Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mother of All Accommodations War Brewing

Successive Quebec governments, both Liberal and PQ have been reluctant to impose the rule of law upon certain Jewish fundamentalist sects, lest they be tarred with the hackneyed label of antisemitism and so successive generations of Hasidic schools have been allowed to flout the education laws by teaching an ultra-orthodox Jewish religious syllabus to the exclusion of education ministry mandated courses.

Recently the government has been gently prodding the pirate schools to get in line by adding the mandatory courses, even if it means extending the school week into Sunday. Some schools have reluctantly agreed to implement these changes but whether they actually will is an open question.

Last week, one Hasidic school told the education ministry to take a hike.

In an article on the CBC news web site  entitled Jewish school refuses to expand curriculum, the Yeshiva Toras Moshe told the education department that they are at an impasse and will not comply with the education department's demand that they add more non-religious content, including the dreaded ECR, a course designed to expose children to other religions and ideas.

The Education department has indicated that it will seek an injunction in October to compel the school to knuckle under, but Alex Wertzberger, a spokesman for the Yeshiva said they will be ready to fight the order.


  1. Being Jewish myself, albeit secular, I hope those Hasidim give the Quebec government all they can handle. Is Quebec a secular state or not? On paper they are (except those Saguenay and Hérouxville hicks), but in reality, there is still a crucifix in the National Assembly. So much for secularity!

    To use the title of Howard Galganov's first book, I want to see those fascist bastards squirm! I DARE Quebec to take physical action against the Hasidim! I don't observe their way of life, but that's my choice, and they have made theirs.

  2. In giving this subject further thought, I'd almost like to see the police TRY to crash the property of the school if for no other reason than to show the rest of Canada, the U.S., Israel, and anyone else in the world that cares what a fascist state Quebec really is.

    When 60 Minutes last discussed Quebec in Feb 1998, featuring a segment on the language war with Morley Safer and the late Mordechai Richler, callers on [former Bourassa cabinet minister and talk show host] Jean Cournoyer's radio show had to be calmed down by Cournoyer himself. Callers were spewing rabid, vitriolic anti-Semitic venom, and Cournoyer finally intervened to calm the listeners down and explain he has Jewish friends and the reaction to the show was not appropriate.

    What I'd also really like to see is how quislings like Jack Jedwab (Quebec wing president of the Canadian Jewish Congress) would react to this whole business!

    Richler and Safer discussed how a zealous OQLF inspector confiscated a whole shipment of Matzo (aka "The Matzogate Affair") because the packaging contained no French, and the vast majority of the Montreal Jewish community in those days was English. This was matzo made in the U.S. Richler pointed out the Quebec government was plenty embarrassed by the whole affair that they opened a 65-day window allowing matzo and other kosher-for-passover products to pass; Richler jovially embellished the silliness by stating on the 66th day, kosher matzo is an illegal substance [in Quebec]!