Rabbi Chiel's history of the Jewish community in Manitoba grew out of a curiosity about the colour and vitality of Jewish life in this Canadian prairie province which was impressed upon him during a ten-year residence in Winnipeg. He was impelled as a result to record the events of that history and to try and fit the local Jewish experience into a larger historical panorama. His story has been built up by careful examination of Manitoba newspapers and early histories, by research in the archives of the province, and by interviews with surviving Jewish pioneers. It reveals with insight and skill how the Jewish community has, because of its distinctive character as an ethnic group and its participation with other groups in the development of the Prairies as a whole, made an outstanding contribution to provincial and national life in business, the professions, and the arts.
His study is presented under the sponsorship of the Manitoba Historical Society which has encouraged a number of studies of the various ethnic groups in Manitoba. It has received the H.M. Caiserman Award of the Canadian Jewish Congress.