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Canadian Officials Exhort Jewry to Show More Active Interest in French Culture

A Federal minister and a leading member of the opposition Liberal Party in the Quebec Parliament both exhorted the Province’s Jews yesterday to show a more active interest in the Province’s French language and cultural life.

Some 5,000 Jews of the Montreal area attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the new Beth Israel synagogue here and heard Jean-Pierre Coty, the Minister of Revenue, say, “it is absolutely necessary for you and your families to become proficient in the French language. It is your duty to take an active part in Quebec society.”

In the same vein, Claude Wagner, candidate for the Liberal Party’s leadership and a former Provincial Justice Minister, admonished the Jewish community to abandon its attachment to the English language and English-language education and to send its children to French schools. “Otherwise, it is a delusion to hope that the French-speaking majority will agree to respect your rights,” he said. Most of the Province’s 125,000 Jews are oriented toward English culture here in this province troubled by the politics of French nationalism.

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