Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal
|President||Stanley Diamond M.S.M.||President|
|VP and Database Manager||Alan Greenberg||VP|
|VP and Program Chair||Merle Kastner||Program|
|Newsletter Editor (emeritus)||Anne Joseph||Newsletter|
Note: All email addresses are "at JGS-Montreal dot org" and case-insensitive.
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The Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal serves a city with one of the oldest Jewish communities in North America. The first Jewish settlers arrived in 1760 and the first synagogue (in Canada), the Shearith Israel, was founded in 1768.
Between 1760 and 1763, perhaps up to 20 Jewish families spent time in the Montreal area, about half of whom may be considered long-term residents. By 1768, when about a dozen families founded the first Jewish congregation in Canada, they chose the Sephardi minhag and the name Shearith Israel. The congregation remains to this day a vibrant component in the life of Jewish Montreal.
The Jewish community grew slowly: 107 by 1831, and 451 by 1851, etc. The next 100 years saw a big increase to 83,458. The new arrivals were mostly Ashkenazim from Europe, many pogrom and some Nazi escapees. The years from 1951-71 saw another increase: many were holocaust survivors, but there were also a large number of Sephardim from North Africa and the Middle East. Fluctuations over the next quarter century have now stabilized at just over 100,000.
Source: Joseph, Anne. Heritage of a Patriarch: A fresh look at nine of Canada's earliest Jewish families. 1995. Sillery (Quebec): Éditions du Septentrion.
Today, Montreal has a thriving Jewish community of about 100,000. It is in honour of these forebears and those who came after that we introduce our society and research in Montreal and Quebec to the Jewish genealogical community around the world.
For a full list of synagogues, see the Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Synagogue Directory.