MONTREAL (JTA) — The Quebec arm of the Canadian Jewish Congress is changing its name to sound more Québécois, in what is seen by some as a politically charged move.
Until now, the wing was known as Canadian Jewish Congress, Quebec Region. As of June 1, the organization that speaks for the province’s Jewish community will drop the Canadian from its name and be known as Congrès juif québécois, Section québécoise du Congrès juif canadien, or in English as Quebec Jewish Congress, the Quebec division of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
The change was approved March 22 at a meeting of CJC’s national board of directors, with one dissenting vote. An official announcement is supposed to be made this summer.
There was a perception, especially among the province’s majority francophones, that the CJC is "staunchly federalist … which is not the case. We are an apolitical organization," Adam Atlas, CJC’s executive vice-president, told the Montreal Gazette.
"We’ve been saying for years that we’re Québécois just like everyone else, so why shouldn’t our name say precisely that? To me, it’s very uncontroversial. And I don’t think a federalist Quebecer should feel any less represented by us because of this new name."
Victor Goldbloom, the Quebec region’s president, said, "It’s not that the Canadian in our name was a negative or is being rejected, it is that ‘Quebec’ is a positive. It is important to be identified as an integral part of this society."
There are about 70,000 Jews in the province, at least one-third of who are francophones — French-speaking Sephardim from North Africa.