The Woman’s Page – November 24, 1916

November 24, 1916

“We would feel dreadfully hurt if somebody called us aliens, and yet some have been acting like aliens.  The Jewish women of Canada must cast off their apathy and take part in our country’s cause.”

Thus the author of “The Woman’s Page” of the Canadian Jewish Chronicle chastises her Canadian Jewish sisters for neglecting their duty to support the war effort in 1916 in an editorial named “Our Jewish Overseas Company.”  She compares their failing to the concerted efforts of their British counterparts: “Our Jewish sisters in England are not holding aloof as we are.  They have associated themselves with every branch of endeavour. They have made themselves really useful.  They have given their men, their money, their time. They stand ready to sacrifice all. Their Jewishness has not stood in the way of their patriotism, nor has their patriotism effaced their Jewishness.”

The crisis of First World War was a great challenge to the Canadian Jewish community which ultimately encouraged greater solidarity, and led to the establishment of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1919).   Passages from “The Woman’s Page” demonstrate the British patriotism and the Jewish communal pride that Canadian women encouraged during the course of the War and in their ardent support of the Jewish Overseas Company and early Zionist organizations like Hadassah.

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