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Glace Bay Synagogue has been closed.

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Glace Bay was the oldest organized Jewish community on Cape Breton Island. Settlers arrived in 1890, many as a result of advertisements placed in European countries by the Glace Bay Coal Company. The company was offering free passage to Canada to those willing to work in the mines.

Few of the Jewish immigrants worked in the mines for any great length of time. Most became peddlers, moving on to open retail businesses in competition with the company stores.

Although it had been incorporated in 1901, the same year as the town, the first Synagogue was built in 1902. There were 15 Jewish families in the community, and contributions wee received for the building from some families even before they had their own homes.

For approximately 35 years, the Jewish community was strong. Until the mid 1970s, a Hebrew school was held in the Talmud Torah next door, with a Rabbi and a Hebrew teacher. This building was sold, as the Jewish population in Glace Bay has declined to the point where there are no children to educate in Jewish studies.

The Jewish population in Glace Bay continues to decline, and it does not appear that there will be any turnaround in the near future. The Glace Bay Synagogue has been closed.

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