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.
Contact the JMABC office to order a copy of any past issue: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.257.5199.
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.
In this extended essay, JMABC founder Cyril Leonoff surveys the growth and development of the BC Jewish community from the earliest arrivals during the Klondike Gold Rush through the population boom following World War II. Immigrants become industrialists, Synagogues and schools are established, and pioneers leave their mark on a young city.