The Jewish Cultural Society of Yukon
The Jewish Historical Society of Yukon was originally formed in 1997, in response to the discovery of the Jewish Cemetery in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. The mandate of the Historical Society was to clean, restore, and rededicate the cemetery, to which was added the task of researching who was buried in the cemetery. After celebrating the completion of this task, we thought our work was done. However, 15 years later our community in Whitehorse grew in numbers and interest in the research was reignited.
The Jewish Cultural Society was created in 2012, with an expanded mandate to form a community to share our Jewish culture, to celebrate the High Holidays and Passover together, and to hold social gatherings. From the get-go, the society dedicated efforts to discover more information about the Jews of the Gold Rush. The stories we unearthed were indeed enthralling, and we decided to create a travelling historical display to share them.
Pictures from Rosh Hashana 5783 BBQ at Wolf Creek Campground, Yukon (Sept. 2022):
Creating the Traveling Historical Display:
As we researched the history of the Jewish presence during the Klondike Gold Rush, we discovered that around 200 Jews had arrived in Dawson City during that time. Our curiosity got the better of us as we asked: how did they get to the Gold Rush, what did they do during their stay in Dawson City, and what happened to them after they left. These formed the three focal points of the historical display, which we are happy and proud to share.
The historian Dr. Brent Slobodin conducted extensive research, and created the traveling display. The travelling exhibition is comprised of three panels, shown below, a booklet replete with fascinating stories, and a video of us finding, restoring, and the rededicating ceremony of the cemetery (is available on the Jewish Cemetery page). Once completed the display travelled the country and it got national attention.
A big ‘Thank You’ to the Yukon Government and the Community Development Fund for supporting this work.
Dr. Brent Slobodin supervising the production of the panels.
Brent & Rick at the McBride Museum, Whitehorse, Yukon.
The 3 panels of the Traveling Historical Display:
‘Click on the panel to expand it and be able to read the contents.
Currently we have a weekly email that goes out to our members every Friday, and it includes news, events and the "Parashat Hashavua - פרשת השבוע" which is the weekly Torah reading.
Soon our Membership page will include the opportunity to subscribe to additional newsletter types:
Monthly digest - once a month an email with the summary of the news and upcoming events
High Holidays and Events - email about High Holiday gatherings and important details about upcoming events
Read about us in the Canadian Jewish News:
Calendar of High Holidays 2022:
Rosh Hashanah Sept. 25 - 27
Yom Kippur Oct. 4 - 5
Sukkot (First Days) Oct. 9 - 11
Simchat Torah Oct. 16 - 18
Chanukah Dec. 18 - 26
Calendar of High Holidays 2023:
Purim March 06 - 07
Passover April 05 - 13
Shavuot May 25- 27
Rosh Hashanah September 15-17
Yom Kippur September 24-25
Sukkot September 29 – October 1st
Simchat Torah October 06-08
Chanukah December 07-15
As we develop our website, we will continue to share the weekly Parsha, as we have been doing, and provide links to National Associations for those who want to keep up-to-date, or just explore what is going on across the country.