Montreal Jewish federation pulls, apologizes for article with Jewish stereotypes

Marcy Oster

MONTREAL (JTA) Montreal’s main Jewish federation has apologized for posting an article containing Jewish stereotypes on a non-Jewish website.

Federation CJA pulled its supposedly tongue-in-cheek article “10 Realities of Having a Jewish Best Friend in Montreal” from the MTLBlog, a commercial website for young people, several days after receiving complaints from members of the Jewish community. The post ran from about Sept. 1 to 4.

Among the benefits cited in having Jewish best friends were that they are “well-connected,” enjoy “lounging around” Florida in winter, love gossip, and are “natural-born talkers” who can help expedite medical appointments and reservations at good restaurants. It concluded with a pitch for a donation to the Combined Jewish Appeal.

“Initial analytics showed this to be a very popular post with high engagement,” Federation CJA told the Canadian Jewish News. “However, the few negative comments were troubling to us. Therefore, it was our decision to pull the article and our branding.”

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An open letter to the federation signed by 55 “primarily young Montreal Jews” said the article “perpetuated a stale, unfunny, uninspired and sad stereotype of what it is apparently like to be an upper-middle class Jew.” The letter writers said the fact that Federation CJA would sponsor an article “reinforcing dangerous stereotypes about Jewish wealth, influence and character traits is quite distressing and damaging.”

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