Goldie Morgentaler: Keeping Yiddishkeit alive in Lethbridge

Goldie Morgentaler is one of a handful of Jews still living in Lethbridge, Alberta. (Photo courtesy University of Lethbridge)

Goldie Morgentaler is a literature professor and Yiddish expert who’s been active in local synagogues, engaged her university’s administration on antisemitic incidents and translated into English the work of her mother, the Yiddish-language poet Chava Rosenfarb. You might assume she lives in a hub of Jewish culture—but you’d be wrong.

In 1997, Morgentaler moved from Montreal to Lethbridge, Alberta, where she teaches at the university. The city has perhaps fewer than 20 Jews left, but that hasn’t stopped Morgentaler—who, yes, is the daughter of the acclaimed doctor Henry Morgentaler—from keeping the spirit of her community alive.

On this week’s episode of Yehupetzville, The CJN’s podcast about Jews in small communities, she describes what life is like in a city with virtually no Jews, how she handled a prominent incident involving a Holocaust-denying colleague and how she feels about the trucker convoy blocking the border at Coutts, just an hour south of her home.


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