Don’t look now, but tomorrow is Canada Day. The time for holiday shopping has ended; it’s nearly impossible to find a properly tanned moose hide for the kids or a gilded hockey stick for the missus (I’m not particularly familiar with the customs of this holiday). Pithy Canadian jokes aside, the Great White North has a fascinating Jewish history, full of ups, downs, and Seth Rogen.
In celebration of Canada Day, here’s a look back at selections from Tablet’s coverage of the world’s number one exporter of maple syrup and sexy prime ministers.
“Love The Stranger,” by Phillip Moscovitch: A Vancouver synagogue, appalled by the refugee situation created by the Syrian civil war, leads an effort of local Jewish groups to sponsor families fleeing the conflict.
“The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree,” by Shirley Faessler: Faessler, a noted 20th century writer from Toronto, honed her storytelling skills by regaling friends with old Yiddish tales. Published here is a recently reissued short story.
“Western Front,” by Ezra Glinter: An introduction to the history of the Jews of Winnipeg.
“Notes From a Toronto Festival,” by Sarah Lazarovic: A sketch diary of North America’s largest Yiddish culture festival, based in Toronto.
“Drake Dedicates New Toronto Club to Bubbe and Zayde,” by Stephanie Butnick: Manischewitz Papi named his newest club after his maternal grandparents, and if you think this is the only Drake-related news on this list, you’re not familiar with this publication.
“I Grew Up in Toronto, but You Can’t Tell From My Accent,” by Karen E. H. Skinazi: Skinazi writes about the difficulty of reconciling her Jewish and Canadian identities.
“Noah Kales Puts the Jew in Jiu-Jitsu,” by Louie Lazar: The story of Noah Kales, the Jewish wrestling king of Toronto. Oh, did we mention he’s thirteen?
“The Origin of Smoked Meat on Rye,” by Adam Chandler: The limits of the human digestive system are tested in this trip to Chez Schwartz’s in Montreal, home of some seriously hulking kosher(-style) smoked meat sandwiches.
“The Keeper of Montreal’s Jewish History,” by Richard Kreitner: A tribute to Joe King, the great chronicler of Jewry in Montreal.
“Tanya’s Story,” Vox Tablet: One of the last entrees from the late, great Vox Tablet. Tanya Zajdel tells the story of her Hasidic Jewish upbringing in Montreal and how it helped her to end an abusive marriage.
BONUS DRAKE: “The Drake Dialogues: Take Care, Because Nothing Is Ever the Same,” by David Meir Grossman and Ivan Rott: A deep dive in to Drizzy’s Nothing Was the Same (2013).