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Canadian Jewry to Celebrate 200 Years of Settlement in Canada

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Canadian Jewry will mark the 200 years of its existence in Canada with a series of functions starting early in the fall and continuing into the spring of 1960, Lavy M. Becker, chairman of the National Bicentenary Committee, announced today.

One of the most colorful ceremonies will take place in Three Rivers on September 7. Three Rivers three times elected Ezekiel Hart, son of Aaron Hart, the first Jewish settler in Canada, to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada The voters gave him their support despite the Assembly’s refusal to seat him because he was a Jew. The controversy had a key role in the subsequent enactment of full civil rights for all Canadian citizens.

Another ceremony will be held here at the site of the Shearith Israel synagogue, the first in Canada, which was erected in 1777. Two special dates have been established for national observance. October 24 has been designated Bicentenary Sabbath and August 9 has been proclaimed Bicentenary Camp Day with programs for Jewish summer and day camps.

Individual Jewish communities are expected to develop special local celebrations such as the Festival of Music, Arts and Letters planned by the Adult Education Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress Eastern Region. The event also will be marked at the Plenary sessions of the Canadian Jewish Congress here October 29-November 1.

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