with CIJA the Federations, which work locally to fund-raise and distribute money throughout the Jewish community, are no longer in charge of CJC funding. Funding continues to be collected by UIAFC, but they give money to CIJA who passes the monies out among the four organizations including the CJC. 109 The president of CJC Pacific Region has argued that the structural change reflects the question of who should exercise Jewish power and that the change in structure mirrors a "corporate model of accountability," which is more similar to the model of lobbying and 230 advocacy found in the United States compared to the democratically structured Congress. Since the change in structure, the CJC is also no longer involved in lobbying for Israel, work that has been taken over by the CIC. In large part this was done because several major donors were unhappy with the CJC's universal approach to human rights and that the CJC had been 231 unable to sway the Canadian government's stance on Israel. The impetus for the change in structure was the second intifada in Israel-Palestine when the peace process broke down and violence erupted again both in Israel and the occupied territories.232 It was at this time that a new political discourse appeared. Within the last several years as Israel has become increasingly under attack for its brutal treatment of Palestinians, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a new category of Jew hatred has arisen within many Jewish organizations including the CJC; something called the 'new' anti-Semitism.233 At the UN conference on racism in Durban in 2001 , Israel's treatment of Palestinians was at the centre of the debates. "We saw there how the conference was turned against Israel in a way that was very frightening.... We saw there what was indeed a strategy to turn Israel into the next South Africa, the apartheid state."234 The emergence of a new kind Weintraub, Mark. Jewish Power: Ethics of Jewish Power in Diaspora. Seminar held at Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, B .C. February 15, 2006. 2 3 1 The CJC responded that working for the rights of all minorities has been their strategy for fifty years and is part of the Jewish value system. Weintraub, Mark. Jewish Power: Ethics of Jewish Power in Diaspora. Seminar held at Beth Israel, Vancouver, B .C. February 15, 2006. Unlike the United States government, the Canadian government is more willing to criticize Israel's policies at the U N and in other venues. 2 3 2 The catalyst for the second intifada was in 2000 when Ariel Sharon infamously refused to take off his shoes when visiting the Dome of the Rock flanked by Israeli security. 2 3 3 1 use quotation marks around new because as I will discuss, I am uncertain how to interpret the phenomenon. 2 3 4 Johnson, Pat. "Working for a tolerant society: New CJC Pacific Region head Mark Weintraub says Jews 'got it right.' Jewish Western Bulletin. July 2, 2004. Quote from CJC Pacific President Mark Weintraub. 110 of discrimination against Jews in Israel and worldwide is linked to Jewish nationalism, Zionism, which is often used to justify both the occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the name of Israeli security. The funding changes have also facilitated the CJC's work on the 'new' anti-Semitism. Because the CJC is no longer directly involved with Israel advocacy, as CJC leader A explains they can more effectively create dialogues with Muslim and Arab communities. CJC and their Israel awareness section sought to highlight the connection between the historical land of Israel and Jews, right? That was sort of CJC's mandate in that area. It wasn't to discuss contemporary Israeli politics. It wasn't to discuss the Israel- , Palestine conflict. It was more to highlight that issue. So when anti-Zionism became anti-Semitism, how do we combat that, right? We combat that from a central location, which is CJC. So our mission in the past hasn't really been conflicted with many of the partnerships that we've built. More recently it's been better for us, let's put it that way. Now that we're not handling the Israel awareness file anymore. Because it's just not such a contentious issue, right? Talking about human rights protection and cultural celebration is a lot easier when you're not having to deal with political issues of state-on-state. Separating the political from the social is more conducive to advocating universal rights. However, the 'new' anti-Semitism (like older derivations) is both political and geographical. Leader A continues with a description of the 'fine line' between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism that could complicate attempts at dialogue. You can be an anti-Zionist as long as it's not selectively against the Jewish state, right. It's the selectivity of it. It's when it's only one group that you're targeting. It's a superiority/inferiority sort of conversation, right, where you're saying all these states are superior to this... but the Jewish state is inferior because it's a Jewish state, right. There's been a confluence of sort of that identity. -Discrimination against Israel as a nation-state is discrimination against Jews because Zionism is Jewish nationalism. If you question the right of the Jews to have a state without 2 3 5 As well as the renewed battle between Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Israel, which began while I was writing this chapter. I l l questioning the self-determination of any other group, than you are not only being anti-Zionist but anti-Semitic as well. He goes on to describe the process of demonizing Israel and Jews because of Israeli state policies. Calling Jews Nazis, calling Israelis Nazis, using the United Nations to pass resolutions against Jews when you can't say anymore in public anymore in polite society, right? So Israel has become the 'new Jew' and the Canada-Israel committee you know has always been working on that sort of stuff. When you use the Israeli-Palestine conflict to equate, when you put a Mogen David up on a sign and equal it to Hitler or to the Swastika.... you know at that point you're demonizing a people. You're not talking about state policies. You can criticize Israel, you can criticize policies the same way that we in Canada can criticize any policy that we have. But to delegitimize the people who are seeking national identity or through that state is completely antithetical to the values of Canadians as well as you know pretty much everyone else in the world. There's no unused land anymore, everyone has a national identity so it's maintaining that. The new anti-Semitism is more or less the equation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and the resulting 'spillover' effect that draws on traditional forms of anti-Semitism. In other words, criticism of Israel that can be interpreted as criticism of all Jews, in Israel and Diaspora, is categorized as part of the 'new' anti-Semitism. The 'old' or traditional anti-Semitism that Arendt talked about is prejudice and hatred against Jews because of their culture, religion, race and is more closely tied to stereotypes of Jews as greedy, wealthy, dark and dirty. The 'new' anti-Semitism may also include these stereotypes, but the direct link with Israel is what makes this kind of prejudice 'new' and also makes defining anti-Semitism much more controversial and ambiguous. Although 'Semitic' is an ethnic or historically a racial distinction, the political nationalist movement of Zionism has become synonymous with