history

Histories of the Jewish community of sherbrooke

There are many published studies of different aspects of the Jewish Community of Sherbrooke that have been written over the past few decades. The first and most complete of these was written about one family, The Echenbergs. Nevertheless the experience of this family living in Sherbrooke gives a rather complete historical picture, at least from the arrival of the first family member in 1880.  An Update to this edition by Dean Echenberg will be in press in 2016.

These stories are accessible by clicking  links below:

Brief History of the Sherbrooke Jewish Community

The Founders of Sherbrooke Jewish Congregation
by Deborah Glassman


The Echenbergs of Ostropol and Sherbrooke: A Tale of Two Shtetls
by Myron Echenberg and Ruth Tannebaum

– Read the Riveting Family Odyssey from Ostropol, Ukraine to Sherbrooke, Canada.
First published in conjunction with a Echenberg Family Reunion near Sherbrooke in 1989.


“Sherbrooke residents who were born in Ostropol”
by Deborah Glassman

During the late 19th and early 20th century many different families moved from Ostropol to a new home in Sherbrooke. Deborah Glasman has documented at least at least 60 people who immigrated and quite a number of others who went back and forth. Click above to see the names.


The Last Jews of Sherbrooke
by Louise Abbott

A story about the final services at the Sherbrooke Synagogue before it was sold. This article, which first appeared in The Montreal Gazette on 7 April 2001, won the Norman Kucharsky Award for Cultural and Artistic Journalism given by the Professional Writers Association of Canada. It was reprinted in Quebec Heritage News in December 2007 and the Montreal Forum in 2008.


“Ostropol on the St. Francis: The Jewish Community of Sherbrooke”
by Michael Benazon

From the *Journal of Eastern Townships Studies/Revue d’etudes des Cantons de l’Est* (JETS) (Number 12, Spring 1998)


Jews and French Quebecers: Two Hundred Years of Shared History
Jacques Langlais, David Rome, and Barbara Young, translator

“Jews and French Quebecers recounts a saga of intense interest for the whole of Canada, let alone societies elsewhere. This work, now translated into English, represents the viewpoints of two friends from differing cultural and religious traditions. One is a French Quebecer and a Christian; the other is Jewish and also calls Quebec his home. Both men are bilingual…one French, already rooted in the land of Quebec and its religio-cultural tradition; the other, Jewish, migrating from Europe through the last two centuries, equally rooted in its Jewish-Yiddish tradition.

In Quebec both communities have learned to build and live together as well as to share their respective cultural heritages. This remarkable experience, two hundred years of intercultural co-vivance, in a world fraught with ethnic tensions serves as a model for both Canada and other countries.”


How Jewish ‘enemy aliens’ overcame a ‘traumatic’ stint in Canadian prison camps during the Second World War

The history of the Germans Jews who were interned among German Army POW’s in a camp near Sherbrooke during WW2 and their interaction with the Sherbrooke Jewish Community who tried to reach out to them to provide support.