2001 Census Analysis Series: The Jewish Community of Montreal

Sponsor(s): Federation CJA (Montreal), UIA Federations Canada

Principal Investigator(s): Charles Shahar

Study Dates: May 1-15, 2001 Canadian Census. Data provided to UAI Federations Canada by Statistics Canada.

Population Estimates:

The estimated Jewish population of Montreal was 92,970 in 2001.

Of the total of 92,970 Montreal Jews, 71,420 have been classified as Jewish by religion and ethnicity, 17,345 as Jewish by religion with a different ethnicity, and 4,205 have been classifi

Key Findings:


Available Reports on the Jewish Community of Montreal generally parallel the series of reports based on the 2001 Census which have been issued for Canadian Jews nationally and most Canadian cities with significant Jewish populations (all available at the Data Bank).

In addition, however, there is a special report on Sephardim in Montreal (in both French and English), and also a PDF version of a PowerPoint summary presentation on Montreal's Jews, for which the North American Jewish Data Bank would like to thank Charles Shahar for making it available, as well as for his generous help to the Data Bank in providing all of the 2001 census reports, and other Canadian Jewish materials.

The available reports for Montreal are listed under "Study Notes" below.



  • The Jewish population of Montreal decreased 17% between 1971 (112,020 Jews) and 2001 (92,970 Jews); much of that decline occurred in the decade since 1991 (historic data since 1901 is presented).


  • Sephardim represent 24,980 of Montreal's 92,970 Jews (almost 27%);


  • Intermarriage rates are low in Montreal, compared to other Canadian communities: 9% of couples (married, unmarried, same-sex) in Montreal are intermarried, compared to 12% in Toronto and 28% in Vancouver, BC. The overall Canadian intermarriage rate is approximately 16%.


  • Poverty data for Montreal indicates a significant number of Jewish people in Montreal - - over 17,000 - - fall below a Canadian "poverty line" (see Appendix discussion for details of the "low income cutoffs" used in the analysis)

Adult Jewish respondents residing in Montreal interviewed during the 2001 Census.

Definitions of Jewish persons based on combination of census questions on religion of respondent and ethnicity.

See Appendix 3 in Basic Demographics for discussion of "The Jewish Standard Definition."

Study Notes:

Available Reports include:


  • A PowerPoint Summary of the Montreal Jewish community data by Charles Shahar, which summarizes much of the key information in the detailed reports.


  • Basic Demographics focuses on Jewish numbers, population trends, demographic characteristics.


  • Jewish Populations in Geographic Areas focuses on geographic distribution patterns and comparisons


  • The Jewish Elderly report was co-authored by Charles Shahar and Harriet Tobman and co-sponsored by the Cummings Jewish Center for Seniors; it summarizes data on the number of Jewish seniors, Jewish seniors in poverty, and Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.


  • A report on the Jewish Poor, co-authored by Charles Shahar and Susan Karpman, was co-sponsored by Jewish Family Services of the Baron de Hirsch Institute; it provides insight into poverty among Montreal's Jews.


  • Immigration and Language, was co-authored by Charles Shahar and Howard Magonet, and co-sponsored by Jewish Aid Immigrant Services of Montreal.


  • The Sephardic Community in Montreal was co-authored by Charles Shahar and Elizabeth Perez, and co-sponsored by the Communaute Sepharde Unifiee du Quebec. It provides detailed information on Montreal's almost 25,000 Sephardic Jews. Both an English and a French version of the report are available below.


  • Issues of Jewish Identity was co-sponsored by the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre; it summarizes data on intermarriage, raising children as Jews (including intermarried households), and Jewish education.


  • NOTE: A Jewish Families Report was only issued for Canadian Jews in the national series; it includes additional intermarriage-related analyses. The National report includes comparisons among the largest Jewish communities in Canada.


    • Data tables summarizing the Jewish family materials for Montreal are available below.