Quebec Studies

The Politics of Social Policy in Quebec: The Case of Bill 65 (1971) and the Jewish Community

Quebec Studies (1983), 1, (1), 43–70.


The Politics of Social Policy in Quebec: The Case of Bill 65 (1971) and the Jewish Community Martin Lubin The salience of social services policy for the Montreal Jewish Community. What is the Montreal Jewish Community? How has it developed a degree of institutional completeness as well as ethnic boundary maintenance unrivalled by any other minority group in Quebec? The preservation and development of such a broad range of Jewish educational, religious, cultural and recreational as well as social welfare institutions in Quebec has been assessed by Jewish community institutional elites as the major prerequisite for the perpetuation of a vibrant, collective, uniquely Jewish existence. Continuation of such a posture since 1960 has become more complicated in the face of an increasingly assertive state bureaucracy seeking to take over and rationalize the administration of welfare in lieu of private institutions. Also, Montreal Jewish Community institutions have historically developed in response to the needs of a still largely anglophone minority group clientele in a Quebecois society increasingly prone these days to legislative and administrative francisation, though the bilingualism rate of Jews is among the highest of any ethnic group in Quebec. Furthermore, since the late 1950s, a growing number of francophone Jews from North Africa have chosen to make their home in Montreal. Although significant progress has been made over the past 25 years, the integration of these minority francophone Jewish elements into the mainstream anglophone Jewish organizations has not been easy. From 1880 to 1920, the Montreal Jewish population jumped from about 1,000 to 48,000 persons, and to 100,000 persons by 195 1. These Ashkenazic elements were overwhelmingly anglicized. I t is only within the last 25 years that more

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Author details

Lubin, Martin