J Talks presents Menschwarmers with Michael Landsberg

Tuesday, September 12 · 7 – 8:30pm EDT

Prosserman Jewish Community Centre 4588 Bathurst Street Toronto, ON M2R 1W6

Click here for tickets

Join veteran broadcaster Michael Landsberg for a live conversation with The CJN’s sports podcasters, the Menschwarmers. You’ll hear about the surprising intersections between Jews and sports, the deep connection between mental and physical health, and how outdated stereotypes about Jews remain pervasive in mainstream society—despite Jewish athletes thriving in every major sport.

Menschwarmers is the web’s only regular podcast covering Jews and sports. Now in our fourth season, we’ve interviewed notable Canadian Jewish sports figures, including NHL player Zach Hyman, Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum, Blue Jays rookie Spencer Horwitz and many others.

About Michael Landsberg

The phrase “off the record” connotes a hushed conversation, but TSN’s popular talk show of the same name was anything but secretive. Hosted by Michael Landsberg, the series—which recently ended after an 18-season run—was full of personality, humor, debate, sports commentary, pop culture, and big name personalities. On stage, Landsberg was a candid and funny host who didn’t shy away from taboos. He speaks openly about his personal battle with depression, and considers breaking the stigma around mental illness his life’s most important calling.

Michael is an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative raising awareness about mental health, and the founder of #SickNotWeak, a charity that reframes mental illness as a health issue, rather than a character flaw. The foundation serves as both a resource and community for people living with mental illness, and those who wish to support their loved ones. “I want people who suffer from depression to feel motivated to share and to get help without fear of being judged. And I want people who don’t suffer, but who will be touched by depression, to look at this as an illness and not a weakness and to create an environment where more people can share and not feel like they are being judged,” Landsberg explains. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Landsberg has extended his efforts with #SickNotWeak to create Isolation Nation: a digital program dedicated to mitigating the dangerous effects of social isolation on mental health. Now he wants to bring the message of hope to associations and companies across the country with Isolation Nation Two-Point-Oh!

In his documentary Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports, and Me, Landsberg opened up about his own struggles with depression, as well as interviewing famous guests about their own battles. Olympian Clara Hughes, two-time Stanley Cup champion Stéphane Richer, and four-time World Series winner Darryl Strawberry all appeared in the film. Darkness and Hope was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, and Landsberg was personally honored with the organization’s Humanitarian Award. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health also named Landsberg one of its Champions of Mental Health.

One of the best-known personalities in Canadian broadcasting, Landsberg has been with TSN since the network’s inception. He hosted Off the Record from its debut in 1997 to its finale in 2015 and is currently the co-host of TSN’s First Up. Twice nominated for the Gemini Award for Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast, Landsberg was the Whistler Host for Olympic Daytime on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he anchored TSN’s Olympic Daytime.

J Talks is a series of dynamic interviews with our partner and podcasting experts, the Canadian Jewish News. Get tickets here.