Jews as a people. This rhetorical conflation of Zionism and Judaism has been in process for many years including within the CJC as is evident in documents dating back to at least the 1967 war, but the confusion has become more prominent only in the last five or six years. This is achieved 112 without much reflection on how the violence and terror of the Israeli state against the Palestinians might be accountable for some of the anger, frustration, and yes, violence against Israel and increasingly against Jews around the world including in Canada. Although the CJC is no longer in charge of Israel advocacy, it has been active in fighting this new 'threat' to Jews as is evident on their website and their media affiliate the Canadian Jewish News. The relationship between Judaism, Zionism and Israel is something that I have struggled personally to come to terms with both as a Jew and as someone who identifies with the Left and anti-war/occupation movements in general. It is not that I do not agree that Israel has the right to exist, but to what extent does any country have the right to discriminate against peoples living there? Is Israel truly singled out? A number of Jewish scholars question Israel as well as elite Jewish organizations such as the CJC and their motivations for occupation and what is undoubtedly discrimination.237 Most notable is Norman Finkelstein who has based his career on challenging Israeli actions towards the Palestinians as well as 238 North American Jewish scholars and organizations who support Israel without question. He criticizes the idea that increased violence against the Palestinians is going to ensure the future of Israel and Judaism. Rather, he sees the actions of the Israeli state as endangering Jews worldwide. I know that there is not room here to completely unravel my difficulty in coming to terms with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, but there is a fascinating link with 2 3 6 According to the R C M P a quarter of hate crimes committed in Canada are directed at Jews. Johnson, Pat. "Working for a tolerant society: New CJC Pacific Region head Mark Weintraub says Jews 'got it right.' Jewish Western Bulletin. July 2, 2004. 2 3 7 Norman Finkelstein's works are a counterpoint to what I would call 'mainstream' opinions of the Palestine-Israel conflict. Daphan Golan-Agnon's 2005 memoir Next Year in Jerusalem is also an excellent exploration of the conflict from the point of view of an Israeli peace activist and academic. 2 3 8 See Finkelstein 2005 for his latest critique of the 'new' anti-Semitism. Hillel 's motto "wherever we stand, we stand with Israel" is evocative of the seemingly blind support given to Israel (and its military) by many organizations in North America. 113 multiculturalism and anti-racism that I would like to explore in the final section of this chapter. The ways that the 'new' anti-Semitism interacts with Canadian multiculturalism is revealing both of the situation of the CJC and multicultural policy. As I have mentioned, the CJC came into existence under the threat of extreme anti-Semitism, and fighting anti-Semitism, particularly against White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis, continues to be a central concern. So what is this 'new' form of anti-Semitism? How does it relate to multiculturalism and the Canadian state's management of difference? In the third phase of multiculturalism that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms initiated, the focus is particularly on anti-racism and anti-hate policies. The CJC has ardently pursued both of these policies and has frequently argued that anti-Semitism is a separate but related human rights issue. Multiculturalism right now has become anti-racism, which is very different than it was. I'm not saying it was good and it is bad... .But if you're talking about a safety net, multiculturalism was once conceived of as a safety net whereas now I think it's conceived as a government program to get fractious workers who have different races to work together to build a tower to increase the wealth of the nation. It's also the problem of the re-babelization you know. CJC leader B argues that the government now perceives racism is a problem to be solved and if possible, by the market as neo-liberalism has increasingly come to define Canadian politics. This is a great change from the multiculturalism of Trudeau that sought to help immigrants integrate into Canadian society allowing them to take their time. CJC leader B elaborates on the transformation of multiculturalism with the movement to the political Right. Oh! Oh, it was basically subsidies for people to run Romanian newspapers and you know what I mean. Yah, yah you know and it was essentially a state-run idea that come here you could keep your identity longer. Now it's a kind of a corporate vision 1 1 4 of 'we don't bug you as much as other people but we're not exactly sure, we don't have anything in place to guarantee that we're not going to bug you.' So it's a kind of a promise not to bug somebody, which is a very different position. So multiculturalism hasn't disappeared, but anytime you get any movement towards the right it gets corporate. See, the corporate version of multiculturalism is really we won't give you any funds, but you're entirely free to do whatever you want, but the market prevails. Multiculturalism, although frequently criticized for its ability to ease the way for increased economic liberalization, is articulated here as a conscious attempt made by the Canadian state to encourage immigration without contributing any longer to the maintenance of cultural identities. Religion and cultural maintenance are acceptable, tolerable, but you have to do it on your own as long as you can afford it. In other words, you must pay for the purchase and maintenance of your own cage, despite the fact that group rights are more explicitly defended.239 And certainly this reliance on the market is a salient issue for many new immigrants to Canada as finding work in their professions has become an increasing problem over the last fifteen to twenty years. The market mentality of cultural survival for Canada's new immigrants is parallel to the effects of the market on their economic survival.240 So how is the market related to anti-Semitism? When looking through CJC documents, particularly on their website, it can be difficult to discern the line between anti-Semitism and racism. However, in addition to these new boundaries around Jewish identity, what has troubled me throughout this research on multiculturalism is the relationship between the current anti-racism agenda of the Canadian state and the CJC assertions of the See Kobayashi 1993 for 'phase three' of multiculturalism that provides more assurances for group rights and human rights as opposed to cultural rights. 2 4 0 While conducting interviews in Vancouver I asked two Jewish settlement workers i f immigrants from former Soviet Republics and Israel had any problems finding work in their fields. Their responses were strikingly similar to those of many immigrants to Canada. A:Here when people come to Canada even they have a good profession for Canada, marketable profession. They can't get a job because they need to have Canadian experience. But how they can get Canadian experience is nobody paid them, but they need Canadian experience. It's a closed circle. B : It's a catch-22. 