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HomeNewsMay is Jewish Heritage Month in North Bay

May is Jewish Heritage Month in North Bay

Starting this year, each May will be Jewish Heritage Month in North Bay. 

Council unanimously supported the motion at their last meeting.  

Councillor Mac Bain put the motion forward saying it’s about showing respect for different faiths, especially in light of an anti-Semitic incident in recent months which garnered national headlines. 

He says the city will take to social media to share more information in May. 

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“Direct the public to educational resources and raise awareness about any community event that may be taking place during the month,” Bain says. “It’s my understanding that our communications officer will be doing this for other months that we have moving forward throughout the year, more specifically Black History Month.”

Bain also shared a highlight of his youth, going with his father to one of the many stores downtown that were owned and operated by Jewish merchants.  

Other councillors, including Scott Robertson, also talked about the history of the Jewish community in North Bay. 

“The Municipal Heritage Committee also put up a plaque in the downtown which talks extensively about the Jewish business owners in the downtown and the history of the Jewish community in North Bay,” he says. 

The Sons of Jacob synagogue website says from 1925 to 1980 there were at least 60 Jewish families living in North Bay and area, with many of the retailers on Main Street from the 1950s through the 1970s being Jewish merchants. 

The federal government says Canada is home to an estimated 400,000 people of Jewish heritage, making it the fourth-largest Jewish community in the world. 

“Jewish Canadians have made and continue to make important contributions to our society, including medicine, theatre, engineering, music, architecture, academia, politics, law, the arts, and more,” says Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion.  “During this month, we also recognize the courage, determination, and resilience that members of Jewish communities have shown throughout history.”

He also says Canadians must also recognize that Jewish communities in Canada and around the world continue to face a frightening rise in acts of antisemitism, violence, and xenophobia. “This is unacceptable,” says Hussen. “We must always condemn this violence and continue to stand firmly against it.”

Hussen is encouraging all Canadians to reflect on and learn more about the inspirational role that Jewish Canadians have played and continue to play in communities across the country.


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