By Ira Robinson
In a single of the few stories of the early immigrant Orthodox rabbinate in North the USA, writer Ira Robinson has delved into the Jewish group in Montreal within the first 3 a long time of the 20 th century. "Rabbis & their neighborhood" introduces a number of rabbis who, in numerous methods, impacted their rapid congregations in addition to the broader Montreal Jewish neighborhood. such a lot reports of the early North American rabbinate concentrate on just one rabbi. right here, notwithstanding, Robinson conscientiously examines the interrelationship between a few rabbis sharing an identical communal 'turf'. He has diligently researched the unpublished resource fabric those males, typically forgotten to background, left at the back of. Their writing deals a useful glimpse at a few of the struggles & demanding situations they confronted of their personal group, in addition to these confronted via Canadian Jewish society as a complete within the early 20th century. Robinson introduces the reader to such leaders as Rabbi Hirsh Cohen, a fixture within the Jewish neighborhood of Montreal from 1901 throughout the past due Nineteen Forties, Rabbi Simon Glazer, Cohen's major rival for the executive rabbinate, & progressive philosopher Rabbi Yudel Rosenberg. the problems they confronted, equivalent to the Kosher meat wars of the Nineteen Twenties, & the associations they created, such a lot particularly the Jewish neighborhood Council of Montreal, have been components of primary value for the improvement of the second-largest Jewish group in Canada.
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Extra resources for Rabbis and Their Community: Studies in the Eastern European Orthodox Rabbinate in Montreal, 1896–1930
Rabbi Sprince had succeeded to one of Rabbi Ashinsky’s key positions, that of supervisor of kosher slaughtering in Montreal. ³⁰ However, by 905, Rabbi Cohen had succeeded in supplanting Rabbi Sprince in the position of kashrut supervision. As Rabbi Cohen stated in a letter: Also the Butcher’s Association decided that the ﬁve dollars weekly that Rabbi Sprince had taken for the slaughtering, which they added to voluntarily, will belong to me. ³¹ In 906, a threat to Rabbi Cohen’s hard-earned supremacy at the Talmud Torah, the jail and the slaughterhouse surfaced: reports spread that Rabbi Ashinsky was coming back to Montreal, having been invited to be the “chief rabbi” of a consortium of Eastern European congregations.
In 904, he was appointed chaplain of the Montreal jail, again replacing Ashinsky. ²⁶ In this case, we have Cohen’s personal reaction to this event in a letter to his family: An important [piece] of good news. 00. indd 24 7/21/07 11:08:21 AM “Pa Is a Mussolini” 25 Indeed the appointment gave Rabbi Cohen a key symbolic victory though he did not yet have a clear ﬁeld before him to become the recognized preeminent Eastern European rabbi in Montreal. ”²⁹ Rabbi Sprince had succeeded to one of Rabbi Ashinsky’s key positions, that of supervisor of kosher slaughtering in Montreal.
In Toledo, he also published, once again in English, The Sabbath School Guide,⁶ a textbook for Jewish children’s Sunday schools. Sunday school may not have been Rabbi Glazer’s preference in terms of Jewish education in America, but it did constitute the reality he encountered, and he was determined that if Jewish children would be exposed to Jewish education only in Sunday schools, and in the English language, that they make the best possible use of this educational experience. indd 37 7/21/07 11:08:23 AM 38 Rabbis and their Community readily see was that rabbis within the Reform movement had been writing the textbooks for Jewish Sunday schools for some time and that they had a virtual lock on the market.