Menu JTA Search

Montreal Community Takes Steps to Integrate French-speaking North African Immigrants

The local Jewish community is making efforts to integrate more than 12,000 French-speaking North African Jews who have come to Quebec Province from various Arab countries in the hope of preserving their French culture. But the integration is not easy. Most Montreal Jews are English-speaking and of Ashkenazic origin while the North Africans are Sephardim–Oriental Jews–and lack a place of worship where they can attend religious services in their own tradition.

To try to ease the transition from an Oriental environment, two Moroccan Jews have been appointed to act as liaison between the established Jewish community and the newcomers. Haim Hazan, a teacher, will head the new Francophone department of the Allied Jewish Community Service, the central body for the coordination of Jewish health and welfare programs. James Dahan, a social worker, will work within the YMHA to develop programs for the French-speaking Jews. A welcoming committee will be established to familiarize the North African immigrants with local conditions on such basic matters as schools, rents and the monetary system.