Tuesday, October 17, 2023


       I thought today would be a good day to write about the terrible issues between Hamas and Israel.

      Then I thought, wait a minute. What do I know about the situation? I would be parroting opinions of others and I would succeed in upsetting people. 

      So I'll write about a related issue that I have some knowledge about.

     Western Canada was opened in the late 1800's for settlers to come to the area. Most people like my ancestors were interested in farming. However, there had to be some businesses established to serve the people. Many Europeans came to Saskatchewan, which is my home province

     One group who came were Jews. They set up small general stores . To supply settlers. The Jews came to the small villages and towns and lived a very lonely life. They did not participate in community activities and were shunned. However, they worked hard and made a meagre living. Our town had a clothing store which was owned by a Jew. There was not another clothing store for many miles. With the transportation at that time a local clothing store was very convenient. 

     As time went on the poorer Jewish business men went on to work for others. Some Jews became involved with larger businesses like machinery dealerships or car dealerships.

    They were also active in artistic and academic fields.

     One interesting book I read was "Don't You Know it's 40 below" by Jack Kates It details the life of a Jewish family in a small village. It's well worth a read. 

     Fredelle Bruser Maynard is another writer who gives a description of Jewish life on the prairies.

    One man had a store in a very small community. He had music talent and formed a community band. The band won many competitions. Abe Katz was well liked and respected in the community. When He left they had a celebration for him and gave him some money. Very few Jews received this treatment.

   Sadly the Jewish people were not treated well here but managed to succeed. They are still here but have moved to larger centers where they  can practice their religion and conduct social events.