This series contains records pertaining to or originating from Jewish Immigrant Aid Society
In 1919, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) was organized and in anticipation of renewed Jewish immigration after the war, established the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS). JIAS’ mandate was to lobby the government to allow Jews to immigrate to Canada. It acted on a national scale to facilitate the legal entry of Jewish immigrants to Canada and to help them adapt to and integrate into their new country. It was, and continued to be, the means of directing Jewish immigration into its proper channels. JIAS gained the confidence of the Canadian government and was considered the authorized spokesman of the Canadian Jewish community in immigration matters.
After the war, immigration greatly increased and JIAS had to respond to new needs. Thousands of Jews were being received, settled and rehabilitated, many from Displaced Persons camps. A social service committee was formed in 1947 and professional social workers were hired for the first time. Joseph Kage joined JIAS as a social worker in 1947 and remained there until his retirement in 1983. Under his leadership, in 1955, JIAS’ name changed from “Society” to “Services”. During his tenure, he became national executive director and national executive vice-president. In this role, he became an authority on issues of Canadian immigration policy and was chair of the Canadian Governmental Advisory Board on Immigrant Adjustment. He was chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress National Conference on Yiddish and Yiddish culture as well as president of Montreal’s Jewish Public Library. He was also a published author and educator.