Greetings from Phoebe Maltz Bovy—a new senior editor at The Canadian Jewish News

Montreal 1920: An extroverted Jewish girl is born, the youngest of many children. She went to an elementary school where she learned about Jesus—but she didn’t learn French.

As an adult, she met a New Yorker on vacation and married him approximately five minutes later.

She moved to Brooklyn, where she would raise two daughters—my mother one of them—but never acquire American citizenship, because she preferred to remain Canadian.

Was she holding out hope of an eventual return? Baba never repatriated, but things have a way of coming full circle.

I’m not a pushcart peddler like my late grandmother’s father was. But I’ve emigrated to Canada just like he did.

I grew up in Manhattan, and I spent time residing in Chicago and Paris. But having moved to Toronto in 2015, I now live with my husband and two daughters in Roncesvalles Village—home of the recently renamed, then un-renamed, Roncesvalles Polish Festival—where my daughters and I might be the neighbourhood’s only Jews. (Prove me wrong!)

As a relative newcomer to Canada, who’s spent much of my time here home with small children—much of it during COVID lockdowns—I’m still getting my bearings, beyond having it together enough to have figured out that you need an unfathomably enormous winter coat.

I’m a fan of poodles, of riding the TTC, and of riding the TTC with a poodle during the hours when that’s permitted. In my spare time I watch British sitcom reruns and fall asleep. (See: small children.)

And now, to properly (professionally) introduce myself: My name is Phoebe Maltz Bovy and I’m honoured to be a new senior editor at The Canadian Jewish News.

I’m the author of a 2017 book of cultural criticism, The Perils of “Privilege”: Why Injustice Can’t Be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage—about a phenomenon now popularly known as wokeness

I’ve also worked in journalism as a writer, editor, and podcaster, and was once the Sisterhood blog section editor of The Forward, the now-digital newspaper based in New York, which was originally published in Yiddish. I’ve written for numerous outlets on both sides of the border, such as the Washington PostTablet and the Jewish Review of Books. And soon, I’ll be regularly contributing columns to the Globe and Mail. (And I was in one of the final editions of The CJN’s now-defunct weekly newspaper, writing about a Dreyfus Affair-themed restaurant in Toronto.)

Along with journalism, I have a background in academia, with a PhD in French and French Studies from New York University. I wrote my doctoral dissertation about French Jews and intermarriage—a research project that involved reading a whole lot of 1840s French-Jewish newspapers. So, my enthusiasm for the Jewish press spans borders and centuries.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that I am beyond delighted to be part of The CJN.

I’m interested finding the Jewish angle to everything. I’ll be writing about people of all ages, ethnicities, political persuasions, and observance levels—doing exciting things, in the community and beyond. History, controversy, cultural events, family life—it’s all fair game. And I also define “Canadian” and “Jewish” as broadly as possible. Do you put maple syrup on your matzo brei? Belt out Israeli rock songs while ice skating? I want to hear about it.

I look forward to hearing from you about the issues you care about and hope to see covered in new and different ways. Please reach out at pbovy[@], or @BovyMaltz on Twitter. And we’ll talk more soon.