Jewish, Israeli in Canada

Jewish, Israeli
Photo Source:  Paul Arps - Flickr  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Jewish, Israeli
Country: Canada
10/40 Window: No
Population: 22,000
World Population: 5,710,000
Primary Language: Hebrew
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.25 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jewish
Affinity Bloc: Jewish
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

There have been many waves of persecution of Jewish people in Europe. Some have fled to Israel, while others go to the United States or Canada. Jewish people have established themselves in Israel, mainly since 1948. Though they are free from persecution in Israel, life is always a struggle for Israelis. Everyone must serve in the military, and there is always the danger of indiscriminate terrorist violence. Some have decided that it's better to live as a religious minority in a peaceful land like Canada. Israeli Jews in Canada usually live in the cities of Montreal, Vancouver or Ontario.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Israeli Jews of Canada work in various trades and professions. They are very well represented in small and middle-sized businesses, the communication industry, medicine, law, and accounting. While maintaining a Jewish identity, the majority of Canadian Jews conform to the mainstream culture. "Jewishness" is often defined in more secular terms such as the use of Yiddish words and family traditions, rather than in religious aspects, such as the following of Jewish laws regarding dietary restrictions.

At 13, the Bar Mitzvah ceremony for a boy (or Bat Mitzvah for a girl) is an important rite of passage, which marks him or her as an adult member of the community. While these ceremonies were more spiritually focused in the past, they have become equally important as social events.

Marriage and family relationships among Israeli Jews are much the same as other Canadians. Although Israeli wives take on their husbands' surnames, Jewish identity is traced through the mother. If one's mother is a Jew, then he is, according to Jewish law, Jewish.

Most Israelis are secular, so they look at Jewishness first from the point of nationalism and ethnic identity and less from the point of view of religion or spirituality. Canadian Jews are much more religious than the Israeli Jews among them. Israelis see Canadian Jews as too formal, cold and standoffish.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Many Jewish people retain cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might participate in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are either secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.

Reform Jews do not believe that God reveals the Jewish Law. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.

Many Jewish people keep cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might take part in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.

What Are Their Needs?

Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give the Jewish people in Canada hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.

Pray for Jewish people in Canada to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.

Pray for the Lord to move among Jewish leaders in Canada to open the doors to Christ's ambassadors.

Text Source:   Joshua Project