115 'new' anti-Semitism. Although I would never deny the real existence of anti-Semitism I am concerned about the interchangeability of anti-racism and anti-Semitism within the multiculturalism discourse and I have received several explanations for this process. I asked CJC Leader C how the two are related and if there is in fact a line between the two forms of discrimination. Well, it's a good question. I mean in one sense Jews are not a race. So anti-Semitism is seen as somewhat different than racism. But the CJC, Jewish community does see that or does analyze the racist or anti-Semitic mentality as coming from a place of structural superiority. So it is possible theoretically to have a racist free society and still be anti-Semitic for some reason. I mean, you know, posit a society which is welcoming and opening to people of all different races or ethnicities but by reason of historical factors such as you know a highly Christian society which singles out the Jew as responsible for the killing of Christ or whatever you can still have anti-Semitism. But in reality what we see is that where there is racism there is anti-Semitism and where there is anti-Semitism there is racism. So they're very closely linked and you know one can posit any number of explanations. Racism is not the same as anti-Semitism because the idea of Jews as a race has been for the most part abandoned by the majority of Canadian society, but they are similar processes if not interrelated.241 In Canada, however, current trends in multiculturalism policy are blurring the line between racism and anti-Semitism. CJC leader B has an interpretation of the line that is much more closely linked with the Canadian state and the attitude of neo-liberal policies towards immigrants and ethnic communities. CJC-B: The disadvantages of [a focus on anti-racism] are that in some senses the prevalence of the market in the notion that under the new multiculturalism you pay your own way, each community does an RSP and it's run pretty much like a community is a business voice that enters and the squeaky wheel gets the thing. And that's why racism gets the money because of course it's the squeakiest wheel right now and you know because there's guns and there's you know people dying and there's kids you know they're scapegoats and victims and blood and you know all the mythic qualities of this material. And so it's getting the attention and my sense is that Judaism will play through multiculturalism, not so much we don't lose it as a category for when it becomes a more Leftist government. So right now it's a marsupial's pouch with no kangaroo in it. It's just an empty pouch. But we'll keep the 1 One of my colleagues reminded me that sexism is also often part of this equation. 116 pouch there rather than sew it up.... But do I think it affects the new anti-Semitism? Yah, it gives us a new rhetoric. So we're not averse, although I am averse, but I will use anti-racism rhetoric where I never would fifteen years ago with regards to getting politicians interested in multiculturalism. SJ: So it's just a way to get politicians interested by using, sort of interchanging anti-racism and anti-Semitism? CJC-B: Both. They're the ones setting the agenda. See as I said to you earlier, if you use the word multiculturalism they don't understand multiculturalism because it's not a problem. See, to them that's a solution. Racism is a problem.... The Right will never come to you for solutions. They already have them. They only come to you to solve problems. CJC leader B identifies the link between racism and anti-Semitism in the eyes of the Canadian state. The government has become not so much hostile as indifferent to the needs of the Jewish community in so far as cultural protections are concerned. However, the government is certainly not indifferent to anti-Semitism. As the rhetoric and policy of the state changes, so too must the CJC change to continue to shape policy. Scholars, such as Tessman and Abu-Laban are critical of the claims of groups such as the CJC that seek support for relatively successful, re-racialized or 'whitened' groups in a multicultural society, particularly in relation to human rights and equality. "[Mjulticulturalism requires attention to nondominant cultural practices, whether or not the cultural Other is also a racial Other. Those with the 'me too' motivation for denying their whiteness are focused on Jewish subjection to racism, but generally in such a way that detracts from a focus on the other targets of racism.'2 4 2 Abu-Laban and Gabriel argue that multiculturalism as the anti-racist discourse seems to have been appropriated by middle-class visible minorities and is not helping to decrease economic inequalities that cut across race, Tessman, Lisa . "Jewish Racializations: Revealing the Contingency of Whiteness." Eds. Lisa Tessman and Bat-Ami Bar On. Jewish Locations: Traversing Racialized Landscapes. Oxford, U K : Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001: 140. 1 1 7 gender, and ethnicity. They argue that this was evident when the CJC in 1997-8 was opposed to changes in multiculturalism that took away core-funding from ethno-cultural groups and moved it into broader umbrella organizations with emphasis on human rights and anti-racism. Rather than continuing to claim specificity, Bar On and Tessman argue that to stem anti-Semitism, Jews must to look at the privileges they have as an invisible minority. "Researching Jewish racial privilege—alongside Jewish racial categorization and subordination—may be one way, within the contemporary United States, to theorize Jewish locations without detracting from the sense of urgency Jews and others should have about fighting racism in solidarity with those who are most targeted by it today."244 So we may ask, who is getting less attention from the Canadian state because of the rhetoric of the 'new' anti-Semitism? We can hope that the CJC is simultaneously pursuing their agenda. Nonetheless, the interchangeability of racism and anti-Semitism does evoke an attitude of'me too-ness.' The state claims to recognize cultural difference, but due to intersections of culture with hierarchies of race, gender, class, etc. the state cannot avoid racial categorization as an element in the management of difference.245 Despite claims of cultural difference and not race, especially for so called visible minorities, "invisibility is no option. As a result, there is little or no opportunity to separate public and private spheres of identity. One carries one's identity, at least in the eyes of one's fellow Canadians, in the color of one's skin."2 4 6 Jews can choose to be Jewish when they want to, much more easily than non-white groups in contemporary Canadian society can choose to move in or out of their cultural status. 2 4 3 Abu-Laban, Yasmeen and Christina Gabriel. Selling diversity: immigration, multiculturalism, employment equity and globalization. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2002. 2 4 4 Bar on, Bat-Ami and Lisa Tessman. 2001: 5. 2 4 5 See Abu-Laban and Gabriel 2002; Day 2000. 2 4 6 Troper, Harold and Morton Weinfeld. "Canadian Jews and Canadian Multiculturalism." Multiculturalism, Jews, and Identities in Canada. Ed. Howard Adelman and John. H . Simpson. