The Government of Canada commemorates Abraham Moses Klein and Hirsch Wolofsky for their national historic significance

News Release

November 19, 2017                        Montreal (Quebec)                                                                 Parks Canada


Canada’s national parks and historic sites enable Canadians to discover their rich and varied history in a special way. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn more about its history.

Anthony Housefather, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, and David de Burgh Graham, Member of Parliament for Laurentides-Labelle, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today commemorated the national historic significance of Abraham Moses Klein and Hirsch Wolofsky. A special ceremony was held in Montreal with a member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, political representatives, and members of both persons’ families.

The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places, and events that contributed to our country’s diverse heritage. A lawyer, journalist, public relations officer, and teacher, Abraham Moses Klein was first and foremost a defining figure of the Judaic literature and a major Canadian writer. His writings explore both his Jewish-Canadian culture and the sentiments and aspirations of those who witnessed the events that marked the history of Jews in the first half of the 20th century. As a poet, Klein was part of the “Montreal Group”, a group of poets who considerably influenced English Canadian literature and who contributed greatly to the renewal of poetry of his era.

As for Hirsch Wolofsky, he was in the center of the Montreal Jewish community’s identity development during the first half of the 20th century. As an editor and journalist, he founded the Eagle Publishing Company in 1907, which published the first major Yiddish newspaper in Canada. He also contributed to the survival of one of the oldest English-language Jewish newspaper in the country, the Canadian Jewish Times. Wolofsky’s publications contributed to the education and advocacy of Canadian Jews. The rich cultural and religious life of the present Montreal Jewish community results from the labours of pioneers such as Hirsch Wolofsky.

As part of the centennial of national historic sites, Parks Canada invites Canadians to discover and be inspired by the stories of the people, places, and events that shaped the Canada of today. Take advantage of 2017, and come discover Canada’s histories with Parks Canada.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is pleased to commemorate Abraham Moses Klein and Hirsch Wolofsky for their national historic significance. The work of these two men is considered today an invaluable historic testimony of the cultural expression of the Montreal Jewish community of their period. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn more about these remarkable men and their important roles in our country's history.”

Anthony Housefather,
Member of Parliament for Mount Royal

“I am very pleased to be here today to honour these two personalities who built a lasting legacy in the country’s Jewish community. This is part of my family’s history and I am very proud of it. It is important for all of us, especially for the current generation, to remember these two men who helped shape the identity of our community.”

David de Burgh Graham,
Member of Parliament for Laurentides-Labelle

Quick Facts

  • A carrier of the heritage of Yiddish poets, Abraham Moses Klein was the first in Canada to publish Jewish poetry in the English language, capturing the sentiments, struggles, and aspirations of a generation that witnessed the destruction of European Jews and the creation of the state of Israel.

  • For over forty years, Hirsch Wolofsky, through his publications and personal actions, was actively involved in the creation and development of a number of local and national Jewish institutions, including the Canadian Jewish Congress (1919), the Jewish Community Council (1923), the United Talmud Torah of Montreal (1917), and the Jewish Public Library (1914).

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the commemoration of the national historic significance of places, people, and events that have marked Canada’s history.

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Contacts

Anne-Julie D’Amico
Officer, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Mauricie and Western Quebec Field Unit
Parks Canada
514-240-9589
anne-julie.d’amico@pc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca


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