34 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

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

    Canada’s Oldest Person: Cecile Klein marks 114 years

    Canada’s Oldest Person: Cecile Klein marks 114 years

    How does someone live to celebrate their 114th birthday? On today's episode, Ellin poses the question to Cecile Klein, Canada's oldest person. She tells us her secret to longevity: staying active, doing things for yourself, eating steaks (because you still have all your own teeth) and hopping on a cruise to Mexico at the young age of 103.

    Klein lived on her own, in her own house in Montreal’s Snowdon area, until she was 110, in 2017. Unfortunately, she suffered a fall that year, which landed her in Montreal’s main Jewish nursing home, the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre, where she's lived ever since.

    The pandemic has been particularly hard for the nursing home: at least 60 residents died and the government called in the Armed Forces to help. Klein was lucky not to get sick, but she remained isolated for much of 2020. When she celebrated her 114th birthday last week, while her fellow residents could gather outside with her, only four family members were allowed to visit in her room.

    Klein joins us today right after her birthday party, along with her 85-year-old daughter; her grandson, Arthur Nussbam; and Arthur's sister, Elaine Nussbaum.

    What we talked about:


    Watch video of Klein's birthday party on The CJN's YouTube page
    See photos from the event on Côte-Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein's Facebook page

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 9 min
    Meet the Jewish artist painting Holocaust and residential school survivors

    Meet the Jewish artist painting Holocaust and residential school survivors

    Robbie Waisman is a well-known speaker on Holocaust education. When he was 11, he was forced to worked in a munitions factory in Poland; by 14 he was sent to Buchenwald, where he was grouped in the same cohort of teenagers as Elie Weisel. His parents and four brothers were killed in the Holocaust.

    Eugene Arcand, meanwhile, is now an official with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and also speaks widely about his experiences as a forced Indian residential school student in Saskatchewan for 11 years.

    For a few years now, Waisman and Arcand have been joining forces to speak together at schools and various events. They both took part in a new art show that exhibits 18 portraits of survivors: nine from the Holocaust, nine from Indian residential schools. The artist who painted them, Carol Wylie, is Jewish herself—she got the idea after hearing a survivor in Toronto, Nate Leipciger, speak five years ago at her synagogue in Saskatoon.

    Now she hopes people who see her show will be moved to learn more about both genocides, while also inspiring Jewish people to help residential school survivors heal. To commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day, Wylie joins Ellin Bessner on The CJN Daily to discuss her project and the stories she heard.

    What we talked about:


    See Carol's website at carolwylie.ca
    View the project at carolwylie.ca/they-didnt-know-we-were-seeds
    Read about National Indigenous Peoples Day on rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 13 min
    Why are so many Canadian rabbis leaving their jobs this year?

    Why are so many Canadian rabbis leaving their jobs this year?

    In the past year, an unusual number of Canadian rabbis have changed jobs, even while COVID restrictions make job interviews difficult. Rabbis across the country have left their synagogues, either to change things up or for personal reasons. Some came as a surprise, like Matthew Leibl in Winnipeg, who announced his resignation in April; others left to pursue other projects, like Yossi Sapirman of Toronto.

    What is it like for a rabbi to change positions? How easy is it for them to move? In today's episode, Rabbi Lionel Moses, a veteran Canadian rabbi who ran the matching system between rabbis and synagogues for the Conservative Jewish community in North America, says it’s a lot like dating—and mourning. And this year hasn't made it any easier.

    What we talked about:


    "'Rabbi Yossi' now heads outreach group he founded" (thecjn.ca)
    "Leaving one home for another" (about Rabbi Don Pacht, at jewishindependent.ca)
    "Rabbi Chaim Strauchler To Take the Helm at Rinat" at jewishlink.news
    "Meet Rabbi Aubrey Glazer" (mauijews.org)
    "Rabbi Matthew Leibl leaving position" (szwinnipeg.ca)
    Sign up for The CJN's newsletter at mailchi.mp/thecjn/newsletter

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 12 min
    Israel’s new leader has a Canadian connection—and plenty of challenges

    Israel’s new leader has a Canadian connection—and plenty of challenges

    This week, Israel got its first new prime minister in over a decade: Naftali Bennett, an Orthodox right-wing politician, formed an unlikely governing coalition with centrist and left-wing parties, as well as the United Arab List.

    Bennett, who spent some formative years living in Montreal as a young child, has staunch positions on controversial domestic issues. He supports settlements in the West Bank, rejects the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran and opposes a two-state solution with Palestine.

    Keeping an eye on all this movement, from his home in Jerusalem, is Canadian professor Irwin Cotler. On today's episode, the former Liberal MP and human rights lawyer describes Israel's current political climate, and what Bennett's election could mean for Canada.

    What we talked about:


    Read: "How attending preschool in Montreal helped define Naftali Bennett" (thecjn.ca)
    See Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement on Bennett's election at the government of Canada's website
    Watch Ellin's full interview with Irwin Cotler on YouTube

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 13 min
    Coping with loss and optimism: One Chabad rabbi's reflections on COVID

    Coping with loss and optimism: One Chabad rabbi's reflections on COVID

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, died on June 13, 1994. Each year, to commemorate his death, his Chabad followers visit Scheerson’s gravesite outside New York—it's known as the Ohel—where they leave letters and prayer notes for him. This year, a large celebration features guest speaker Elie Wiesel’s son, Elisha, and a musical performance by Itzhak Perlman.

    One prominent Canadian Chabad leader yearned to go. But due to COVID restrictions, Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of the Thornhill Flamingo congregation spent the day on this side of the border, teaching and spreading his beloved rebbe’s wisdom—virtually, on YouTube.

    Rabbi Kaplan joins today to talk about how the myriad ways the pandemic has affected him and his congregants, including how he and his family caught COVID last year, and how he turns to the Rebbe's words for inspiration in what will soon be a post-pandemic world.

    What we talked about:


    Watch a live stream of the Chabad event at chabad.org
    Visit Rabbi Kaplan's congregation at chabadflamingo.com

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 11 min
    Irwin Cotler: Canada needs action, not words, to combat anti-Semitism

    Irwin Cotler: Canada needs action, not words, to combat anti-Semitism

    Canadian Jewish groups have been pushing the federal government for weeks to create a national emergency summit on anti-Semitism. The calls follow spikes in angry anti-Israel protests around the country in the wake of the latest violent flare-ups in the Middle East, as well as an outpouring of online hatred that extends beyond anti-Zionism and into anti-Semitism.

    Late last Friday afternoon, Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, confirmed that Canada will in fact hold a national summit on hatred against Jews. At the helm will be Irwin Cotler, the distinguished Canadian Jewish human rights lawyer and advocate, who says he has been working for some time on what such a summit might look like.

    Now his project has been greenlit. What comes next? What subjects will it tackle? And who will attend?

    To answer these questions, Cotler joins The CJN Daily in part one of an exclusive two-part interview. Our second episode, in which Cotler discusses the new Israeli government and its implications for Canada, will air later this week.

    What we talked about:


    Read: "Canada to hold an emergency summit on anti-Semitism" (thecjn.ca)
    CIJA's press release: "CIJA welcomes Government of Canada decision to host Emergency Summit on Antisemitism" (cija.ca)

    The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.

    • 11 min

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