Montreal Leaders Dispute Reported Flight of Jews, Capital from Quebec

Jewish leaders of this community discounted today a report prominently featured in the Montreal Star purportedly describing a flight of Jewish people and capital from Quebec because of its allegedly unhealthy political climate. The article, by Peter Regenstreif, Canadian pollster and researcher, asserted that a flight from the province of Jews and Jewish capital reflected the sensitivity of Jews to “eventual political upheavals, separation and racism.” The flight of the Jews, the report indicated, was because of their concern over the rise of French separatism and French-Canadian nationalism.

Jewish leaders here, in denying “flight” of Jews from the province, pointed out that the Jewish community was actually investing millions of dollars in capital investment here. They cited the new headquarters being erected for the Canadian Jewish Congress, the extension of the Jewish General Hospital and of the facilities of the Hebrew Y as indications of the permanency of Jewish life here. They also noted that a number of Jewish-owned firms, particularly in the clothing industry, were engaged in expanding plant and machinery here. They also pointed out that added United States investments in the province were bringing here a number of Jewish executives and skilled personnel.

A community spokesman pointed out, “Jews are not afraid of French-Canadian nationalism. They sympathize with it as, in many aspects, it repeats the pattern of Jewish survival in many countries where Jews have been subjected to assimilation. What the Jews don’t like,” this official explained, “is the special brand of nationalism which shows an extremist character and is nothing else but chauvinism, exclusivism and self-interest. But the Jewish community is convinced that despite certain excesses and violence that might occur, Quebec’s nationalism will never lose its civilized character.” He added that the Jewish community would follow political events in the province closely but he stressed that “Montreal will never cease to be the capital of Jewish life in Canada.”

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