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A Brief History of the Edmonton Jewish Community

By Debby Shoctor


Edmonton, Alberta was first incorporated as a town in 1892. At that time, there were about 700 permanent residents. Founded on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River on the site of the former Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Edmonton, it soon began to attract a growing populace. Abraham and Rebecca Cristall, Edmonton’s first Jews, arrived in 1893. Their children, George and Rose, were the first Jewish children born in Edmonton. Abe became a successful businessman, and helped to bring more Jews over from his native Bessarabia. By 1901, there were 17 Jewish citizens in Edmonton. In 1904, Edmonton became incorporated as a city, and in 1905, Alberta officially became a province and the CN Railway arrived.


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Kayla's Borscht

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4 medium red beets 5 c. water
e c. buttermilk
1 tsp. salt 

6 Tbsp brown sugar

1/3 c. white vinegar 

1. Boil beets in water until tender.

2. Strain juice into another pot.

3. When beets cool, slip off their skins.

4. Grate in food processor and return to juice.

5. Add buttermilk, salt, brown sugar and vinegar.

6. Chill. 

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At Heritage Festival

Contact the Jewish Federation of Edmonton