Canadian Government Census Shows 254,368 Jews Reside in Canada

The Canadian Jewish Congress considers 254,368 the correct figure for the number of Jews in Canada, Dr. Louis Rosenberg, director of the Congress Bureau of Social and Economic Research, said today. The census figures on nationalities, released by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics last week, gives two figures on Jews — 254,368 as those reporting Jewish religion and 173,344 as those reporting Jewish ethnic origin.

Dr. Rosenberg said the discrepancy arises usually from misunderstanding, either by the census enumerator or the person interviewed, of the questions regarding religion and ethnic origin. Many who describe themselves as of the Jewish religion list themselves as of the ethnic origin of the country from which they or their parents came to Canada. Dr. Rosenberg said that in fact those of Jewish religion are also of Jewish ethnic origin except for a few converts to Judaism.

Relatively little difference appeared in the two figures until the 1951 census when the manner of reporting the census was changed slightly. In 1951, the census figures listed some 204,836 of the Jewish religion and 181,600 of Jewish ethnic origin. In the 1941 census, the difference between the two figures was less than one and one half per cent.

Since the Second World War, large numbers of Jews have immigrated to Canada and it has been among these people, Dr. Rosenberg said, that there has been a tendency to give different replies to the census questions on religion and ethnic origin. The tendency is particularly noticeable in centers of small Jewish population, he said.

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