Jump to content

Canadian Jewish News

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Canadian Jewish News
FormatDigital-first with quarterly print magazine; formerly a weekly tabloid[1]
Owner(s)Non-profit Organization
Founder(s)M. J. Nurenberger
and Dorothy Nurenberger
PublisherBoard of Directors
PresidentBryan Borzykowski
Founded1960 (1960) (reorganized 1971)
Political alignmentnon-partisan
LanguageEnglish and French[1]
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian Jewish News is a non-profit,[2] national, English-language digital-first media organization that serves Canada's Jewish community.[3][4][5] A national edition of the newspaper was published for 60 years in Toronto. A weekly Montreal edition in English with some French began its run in 1976.[1] The newspaper announced its closure in 2013 but was able to continue after restructuring and reorganizing. It again announced its closure on April 2, 2020, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada on its finances.[6] Its final weekly print edition was published on April 9, 2020.[7] In December 2020, it announced its return as a digital-first media company[8] with a new president, Bryan Borzykowski.[9]


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.[10]

The CJN was considered a "provocative" paper into the 1970s but was later considered something of a "lapdog for the community".[11] 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.[12] According to his daughter, Atara Beck, "He believed that a newspaper should be a thorn in the side of the establishment."[11]

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.[12][13] Though independent, the newspaper has been owned, since 1971, by a group of Jewish leaders allied with what was then the Canadian Jewish Congress.[1][14]

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, the CJN adopted editorial guidelines that prevent articles from criticizing the state of Israel's security policies.[12]

By 2013, it had a circulation of 40,000 copies per week.[2]


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.[2][13][15]

Resumption of publication and second closure[edit]

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.[16] Among others, editor Mordechai Ben-Dat and senior staffer and columnist Sheldon Kirshner were let go.[17]

The newspaper was subsequently reorganized under new leadership, and with a drastically reduced staff,[7] beginning in January 2014, with Elizabeth Wolfe, daughter of Ray Wolfe, becoming president and former Jerusalem Report, National Post and Maclean's journalist Yoni Goldstein becoming the newspaper's editor.[18] Goldstein subsequently introduced a more diverse range of contributors to the newspaper.[19] The content of the newly revamped paper was described as "racier" and was more reliant on freelancers.[20][7]

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.[20]

The paper announced that it would cease publication with its 9 April 2020 issue, with its final circulation estimated at 32,000. It had suffered from financial shortfalls for years, which were exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Canada on its finances.[21] CJN president Elizabeth Wolfe stated that "The CJN suffered from a pre-existing condition and has been felled by COVID-19."[6]

Revival in digital form[edit]

A new publication, The Canadian Jewish Record, began publishing online following the cessation of CJN with Bernie Farber as publisher and longtime CJN contributor Ron Csillag as editor. It was written and edited on a volunteer basis and was intended as a stop gap measure until CJN could reorganize itself.[22][23]

In May 2021, The CJN resumed publication once again, for the first time without a physical weekly newspaper.[24] Instead, it returned at a new website, thecjn.ca,[25] which resumed its reporting tradition. In addition, a new email newsletter was created, as well as several weekly podcasts, including The CJN Daily, a daily newscast hosted by Ellin Bessner, author of Double Threat;[26] Bonjour Chai, hosted by Rabbi Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy, a columnist with The Globe and Mail and the author of The Perils of "Privilege";[27] Menschwarmers, about Jews and sports;[28] Culturally Jewish, about Canadian Jewish arts and culture, hosted by actors Ilana Zackon and David Sklar;[29] Not That Kind of Rabbi, hosted by CBC veteran Ralph Benmergui;[30] and Rivkush, about Jews of colour, hosted by Rivka Campbell.[31][32] Longtime editor Yoni Goldstein stepped down and was replaced by CEO Michael Weisdorf.[33]

In March 2021, The CJN printed its first magazine for past subscribers, which has since continued as a quarterly.[34]

In 2023, The CJN began hosting live podcast tapings across Toronto. Initial guests included actress Jennifer Podemski[35] and sports broadcaster Michael Landsberg.[36]