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1996: 31. ' • 118 Conforming to government rhetoric is one way to make the Jewish community more visible as the CJC, perhaps inadvertently, challenges their own whiteness and privileges. The rhetoric of the 'new' anti-Semitism has also led to the creation of new enemies and allies that also shape how the CJC interacts with the state. CJC leader C explains: Well, we used to use the new anti-Semitism as actually anti-Semitism on the extreme Left, which de-legitimized the state of Israel. What I think you're referencing is the anti-Semitism that's coming out of Islamism which...not only de-legitimizes Israel, but also the Jewish people definitionally and therefore all Jewish people become targets not just Israelis. It is a, it is a hatred. Again born out of either a culture of a sense of inferiority which is glommed onto some sense of superiority that insists on challenging, confronting and ultimately wiping out ideas and philosophies that are seen as competition. Now, I don't know where it comes from.... So it's very complicated. We see it as a threat to Canadian values. We see it as a threat to the Jewish community. And we ultimately see in Canada the way to deal with that through effective policing, effective intelligence and ultimately a Canada, which is prosperous, which enfranchises people so that they have a stake in Canada and its democracy. CJC leader C argues that the 'new' anti-Semitism, drawing from the 'old,' and evolving out of Arab and Muslim societies was once the domain of the political Left. Regardless, the 'new' anti-Semitism is un-Canadian and threatens Canadian values and Canadian unity. However, there are strategies to deal with the 'new' anti-Semitism through multiculturalism because it ensures the inclusion of all Canadians in a democratic society. Jewish allies, to the great surprise of CJC leader B, are shifting as well as 'our' enemies. Traditionally, Jewish allies were on the Left. Labour unions and working with other discriminated groups are an important part of Jewish history in North America. However, within the last five years or so these old allegiances have begun to erode as Jewish institutions and voters have begun to shift towards the political right. So my sense, and it's an important one I think, is that we have different allies than we had. In the new anti-Semitism we have these strange allies. George Bush. The fundamentalists who get up and stand with a cross you know and will protect us. [sotto voce] Scary crap. Yah, I know but this is the new anti-Semitism, if you 1 1 9 understand, and the people that are shouting at me you know are Leftist union members and who see Israel as an American, capitalist lackey... .The new anti-Semitism to me is really exciting, OK? It really is.... I mean to see the cross behind me in support is very confusing, OK? Very confusing. Or to see like George Bush, a person I wouldn't vote for at all, George W. Bush, you know basically saying 'send another couple billion over to his people.' You know, this is very confusing don't you think? So that's what the new anti-Semitism is talking about is mostly our allies. Our enemies have stayed fairly different too. Our enemies now are increasingly on the Left, which is very new to us Jews. You see because most Jews associate with the Left. But now you'll find a good deal of the world that votes against Israel or feels uncomfortable with 'the Jew' as a kind of model community.. ..[For example] it's very difficult to get people interested in Jewish poverty.... So my sense is that what new anti-Semitism is about is new axial roots in which the friends of the Jews are now very different from what the friends of the Jews were in the old position and the enemies of the Jews are much more complicated now. Jews have new allies and new enemies, which is both startling and disturbing. The Jewish community as a model minority is possibly an explanation for why allies have changed. Jews are no longer able to claim victim status because of their great successes and achievements, no matter how many Jews live in poverty. Who stands with the Jewish people worldwide is becoming increasingly ambiguous. As discussed earlier, Tessman argues that if Jews are recognized as a non-white, racialized group then they can better participate in multiculturalism as they can draw on their history and say 'me too' in response to anti-racism discourses. However, Jews complicate the in/visible minority binary in Canada. Kaye/Kantrowitz sees Jews as choosing a "slippery place between white and colored [that] is a site of tension but also of possibility, and Jews, 247 like all other people, make political choices. With whom will we stake our future?" Dangerously, in my opinion, Jews are linked with those who see Israel and Jews as both geopolitically and religiously expedient. Kaye/Kantrowitz, Melanie. "Notes from the (Shifting) Middle: Some Ways of Looking at Jews." Eds. Lisa Tessman and Bat-Ami Bar On. Jewish Locations: Traversing Racialized Landscapes. Oxford, U K : Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001: 126. 120 ; For the United States, Israel has been an important ally in the Middle East particularly since the 1967 June War and this is nothing new.2 4 8 However, the new allies of Jewish organizations, the political Right and perhaps more importantly the Christian (evangelical) Right, are dangerous for Jewish communities. Why? Because of the belief in the Rapture and the coming of the Messiah. Although there is no agreement among Christians about the details of the 'end of times,' parts of the right-wing movement argue that for Jesus to return, all Jews must either return to Israel or be converted to Christianity. Anyone who is not Christian will die, including Jews in Israel. A sign of Jesus' second coming is chaos in the land of Israel, and violence there does not seem to be decreasing anytime soon. Arguably, Christian tourists have played a large part in maintaining Israel's economy since the second intifada and a recent Los Angeles Times article illustrates the irony of the Jewish-Evangelical alignment.249 The president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield expressed his gratitude to a Christian Right leader for "bringing plane-loads of people to Israel at a time when people there were 9 SO ' getting blown up by the bus-loads." Another Jewish leader in Jerusalem, Gershom Solomon the spokesman for the Temple Institute, also expressed both his gratitude and his concern with this new alliance. 'I'm grateful for all the wonderful Christian angels wanting to help us.. .Christians who are now Israel's best lobbyists in the United States.' However, when asked to comment on the fate of non-Christians upon the Second Coming of Jesus, he said, 'That's a very embarrassing question. What can I tell you? That's a very terrible There are shelves of books on the relationship between Israel and the United States. See Shaffer 2002, Charme 2000 for more on the relationship between American Jews and Israel. 2 4 9 Tourism is one of Israel's largest sources of revenue. 2 5 0 Sahagun, Louis. " 'End Times' Religious Groups Want Apocalypse Soon." Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2006. [Online] <<http:ww.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-endtimes22jun22,05277604.full.story?coll=la-headlines-california» 5 Jul 2006: 3. 