The study on immigration, published by UIA Federations Canada, found that the same decade saw the highest total of Jewish newcomers to this country since World War II: 32,340, or nearly nine per cent of all Canadian Jews.
Half that number – 16,295 – came from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The study notes that the influx of Jews from the FSU represents the largest wave of Jewish immigration from a single country or region since the first quarter of the 20th century.
The next most productive source of immigrants was Israel, with 4,480 newcomers, followed by the United States with 3,000, western Europe with 1,550 and South America with 985.
The report suggests that a major reason for the "slow" growth of the overall Canadian Jewish population has been the "significant" attrition of elderly. Between 1996 and 2001, there were approximately 15,000 deaths in the Canadian Jewish population. Add to that an unknown number of Jews who left the country.
During the same period, there were 21,000 births in the community.
It is "clear," the study warns, that births alone cannot counter the effect of population losses related to emigration and deaths.
The report stresses the importance of reaching out to newcomers and helping them integrate.
"As the situation for Jews throughout the world becomes increasingly precarious," it says, "the role of individual [Jewish] federations and their affiliated agencies remains vital to successful transitioning. To truly welcome and integrate newcomers, we must practice and encourage the promotion of cultural sensitivity among ourselves, or children and our community, and embrace the richness of each new group as it arrives."
The article also provides a breakdown of Canada's foreign-born Jewish population by city and nationality.
Overall, the report shows that 27,790 Jews in Canada were born in the FSU. Of the USSR’s 15 former republics, Russia has led the way as a source of immigrants, with 12,365, followed by Ukraine with 7,115, Belarus (1,375), Kazakhstan (180) and Georgia (65).
Long considered a sore point, at least among Israeli officials, is the fact that there are 13,545 Jews in this country who were born in Israel. Toronto is home to the largest number of Israeli-born Jews, at just over 8,000. There are also significant numbers of Israelis in Montreal (3,150), Greater Vancouver (840) and Ottawa (305).
By far the largest number of Jews from the FSU are found in Ontario (20,625 – two-thirds of these in Toronto), while the largest number of Jews from Morocco live in Quebec (7,295).
Toronto is also home to 6,425 Jews born in the United States.
The Toronto area has the largest number of foreign-born Jews in Canada, with 62,570, followed by Montreal (31,500), Vancouver (7,950), Ottawa (3,265), Calgary (2,530), Winnipeg (2,430), Edmonton (1,900) and Hamilton (1,050).