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Not Written in Stone

Daniel J. Elazar
Michael Brown
Ira Robinson

Part III: Selected Documents (Excerpts)

National Organizations

Texte intégral

Canadian Jewish Congress1

  • 1 The organization was founded in 1919, but institutional continuity dates only from the early 1930s.

1CONSTITUTION and RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT Second General Session January 27, 28 and 29, 1934 TORONTO, ONT.


I. Name

2The name of this Dominion Organization of Canadian Jews is the Canadian Jewish Congress, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Congress.’

II. Aims

3The Aims of the Congress are:

  1. To safeguard the civil, political, economic and religious rights of the Jews and to combat anti-Semitism.
  2. To study problems relating to the cultural, economic and social life of the Jews and to seek a solution to such problems.
  3. To assist the Jewish Agency in its program of work for Palestine.
  4. To co-operate with world Jewry as may be deemed adviseable [sic].

III. Constitution

  • 2 Now incorporated into Thunder Bay, Ontario.

41. The Congress shall consist of 3 main territorial divisions: the Western, comprising that part of Canada situated west of and including Port Arthur;2 the Central Division, consisting of Ontario as far west as Port Arthur; and the Eastern Division, consisting of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces.

52. Each Division shall consist of delegates elected to the biennial Congress.

63. Every Jewish man or woman 18 years old or over, shall have the right to vote in the election of delegates and shall be eligible as a candidate.

74. Every Jewish Community having a population of at least 50 Jews and not exceeding one thousand shall be entitled to elect one delegate.

85. Jewish Communities having a population of less than 50 Jews may be granted permission to elect one delegate on approval of the Central Election Committee.

96. In those Jewish Communities, the Jewish population of which exceeds one thousand, delegates shall be elected on the basis of: One delegate for every one thousand Jewish inhabitants.

107. The Congress shall meet every two years, or more frequently, if deemed advisable by the Dominion Executive. A special general session may also be called by written request signed by not less than one third of the delegates in each division.

118. The place and date of all general and special sessions shall be determined by the Dominion Executive.

129. Delegates to the Canadian Jewish Congress shall be elected by general, popular, direct and secret ballot.

1310. Delegates to the Congress shall hold office until the next election to the biennial Congress, and shall act as delegates at any special General Session.

1411. If a vacancy shall arise owing to the death, or resignation, or through inability to act, of any delegate, he may be replaced by the divisional committee of his district.

1512. Elections shall be held not later than one month prior to the meeting of the Congress, the date being determined by the divisional committee.

1613. Each nomination shall be signed by 10 proposers and by the candidate signifying his or her acceptance, and shall be sent to the local elections committee two weeks previous to the election and shall be published to the electors in such manner as the local elections committee shall decide.

1714. Two months notice shall be given of the date of the general session and two weeks notice of a special session.

1815. The following officers shall be elected at the biennial Congress: President, 3 Vice-Presidents, one from each division, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary, and the Congress may also elect an Honorary President and Honorary Vice-Presidents.

1916. The Dominion Executive Committee shall consist of 20 members from each division including the territorial Vice-President.

2017. The Dominion Executive shall appoint or dismiss such officials as may be required and may pay such salaries as they shall determine.

2118. The Headquarters of the Dominion Executive shall be in the city determined by the Biennial Congress. The members of the Dominion Executive residing in the city where the headquarters are situated shall deal with matters of general routine.

2219. Each divisional organization may make by-laws consistent with the Constitution, and may add to its divisional executive.

  • 3 Note that the traditional quorum for Jewish communal prayer (minyan) is also ten.

2320. A quorum of the Dominion Executive shall consist of 10 members.3

2421. The Dominion Executive shall have power to appoint, as occasion may arise, any person or persons to hold in trust for the Congress any funds or property belonging to the Congress or in which it is interested.

2522. Any resolution adopted by the Congress may be amended or cancelled at any general or special session provided that notice thereof is given in the Agenda.

2623. This Constitution may be amended at any regular biennial or special session provided due notice of the proposed amendment is given.

Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (Ottawa, August 30, 1922)


  1. To facilitate the lawful entry of Jewish immigrants at the various ports of Canada;
  2. To provide them with temporary shelter, food, clothing and such other aid as may be found necessary;
  3. To guide them to their destination;
  4. To prevent them from becoming public charges by helping them to obtain employment;
  5. To discourage their settling in congested cities;
  6. To maintain bureaus of information and to publish literature on the industrial, agricultural and commercial status of the country;
  7. To encourage them to follow agricultural pursuits;
  8. To take proper measures to prevent ineligable [sic] persons from emigrating to Canada;
  9. To foster British ideals4 among the newcomers and to instill in them a thorough knowledge of Canadian history and institutions and a true patriotism and love for their adopted country;
  10. To make better known to the people of Canada the many advantages of desireable [sic] immigration, and to promote these objects by means of meetings, lectures and publications;
  11. To consolidate or amalgamate with any other institution or association having objects altogether or in part similar to those of the Association, and to acquire and hold the property and undertaking of any such institution or association, and to assume the liabilities thereof, upon such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon;
  12. To raise money by appeals to the public for subscriptions and by the collection of like and annual membership fees;
  13. To acquire, hold, sell and convey any real estate requisite for the carrying on of the objects and undertakings of the Association;
  14. To accept, hold, sell and deal with any real and personal property bequeathed or given to it in accordance with the terms of the will or deed of gift under which such property is acquired, and any property so acquired may be held and administered by trustees appointed by the Board of Directors of the association for the purpose of assuring the fulfillment of any condition stipulated by the testator or donor;
  15. To establish an endowment fund for such purposes and for such amount as the Board of Directors by resolution determine, the moneys constituting such fund to be invested in securities in which trustees are by the law of any Province of Canada authorized to invest in and the securities representing investments... held by the trustees appointed by resolution of the Board of Directors for such cases;
  16. To do all such acts or things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them....


1 The organization was founded in 1919, but institutional continuity dates only from the early 1930s.

2 Now incorporated into Thunder Bay, Ontario.

3 Note that the traditional quorum for Jewish communal prayer (minyan) is also ten.

4 This is an indication of the extent to which Canada in that era still took pride in its British origins and loyalties.

© Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa | University of Ottawa Press, 2003

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