MONTREAL (May. 12)
The 18th plenary meeting of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) opened at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel here today with the biggest turnout in the history of the organization. More than 1000 delegates from Canadian cities from coast-to-coast will be attending various sessions and workshops today, tomorrow and Sunday. The highlight of the meeting will be an address Sunday by Quebec’s Prime Minister Rene Levesque.
Messages were received from Premier Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada and President Ephraim Katzir of Israel. Trudeau said “The Canadian Jewish Congress has rendered invaluable service to all Canadians in fostering human rights legislation. The Congress has made a far-sighted contribution to bi-culturalism during the past 25 years.”
In greetings from Jerusalem, President Katzir expressed wishes for “wise and useful deliberations in these problem-ridden times.” He praised the leadership role of the CJC in the life of what he described as “one of modern Jewry’s most vital communities.” Messages were also received from Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress and Mayor Jean Drapeau of Montreal.
At a luncheon session today, Judge Sydney Harris, president of the CJC, introduced the Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, Bora Laskin and announced the creation of a CJC scholarship in his name. It will be awarded annually to the Canadian law student who best expresses himself in essay form on subjects related to Jewish ethics and law.
Judge Harris said, “The Canadian Jewish Congress meets in a time of crisis in Jewish and Canadian life. We hope to evolve a new organizational formula and new approaches to deal with the problems created by the situation in the province of Quebec as well as the problems created by inflation and unemployment. We are confident that the Jewish community of Canada will take its place in the forefront of movements for peace in the world.”
Evens today included a breakfast by the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University addressed by Dr. Bernard Cherrick of Jerusalem who spoke on the Hebrew University’s achievements and its co-related activities in the diaspora. Various workshops convened to discuss Jewish culture in Canada, Canadian-Israel relations, aid to Jewish immigrants in Canada and Jewish education.