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Winnipeg Jews trace their ethnic origins to a lot of different places

By BERNIE BELLAN In other article on this website I’ve been delving into results of the 2021 census. That census stands apart from all previous censuses in the way it asked the question about ethnic origin. As I noted in my article in the Nov. 9 issue, the question about ethnic origin was the same as it had been on previous censuses: “What were the ethnic or cultural origins of this person’s ancestors?”

That question was followed by a further explanation:

“Ancestors may have Indigenous origins, or origins that refer to different countries, or other origins that may not refer to different countries.”

Where the 2021 census departed from previous censuses, however, was that instead of giving a list of possible answers, to which respondents were asked either to check off one – or to write in an answer, this time respondents were given a list of 500 “examples” of ethnic origin, and asked to write in one or more answers.

Now, while 10,700 respondents listed “Jewish” as at least one of their ethnic origins, as I noted in my Nov. 23 article on the subject, only 6,700 respondents reported both their religion and their ethnic origin as Jewish.

Yet, 11,700 respondents noted that their religion was “Jewish.” If they didn’t report “Jewish” as one of their ethnic origins, what did they report? Following is a list of almost all the different ethnic origins for individuals who reported their religion as “Jewish.” (I’ve left out some of the more general responses, such as “European,” because that just wasn’t specific enough to give a good idea where in Europe that person’s ancestors were from. I’ve included responses which would not be considered ethnic groups, such as Caucasian, Christian, and Coptic. Also, 25 respondents listed “Manitoban” as an ethnic origin.

I’m not sure how useful the report about ethnic origin is since respondents were able to go very far back in reporting their ethnic origins – if they so wished to do.

In the end, if you peruse this list, I’m sure you’ll be impressed, however, by how diverse the ethnic backgrounds are of individuals who said their religion was Jewish. (The order in which I’ve listed ethnic origins, by the way, is the same order given in the table that was sent to me by statcan.)

Anishaanabe 15

Saulteaux 10

Cree 20


(Mohawk) 10

Mi’qua 15

Métis 125

Acadian 15

American 95

Canadian 795


Canadian 35

Manitoban 25

Quebecois 10

English 595

Irish 375

Scottish 475

Welsh 70

French 230

Austrian 70

Belgian 15

Dutch 70

Flemish 10

German 465

Danish 10

Icleandic 65

Nowegian 45

Swedish 70

Greek 20

Italian 95

Portugese 10

Spanish 45

Moldovan 15

Romanian 435

Byelorussian 135

Czech 45

Hungarian 125

Latvian 25

Lithuanian 110

Polish 1430

Russian 2445

Ukrainian 840

Slavic 20

Trinidadian 15

Argentinean 230

Brazilian 100

Guyanese 10

Mexican 15

Uruguayan 10

Nigerian 10

South African 30

Ethiopian 10

Afrikaner 10

Azerbajani 10

Georgian 30

Israeli 855

Kazekh 15

Palestinian 10

Persian 15

Syrian 10

Tater 25

Turkish 60

Uzbek 20

Indian 25

Chinese 30

Filipino 10

Japanese 10

Caucasian 165

Christian 25

Coptic 15

Jewish 6770

Mennonite 45

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