The Scribe is the annual journal published by the Jewish Museum & Archives of BC. This anthology seeks to document all aspects of the 150 year Jewish experience in British Columbia, from history, culture, and art, to literature, religion, and contributions to the development and progress of Canada.
Click on the cover of any issue to read that issue online.
From bargain basement to formal wear, factory to retail store, employees to owners, this issue of The Scribe looks at close to a century of Jewish involvement in the clothing industry in Greater Vancouver.
Note: Full text of this issue will be made available online following the publication of Volume 36 in Spring 2017. To order a hard copy, please contact the JMABC office at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.257.5199
Arriving in Canada with minimal language skills or savings, many Jewish families took to junk peddling. Some transitioned from horse-and-buggy operations to very successful companies.
Building upon success in the peddling industry, some local Jewish families transitioned to furniture sales. At the industry’s peak in 1945, there were seventeen Jewish-owned furniture stores along Granville between Smithe and Davie.
Congregation Emanu-El opened its doors in 1863, just five years after the first Jews arrived in Victoria. Over the next 150 years, the congregation saw ups and downs, dwindling to 15 families in the 1940s, and embarking on major restorations in 1982 and 2012. It is now a thriving congregation and the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Canada, celebrating 150 years in 2013.
The BC Jewish community is held together by the active work of its numerous organizations. From the service work of National Council of Jewish Women to the campus advocacy of Hillel, these organizations have provided support and stability for decades.
Through its various incarnations as the Centre Bulletin, the Jewish Western Bulletin, and currently as the Jewish Independent, the community newspaper has been indispensable as a forum for discussion, debate, and keeping us informed. For almost a hundred years, it has held us together.