Archives of the Canadian Jewish Congress added to the Canada Memory of the World Register
Ottawa, 21 November 2023 - The Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives (Montreal), the Ontario Jewish Archives (Toronto), the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (Winnipeg), the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC (Vancouver) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO are pleased to announce that the archives of the Canadian Jewish Congress have been added to the Canada Memory of the World Register, which showcases documentary heritage of national significance.
The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) was a national organization founded in Montreal in 1919, which served as a national voice for Canada’s Jewish community for almost 100 years.
These archives, which include written documents as well as over 15,000 photographs, audio records, videos, and films offer important insight into Jewish community formation and the issues faced by the Jewish community nationally over this hundred-year period. The archives document Jewish community resilience and advocacy efforts during significant events in Canadian-Jewish history such as the rise of antisemitism in Canada during the 1930s, the Holocaust, Canada’s discriminatory immigration policies that denied entry to European Jews during the war, and the post-war resettlement of Holocaust survivors.
The materials also document the role played by the CJC in achieving the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1944 and the Fair Employment Practices Act of 1951, both of which were highly influential in shaping Canada’s human rights landscape.
These archives document almost one hundred years of Canadian-Jewish history, providing insight into the development of the Canadian Jewish community and its vital contributions to Canadian society.
– Yves-Gérard Méhou-Loko, Secretary General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The inclusion of the Canadian Jewish Congress archival record in the Canada Memory of the World Register is well earned. The Canadian Jewish Congress archival collection preserves a singularly precious and accessible heritage-record of almost 100 years of Jewish organizational activism in Canada. But it offers far more than that. It provides researchers an unparalleled window into the social, cultural, political, and intellectual priorities that have shaped Jewish community life in Canada and, equally important, those of the larger and increasingly diverse Canadian civil society to which Jews remain a part.
– Dr. Harold Troper, emeritus professor at OISE, University of Toronto, and the author or co-author of nine books on Canadian History
About UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme
UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme was initiated in 1992 to safeguard the world’s documentary heritage. The programme promotes universal access to materials with scientific, educational, aesthetic and cultural value.
Created in 2017, the Canada Memory of the World Register, administered by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and which now counts 30 entries, provides universal access to our artistic, cultural, economic, geographic, linguistic, political, scientific, spiritual and identity-based heritage. It also highlights the importance of making these unique collections accessible to students, researchers and the general public. For more information about the Register or the Canadian Advisory Committee for Memory of the World, please visit: https://en.ccunesco.ca/our-priorities/memory-of-the-world.
About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Through its networks and partners, the Commission promotes UNESCO’s values, priorities and programs in Canada and brings the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage. Its activities are guided by the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other UNESCO priorities. CCUNESCO operates under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts.
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