Two Jewish women elected to Quebec’s National Assembly

Elisabeth Prass will be representing the Liberal Party of Quebec, while Pascale Déry, a former journalist, will be representing the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).

The Fontaine de Tourny east of the Parliament Building in Quebec, Canada (photo credit: GILBERT BOCHENEK/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The Fontaine de Tourny east of the Parliament Building in Quebec, Canada
(photo credit: GILBERT BOCHENEK/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The Canadian province of Quebec has officially added two Jewish politicians to its roster. The election of the two female leaders has changed the course of history in the region, marking an important first for Quebec's National Assembly.

Elisabeth Prass will be representing the Liberal Party of Quebec, while Pascale Déry, a former journalist, will be representing the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ). Though the two Jewish women will be on opposite sides of the aisle, they mark an important first in Canada's leadership history.

Both candidates are of Sephardic descent; Déry is from a prominent Moroccan family and Prass is from a family of Moroccan and Latvian immigrants, according to the Canadian Jewish News.

According to the report, it is not yet known whether Déry will be appointed to the cabinet, but Prass is likely to be assigned a senior role in the opposition.

Prass beat Bonnie Feigenbaum of the Conservative Party with 51 percent of the vote while Déry won with 52 percent of the vote.

A lock is pictured near the National Assembly of Quebec prior to the beginning of the G7 Summit in Quebec City, June 6, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/MATHIEU BELANGER)A lock is pictured near the National Assembly of Quebec prior to the beginning of the G7 Summit in Quebec City, June 6, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/MATHIEU BELANGER)

The politicians and Jewish affairs

“We are eager to work with you [Elisabeth Prass] and your team to fight against antisemitism and to help the Jewish community fully flourish in Quebec.”

Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

The Canadian Jewish News noted that there are few Jews among Déry's constituency and that she supports legislation that would forbid some public servants from wearing religious symbols.

Prass, on the other hand, opposes the law.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to work with Prass: “We are eager to work with you and your team to fight against antisemitism and to help the Jewish community fully flourish in Quebec,” it said.