Ralph Benmergui

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Raphael "Ralph" Benmergui (born 1955) is a Canadian television and radio personality, a writer, an ordained spiritual director, and a strategic advisor in political, environmental, and academic realms.[1][2][3][failed verification]

Early life and education[edit]

Born to a Sephardi Jewish[4] family in Tangier, Morocco,[5] and raised in Toronto, Benmergui studied journalism at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, where he was news director and program producer at the university's radio station, CKLN-FM.


While still at Ryerson, the CBC offered Benmergui a research job in Winnipeg. From there, he went on to produce current affairs documentaries and was named host of Night Lines, a late-night music show on CBC Stereo. Back in Toronto, Benmergui hosted Prime Time, a nightly one-hour entertainment program on CBC Radio, and its weekend sister program The Entertainers. He later moved on to co-host CBC Television's Midday with Valerie Pringle, and also later hosted the variety show Friday Night! with Ralph Benmergui and the talk show Benmergui Live.

He has won a prestigious Japan Prize for Best International Youth Programming, a Yorkton Film Festival prize for Best Youth Programming, and has been the recipient of five Gemini Award nominations.[6]

Benmergui produced Stuart McLean's Christmas special and the children's quiz show SmartAsk for CBC television, and for Vision TV he produced five episodes of a series called Seekers, chronicling the experience of five people on journey to find their spirituality, and Ralph Benmergui: My Israel, taking a critical and bipartisan look at the issues and landscape of Israel.[7] He has also hosted three specials, entitled Seriously Funny in Canada and Punchlines in the Sand in the US, where three comics comment on and explore serious issues of the day through comedy.

In 2009, Benmergui joined the Green Party of Canada as a strategic communications advisor.[8] He has since worked as a strategic advisor at different political, environmental, media, business, and academic organizations and boards. He continues to periodically work in media. He is writing a book about ageing and sageing, and he leads workshops and counsels others on this topic.[citation needed]

In 2021, Benmergui started a podcast for The Canadian Jewish News called Yehupetzville about Jews living in small towns across the country. [9]

Personal life[edit]

Benmergui is married to Cortney Pasternak, a registered psychotherapist, educator, and former television journalist.[4] He is the father of four and the grandfather of two.


  1. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (3 September 2016). "'It's like I entered the twilight zone:' Toronto couple thought they were being punked when they moved to Hamilton". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Ralph Benmergui leaves radio for politics". The Globe and Mail. November 26, 2010. Retrieved 2021-12-11.
  3. ^ "No fresh faces in new Ontario cabinet". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Shabbat goes universal" Archived 2014-12-13 at the Wayback Machine. Jewish Tribune, April 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Dorothy Lichtblau (1998). "Benmergui a man of many talents". The Canadian Jewish News. Archived from the original on 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2006-03-15.
  6. ^ "Broadcasting Vet Ralph Benmergui Returns to CBC Renewed". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  7. ^ "My Israel Show Website entry". Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  8. ^ "Strategic Communications Advisor for the Green Party of Canada - Ralph Benmergui". 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  9. ^ "Yehupetzville, episode 1: "What's it like being Jewish in Moncton?"". Retrieved 4 May 2021.