Jewish Journal

Canada: Adieu, Juifs

by Brad A. Greenberg

April 11, 2008 | 12:39 pm

The number of Canadians identifying as Jewish fell by about 10 percent between 2001 and 2006. Lots of numbers from the Canadian Jewish News: Down nationally 33,000 Jews from 348,000, with the steepest decline, about 14 percent, occurring in Quebec.

In Quebec, the total was 71,380, down from 82,450 in 2001. Just over 38,000 offered Jewish as their sole ethnic origin. In Montreal alone, the figure is 68,485 (down precipitously from 80,390). The numbers are worrisome to a community that has been on the decline for at least 30 years and still speaks of itself as being 90,000 strong.


Canadian Jewish community demographer Charles Shahar is at a loss to explain the figures. “It’s difficult to interpret. My initial reaction is surprise… It’s very strange, shocking, really,” he said.

The reporter seems to be shocked, too. She spends much of the rest of the story quoting “baffled” experts and positing possible explanations: “statistical aberration,” declining birth, leveling immigration and, most comically, increase in Canadian-dominant identification.

(Thanks, Bintel Blog)

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