This Week in JPL History: The Montreal Jewish Forums

This is the invitation which was mailed out inviting people to attend the 1960 series of the Montreal Jewish Forum

The seventh season of Montreal Jewish Forums kicked off with a Symposium on the Future of Judaism on December 15th, 1963. It featured Leonard Cohen, Rabbi Morris Halpern, Jehudah Elberg, and Michael Rubenstein. The Montreal Jewish Forums were a weekly series of discussions and talks on a variety of subjects of community interest and were co-sponsored by the Jewish Public Library and the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Canada.

The Montreal Jewish Forums allowed for the community to participate in dialogues on a number of topics covering a wide variety of themes. Topics included things like:

  • Education (Bill 60 and the Education of Jewish Children)
  • Economics (The European Common Market)
  • Culture (Yiddish Folklore)
  • Philosophy (Is there life after death?)
  • Religion (Oecumenism and the Jews, Intermarriage)
  • History (The Germans in Poland – Personal Testimony from the Ghettos and the Partisan Underground)
  • Health (Social Problems in Medicine today (Birth Control, Abortions, Old Age)
  • Provincial Politics (The Separatist Movement in the Province of Quebec)
  • World News (The Continued Moral Decline of India – India’s Occupation of Kashmir and Goa)
  • Work (Employment and Retraining Facilities in Montreal)

This list is only the tip of the iceberg in the wide range of topics which were discussed as a part of the Montreal Jewish Forums. The participants in these forums spanned as wide a breadth as the topics covered from Jewish and Catholic religious figures, to national and provincial politicians, educators, singers, actors, professors, and writers. These weekly forums were a unique blend of education, culture, and discussion. The Library is proud to have played a role in bringing them to our community.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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