A crowd will gather in downtown Toronto on June 7 for the 2012 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards. One of the winners will be Rebecca Margolis, an associate professor in the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program at the University of Ottawa, who will be honored for “Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011), a study of the development of Yiddish cultural life in Montreal in the first half of the 20th century. In the book, Margolis examines key cultural institutions like the press, the theater, literary publications and secular Jewish schools that built and sustained Yiddish Montreal.
“This is a huge and very pleasant surprise, and a great honor,” Margolis told The Arty Semite in a recent phone interview.
Edward Trapunski, a member of the CJA’s panel of judges, believes the award is much deserved. His own father had been very active in Montreal’s Yiddish community and served on the executive boards of many of its institutions.