ACJS Conference in Calgary!
May 29- May 31, 2016
Invitation to Attend the 2016 ACJS Conference
The 2016 Association for Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) national conference will be held in Calgary from May 29 to May 31, and everyone is invited to attend! The ACJS was founded in 1976 as the Canadian Jewish Historical Society, with the goal of encouraging scholarly research on Canadian Jewish history, life and culture through academic disciplines.
One of the highlights this year will take place at the Calgary JCC on May 29, as the conference kicks off with Community Day. This full day event provides an opportunity for members of the local community to get together with scholars and researchers in celebration of local history. JHSSA is proud to co-sponsor this event, which acknowledges simchas for both the ACJS, on the occasion of their 40th anniversary, and for all of us in southern Alberta, on the 100th anniversary of the Montefiore Institute.
The full Community Day schedule can be found elsewhere in this issue, and there are several items worthy of special note. The morning panel will feature Richard Menkis (University of British Columbia), Bernie Katz (University of Toronto), Harry Sanders, and Agi Romer Segal offering several perspectives on southern Alberta Jewish history. This will be followed by a lunch that is being offered with distinctly southern Alberta flavour: Since many of the conference attendees are likely to be unfamiliar with our unique history, seated at each table will be a member of our community who grew up in a small prairie town, to share stories and answer questions about their experience.
After lunch, Dr. Ira Robinson from Concordia University will deliver a keynote speech for the launch of his latest book, A History of Antisemitism in Canada. This will be followed by a panel devoted to the Montefiore Institute, featuring Trudy Cowan, Irena Karshenbaum, Reva Faber and Ellen Gasser, from Heritage Park.
Community Day will continue with a trip to Heritage Park to visit the Montefiore Institute, familiarly known as The Little Synagogue. The closing event will be a banquet at the JCC in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the ACJS. The evening will feature a talk by Janice Rosen, recipient of this year’s Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award, reflecting on the growth of Canadian Jewish historical societies and scholarship over the last 40 years.
The conference itself takes place at the University of Calgary on May 30–31. It begins with a panel focusing on various aspects of the history and experiences of Jews in Quebec. This will be followed by an event that is open to the general public, the 2nd Annual Educators’ Roundtable. Chaired by Dr. Ira Robinson (Concordia University), this discussion of Holocaust education in Canada will feature Ilana Krygier-Lapides (Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Director, Calgary Jewish Federation), Sarah Jane Kerr-Lapsley (McGill University), Aviva Atlani (Independent Researcher), and Belarie Zatzman (York University). The final panel of the day focuses on music and literature, and will discuss the post-war correspondence of Yiddish writers Chava Rosenfarb (Canada) and Zenia Larsson (Sweden), Torah stories reimagined in modern North American literature, and Jewish maestra Ethel Stark and her women’s orchestra in Montreal in the 1940s.
Tuesday morning starts with another event that is open to the general public: a keynote speech by Dr. David Bercuson (University of Calgary) on Canadian Jewish servicemen and women in World War II, followed by a panel discussion on Canadian Jewish servicewomen in the army and the RCAF women’s division, Canadian Jewish enlistment in WWII, and a Canadian Jewish soldier’s experience liberating Bergen-Belsen. Panel participants include Peter Usher (Independent Researcher), Ellin Bessner (Centennial College), Adara Goldberg (Clark University) and Saundra Lipton (Independent Researcher). The afternoon panel on medicine and ritual will discuss Toronto Society doctors in the early 20th century, and contemporary debates over ritual circumcision. The conference will conclude with a tour of the Glenbow Archives (pre-registration required).
The 2nd Annual Educators’ Roundtable and the Canadian Jews and WWII keynote speech and panel are free and open to the public. Attendance at the other sessions requires registration for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences and the ACJS Conference. The Congress will also feature a number of open public events such as an academic trade fair, lectures by public figures in the “Big Thinking” series and interdisciplinary symposia.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for any segment of the Community Day. For more details about the events and fees or to register for Community Day, please contact us.