MONTREAL (Dec. 17)
More than one-quarter of Montreal’s Jews expect to leave Quebec within the next five years, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by the Montreal Federation CJA, comes amid the tense atmosphere surrounding Quebec’s separatist movement. Some of the movement’s leaders have made disparaging remarks about Jews.
But the survey showed that anti-Semitism was not a large concern among Montreal’s Jews. A majority of the respondents — 81.5 percent — said there was some or little anti-Semitism in Quebec. About 14.8 percent said there is a great deal of anti-Semitism in the province.
“All the problems experienced here by the Jewish community are connected to the secession issue and political uncertainty,” said Jack Jedwab, director of the Quebec region of Canadian Jewish Congress.
Concerns about the separatist debate’s impact on the Quebec economy are behind the move to leave Montreal.
The survey showed that during the next five years, 13 percent of Montreal’s Jews expect to move to another Canadian province, 8.1 percent to the United States, 3.3 percent to Israel and 1.8 percent to another country.
Some 23 percent of the respondents said they were unsure where they would be living in five years.
Community leaders were not alarmed by the survey’s findings.
A 1991 survey of the community also showed a “significant number of people considering leaving,” but fewer actually did leave, said Maxyne Finkelstein, the federation’s associate executive director for community services.
“Mobility is part of North American Jewish life,” Finkelstein said. “But we here in Quebec are sensitive to this right now, because of the political situation.”
The survey was conducted by phone and mail between May and August. More than 500 of the 44,000 Jewish households in the Montreal region were contacted.