Rosenberg, Louis

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ROSENBERG, LOUIS (1893–1987), Canadian demographer, Jewish community worker. Rosenberg was the foremost demographer of Canadian Jewish life and a pioneer in the social scientific study of Canadian Jews. He was born in Poland and raised and educated in Leeds in the United Kingdom. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree and a teachers certificate from Leeds University in 1914, and moved to Canada in 1915. Throughout his life, Rosenberg shared three strong passions: Zionism, socialism, and the social scientific study of Jewish life.

In Canada Rosenberg settled first in Saskatchewan, where from 1919 to 1940 he was the director of settlements of the Jewish Colonization Association. He believed in the Labor Zionist credo of personal and Jewish redemption through agricultural collective settlement. While in the Canadian west, he also became involved with the Canadian democratic left and the CCF. In 1935 he published the bestselling Who Owns Canada? under the pen name of Watt Hugh McCollum. A second edition was released in 1947. The tract critically analyzed Canada's Anglo-Protestant corporate power structure. It was while living in Saskatchewan that Rosenberg also began the research and writing of his classic and pioneering text, Canada's Jews, published in 1939 by the Canadian Jewish Congress. This book, in over 400 pages and with 273 tables, presented a comprehensive socio-demographic portrait of the Canadian Jewish community, based largely on data from the 1931 census and other sources, collected by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, now Statistics Canada. Unmatched in either Jewish or Canadian ethnic demography in terms of its detailed, comprehensive nature, this study was reissued by McGill-Queen's University Press in 1993.

From 1940 to 1945, Rosenberg served as executive director of the western region of the Canadian Jewish Congress. In 1945 he moved to Montreal, where he became national research director of the Bureau of Social and Economic Research of the Canadian Jewish Congress. In fact, Rosenberg was the Bureau and produced a steady stream of research reports on Canadian Jewish demographic, sociological, and economic characteristics. A pioneer in Canadian and Jewish demography, during his lifetime Rosenberg's achievements and commitment to Jewish scientific research were either undervalued or unrecognized in both the Jewish communal world and in the general Canadian scholarly community.

[Morton Weinfeld (2nd ed.)]

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Rosenberg, Louis

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