After 60 years, Canada’s leading Jewish newspaper to close due to virus crisis

Canadian Jewish News, established in 1960, shutters after years of financial woes brought to a head by pandemic, economic shutdown

The Canadian Jewish News posted a farewell statement on its website on April 3. (Screenshot via JTA)
The Canadian Jewish News posted a farewell statement on its website on April 3. (Screenshot via JTA)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Canada’s flagship national Jewish newspaper, the Canadian Jewish News, became a coronavirus casualty after it announced that its April 9 issue would be its last after 60 years in business.

“Unfortunately, we too have become a victim of Covid-19,” president Elizabeth Wolfe said in an official statement Thursday on the Canadian Jewish News website. “Already struggling, we are not able to sustain the enterprise in an environment of almost complete economic shutdown.”

“There is no other paper. This was it,” Bernie Farber, the former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, told Canada’s National Post newspaper. “So, along with everything else that’s going on right now, this just adds another layer of sadness.”

Canadian Jewish News will cease both its print and online editions.

The weekly, launched January 1, 1960 under the editorship of Myer Nurenberger, fell victim to the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic after struggling to stay afloat since coming to the brink of closure once before, in 2013. It revived after a groundswell of community support.

At the time, the newspaper let go of about 50 staffers in Montreal and Toronto and relaunched with new editorial leadership, a fresh look and layout, and a trendier variety of content. But losses continued to mount and the paper succumbed to the economic woes brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, said Wolfe. (Wolfe is a member of the board of directors of 70 Faces Media, JTA’s parent company.)

The staff was informed of the newspaper’s demise via video-conference call. Its circulation at its demise was about 32,000.

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