Lillooet Nördlinger McDonnell

Raincoast Jews:
Integration in British Columbia

Preface by Pierre Anctil

Canada’s population and society have developed through the addition of immigrants seeking new opportunities in a new land. People coming from the Old World brought with them their culture including their values and practices. Many of these immigrants were determined to respect their original culture while adopting a new society.

This book explores the lives and contributions of five leading Jews living in British Columbia between 1860 and 1970. Cecelia Davies, Hannah Director, Leon Koerner, Harry Adaskin, and Nathan Nemetz are memorable for their contributions which shaped communities in British Columbia. Each chapter focuses on their particular achievements and struggles in different fields and different eras.

Cecelia Davies offers a look at Victoria’s early Jews and the influence she achieved through her charity work.
Hannah Director overcame subtle resistance to become head of the school board in Prince George, a lumber town in northern British Columbia.
Leon Koerner, a refugee from Czechoslovakia during WWII, came to Canada during a period when the country was reticent to accept Jewish immigrants. He settled in Vancouver and his name is associated with the lumber industry, charity and progressive standards of work safety.
Harry Adaskin trained at the music conservatory in Toronto and went on to join the Hart House String Quartet and was known for popularizing classical music in Canada. He also started UBC’s school of music.
• The chapter on Nathan Nemetz covers his outstanding personal and professional achievements in the field of law. Nemetz held numerous leadership positions and was the first Jewish Chief Justice of British Columbia.

Through a historical lens, these individuals are examined in detail with particular emphasis on how their Jewish heritage shaped their professional legacies and contributions to Canadian society.

$22.95 (Paperback, 220 p.)
ISBN 978-0-9881101-2-0