"'Not being religious didn't take away from their Jewishness': The complexities of lived religion among late 19th and early 20th century B.C. Jews"

  • Lynne Sorrel Marks University of Victoria
Keywords: Jewish, ethnicity, religion, irreligion, family, jews


This paper provides a study of the small Jewish communities of British Columbia from the 1880s to the 1920s.  It explores how the small size of Jewish communiities in B.C. in this period required compromises both of socialist/atheist Jews, who joined synagogues to find Jewish community, and of Orthodox Jews, who could not always follow religious dictates in isolated communiites. More broadly, it points to the dangers of making too much of Orthodox/socialist binaries in any context, and demonstrates the complexities and conflicts of religious and irreligious practices even within the family, particularly between Jewish husbands and wives.

Author Biography

Lynne Sorrel Marks, University of Victoria

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History

University of Victoria