The Canadian Jewish News welcomed a new CEO to start 2024: Michael Weisdorf

Michael Weisdorf, a third-generation Canadian with a background in consulting, business development and partnership marketing in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, started 2024 with a new position: CEO of The Canadian Jewish News.

For the past three years, the role belonged to Yoni Goldstein, who also wrapped up a full decade in the role of editor-in-chief in December 2023.

During this period, the publication transformed from a weekly newspaper to a digital-first national media outlet with a website, podcast network, and quarterly magazine.

Like all major Jewish information sources, The CJN has turned much of its recent attention to the aftermath of the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel and the ensuing war, with a largely exclusive focus on how it impacts Canadians at home and away.

Weisdorf, 47, who graduated with a master of business administration from the University of British Columbia in 2003–after receiving his bachelor of arts from York University–is well positioned to lead The CJN, and ready for the challenge of building further upon the new level of engagement.

“By delivering meaningful and informative content with the highest of journalistic standards, The CJN continues to be a beacon by giving a voice to Jewish Canadians,” says Weisdorf. “The wave of antisemitism stoked by the events of Oct. 7 has also given these issues greater resonance than any prior point in the publication’s 64-year-history.” 

Along with frequent news coverage, the continued commitment to connecting our communities also involves conversations and commentary. The stories span the diversity of Jewish tradition and religion, identity and intersections, and debates about where the culture is heading.

 “The legacy audience will continue receiving what we do in all of our established formats,” says Weisdorf. “But we hope to develop even more unique and varied approaches aimed at expanding its appeal with the next generation of readers, listeners and influencers.”

In addition to The CJN Daily with veteran journalist Ellin Bessner, the podcast network includes the irreverent opinion show Bonjour Chai with Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy, and additional podcast series dedicated to sports, arts, spirituality and Jews of Colour. 

Digital news coverage directed by long-time editor Lila Sarick involves a growing team of contributors from across Canada. The quarterly magazine—which has proven a popular platform with both donors and advertisers—will publish spring and summer editions before being relaunched with a brand identity of its own in fall 2024.

“I’m excited to have Michael lead The CJN into the future,” says Bryan Borzykowski, president of the board of directors since the relaunch in 2021. “His extensive experience in business development will help us launch new editorial products to reach new audiences and offer more opportunities to support the brand. 

“Michael also has a strong understanding of Jewish issues, along with his strategic mind.”

For the past five years, Weisdorf worked as the director of sponsorship and business development for the Institute of Corporate Directors, and was previously the vice-president of corporate partnerships for the American Marketing Association’s chapter in Toronto.

“We look forward to his leadership to guide The CJN as it continues along the path of evolution,” adds board member Elizabeth Wolfe. “We’re also grateful for Yoni Goldstein’s dedication through 10 years of service, which concluded with a smooth transition to the next iteration.” 

The Canadian Jewish News recently completed its first full calendar year as a registered journalism organization with the Canada Revenue Agency, during which time 1,877 individual tax-deductible donations were received. 

This foundation of audience support has supplied the confidence to further expand operations in 2024, allowing the Jewish community in this country to boast of a self-sustaining media voice with global reach, uniquely independent of any other organization. 

Michael Weisdorf can be reached at [email protected].