121 Christian idea. What kind of religion is it that expects another religion will be destroyed?'251 Nonetheless, both Hirschfield and Solomon illustrate the paradox that CJC leader B found not only disturbing, but also politically expedient. The 'new' allies in the 'new' anti-Semitism are in no way concerned with the best interests of Jews or any other non-Christian group. This is unbelievably dangerous as Jewish institutions abandon old allies who may not agree with Israeli state policies, but who may have a more universal perspective on human rights. Instead of making more difficult but perhaps more lasting coalitions with the Left, Jewish organizations are obfuscating danger to themselves by aligning with groups that have their own agendas, which may not be universal human rights and equality for all religious and ethnic groups. I agree with CJC Leader B that this is 'scary crap,' but it must be challenged within Jewish communities—not accepted. Otherwise, through the confluence of the 'war on terror' and the 'new' anti-Semitism, it is possible that we will see new forms of ethnic caging. C o n c l u s i o n / think that the Canadian Jewish Congress is a pretty effective lobbying organization based on what I've seen. I'm very pleased with the Canadian government's stance on tolerance, anti-discrimination and anti-Semitism and I think that members of our congregation probably feel the same way. —Alternative leader B The history of the role of the CJC in shaping Canadian ethnic politics demonstrates how a study of multiculturalism from the perspective of Vancouver's Jewish community cannot be done without an analysis of the role of the CJC. As a democratically elected 2 5 1 Ironically, the Temple Institute wants to rebuild the Jewish temple over the Dom of the Rock, which would result in the end of Islam. Sahagun, Louis. " 'End Times' Religious Groups Want Apocalypse Soon." Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2006. [Online] <<http:www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-endtimes22jun22,03150.. .» 5 Jul 2006: 3. 1 2 2 umbrella organization made up of members from a variety of Jewish organizations, the CJC claims to have 'realized' the tension between ethnic pluralism and liberal political philosophy by recreating a successful ethnic congress. Arguably, this melding of 'the Canadian way' with Jewish interests and increased social acceptance of Jews is what has helped the CJC maintain its dominant position in the Jewish community for over forty years. The CJC has been successful because as a whole Jews have relatively high levels of financial, social and political capital as well as spatial cohesion that has enabled communities to develop sophisticated political institutions. Undoubtedly, without these so-call 'ethnic advantages' the CJC would never have been so successful at gaining the ear and pen of the Canadian state. Nor would the CJC have been so successful at policing Jewish boundaries were there not such a long history of discrimination against the Jewish Diaspora as the realization of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust and the formation of the state of Israel legitimized and gave voice to Jewish claims of difference post-1945. Since the 1960s, multiculturalism has been the vehicle for the CJC to maintain its position as the voice of Canadian Jewry in the eyes of the Canadians state, other NGOs and within Canadian Jewish communities themselves. Perpetuating multiculturalism promises the survival and continuity of Canadian Jewry as assimilation and in particular intermarriage are perceived as the greatest threats to Judaism. Although there are a number of other Jewish institutions that are troubled with Jewish survival and continuity, it is the CJC that has played a central role in ensuring the mutual vitality of both Jews and Canadian multiculturalism. As the CJC garnered the attention of the Canadian government, Canadian Jews began to 'whiten.' This process of 'whitening' of Canadian Jewry while maintaining Jewish difference makes Jews a largely 'invisible' minority, problematising Canada's 'visible 123 minority' category. The claim of difference and particularly the blurring of racism and anti-Semitism today creates a paradox as Jews no longer are seen as a racialized group, but continue to claim a historically racialized category. Not only are Jews different, but also prejudice and discrimination faced by Jews continues to be different from both white ethnic/religious groups and people of colour. One interesting comparison would be an investigation of the discrimination experienced by white Muslims and Muslims of colour as the 'war on terror' racialises Arabs and Muslims. A deeper understanding of discrimination based on culture and religion versus skin colour may help to clarify how groups similar to Jews experience difference as an 'invisible' minority and what those claims of difference may mean for multicultural policy in Canada. Multiculturalism as a state policy and its desire to see as well as manage ethnics is in many ways an addendum to Scott's Seeing Like a State. The B & B Report and the institutionalization of multiculturalism made ethnicity legible as it simultaneously legitimized the continuation of ethnic identities. In Canada, multiculturalism was sought to make society more legible and unified using "a kind of national transparency through the uniformity of codes, identities, statistics, regulations and measures."253 For the CJC, multiculturalism continues to be a way to link the future security of Canadian Jewry to the Canadian state. Working with the state has made ethnic visibility not just tolerable but also acceptable in Canada, and for the CJC a source of legitimacy and power to pursue their policing agenda. But this may be too optimistic as the future of multiculturalism and the CJC are in question. 2 5 2 The visible minority category was defined in the 1986 Employment Equity Act as people who are neither Caucasian nor aboriginal, but are 'non-white' in color or race. 2 5 3 Scott, James C. Seeing Like a State. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998: 78. Certainly Canada's impressive census apparatus aids the process of making ethnicity both legible and manageable. 124 David Ley has recently argued that despite challenges to multiculturalism, we may not have yet entered a 'post-multiculturalism' phase.254 The CJC, for the sake of their institution and long standing relationships with the Canadian state, hopes that multiculturalism will survive threats from the Left, Right, and neo-liberalism. However, the fact that the CJC has now adopted racism as a way to describe anti-Semitism is troubling and reflects the concerns of many scholars who see multiculturalism not only as an instrument of capitalism, but also as a racialising and racist force. This is perhaps what is so paradoxical about the CJC, is that while truly working to end racism for all groups, they are inadvertently recreating Jews as a racialised group by using 'racism' and 'anti-Semitism' as interchangeable categories. What is also ironic is that capitalism, in the time of neo-liberalism, is what is leading to the dismantling of multiculturalism itself as the Canadian state moves away from the welfare-state model that gave birth to multiculturalism under Trudeau. Increasing specialization, if not marginalization, also leaves the future of the CJC in question as the structures of Canadian Jewish institutions continue to follow corporate, neo-liberal models as Canadian multiculturalism evolves. Evolving out of institutional changes, the 'new' anti-Semitism is a new boundary in the Diasporic experience changing the multicultural Canadian zoo and its Jewish cage. Certainly, Jewish identities and Judaism have always been deeply connected to ideas of Israel and these connections have meant many different things to many different people over time (including not always as a physical place). In addition, the meaning of Zionism has changed radically in the last hundred years from a debatable philosophy to the Jewish nationalism we see today manifested in the state of Israel. According to the CJC, because of Jewish history 2 5 4 Ley, David. "Post-Multiculturalism?" Metropolis Working Paper Series. 