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Future of Jewish Life in Quebec

About 400 Jewish men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 held a day-long conference here to discuss the future of Jewish life in the province of Quebec and the best ways to adjust to changes taking place here. It adopted recommendations for a dialogue between Jews and Francophone Quebecers to foster greater appreciation for each other’s culture and suggested that fluency in the French language was important for anyone who wished to feel comfortable in Quebec.

The conference also called for wide distribution of a pamphlet titled “Of Myths and Facts” about Jews in Quebec. It expressed concern over the shrinking economy of the province and stressed the necessity for Jewish communal leaders to serve the interests and energies of Jewish youths.

The conference, held last Sunday at the headquarters of the Allied Jewish Community Service here, was coordinated by that organization’s young people’s division, the Canadian Jewish Congress, Le Centre Communautaire Juif and the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. Douglas Schwartz, chairman of the Youth Task Force, presided at the meeting which was titled “Direction 80s.” The provincial government provided the necessary funds for the gathering and Premier Rene Levesque sent his personal assistant, Evelyn Dumas, as an observer. The conference proposed the establishment of a “Youth Council” with the organizing committee of “Direction 80s” as its nucleus.

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