- Esther Brandeau
Esther Brandeau, ("flor. in Canada 1738–39), was the first
Jewishgirl to set foot in Canada, or New France, in 1738. [cite web|url=http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Esther_Brandeau.htmlhttp://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Esther_Brandeau.html|title=Esther Brandeau|work=Jewish Virtual Library|accessdate=January 4|accessyear=2008] By that time, Canadawas the only country who did not have any Jews. [cite web|url=http://www.jewishlibraries.org/ajlweb/publications/proceedings/proceedings2003/tallan.pdf|title=The JPS Guide to Jewish Women, 600 BCE to 1900 CE|work=Cheryl Tallan|accessdate=January 4|accessyear=2008|format=PDF] Born in France, Brandeau was allowed to come to New France because she pretended she was a Roman Catholicboy.
Brandeau named herself Jacques La Fargue and became a sailor near where the province of
Quebecis today. She came to New Franceupon a ship called the St. Michel. [cite web|url=http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/jewishhistory.shtml|title=Manitoba Jewish History|work=Manitoba Historical Society|accessdate=January 4|accessyear=2008] After a brief masquerade, Esther's religion and gender were both discovered. As the only Jewin the country, Intendant Hocquart of New Francehad her arrested and various people tried to convert her to the Roman Catholic faith. She resisted these attempts. Brandeau desired to live in Canada, but as a Jew. The government would not approve of her religion, and after correspondence with authorities in France, she was sent back to her home in La Rochelle.
There is a fictional book by Sharon McKay, a Canadian author, written on Esther. [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.ca/Esther-Sharon-Mckay/dp/0143312049|title=Esther: Sharon McKay|work=Amazon.ca|accessdate=January 4|accessyear=2008]
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=669&interval=25&&PHPSESSID=spvk1gfkgv9a89bq3aqrudkv86 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
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