05-18 September, 2005. 1 2 5 and threats to Israel, anti-Semitism requires specific attention within the struggle against racism and hatred. The CJC continues to seek a particularist route as a Diaspora claiming human rights through universalism. But if Jews are Jews because of a 'unique' historical struggle that has led to the formation of a particular form of discrimination, it can no longer be called racism due to Jewish assimilation, even if it continues to mark Jews as different from other ethnic groups. All discrimination, prejudice and hatred come out of historical circumstances. Jews have a particular label, 'anti-Semitism,' that as seen in Chapter One is derived from histories of tolerance and assimilation, whereas groups discriminated against due to their skin colour continue to be constructed as racially different today. The CJC chooses to articulate anti-Semitism as related to racism, not only because the CJC believes that racism should be a universal concern, but also because it is politically convenient. The Jewish ethnic cage, policed by the CJC, is maintained by the 'eternal' dichotomy that threatens Jewish survival and continuity. Jewish difference as linked to a Diasporic consciousness as well as historical and contemporary constructions of race, encourages Jews to consider the particularities of two Jewish struggles that institutions suggest we unite to fight—assimilation and anti-Semitism. Multiculturalism through pro-integration and anti-hate/anti-racism policies facilitates the persistence of this now centuries old paradox. The Canadian solution to the 'problem of diversity' encourages the Jewish 'problem of assimilation' to be tackled from several distinct angles that, perhaps inadvertently, draws upon a history of Jewish racialisation. Multiculturalism is a policy that intends to promote diversity and tolerance, but can it also reproduce racialisation? This leads me to think that multiculturalism is not so much a racist policy, but a racialising one. Racialising, that is, not necessarily through the creation 126 but through the reinforcement of the multicultural ethnic zoo. While the CJC has acted as a proponent of human rights legislation in Canada throughout the last fifty years, how the organization evokes Israel and the past to create a present riddled with anti-Semitism abuses history and artificially maintains a Jewish, albeit for the most part whitened, position in Canada's racial hierarchy as an 'invisible' minority. The paradox of the CJC is that while they are working to end racism and reject race as a category within multiculturalism, they are also reproducing Jews as racialised. Whether or not Canada is entering a post-multicultural phase, without a policy that encourages ethnic and religious groups to pick and choose whiteness and other identities, the survival of perhaps not so much Canadian Jewry and the Canadian state, but the survival of the Canadian Jewish Congress and multiculturalism are certainly threatened as more neo-liberal or 'corporate' institutional models continue to dominate both Canadian and Jewish ethnic politics. 127 CONCLUSION SJ: How do you feel about fears of assimilation? CLC: It's a shame. It's a fact. It's a shame. It's always happened. I'm tired of the constant, you know, banner headlines 'Jews are disappearing' or 'Jews are assimilating and going'. All you have to do is look at the story of Chanukah and it's a near duplicate situation. s —Conservative leader C Concerns about Jewish survival and continuity are for better or worse a part of what it means to be Jewish. Our myths, histories and practices often relate to ensuring the stability of Judaism and Jews. Yet Jewish 'survival' is a paradox. Despite fears since biblical times that Judaism will disappear, Jews have maintained flourishing communities and managed to endure countless episodes of both deprivation and assimilation. Today in Vancouver as in much of Canada, the Jewish community is flourishing. Nonetheless, assimilation and lack of affiliation are perceived as palpable threats to the cohesive community. I hope to have portrayed how the methods and rhetoric used to challenge these fears is leading towards some unintended outcomes. In this thesis I have explored several paradoxes within a paradox, as assimilation and racialization are a part of both internal and external Jewish as well as Canadian ethnic politics. Ironically, Jewish identity is becoming racialized from within despite the history and outcomes of the social construction of race—slavery and the Nazi Holocaust being horrific exemplars. For the most part, historical racializations were constructed outside Jewish communities to better manage diverse populations, but then often reproduced by Jews such as Disraeli for their own advantage. Today, intermarriage in Vancouver is discouraged out of a fear of assimilation, but at the same time, Jewish institutions are flourishing despite growing out-marriage. Jewess' bodies are the sites of reproduction for the Jewish people, 128 defining the borders between Jew and gentile, passing her religion through her blood. Although the taboo of intermarriage has declined over the last fifty years in Canada, at the same time the health of the Jewish family and therefore the Jewish community has come into question. An interfaith family, it is said, is not a healthy family; intermarriage is a pathogen that threatens Judaism and Jewishness. Simultaneously, in a (declining) climate of multiculturalism, race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality are all shaded under the umbrella of culture. Each category in its own way defines Jewishness. Jewish institutions such as the Canadian Jewish Congress use the flexibility of these identities to pursue their agenda with the Canadian state as they have come to represent a model (invisible) minority. At the same time, the CJC has reproduced Canadian Jewry as the multicultural ethnic protestant par excellence as the CJC has tied its fate to the fate of multiculturalism. The contemporary racialization of Jewish identity in Vancouver is strikingly similar to formulations that Arendt identified in nineteenth century Europe. As in the past, assimilation in Vancouver continues to worry Jews and Jewish institutions. However, assimilating to avoid discrimination is, according to many leaders interviewed, pointless because assimilation did not save the Jews of Europe from anti-Semitism. Today, institutions combat assimilation through a largely self-defined expression of pride in Jewish difference. Jews must assert boundaries for themselves to protect against both assimilation and anti-Semitism as illustrated in Chapters Two and Three. In Chapter Two we saw how Jewish leaders often discourage assimilation by discouraging intermarriage, perpetuating claims of authenticity, clarity and purity of Jewish chosenness and uniqueness. In Chapter Three we saw how one institution, the CJC, uses Jewish difference as a way to coordinate with the Canadian state to preserve Jewish boundaries. Learning from the past, the CJC polices the 1 2 9 boundaries of minority rights as religious law and its defenders police the Jewish family. Together, religious and secular institutions are in many ways maintaining the