543 episodes

A daily bite-sized newscast from The CJN, hosted by veteran broadcaster, writer and journalist Ellin Bessner.

The CJN Daily The CJN Podcast Network

    • News
    • 4.6 • 37 Ratings

A daily bite-sized newscast from The CJN, hosted by veteran broadcaster, writer and journalist Ellin Bessner.

    New B.C seniors advocate Dan Levitt flew to the U.N. to fight for the rights of Canada’s growing 65+ population

    New B.C seniors advocate Dan Levitt flew to the U.N. to fight for the rights of Canada’s growing 65+ population

    Show notes

    Seniors are in the spotlight this week as Canada and other countries are meeting at the United Nations to discuss ways to help the world’s billion people over the age of 60. And Dan Levitt is in the thick of it—the longtime nursing home administrator from Vancouver, who started as British Columbia’s official seniors advocate in April, flew down to New York to advocate for a binding international convention for seniors’ rights. The urgency is real: he predicts a “silver tsunami” has already started and Canada will have a full quarter of the population over the age of 65 within the next 10 to 20 years.
    Levitt has been in a unique spot in his provincial government. Since last month, he’s been bringing the concerns of B.C.’s million seniors and their caregivers directly to the ears of provincial politicians. And those concerns have been expansive. Canadian seniors are worried about the cost of living, housing, transportation, employment and even something that’s become his pet peeve: how so many birthday cards aimed at the silver-haired crowd are actually ageist.
    On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Levitt explains why he took the job and how it helps him fulfil the biblical commandments about honouring one’s parents.

    What we talked about:


    Read more about Dan Levitt, B.C.’s new seniors advocate
    How this 104-year-old Montreal super-senior stays engaged in life, on The CJN Daily
    Why Camp B’nai Brith in Montreal had trouble with a summer program for seniors, in 2020, in The CJN.

    Credits:

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.

    • 25 min
    The CJN’s Honourable Menschen: Remembering the politically embattled Patti Starr, referee Harry Davis and other late influential Canadian Jews

    The CJN’s Honourable Menschen: Remembering the politically embattled Patti Starr, referee Harry Davis and other late influential Canadian Jews

    The CJN Daily‘s Honourable Menschen is back, just ahead of Lag b’Omer on June 11, when tens of thousands of observant Jews traditionally make a pilgrimage to Israel’s Mt. Meron to visit the tomb of Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar.
    Ahead of the calendar anniversary, it felt important to shine a spotlight on the legacies left by these recently departed Canadian Jewish figures: Patricia “Patti” Starr, who rose to notoriety at the centre of one of Ontario’s biggest political scandals; Harry Davis, a boxer turned legendary boxing referee; Jack Prince, who caught the last boat out of Poland before the Holocaust and became a philanthropist in Israel and Canada; Alexander Eisen, a self-taught engineer and Holocaust survivor; Rabbi Dovid Schochet, who built the Chabad Lubabvitch community in Toronto; and Lita-Rose Betcherman, a women’s rights advocate and author who was told she shouldn’t pursue her PhD because she was a woman.
    The CJN’s retired reporter Ron Csillag joins to share his personal recollections of covering these trailblazing Canadians.

    What we talked about:


    Read more about author Lita-Rose Betcherman in The CJN
    Watch the video recording of Patricia Starr’s funeral
    Read The CJN’s obituaries of Toronto’s Chabad Lubavitch founder Rabbi Dovid Schochet, boxing referee Harry Davis, Halifax philanthropist Jack Prince, and Alexander Eisen

    Credits:
    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.

    • 28 min
    The 13-year old who hundreds walked to school in Toronto has no plans to change schools due to antisemitic bullying

    The 13-year old who hundreds walked to school in Toronto has no plans to change schools due to antisemitic bullying

    Eitan Cohen, 13, is determined to head back to class after the Victoria Day long weekend—despite months of being bullied, taunted, threatened and assaulted by a few fellow students in his school in Toronto, in the wake of Oct. 7.
    It came to a head on May 17, when hundreds of neighbours and friends came to walk Eitan to Faywood Arts-Based Curriculum School. It was a show of solidarity for the boy and his family. His parents—two Israeli doctors who came to Canada for specialized training—say they initially tried to enrol their four children in private Jewish schools while they were in Canada, but eventually decided to send them to public school so the kids could to learn about Canadian diversity.
    But after Oct. 7, they say they have been complaining in vain to Toronto school officials—and also to Toronto police—about the atmosphere of Jew-hatred impacting both Eitan and his younger brother Hillel, who also attended the same school. Toronto’s police confirm the hate crime unit is now actively investigating one incident from last week, alongside two other investigations that remain open.
    The Cohens are already making plans to return to Israel and Eitan could have switched to a Jewish religious school until the end of June. But he won't quit: if he leaves now, he says, it will mean open season for bullies to ramp up antisemitic attacks on other Jewish students who attend public schools in Toronto.
    On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Ellin Bessner sits down at the home of Eitan and his parents, Moshe Cohen and Adi Halberthal Cohen, to find out what safety plans are in place for this week—and why they went public with their struggles.

    What we talked about:


    Learn more about the Toronto Jewish community accompanying the Cohen family to school on Friday May 17, 2024, in The CJN.
    Read the Fredericton police news release about an arrest being made in the beating of an Israeli teenager on April 30.
    Read the back story on the Fredericton family’s antisemitism problems at their daughter Shaked’s school, in The CJN.

