QAHN's 2024 Heritage Talks presents: "The Big Bang - an instant neighbourhood: Western NDG, the Fifties and the Jews," with Norm Spatz

Shaare Zedek congregation men's club at the beginning of excavation for the first synagogue, June 21, 1953. Photo: Archives of Congregation Shaare Zedek
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Shaare Zedek Congregation was established in 1953 and is a traditional synagogue committed to engaging its membership and community in Jewish learning, spirituality and social activities. In order to make members more aware of the synagogue’s place in English-speaking history and the synagogue’s heritage within Quebec, a small group proposed creating an historical overview from the unorganized archives of Shaare Zedek. A chronological picture emerged beginning with the founding of the institution to a major controversy in the congregation over mixed gender seating in the mid-Sixties. Concurrently, the research group conducted a survey of the history of the western portion of the borough of CDN-NDG and the City of Côte Saint-Luc surrounding the synagogue. The explosive growth of this neighbourhood post WW2 fueled a dynamic growth of the institution in its early years.

Norm Spatz was born in New Jersey and settled in Montreal after receiving his Master’s in Architecture at Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. He arrived in Montreal before the demolition of the Van Horne Mansion. This convinced him to become a member of Save Montreal. For his efforts, he won an award for historical restoration from Crédit Fonçier. He began teaching architectural technology in a French CEGEP. Now retired, Norm is focused on writing novels and researching the history of his neighbourhood.

To view the complete 2024 Heritage Talks program, click here:

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