• Concerned

    The Jewish community like the Ukrainian and other ethic communities does not need federal funding assistance to process it’s collections and run it’s historical and archival programs. The Jewish community has deep pockets of it’s own with many private benefactors who should be tapped for funding and a tax receipt. Jewish community-run archives need to learn how to get their funding from community agencies and not rely on government handouts. Shannon, why should the federal taxpayers fund you if you can’t even persuade your local UJA that your work is worthy enough?  If It’s time to break this cycle of reliance and dependency. I applaud the government’s decision to wind up the NADP.

  • Bernard M.L. Katz, BA. MA. BLS

    “Concerned” is completely out to lunch on this issue. If you take her/his remarks to their logical end point, you would conclude that the Jewish community in Canada doesn’t need any assistance of any kind for any of its programs or projects from any federal or provincial government. Just tap into and use the “deep pockets” available in our own community. But what happens when this is done, as it is every day through the UJA or UIA Federations across Canada, and those running and in charge of said organizations (none of whom are elected by the community) decide that a project or program isn’t worthy of support? We had such a situation recently in Toronto, when the UJA-Fed of Greater Toronto completel cut the relatively low level of funding for the Committee for Yiddish, something like $26,000. One might recall that in the past there were funds available from government for Heritage Language programs, etc. – all gone by the wayside years ago. Yes, there was a strong reaction to the UJA-Fed’s oligarchic decision and about half of the Committee’s funds were restored, but not enough to employ the part-time co-ordinator who played a key role together with the volunteers on the Committee and in the community in develoiping and delivering a vibrant program. The funding restored is there for only one year – who knows what will happen after 2012-13? Will each and every program or project need to raise its own funds? If the process, as implied by “Concerned”, centralizes fund-raising (as with a major exception – Baycrest – is being done through UJA-Fed) how will the community as a whole determine who makes decisions on its behalf? With the complete shutting down of Canadian Jewish Congress, we no longer have any kind of democratically chosen leadership in the community. It ios an oligarchy made up of those with the deep pockets referred to by :Concerned”, whose interests do not always reflect those of the community, and especially the more minority (but nevertheless valid and culturally rich) voices in our community.

    And “Concerned” errs most grieviously in ommitting entirely from consideration the fact that preservation of our community’s history and heritage is of significant value and concern to the Canadian community as a whole. Our history and heritage have contributed enormously to Canada. Will UJA-Fed of Greater Toronto fund the preservation of Jewish materials in Orangeville or Stouffville, in Orillia, Owen Sound or Sarnia, for example? No, the funds that were cut provided extremely valuable assistance to smaller but important pieces to the overall mosaic of Jewish Canada. Historians such as Pierre Anctil, who is not Jewish but learned Yiddish so that he could understand the newspapers, letters, diaries and other documents of Quebec’s Jewish community, is an example of how the Jewish history of Canada is of deep interest to historians studying Canadian history. As he has said, to understand the history of Quebec one must understand the contributions made by the Jewish community in Quebec. I present the above as a long time member of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies, which has a close and productive relationship with the Association of Canadian Jewish Archives and Museums, which wrote the letter to Heritage Minister James Moore.