    Credits:

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.

    • 21 min
    An Israeli high schooler was beaten up in Fredericton. Her family believes it was a hate crime

    An Israeli high schooler was beaten up in Fredericton. Her family believes it was a hate crime

    On April 30, Shaked Tsurkan, a 14-year-old Israeli girl attending high school in New Brunswick, was followed and beaten up by an older student. It happened off school grounds during the lunch hour and other classmates gathered to watch—someone even filmed the whole thing on their phone, later posted to social media, where you can see Tsurkan getting jumped from behind, thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly.
    According to Shaked, her assailant is an older female Muslim student who also attends her school, Leo Hayes High School, in Fredericton. It appears the physical assault came after months of being targeted for being Israeli after she started Grade 9 in Sept. 2023, just weeks before the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack.
    The altercation left Tsurkan with cuts, bruises and black eyes. While the school declined to share details about the incident to protect the privacy of its students, Tsurkan says her assailant was suspended from school for a week; she also says when she returned to school, she was advised to use the teachers’ private washroom for her own safety, not to walk alone and to stay inside the building between classes.
    Tsurkan’s parents are frustrated, because they feel local authorities are ignoring the antisemitic overtones to their daughter’s beating. On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Shaked Tsurkan and her parents, Eli and Michal, share their side of the story, detailing how the war in the Middle East is playing out in their corner of Atlantic Canada.

    What we talked about:


    Learn more about the antisemitic vandalism that resulted in broken windows on the Fredericton synagogue early on Jan, 27, 2024, in The CJN.
    Read why Fredericton's Major Crimes Unit has been called in to investigate the case, in The CJN.
    Why Canadian Jewish students are feeling afraid in public school classrooms, after Oct. 7, in The CJN

    Credits:

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.

    • 20 min
    Yossi Klein Halevi on Israel at 76: ‘We are still an enormously powerful people’

    Yossi Klein Halevi on Israel at 76: ‘We are still an enormously powerful people’

    The respected Israeli journalist and author Yossi Klein Halevi is bringing his message of hope to Canada on May 14, 2024, to mark Israel’s 76th anniversary. Speaking at a synagogue in Toronto about the impact of Oct. 7 on Jewish history, Klein Halevi believes that, after Hamas’s attack seven months ago, Israel made the decision not be a victim. Instead, the Jewish state unleashed the country’s full military power in an existential fight against Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.
    Now, Klein Halevi—a scholar and podcaster with the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem—is urging Jews in the Diaspora to embrace their power and stand up for themselves, rather than live as victims, even if right now that seems daunting because of the surge in global antisemitism.
    Ahead of his speech, Yossi Klein Halevi joins The CJN Daily to explain how we should celebrate Israel’s 76th birthday: with a lot of grief, and also gratitude.

    What we talked about:


    Learn more about Yossi Klein Halevi’s previous stops in Canada, and this week’s public lecture
    If you missed our episode profiling student Sofia Meiha Perfiliev and the other Ontario students who won medals at the JewQ contest, catch it on The CJN Daily.
    Read more about the origins of the GaGa ball game.

    Credits:

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.
    Read transcript

    • 29 min
    ‘Nobody can go through those tunnels and come back the same person’: IDF veterans speak on Yom ha-Zikaron

    ‘Nobody can go through those tunnels and come back the same person’: IDF veterans speak on Yom ha-Zikaron

    As Israel and Jewish communities around the world mark Yom ha-Zikaron, the Israeli memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, some Toronto veterans of the Yom Kippur War are remembering the chaos and the fear they experienced during their own military service some 50 years ago. On Oct. 6, 1973, Israel fought Egyptian and Syrian forces after the Arab states launched surprise invasions during Israel’s solemn day of fasting.
    Henry Balaban, now 75, served with the Golani infantry brigade in the north, where Syrian soldiers swarmed into the Golan Heights. Yoram Shalmon, 72, served in a tank unit that was the first to cross the Suez Canal into Egypt under General Ariel Sharon. His wife, Rachel Shalmon, served in intelligence.
    Since Oct. 7, the veterans have been anxiously following developments in this latest war—the longest in Israel’s modern history. While the 1973 war resulted in the deaths of 2,656 IDF soldiers in just two and a half weeks—triple the IDF’s current losses of more than 700 casualties since Oct. 7—these veterans also worry about the long-term psychological cost for those young men now fighting inside the Hamas tunnels in Gaza.
    On today’s special Yom ha-Zikaron episode of The CJN Daily, the veterans offer a fascinating and in-depth perspective on what it’s like to lose your friends and suffer through the fog of war.

    What we talked about:


    Browse the new memorial website by the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel listing all 425 Canadians and Americans who were ever killed defending Israel, or in terrorist attacks, including since Oct. 7
    Learn more about ERAN, the 24-hour mental health hotline for Israelis that Toronto IDF veteran Yoram Shalom volunteers
    Watch the 2024 memorial service in Israel for North Americans killed in battle, on the AACI Facebook channel

    Credits:

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.
    Read transcript

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

LisaLev1981 ,

The best!

Amazing podcast with important information delivered in a clear and factual way.

OT in TO ,

Relevant updates

Appreciate the relevance of the topics to current event impacting the Jewish community & world at large in this concise format.

MF432 ,

Very professionally done

Ellin is an excellent host, very brisk and asks concise questions. Good qualities for a daily newscast. I appreciate the depth in which she goes into every topic. Mazel tov!

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