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Virtual Reality Comes to Canadian Jewry: The Case of the Canadian Jewish Congress Plenary

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Publication Date: January 1999

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Ira Robinson

Series: Jewish Political Studies Review 11:1-2 (Spring 1999)

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Communal Organization; Leadership; Canadian Jews

Type: Report

Abstract:

This article examines the changing nature of the "public square" in contemporary Jewry through an account of the 1998 Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) Plenary Assembly in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The author contends that the CJC Plenary has historically been Canadian Jewry's "public square." He argues that the 1998 Plenary Assembly differed from previous sessions in that a major portion of the event's schedule was shifted from "traditional" activities, such as speeches and resolutions, to a "talk show" format. He concludes that if the new face of Jewish public discourse is to be the talk show, then the question of who controls the public discourse in the Jewish polity, and by extension sets policy for the Jewish community, has to be asked in significantly new ways.