Comparing Australia and Canada at ACJS 2022

Also Accessing the Recordings at Both 2021 and ACJS Conferences


Congresses in the History of Canadian Science and Technology

First posted Friday, June 10, 2022 / Yom shishi, 11 Sivan, 5782

By David Orenstein, Emeritus, Danforth CTI

Last week I attended another online conference, after having participated in the CSHPM (May 13-15) and CSHPS (May 16-19) Conferences, both part of the CFHSS Online Congress (May 12-20). The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) met from Sunday to Tuesday, May 29-31.

This was their second online conference, the first being last year. On their YouTube Channel you can still find the recordings, along with this year’s (freshly posted on Sunday, June 5):

I was particularly looking forward to the panels comparing the Australian and Canadian Jewish experience, on the way to suggesting something similar at a CSTHA/AHSTC Conference. Also, a culinary workshop on Kosher Poutine!

They did not disappoint.

We were able to take advantage of the Zoom format with its far flung participants, though adjustment was necessary for the various time zones. Cross-Canada, but also Jerusalem, Sydney, and London.

There were two live panels both running from 4:00pm to 5:30pm EDT, which was 8:00pm to 9:30pm GMT, and thus a further 10 hours later in Eastern Australia. Thus, our colleagues from Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra were joining us at 6:00am the following day.

Both panels had scholars form both Canada and Australia who answered the Moderator’s (David Koffman, York University) questions alternately. The Sunday Panel conducted the comparison from a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Demography, and Museology, while on Monday, it was a focused History panel.

Featured Panelists:

1) Sunday:

Mort Weinfeld (Social Science) Yolande Cohen (Sephardi History) Dara Solomon (Museums, Holocaust Edu) Adina Bankier-Karp (Social Science) David Graham (Demographics) Breann Fallon (Museums, Holocaust Education).

2) Monday:

William Rubinstein (Aberystwyth University) Hernan Tesler-Mabé (University of Ottawa) Suzanne Rutland (University of Sydney) Richard Menkis (UBC).

Might CSTHA/AHSTC try something similar at future Meeting? I could certainly do that in my own studies. For example, I’ve written several blog posts about Canada’s National Research Council (NRC, now NSERC). So, why not look at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)?

Or, I’ve studied many international scientific congresses held in Canada, including several Meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), including 1884, 1897, 1909, and 1924, why not look at the 1914 Australia BAAS, held in all five of: Perth Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

The culinary workshop, not only addressed the Kosher versions of the Québecois cuisine classics, Poutine and Tourtière, but also how to make them Vegan, too. Lori Hoch Stiefel, from PJ Library, was our Celebrity Chef.

The PJ Library “sends free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture to families with children from birth through 12 years old.” These books include such classics as Sammy Spider’s First Shavuot where “Sammy Spider lowers himself down on a strand of webbing to get a closer look at the Shapiro family’s preparations for Shavuot, a holiday celebrating the time when God gave the Torah to Moses.”

Though from Montréal, Stiefel was speaking to us from Charleston, South Carolina, where she had met her husband Barry, who was serving as sous-chef for the session. She also had to deal with pandemic supply chain issues, so she couldn’t find all her preferred ingredients.

This merging of cooking traditions is definitely something CSTHA/AHSTC should be looking, at as part of a wider look at the history of food technology in Canada. Especially since it has been traditionally too often gendered as a woman’s technology.

Pierre Berton and his wife Janet Burton, even wrote one of the volumes in

The Canadian Centennial Library on this part of our history:

The Centennial Food Guide: A Century of Good Eating (1966).

But that’s another story!



1) CSHPS full programme with abstracts:

2) CSHPM full programme with abstracts:

3) ACJS May 29-31 Conference Programme:

4) PJ Library Home Page:

5) CSIRO Australia Home Page:

6) CSIRO History page:

7) NSERC Canada Home Page:

8) NSERC History Chronicle Page:

9) ACJS Canadian/Australian Jewish Studies Roundtable:

10) ACJS Canadian/Australian Jewish History Roundtable:

11) ACJS Kosher Poutine Cooking Class:

12) “BAAS 1914 Australia Meeting” Google Search: