Canadian Jewish News
|Founder(s)||M. J. Nurenberger
and Dorothy Nurenberger
|Publisher||Board of Directors|
|Political alignment||non-partisan, Zionist|
|Language||English and French|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) is a non-profit, national, English-language tabloid-sized newspaper serving Canada's Jewish community. The national edition of the newspaper is published in Toronto. A weekly Montreal edition in English with some French began its run in 1976.
The Canadian Jewish News was founded by M. J. Nurenberger, a friend of Menachem Begin and supporter of his Herut party, and his wife Dorothy and was first published on Friday, January 1, 1960 and was the first exclusively English-language Jewish newspaper published in Ontario.
The CJN was considered a "provocative" paper into the 1970s but was later considered something of a "lapdog for the community". The original CJN hewed a line that supported the right in Israeli politics and was critical of the liberal leadership of the Canadian Jewish community at the time as well as community institutions such as B'nai Brith and the United Jewish Appeal, the latter for its secrecy in how it dispersed money. According to his daughter, Atara Beck, “He believed that a newspaper should be a thorn in the side of the establishment.”
In 1971, following the death of his wife, Nurenberger sold the newspaper for $30,000 to a group of community leaders that included Shoppers Drug Mart founder Murray Koffler and real estate developer Albert Latner and was led by philanthropist and businessman Ray Wolfe. Though independent, the newspaper has been owned, since 1971, by a group of Jewish leaders allied with what was then the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Nurenburger soon regretted his decision, discouraged by the new version of the paper's reticence to challenge the community's establishment, and started the Jewish Times in 1974, which was decidedly more right wing than CJN under its new management, and continued publication into the early 1990s. In 1979, it adopted editorial guidelines that prevent articles from criticizing the state of Israel's security policies.
By 2013, the CJN had a circulation of 40,000 copies per week.
On April 22, 2013, the newspaper issued termination notices to its 50 staff and announced that it will cease printing with its June 20 edition due to financial constraints. The publishers sought benefactors to provide funding that would allow the CJN to continue as an exclusively online publication less reliant on advertising.
Resumption of publication
On June 14, 2013, the CJN's board announced that it would resume publication of its print edition in August 2013 after moving to smaller offices and pending the results of a subscription and advertising drive and various changes to the newspaper's business model. Among others, editor Mordechai Ben-Dat and senior staffer and columnist Sheldon Kirshner were let go.
The newspaper was subsequently reorganized under new leadership, beginning in January 2014, with Elizabeth Wolfe, daughter of Ray Wolfe, becoming president and former Jerusalem Report, National Post and Macleans journalist Yoni Goldstein becoming the newspaper's editor. Goldstein subsequently introduced a more diverse range of contributors to the newspaper. The content of the newly revamped paper was described as "racier."
By 2016, the newspaper's subscriptions remained mostly unchanged at 31,000, but Wolfe reported advertising and subscription revenues were enough to invest in new projects.
Notable contributors to the newspaper have included Jacob Elbaz, J.B. Salsberg, who was a featured columnist in the newspaper for several decades until shortly before his death in 1998, and Rabbi Gunther Plaut, who also contributed a weekly column for many years.
The main Toronto edition of the CJN had a rotating group of guest columnists: among them were academics Norma Baumel Joseph and Norman Ravvin of Concordia University; Sarah Horowitz of York; Gil Troy of McGill; Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University, as well as Jean Gerber in Vancouver, and Rabbi Dow Marmur and Avrum Rosensweig in Toronto. (The Montreal edition featured some others.)
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- O'Connor, Joe (April 23, 2013). "‘They really valued good journalism’: For its husband and wife founders, The Canadian Jewish News was a labour of love". National Post. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Houpt, Simon (April 23, 2013). "Born in adversity, Canadian Jewish News succumbs to the Internet". Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- "Drawing the line: There are many subjects writers can discuss in The Canadian Jewish News. Criticizing the security policies of the Israeli government is not one of them", Ryerson Review of Journalism, Spring 2005
- "The CJN to close | The Canadian Jewish News". cjnews.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- Csillag, Ron (April 22, 2013). "Canadian Jewish News to halt publication". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "The Canadian Jewish News is shutting down, citing changes ‘sweeping’ newspaper industry", National Post, April 22, 2013.
- "We will do it. Please join us!". Canadian Jewish News. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- Elizabeth Wolfe, “Call to Action,” Canadian Jewish News, Aug. 1, 2013.
- "CJN selects new president, names editor". Canadian Jewish News. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
- Martin, Patrick (16 October 2015). "Canada’s Jewish community divided over which party should be elected". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Maltz, Judy (2016-02-08). "How Canada's Last Jewish Newspaper Came Back From the Brink". Haaretz. Retrieved 2016-02-08.