A new exhibit on the contributions of Jewish Canadians celebrates the country’s sesquicentennial in 2017 but traces a history that stretches back to the mid-1700s.
The Canadian Jewish Experience: A Tribute to Canada 150 had its official launch Sunday at 30 Metcalfe St., steps from Parliament Hill, and is open to the public starting Tuesday.
“The first Jewish Canadians arrived more than one hundred years before Confederation,” Sen. Linda Frum said. “We’ve been here for a quarter of a millennium, but many Canadians don’t know the role we’ve played to make our country strong and vibrant.
“The Canadian Jewish Experience will help to change that.”
The bilingual exhibit tells the story of Jewish Canadians’ contributions in war and diplomacy, public service, human rights, business, arts, culture and sport.
A special exhibit panel, Remembering Louis Rasminsky, tells the story of the first Jewish person to be governor of the Bank of Canada. It will also be displayed at the Bank of Canada headquarters in Ottawa.
A travelling version of the CJE exhibit will tour Canadian cities, and there’s a speakers’ series to highlight the contributions of Jewish Canadians to the development of Canada.
Visit cje2017.com for more detailed information about the CJE exhibit topics, information about venues for the lecture series and locations of the travelling exhibit.
Mayor Jim Watson said that Ottawa is the right home for the exhibit.
“In 2017, Ottawa will be at the centre of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and Jewish people have played a key role in all facets of life in the city,” Watson said. “In fact, their accomplishments here reflect all the themes of the Canadian Jewish Experience, including being elected mayor.”
Scheduled to appear at the official opening were master of ceremonies Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Mark Kristmanson, chief executive of the National Capital Commission, Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Moldaver and Linda Kerzner, chair of the Ottawa Jewish Federation.