Victor Teboul’s latest work Les Juifs du Québec : In Canada We Trust. Réflexion sur l’identité québécoise (L’ABC de l’Édition, paperback, $34,95; ebook, $9,95) explores Quebec’s history and argues that Jews and other minorities are absent from la Belle province’s memory because they do not share the French Canadians’ struggle to survive as a French-speaking nation.
Quebec’s minorities are obviously present in Quebec’s history, notes Teboul, but they are not perceived in the media and in history books as participants in the building of a French-speaking nation. This perception is particularly strong among most of Quebec’s historians whose outlook is still influenced, according to Teboul, by nationalist sentiments.
In his essay, Teboul maintains that Jews participate at all levels of Quebec society, but they do not share the struggles of the Québécois, as they do in France where they share, for example, its secular values, or in the USA, where they identify with the civil rights movement. It is quite revealing and certainly unique in Western societies that most books written in French on the Jewish experience in Quebec are the works of non-Jews.
Teboul has also strong words for the sovereignists : he deplores their persistent adulation of anti-Semitic figures such as Lionel Groulx, whose name is borne by an important Montreal Metro station, and he regrets that several major historical figures who fought fascism and denounced antisemitism are notoriously absent from our toponymy.
Victor Teboul holds among other diplomas, a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal and is the author of several essays and novels. He has taught history at Université du Québec à Montréal and literature at a French-language Cegep. He is the Editor of the online magazine Tolerance.ca.
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Accommodating Bedfellows : Montreal's Jewish Community and Quebec's Intellectual Elite
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