233 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

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

    Despite shattered goodwill, El Al could return to Toronto next spring, expert predicts

    Despite shattered goodwill, El Al could return to Toronto next spring, expert predicts

    El Al customers received emails this week confirming what we reported earlier: Israel's flagship carrier is halting direct service between Tel Aviv and Toronto this fall. According to the airline, it's readjusting its schedule to handle demand after COVID-19 threw the entire travel industry into turmoil.

    But this may not be the end of El Al in Canada. Fred Lazar is an aviation expert who teaches at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. He has some insight into why El Al made the decision, what it means for Israeli-bound ticket fares on Air Canada (spoiler: they'll likely go up 10 to 20%), and why he believes El Al's executives will realize their error—and return next spring.

    None of that, however, helps those who relied on El Al for trips to the Holy Land. On today's episode, you'll also hear from affected travellers about why they preferred to fly with El Al and how this abrupt ending has thrown their travel plans into disarray.

    What we talked about:


    Read The CJN's coverage of El Al closing shop in Canada
    See the full list of the Order of Canada
    Listen to our interview with the Canadian manager and players of Israel’s national women's hockey team

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 13 min
    Ellis Jacob, CEO of Cineplex, is banking on blockbusters to recover from COVID and inflation

    Ellis Jacob, CEO of Cineplex, is banking on blockbusters to recover from COVID and inflation

    After two years of lockdowns, Canadians are starting to head back to movie theatres with increasing frequency. For Ellis Jacob, the CEO of Cineplex, Canada's largest theatre chain, that means coming up with new ways to lure audiences into his 170 brick-and-mortar cinemas around the country.

    It's a challenge he's been tackling since he became president and CEO of Cineplex Galaxy back in 2003. But with streaming services now dominating the industry and some moviegoers wary of catching COVID, the battle is significantly harder. Cineplex lost $42 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2022—half of what it lost in Q1 2021, but still not ideal. To compensate, the corporation recently announced it would be adding a $1.50 surcharge to every ticket ordered online—but that caused a backlash, with many pointing out the irony that a digital ticket should cost more than a paper one.

    On today's episode of The CJN Daily, Jacob joins to lay out his plan for survival—and even growth—during one of the most precarious points in Canadian moviegoing history.

    What we talked about:


    Read The CJN's tribute to Frieda Wertman

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 15 min
    Roman Baber is the Jewish political maverick hoping to lead the Conservative party—and all of Canada

    Roman Baber is the Jewish political maverick hoping to lead the Conservative party—and all of Canada

    In January 2021, Roman Baber—then a rookie Progressive Conservative MPP—was booted from caucus by Doug Ford after opposing his government's COVID-19 vaccine mandates and provincial lockdowns.

    Fast-forward just over a year, and Baber, who continued to sit as an independent in Ontario's legislature after that ejection, announced he would seek the leadership of the federal Conservative party. He's something of a maverick candidate. He staunchly opposes vaccine mandates, supports the trucker convoy and is one of the few Conservative politicians speaking out against Canada's strict supply management of dairy products. If elected party leader—and ultimately prime minister—he would scrap the carbon tax; fire the chief public health officer, Theresa Tam; and be the first Jewish prime minister in the country's history.

    In this wide-reaching interview, Baber discusses his concerns over Canada's economy, his immigrant journey moving from the former Soviet Union to Israel before settling in Canada, and whether he's afraid of suffering the same kind of antisemitism that brought down Green leader Annamie Paul.

    What we talked about:


    Visit Roman Baber's website
    Read The CJN's coverage of Baber's Conservative leadership announcement
    Read the press release about Michael Levitt meeting the Pope

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 19 min
    The CJN Daily Dead Beat, Part Deux

    The CJN Daily Dead Beat, Part Deux

    Joseph Segal, a billionaire businessman and real estate magnate; Louise Glatt, an Ottawa-based musician and entrepreneur; Shirley Granovsky, a philanthropist in Toronto; broadcast veteran Arthur Weinthal; and Yehudi Lindeman, a Holocaust survivor who became a documentarian of his fellow survivors' stories in Montreal.

    These are some of the most notable Canadian Jews to pass away in the last few months. And to explain their impact, we're joined by The CJN's reporter emeritus, Ron Csillag, who joins for the second edition of The CJN Daily Dead Beat, a roundup of honourable mentions to some honourable menschen and women whom our community recently lost.

    Plus, Ron explains why the name "Dead Beat" isn't meant to be offensive—just a bit of journalistic jargon dating back decades in the industry.

    What we talked about:


    Read Joseph Segal's obituary
    Read Shirley Granovsky's obituary
    Read Yehudi Lindeman's obituary
    Listen to the first edition of The CJN Daily Dead Beat

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 18 min
    Canadian Jewish community stunned by El Al's decision to cease its Toronto route

    Canadian Jewish community stunned by El Al's decision to cease its Toronto route

    Yesterday, The CJN confirmed that El Al, Israel's largest airline, will stop servicing Canada directly by the end of October 2022. The company will stop flying out of Toronto after the high holidays following a half-century of operations in the country.

    Many in the Canadian Jewish community were stunned, shocked and saddened by the abrupt announcement. But one man isn't letting the airline go without a fight: Asaf Halperin, a financial advisor in Toronto who launched a petition to keep El Al in Canada. His petition has racked up more than 2,000 signatures quickly, with many supporters citing security protocols, kosher food options and support for Israel as main reasons for preferring El Al to Air Canada, the only other carrier that flies directly from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

    Halperin joins to explain why he launched this petition and what the airline means to him personally. Plus, you'll hear from Gal Hana, the the Israeli diplomat in charge of promoting Israeli tourism in Canada, who says even he was surprised by El Al's decision.

    What we talked about:


    Sign Halperin's petition, "Keep El Al in Canada"
    Listen to The CJN Daily episode from June 2021, "El Al is flying to Toronto again, but are Canadians ready to travel?"

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 12 min
    After 2 years of lockdowns, Ottawa’s Jewish community threw one giant party for 115 b’nai mitzvah

    After 2 years of lockdowns, Ottawa’s Jewish community threw one giant party for 115 b’nai mitzvah

    Last Sunday, 115 teenagers in Ottawa celebrated their b’nai mitzvah—together—in a long-awaited, pent-up party after pandemic postponements. The celebrants got to enjoy all the trimmings a pre-COVID simcha would have had, including a DJ, glow sticks, a photo booth and swag.

    The teens were part of a "COVID cohort" event put on by Kehillat Beth Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Ottawa, for Jewish kids from all across the city—not just their own members. The kids all had their individual coming-of-age ceremonies during the pandemic (either virtually or in virtually empty sanctuaries), making this past Sunday purely for the party.

    To hear about how it all went down, we're joined by organizer Ruta Fluxgold; the shul's cantor, Jason Green; 14-year-old Alivia Greenberg and her mother, Melanie Itzkovitch; 13-year-old Ravi Wolfish; Michal Jacob and her daughter, Ella Fletcher; teen Jordan Secter; and synagogue board member David Lyman.

    What we talked about:


    Visit Kehillat Beth Israel's website at kehillatbethisrael.com
    Watch Volodymyr Zelensky's speech to Canadian university students at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy's YouTube channel

    Credits

    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. We're a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.

    • 15 min

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