assimilation/anti-Semitism dichotomy reminiscent of the nineteenth century model—albeit transformed by geography and history in North America, post-Nazi Holocaust, and post-Israeli independence. Nonetheless, Arendt's critique is startlingly relevant to Jewish institutions today as the racializing dichotomy proliferates in Vancouver's Jewish community. As Jewish institutions use these strategies to reinforce the boundaries of community, they invoke not only Jewish particularism, but also racializations that draw both on biological and historical interpretations of Jews. As Jews, we become linked not only through cultural practices, but also through our very being. A being that is mystical, essential, arid enigmatic no matter how many books are published on the matter. But my question remains: is this what Jews want to be doing? Is it dangerous for a group to be using an inherent state of difference as a strategy for their own ethnic political advantage, as leaders seek to define both the local and national communities? In many ways I believe these practices and strategies are dangerous. Perhaps for groups that continue to be subject to negative racializations and stereotyping (such as groups subject to racial profiling), strategic essentialism is difficult to avoid no matter the warnings of Gilroy and Fanon. However, using constructions of race to discourage intermarriage and gain a political voice for a group that has worked so hard not to be racialized seems ironic if not short sighted if we learn anything from Arendt. The issue of intermarriage is painful and I know personally how it can hurt families when it is not accepted. However, my larger concern is not with religious law, something that is evidently not going to change soon despite changes in Jewish communities. Most non-1 3 0 Orthodox institutions have begun in some way to accept that intermarriage is not going to end and they are implementing strategies to be more open, more welcoming. But it is the danger of the new Jewish political allies that worries me much more than intermarriage. Are we not sacrificing our integrity as 'survivors' ( i f we want to continue to think of ourselves that way) by aligning with powers that are inevitably not in our best interests? Speaking as a Jew who has often been on the 'fence' o f Judaism, I, in many ways like Glazer, lament the future of Judaism as well as Jewishness. Diaspora politics represented by institutions such as the C J C claiming for all Jews that 'we have survived and now we must stand united behind Israel no matter what' has disheartened me for a number of years and w i l l undoubtedly continue to do so. Nevertheless, reconsidering the geographies o f Jewish ethnic politics is one way to challenge what often feels like a juggernaut of politics and racializations. A t the opening of the new millennium in an article in The Professional Geographer, Kobayashi and Peake called for an anti-racist agenda for Geography—a discipline that has close historical ties to imperialism and racism. Part of the struggle to redefine Geography within anti-racism is to unravel whiteness and its relation to place and history. Jewish relationships to both race and place have been contentious throughout our history and continue to be so despite changes in the acceptance of Jewish difference and the creation of a Jewish homeland in the form of the state of Israel. Once a racialized pariah, Jews in North America are largely regarded as white and we benefit from this new-found whiteness. This is not to say that the Jewish experience is exactly the same as any other white group, but that in a world that is post-Nazi Holocaust, and also post-Israeli independence, ideas of Jews, Diaspora and race need to be reconsidered and re-evaluated. 131 The paradoxes of Jewish survival take place within and between several scales. I say between, because as has been illustrated throughout this thesis, Jewishness is a webbed identity tied to a variety of temporal and spatial understandings of place. A s the history of racialization illustrates, constructions of race are processes that have local, regional, national and global dimensions. Vancouver's Jewish community was my local community during the research process and, despite suburban dispersion, Jews remain concentrated within urban spaces. Jewish institutions both religious and secular are embedded in the local politics and culture of Vancouver. Jewishness also is regional. Vancouver is the western frontier of Canada, part of Cascadia, and representative of the West Coast life style—laidback, anti-traditional and secular. Vancouver's proximity to the United States and its distance from Toronto and Montreal challenge the idea of a cohesive Canadian Jewish identity and community as well as core/periphery relations. A t the same time, Vancouver is a Canadian city. Jewish institutions in Canada operate differently than their American counterparts and Canadian Jews are not hesitant in pointing out these distinctions. Finally, the meaning of Diaspora has a powerful effect on Vancouver's community. The stability of life in Canada and the strength of Israel are an integral part of Jewish institutions in Vancouver. Constructions of Jewishness today are just as dynamic and geographic as they were two hundred years ago—yet we are afraid of boundaries evaporating in a climate of acceptance and whiteness. Many Jews and Jewish institutions continue to hold onto differences from white, Christian North America. Off-whiteness is the racial location where I think many Jews see themselves and are seen by others. But what makes us different? Culture, religion, biology? I cannot say that I know the answer or want to. To say that there is an essential element that makes Jews different from another group would contradict the aims 132 of this thesis. Instead, I wanted to investigate how we as Jews interpret ourselves as different and how these boundaries of difference are maintained. A n explanation of how Jewish institutions construct Jewish difference to help us identify as off-white, to stave off a complete and totalizing whiteness that also means Christian, is what I hope to have accomplished. Although it was only a small part of this thesis, more studies need to be done on alliances of convenience and how in the long term they may threaten the stability of ethnic and religious groups such as Jews in North America. Ethnic politics particularly need to be assessed in relation to the US so-called 'war on terror' that appears to be a polarizing force from geopolitics to local communities. Research also needs to be conducted on divisions within Jewish communities. Highlighting the tensions within communities and creating more dialogues about race, racism, whiteness and religious extremism creates a buffer against essentializing the 'Jewish opinion' on issues stemming from Israel to local politics. Geography would benefit from more research on how constructions of race for non-white as well as white groups continue to shape community politics as well as ethnic politics within nation-states. Not only have I tried to illustrate the boundaries of the Jewish community, I have also tried to illuminate the boundaries of Canada, real and metaphorical, and how 'Jewish' and 'Canadian' have been tied together through history and place. Comparative analysis with the experience of 'whitened' as well as non-white groups in Canada would elucidate the consistencies and .inconsistencies of the Canadian state as it addresses racism through multiculturalism. Comparative analysis between regions would create a richer analysis of Canadian Jewish institutions and the specific challenges faced by communities across Canada. 