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Montefiore Institute

In the 1880s, a renewed wave of anti-Semitism spread across Eastern and Central Europe, with pogroms (violent anti-Jewish attacks) in Russia and Romania causing many Jews to flee to North America. The Montefiore Colony was established in 1910 near Sibbald, Alberta, and its synagogue, known as the Montefiore Institute, served as a place of worship, meeting hall and school for the religious education of the colony’s children.

The synagogue also housed a library with more than a thousand books in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. Drought conditions caused most members of the colony to abandon their farms by 1927 and resettle elsewhere. The building itself was later used for grain storage and, after being relocated to Hanna, a private residence. In 2008, it was purchased by the Little Synagogue on the Prairie Project Society, restored and moved to Heritage Park.

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