Harold Troper


"... an outstanding explanation of the transformation of Jews in Canada, from its origins, through the 60s and into the future."
New York Journal of Books

"well-written...of interest to anyone looking for a better understanding of Canada's evolution into a multicultural society and of how minority communities have asserted their places within it."
Montreal Gazette

"...an antidote for social pessimism, a reminder that sometimes long-overdue change can happen astonishingly fast."
National Post 

University of Toronto Press 2010

The Defining Decade

Identity, Politics, and The Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s

The 1960s witnessed a radical transformation in the Canadian Jewish community. The erosion of long-standing antisemitism resulted in increased access for Jews to the economic, political, and social mainstream. Arguing that as Canadian society became more accepting, the Jewish community became more focused on its own identity, Harold Troper examines how the 1960s redefined what it meant to be a Canadian Jew and a Jewish Canadian.

Domestic events such as the Quiet Revolution, the eruption of Neo-Nazi activity, the election of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and the promise of multiculturalism as well as international affairs such as the Six Day War, Arab rejectionism with regards to Israel, and the explosion of Soviet Jewish activism radically reshaped Canadian Jewish priorities.

In tracing the rapid changes of this tumultuous decade, The Defining Decade draws upon a wealth of historical documentation, including more than eighty interviews, to demonstrate that the expression of Canadian Jewishness was an increasingly public - and political - commitment.