Notable contributors to the newspaper have included Jacob Elbaz and J. B. Salsberg, who was a featured columnist in the newspaper for several decades until his death in 1998; and Rabbi Gunther Plaut, who contributed a weekly column for many years.[37] In its final print years, Bernie Farber and Barbara Kay were weekly columnists.[7]

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.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d American Jewish Committee, R.R.S.D.S. (1995). American Jewish Year Book, 1996. American Jewish Committee. p. 547. ISBN 9780874951103. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Ladurantaye, Steve (April 22, 2013). "Canadian Jewish News to stop publishing weekly". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Encel, S.; Stein, L. (2003). Continuity, Commitment, and Survival: Jewish Communities in the Diaspora. Praeger. p. 33. ISBN 9780275973377. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Teelucksingh, C. (2006). Claiming Space: Racialization in Canadian Cities. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780889204997. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Universitat Tel-Aviv. Fakultah le-mada’e ha-ruah; Bnai Brith. Anti-defamation League. "Anti-Semitism World Wide". Anti-Semitism Worldwide. Ramot Publishing.: 205. ISSN 0793-1840. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Wolfe, Elizabeth (April 2, 2020). "TO OUR READERS: EVERYTHING HAS ITS SEASON. IT IS TIME". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Kline, Jesse (April 2, 2020). "Another COVID-19 casualty: After 60 years, the Canadian Jewish News will cease operations". National Post. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Farber, Bernie (23 December 2020). "A Note from the Publisher: The Bridge is Now Completed". The Canadian Jewish Record. Archived from the original on 31 August 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Bryan Borzykowski". LinkedIn. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Houpt, Simon (April 23, 2013). "Born in adversity, Canadian Jewish News succumbs to the Internet". Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "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" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Ryerson Review of Journalism, Spring 2005
  13. ^ a b "The CJN to close | The Canadian Jewish News". cjnews.com. 22 April 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Csillag, Ron (April 22, 2013). "Canadian Jewish News to halt publication". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "The Canadian Jewish News is shutting down, citing changes 'sweeping' newspaper industry"[permanent dead link], ‘’National Post’’, April 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "We will do it. Please join us!". Canadian Jewish News. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  17. ^ Elizabeth Wolfe, "Call to Action," Canadian Jewish News, Aug. 1, 2013.
  18. ^ "CJN selects new president, names editor". Canadian Jewish News. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Martin, Patrick (16 October 2015). "Canada's Jewish community divided over which party should be elected". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  20. ^ a b Maltz, Judy (2016-02-08). "How Canada's Last Jewish Newspaper Came Back From the Brink". Haaretz. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  21. ^ Lazarus, David. "After 60 years, Canada's leading Jewish newspaper to close due to virus crisis". Times of Israel. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Canada welcomes two new Jewish outlets, but COVID-19 has media on life support". The Times of Israel. May 26, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2024.
  23. ^ "A Note from the Publisher: The Bridge is Now Completed". Canadian Jewish Record. December 23, 2020. Retrieved June 28, 2024.
  24. ^ "The Many Lives of The Canadian Jewish News". Ryerson Review of Journalism. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  25. ^ "The CJN". Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  26. ^ "The CJN Daily". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  27. ^ "Bonjour Chai". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Menschwarmers". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  29. ^ "Culturally Jewish". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  30. ^ "Not That Kind of Rabbi". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  31. ^ "Rivkush". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  32. ^ "The CJN Podcast Network". Twitter. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  33. ^ "The Canadian Jewish News welcomed a new CEO to start 2024: Michael Weisdorf". The Canadian Jewish News. 2024-01-25. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  34. ^ "The CJN Magazine". Issuu. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  35. ^ "How Jennifer Podemski blends Jewish and Indigenous generational trauma in her new TV show 'Little Bird'". The Canadian Jewish News. 2023-06-26. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  36. ^ "How Michael Landsberg blazed a trail for Jewish broadcasters—and quietly struggled along the way". The Canadian Jewish News. 2023-08-30. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  37. ^ "Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut: much more than a spiritual leader". The Canadian Jewish News. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  38. ^ "Perspectives". The Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 2023-09-15.

External links[edit]