Small Jewish communities near the camps sent their rabbis to offer support and help fill the religious needs of the refugees. The Jewish Community Council of Montreal sent Passover goods to the internees, although the orthodox Jews in Camp B were not satisfied and pooled their funds in order to obtain separate dishes and kitchen utensils for the holiday.
The War Prisoners Aid Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), chaired by Sir Ernest MacMillan, Principal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music, also worked on behalf of the interned refugees. The YMCA program began in August 1940, prompted by their British counterpart, which had worked with the internees before their deportations.
YMCA activities covered all internment camps; Nazis, prisoners of war and refugees received the same treatment. Representatives of the World Student Christian Federation and the European Student Relief Fund, Robert Mackie and Dale Brown, worked under the YMCA umbrella. Funds for the program – which provided recreational equipment, books, films, art supplies, musical instruments and Christian religious items – often came from the United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agencies.
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