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Ester Reiter

Ester Reiter
Born1941 (age 82–83)
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Academic background
EducationBA, 1962, History, Brandeis University
MA., Sociology, Washington State University
PhD., 1985, Sociology, University of Toronto
ThesisOut of the frying pan and into the fryer: the organization of work in a fast food outlet (1985)
Academic work
InstitutionsMemorial University of Newfoundland
Queen's University
Brock University
York University
Main interestsWomen, Sociology, Secular Jewish left in Canada; Immigrant Women; Gender, Race and Ethnicity; Left Politics, the Cold War and the War on Terror; Women and Work

Ester Reiter (née Koulack; 1941) is an American-Canadian historian and sociologist. She is a Professor Emerita in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at York University. In 2017, her book A Future Without Hate or Need was shortlisted for the Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature.

Early life and education

Reiter came from a Jewish family and was born in Brooklyn, New York.[1] She moved to Winnipeg in the 1960s and joined Canadian Voice of Women For Peace protests.[2][3] She graduated from Brandeis University in 1962.[4]

She left Winnipeg to pursue her PhD at York University in Toronto, Ontario.[5] In order to complete her thesis, Reiter worked at a Toronto-based Burger King to observe how work is organized in fast food.[6]


After earning her PhD, Reiter had a limited appointment as a professor of sociology at Memorial University.[7][8] She was then hired by Queen's University in 1986 as a sociology professor[9] before being hired as an associate professor at Brock University.[10]

She stayed at Brock until the 2002–03 academic term when Reiter was given a full-time appointment as an associate professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at York University.[11] She retired from teaching in 2011.[12]

In 2016, she launched her book A Future Without Hate or Need. [13] The book was a study of how left-wing secular Judaism in Canada survived and flourished from the 1920s to 1960s.[14] The book was shortlisted for the 2017 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature.[15]

In 2018, Reiter protested the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada for invoking the notwithstanding clause in the middle of a municipal election campaign. She refused to leave Queen's Park and was escorted out.[2]

Selected publications

The following is a list of selected publications:[16]

  • Women in a Changing Economy (1989)
  • Making Fast Food: From the Frying Pan into the Fryer (1991)
  • Racism, anti-semitism, anti-feminism and the new hate mongers (1994)
  • First-Class Workers Don′t Want Second-Class Wages: The Lanark Strike in Dunnville (1995)
  • A future without hate or need: the promise of the Jewish left in Canada (2016)


  1. ^ Gonick, CY (April 18, 2016). Canada Since 1960: A People's History: A Left Perspective on 50 Years of Politics, Economics and Culture. James Lorimer & Company. ISBN 9781459411142. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Beattie, Samantha (September 13, 2018). "'You can't let them get away with these dirty deeds,' says protester removed from Queen's Park Wednesday". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Tarah Brookfield (May 1, 2012). Cold War Comforts: Canadian Women, Child Safety, and Global Insecurity. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 86–87. ISBN 9781554586356. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  4. ^ Ann Leder Sharon. "Class of 1962". Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  5. ^ Sharon Chisvin (November 5, 2016). "Author remembers legacy of Jewish leftist movement". Winnipeg Free Press.
  6. ^ "Growth At All Costs" (PDF). 2014. p. 11. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Craig Heron (January 1, 1986). On the Job: Confronting the Labour Process in Canada. McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 9780773561342. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Donald C. MacDonald (May 18, 1986). "Life in the fast food lane Young workers 'cheap, plentiful, easy to replace' On the Job - Confronting the Labour Process in Canada, ed. by Craig Heron and Robert Storey". Toronto Star. Ester Reiter's Life in the Fast Food Factory. Reiter now teaches sociology at Memorial University, in Newfoundland
  9. ^ White, Nancy J. (November 11, 1986). "Where the money goes". Toronto Star.
  10. ^ "Sociologist burns fast food industry". Lethbridge Herald. Alberta. November 27, 1991. p. 23.Free access icon
  11. ^ "Full-Time Appointments/Enseignants à temps plein". 2002. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "NARAYEVER NEWS" (PDF). 2019. p. 17. Retrieved September 27, 2019. Ester Reiter taught Sociology and Women's Studies at York University until her retirement in 2011.
  13. ^ "Book launch for York senior scholar Ester Reiter". October 17, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Kosak, Hadassa (2017). "Reviewed Work: A Future Without Hate or Need: The Promise of the Jewish Left in Canada by Ester Reiter". Labour / Le Travail. 80: 307–309. doi:10.1353/llt.2017.0052. JSTOR 44820590. S2CID 148812501.
  15. ^ van Koeverden, Jane (August 17, 2017). "Max Eisen, Matti Friedman among finalists for 2017 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature". Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  16. ^ "Au:Reiter, Ester". Retrieved September 27, 2019.
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Ester Reiter
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