By Lidia Abraha and Michal Stein
The Jewish media landscape in Canada was once a thriving, robust space. In the period up to World War II, that space was dominated by Yiddish publications. But in the decades that followed, Jewish media in Canada has dwindled to one major newspaper, the Canadian Jewish News (which nearly folded in 2013), and a handful of small local papers.
While a cursory glance at Jewish media in the United States shows off an abundance of Jewish media outlets, they, too, are struggling. Just last week, the Forward —a 121-year-old Jewish American publication— announced that it is folding its print edition and moving to digital only. This not only marks a huge shift for the paper, but the news was accompanied by layoffs as well. (It’s been a brutal week for layoffs in the U.S.)
This week, we tried to figure out why the Jewish media in Canada is so small despite an active and engaged population of over 300,000. We didn’t come to any concrete conclusions, but in this episode you’ll learn a whole lot more about the history, legacy and possible futures of Jewish media in Canada.
Pull Quotes is produced by Michal Stein and Lidia Abraha. This episode was also produced by Hannah Ziegler. Sonya Fatah is the Executive Producer of Pull Quotes. Thanks to Angela Glover and Lindsay Hanna for technical support.
Ken Goldstein is a Winnipeg-based media economist and historian.
Tema Smith is the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto and a freelance writer.
Yoni Goldstein is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Jewish News.
Dr. Rebecca Margolis is an associate professor in the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program at the University of Ottawa.
Bernie Bellan is the publisher and editor of the Jewish Post and News in Winnipeg.
David Zinman is the co-host and producer of the Treyf Podcast, based in Montreal.