Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Statement in the Canadian Parliament by the Hon. Irwin Cotler, MP on the historic 150th anniversary of Congregation Emanu-el

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I was privileged to participate in the 150th anniversary celebrations for Congregation Emanu-El, Canada’s oldest, continuously operating synagogue, serving Victoria, B.C. and home to unprecedented Jewish firsts in Canada.

In 1865, Victoria’s Lumley Franklin became the first Jewish mayor in North America. In 1971, Henry Nathan became Canada’s first Jewish MP when B.C. joined Confederation. The congregation’s own vice-president, Samuel Davies became Canada’s first Jewish judge in 1914.

Congregation member Samuel Schultz, is believed to have pitched the first shutout game in the history of British Columbia baseball.

The history and legacy of Congregation Emanu-El and its partnership and support from Christian, Freemason and other faith and community groups, a model of a plural multicultural mosaic, are a source of pride and inspiration for us all.

To Congregation Emanu-El and the community it calls home:

[Member spoke Hebrew and provided the following translation:]

May you go from strength to strength.


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