St John Harbour
Saint John is centrally located on the southern New Brunswick coast on the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the St. John River. Because it is the only city on the Bay of Fundy – home of the world’s highest tides – Saint John is known as the anchor of the Bay of Fundy Experience.
As Canada’s first incorporated city (est. 1785), Saint John has been welcoming people from Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland for 400 years. The City of Saint John has a population of approximately 70,000, and 120,000 in Greater Saint John, which includes the neighbouring communities of Rothesay, Quispamsis, Grand Bay-Westfield and St. Martins.
Uptown is a hub for arts, culture and heritage, and its recreational and cultural facilities are among the best in the Atlantic provinces. The city is home to the province’s heart and trauma centre and the largest hospital in New Brunswick
Saint John has a history as a hub for business, industry and innovation. Creativity and ingenuity have always driven the economy of the city. The variable pitch propeller, the cable ferry, and the steam powered foghorn were invented here.
Today, ICT, knowledge, advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and tourism sectors continue to form Saint John’s economic base.
The founding of the Saint John Jewish Community began in 1858 with the arrival of Solomon Hart and his family. The Harts sailed from England to New York City, and then by chance or circumstance, arrived in Saint John and made it their permanent home where Mr. Hart established a tobacco business.
In 1860, Saint John was the third largest urban centre in British North America and larger than Halifax. The death of a child prompted the establishment and consecration of the Green-Hart Cemetery which is still in existence and used by the descendants of these families. This ultimately led to the establishment of a community cemetery.
The first Jewish wedding in 1882, Elizabeth Hart and Louis Green, was a social event that included the elite of the city including top civic and political functionaries without regard to religious affiliation.
The second wave of immigration began around the turn of the 20th century, when hundreds of Jewish immigrants arrived in the port of Saint John from Eastern Europe, most of them on their way to other centres.
This second wave came to escape religious persecution and poverty. Those who fell ill were quarantined on Partridge Island and some are buried there. Members of the Saint John community founded the first Jewish Immigrant Aid Society in Canada, in 1896. Many of these immigrants became the leaders and sculptors of the Saint John Community.
The third wave, due principally to the Second World War, brought only a few immigrants who settled in Saint John, and by 1987 all of these had departed for various reasons.
Since 2010, the Saint John Jewish community has renewed the Habonim mission anticipating a new wave of immigration. Today, the Jewish community of Saint John numbers approximately 35 families.
For further information:
Atlantic Jewish Council
5670 Spring Garden Road, Suite 508,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Tel: (902) 422 7491
Fax: (902) 425 3722
Saint John Jewish Community:
Saint John Jewish Historical Museum:
City of St. John