Queen Elizabeth II was ‘good for the Jews’ even though she never visited Israel: tributes from Canada and Britain

In 1973, during a visit to Toronto, Queen Elizabeth II laid the cornerstone of Mount Sinai Hospital. Here she is pictured with Monty Simmonds, then the hospital's chair. (Photo courtesy of Jason Cherniak)

As the official mourning period continues for Queen Elizabeth II—who died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96—the Jewish community is, mostly, remembering her long reign with fondness and admiration. She supported Holocaust survivors and welcomed Israeli leaders, and connected with the Canadian Jewish community, too: in 1973, she laid a cornerstone for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto; and in 2010, during her last royal tour of Canada, she met the late Rabbi Reuven Bulka and Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn in Ottawa.

But despite her wide travels, the Queen never visited Israel, an unofficial boycott that still hurts.

On today’s show, you’ll hear from Jews—on both sides of the pond—who reflect on their experiences with the late Queen. Brigit Grant, a British journalist with London’s Jewish News, discusses the Queen’s impact on her country’s Jewish community and also what kind of friend King Charles will be. Plus, in Halifax, Myra Freeman, who was the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia from 2000 to 2006, reflects on being the first Jewish woman to act as the Queen’s representative in Canada, and what her interactions with Elizabeth II were like, even mistakenly breaking Royal Protocol at Buckingham Palace.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Production assistance by Gabrielle Nadler and YuZhu Mou. 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.