Can North Bay’s decimated Jewish community make a post-pandemic comeback?

Sons of Jacob Synagogue in North Bay lies mostly unused these days. (Google Maps screenshot)

When Belle Kizell moved to North Bay in 1973, she says, the Jewish community comprised at least 40 engaged families. Women belonged to Hadassah and kids went to Hebrew school. By 2015, they couldn’t even form a minyan for the high holidays.

The story of what happened is a familiar one for listeners of Yehupetzville, The CJN’s podcast about Canada’s small-town Jews. Shrinking industries led to a population decline, young Jews moving away in search of big-city opportunities. But Kizell is optimistic. With remote work on the rise and North Bay’s average house listing still under $300,000, southerners are flocking north in search of a more affordable, more comfortable life. Will it help the city’s few remaining Jews?

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Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network—find more great Jewish podcasts at