How do you balance being modern with being Orthodox?

This is part four of a five-part podcast miniseries by The CJN, called Won’t You Be My Rabbi? To hear all five right now, visit

There are so many ways to be a modern Orthodox Jew, we decided to cover it twice in this miniseries.

While Rabbi Rachel Kohl Finegold, in a previous episode, represented a more liberal strain, Ellie Bass, director of the Jewish Family Institute in Toronto, better emphasizes the “Orthodox” part of modern Orthodoxy. And if anyone can explain the appeal to a thirtysomething comedian living in downtown Toronto, it’s Bass, who grew up in the city and went to arts school before converting to Orthodox Judaism.

Can she explain the appeal to podcast host Laura Leibow? Lisen above and hear the full series at