Saturday, November 2, 2013


A look at the history of Quebec. Before the 1940's, if a Jewish person had to be hospitalized in Montreal, he or she could not get kosher food. The family had to bring food to the hospital for them for all their meals.
Jewish girls and boys who wanted to become doctors and nurses were strongly discouraged by Montreal hospitals and McGill University which controlled their opportunities by strict quotas.
In the 1930's, the Jewish community in Montreal got together and started building the Jewish General Hospital. If you go there, you will find doctors, nurses, technicians, porters and patients who are English, French, Greek, Italian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, African, Pakistani, Indian, Arabic, Russian, Israeli, Iranian, Filipino, and anything else you can imagine.
I even had the good fortune to meet Mike Running Cloud there. His wife was a patient, as was I. Mike is Canadian, Anishinaabe Ojibwe. A wounded veteran of many battles, Mike is a U.S. Navy Seal. He gave me his big, hard hand to hold tight while I was being probed for a painful intravenous chemo treatment. Who cares what language or race anyone is when you are fighting for your life? A friendly hand may come from the most unexpected place.
The Quebec community shut the Jews out. The Jewish people created one of the most advanced hospitals in North America and invited the world in. Even the well known separatist, Jacques Parizeau who, in his own words, condemned "the Anglos and the Ethnics" said he received excellent care at the Jewish General Hospital. Why did he go to the JGH for help when Montreal has several other major hospitals?
They drew a circle and kept me out.
I drew a circle, and invited them in.
Oh, Canada. Wake up!

1 comment:

Kenneth V. Tellis said...

I wrote the complete story of my life and how my Franco-Amerindian (Kebecoise) wife joined the Parti Kebecois and destroyed our peaceful family.

I called my "Je me souviens" and it is now on in Maine, USA. Please read it to realize what I went through. and are stll fighting for. My story would make a very nice Hollywood movie. Kenneth T.Tellis