95 episodes

Spiritual journeys, discussions and lessons from award-winning broadcaster Ralph Benmergui. Every two weeks, join Ralph and his insightful guests for an in-depth sit-down conversation about the unseen problems affecting our world. 

Not That Kind of Rabbi The CJN Podcast Network

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 32 Ratings

Spiritual journeys, discussions and lessons from award-winning broadcaster Ralph Benmergui. Every two weeks, join Ralph and his insightful guests for an in-depth sit-down conversation about the unseen problems affecting our world. 

    Jews were once embraced by progressive activists. Did Oct. 7 permanently change that?

    Jews were once embraced by progressive activists. Did Oct. 7 permanently change that?

    Bernie Farber helped create the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) in 2018, and sat as its founding chair until shortly after Oct. 7, 2023. The organization—which investigates, publicizes and works with journalists to report on hateful far-right extremist groups—was infamously silent in the weeks following the Hamas slaughter and kidnapping of 1,200 people in Israel, which sparked waves of antisemitic acts across Canada. It was around that time that Farber quietly stepped down as chair. Amid the tension and silence, many wondered how correlated the two events were.

    Now, in a candid conversation with his old friend (and fellow progressive Jew) Ralph Benmergui on Not That Kind of Rabbi, Farber opens up about the real reason why he left CAHN. Further on, he reflects on decades of work educating non-Jewish communities about antisemitism and traces how progressive Jews and Zionists—once embraced and even looked up to by other minority and community organizations—came to be challenged and excluded from left-wing circles.

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 27 min
    Canada's last remaining faith reporter reflects the past, and future, of religion

    Canada's last remaining faith reporter reflects the past, and future, of religion

    In 2018, at a time when the faith beat in Canadian newspapers was steadily declining, John Longhurst made an unusual deal with the publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press. He wanted to help expand the paper's audience by reporting on religion, particularly within local communities: Mennonite, Indigenous, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, whomever. The publisher thought it was a nice idea, but how would they get the money?

    For Longhurst, the answer wasn't difficult. He went out and fundraised it.

    Since then, after every other faith reporter in the country has retired, been fired or passed away, Longhurst—who is also a Winnipeg correspondent for The CJN—has found himself the last man standing in his field, his career kept afloat by annual crowdfunding campaigns. And on June 12, he is launching his new book, Can Robots Love God and Be Saved?, a collection of articles and essays he's written during his decades covering religion.

    Longhurst joins Ralph Benmergui, himself a spiritual director, for a zoomed-out conversation about the state of religion in Canada today: what's changed over recent decades, what the data shows and how reporting on religion has evolved.

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 30 min
    Rabbi Beni Wajnberg explains why you should never pay synagogue dues

    Rabbi Beni Wajnberg explains why you should never pay synagogue dues

    Rabbi Beni Wajnberg has worked in Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, New York, Tennessee, California, Montana and beyond. When it came down to settle down with his family and put down roots, he chose Hamilton, Ont., where he's now the spiritual leader at Beth Jacob Synagogue.

    Throughout his travels, he's found that one thing connects all those far-flung places' Jewish communities: they're all Jews by choice. They take the time to invest in their community and actively live Jewish lifestyles. That, he says, is the difference between being a stakeholder in a synagogue, as opposed to simply paying dues and rarely going to shul. As he puts it: "Never pay dues."

    Rabbi Wajnberg joins Ralph Benmergui to share his own spiritual journey, the lessons he's learned and what God means to him on the latest episode of Not That Kind of Rabbi.

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 34 min
    Why writer Marsha Lederman, daughter of Holocaust survivors, feels 'less alone' on Yom HaShoah

    Why writer Marsha Lederman, daughter of Holocaust survivors, feels 'less alone' on Yom HaShoah

    Marsha Lederman is a catastrophizer. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the author and Globe and Mail columnist has gone through life worrying about everything that can go wrong, to the point that she wrote a book about things going wrong in her life. Kiss the Red Stairs, released August 2023, investigates the ramifications of intergenerational trauma as she navigates her own divorce while recalling her parents' stories of the Holocaust.

    For Yom HaShoah 2024, Lederman joins Ralph Benmergui on Not That Kind of Rabbi, a podcast about personal lives and spiritual journeys, to share her story and explain why this solemn day of commemoration is actually a day she feels embraced by her community.

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 36 min
    This Earth Day, pretend it's Shabbat—and take a break for the environment

    This Earth Day, pretend it's Shabbat—and take a break for the environment

    You may not think of keeping Shabbat as environmental activism—but Jonathan Schorsch does. The founder of the Green Sabbath Project is on a mission to tackle climate change by adapting the biblical Jewish practice into something universally good for our planet. After all, in the Venn diagram of environmentalism and observant Judaism, "Not driving one day a week" falls right in the middle.

    For Earth Day, Schorsch joins Not That Kind of Rabbi from his base in Berlin to explain his movement and pitch anyone who cares about environmentalism, Jewish and non-Jewish, on adopting the classical idea of Shabbat by simply relaxing every Saturday without technology, consumerism or an ecological footprint. As his organization puts it, "Make one day every week an Earth Day."

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 26 min
    Alan Zweig looks back on decades of filmmaking—and ahead to his pessimistic new podcast

    Alan Zweig looks back on decades of filmmaking—and ahead to his pessimistic new podcast

    Alan Zweig was on the road to becoming, like so many other midtown Toronto Jews, a lawyer. Instead, in his early 20s, he zigzagged off the course and wound up taking multiple lengthy trips to India, changing his perspective on life and work. He chose film school instead, propelling him into a decades-long documentary career that began all those years ago with semi-verité shorts made with his friends.

    One of those friends was Ralph Benmergui. Now, ages after they first met, the pair reconnects to reflect on their shared origin story, spiritual journeys across the world, impending mortality and the next stage in both their careers: podcasting. Zweig will host a new one on the Canadaland network called The Worst, while Benmergui of course hosts his longstanding program, Not That Kind of Rabbi, here at The CJN.

    Credits

    Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Geoelh ,

Lara Rae

I remember when they hosted the Summer Comedy Comedy Summary. Love them!

Mortonkelevspot ,

All

I have just started listening. I am really enjoying the relaxed and informal style. The interview with Michael Coren was particularly engaging.
Thank you

PrimeTtime ,

this is tough

Nice job Ralph!!!

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