133 As I end this personal and intellectual exploration of Vancouver's Jewish community, I am left wondering whether we as Jews will overcome the paradox of Jewish survival. Or in a strange twist of fate, would overcoming the existential Jewish dilemma mean the end of Judaism, the end of Jewishness? Would we become truly a dead, no longer an 'ever dying' people? 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"Hannah Arendt's Jewish Identity: Neither Parvenu nor Pariah." European Journal of Political Theory. 3:2 (2004) 177-190. Waldinger, Roger. "The Sociology of Immigration: Second Thoughts and Reconsiderations." Ed. Jeffrey G. Reitz. Host Societies and the Reception of Immigrants. San Diego, CA: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at University of California, 2003; 21-44. Walker, James W. "The 'Jewish Phase' in the Movement for Racial Equality in Canada." Canadian Ethnic Studies. 34:1 (2002): 1-29. Weinfeld, Morton. "Canadian Jewry: A Relative Success Story." Continuity, Commitment, and Survival: Jewish Communities in the Diaspora. Ed. Sol Encel and Leslie Stein. London: Praeger, 2003; 23-48. 142 Weinfeld, Morton. Like Everyone Else...But Different: The Paradoxical Success of Canadian Jews. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 2001. Wisenthal, Christine Boas. Insiders and outsiders : two waves of Jewish settlement in British Columbia, 1858-1914. M A Thesis, University of British Columbia: Vancouver, 1987. Zizek, Slavoj. "Multiculturalism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Multinationals Capitalism." The New Left Review. 225 (Sept/Oct 1997): 28-51. 143 Interview Schedule: Secular and Religious Leaders Introductory Questions • Briefly discuss/clarify the institution o When was it founded? Where? o Why? i.e. goals • Who are your members? • Does your funding come mainly from within Vancouver's Jewish community or do you receive some support from national Jewish organizations and elsewhere as well? • What types of organizations do you network with? Religious, secular and non-Jewish as well as Jewish? Does this happen at local, national, and/or international levels? Assimilation and Intermarriage • What is your organization's view on assimilation? Intermarriage? Do you see them as . related? How? o For Rabbis: What are the origins of discouraging intermarriage in Judaism? How do you interpret this? In your studies and experience have you found that views on intermarriage have changed over time and place? Has intermarriage always been an important issue in Jewish thought? • What circumstances affect the rate of intermarriage in Vancouver? Do you regard it as high or low? Is Vancouver unusual in terms of intermarriage rates in Canada? • Is there an attempt by your organization to deal with Vancouver's seemingly high intermarriage rate? How? Do you think this is an issue that should concern all Jews? o For Rabbis: Does this pose a challenge to members of your congregation? How do you resolve these issues? • How does your organization interpret matrilineal descent? Do you think that this will change both in Vancouver and elsewhere? o For Rabbis: Where does the law of matrilineal descent come from? What is its purpose and has that changed over time? • Does your organization view being Jewish as a religion, ethnicity or both? • Who does your organization believe should decide who is and is not Jewish? • Are there any groups that your organization specifically excludes (for political views, issues of descent, etc.)? Any groups particularly targeted for inclusion (youths, etc.)? Recent examples? 146 Multiculturalism • How do you view the issue of Jewish survival? Without the cohesion created through anti-Semitism, do you think it is possible to maintain a distinct Jewish identity in Canada? Should it be left to the Orthodox to increase Jewish numbers, or is your organization employing other strategies? Is it an issue of just increasing numbers or also increasing the attractiveness or accessibility of a Jewish life to more Jews? • According to your organization, what is the role of Jews in Canadian society? Has this changed over time? o For Rabbis: Is your synagogue involved with secular political organizations? (CJC for example) • What does multiculturalism mean for your organization? As both a social and political institution, is it important to your organization? o Is this different in Vancouver than in other parts of Canada or North America? • Do you think that multiculturalism in Canada helps Jewish communities to challenge assimilation? How/why not? • Do you see the goals of multiculturalism in Canada as changing? With an increasing focus of anti-racism, what is the role of the Jewish community? Are there benefits and/or disadvantages for the Jewish community in this change? o What are some of the experiences that you have had in dealing with anti-Semitism in Vancouver? • Do you view Canada as a permanent home for Jewish Canadians or do you foresee continued movement in Diaspora or a return to Israel? • Is there anything else you would like to add? 1 4 7 Interview Schedule: Settlement Workers / Introductory/Organization Questions • Briefly discuss/clarify the institution o When was it founded? Where? o Why? i.e. goals • Does your funding come mainly from within Vancouver's Jewish community or do you receive some support from national Jewish organizations and elsewhere as well? • What types of organizations do you network with? Religious, secular and non-Jewish as well as Jewish? Does this happen at local, national, and/or international levels? • What kinds of services do you provide for your clients? Clients • Can you tell me a bit about your clients? (ages, education levels, country of origin, families/individuals, languages, etc.) o How many clients do you have? For how long do they generally need your services? o How do your clients find out about your services? o Why have they immigrated to Canada? o Did they arrive in Vancouver first? • What are some of the major issues that your clients face upon arrival to Canada and Vancouver? Do you think that this is similar or different to the experiences of other groups? • What are some of the similarities and differences that you see among your clients? (along the lines of nationality, religious practice, class, age, gender, etc.) • Why do your clients choose a Jewish settlement agency? Do they also use mainstream organizations? • Do you think that your clients are well received within the Jewish community? Canadian society? (examples of experiences) • Assimilation and intermarriage receive a lot of attention in North American Jewish communities; do these issues have any relevance to your work and clients? (example immediate versus long-term Jewish survival) • Does the JFSA distinguish between Jews and non-Jews and if so, how? 148 • Are your clients concerned about maintaining a Jewish identity in Canada? Do you think that they continue to identify with the country they are immigrating from? • Do you think multiculturalism in Canada affects your clients and their ability to settle in Canadian society? (versus say American 'melting pot' ideology) • Have they had any experiences with anti-Semitism? (both in country of origin and Canada) • Do you think your clients intend to make Canada their permanent home? 149 


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