Hear our exclusive interview with Nachman Shai during his first trip to Canada as Israel’s diaspora minister

Nachman Shai, Israel's minister of diaspora affairs, in Ottawa on May 24, 2022, for a conference on Canadian-Israeli affairs. (Ellin Bessner photo)

Today, Canadian politicians, Israeli diplomats and the leaders of Canada’s largest Jewish organizations are quietly convening in Ottawa to host an off-the-record conference called the Canadian Summit of Israeli-Jewish Affairs. Set up by the Israeli embassy to Canada, the conference will include talks on bilateral relations, fostering positive narratives on social media, encouraging Jewish education, diversity within the community, campus anti-Zionism and antisemitism and other subjects pertinent to both countries.

Among the attendees are Israeli journalists, like Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post; Canadian leaders, like Adam Minsky and Shimon Koffler-Fogel; and Israeli politicians, like Nachman Shai, the country’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs.

This is Shai’s first visit to Canada in that role since being appointed last summer in the new Bennett government. Ahead of the main event, he spent some time with The CJN Daily‘s Ellin Bessner in an exclusive interview. In their wide-ranging discussion, the two discuss how Israel is handling the fallout from the death of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Shai’s frustrations with his government’s stalling on egalitarianism at the Western Wall, and the possibility of new elections coming soon.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.