How the kosher sausage is made: Our resident rabbi confronted the head of Montreal Kosher—and the debate got heated

A pack of kosher sausages from J&R Kosher in Montreal. (Photo courtesy J&R Kosher/Facebook)

Earlier this summer, we produced an episode on the modern ethics of kosher food. It was so popular, the following week we recorded a spiritual sequel, tackling the high cost of kosher meat. The result: the executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal, Rabbi Saul Emanuel, reached out wanting to share their side of the story. Rabbi Emanuel also heads up Montreal Kosher, better known as MK—sometimes jokingly referred to as “Mafia Kosher”.

This week, Avi had the chance to speak with Rabbi Emanuel and challenge him directly about some of his organizations’ choices. Why can’t halakhah evolve? Why insist on arcane rules when jobs and affordability are at stake? Why compare Montreal’s meat prices to New York’s, when the cost of living is so much cheaper in La Belle Province? His answers result in some heated debate with our own resident rabbi podcast host.

After that, Gabe Pulver from Menschwarmers pops in to break down how Canada ranked at the Maccabiah Games, and Nathan Englander sat down with Ilana Zackon to describe the experience of adapting one of his books into a stage play for the first time.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold, Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Michael Fraiman is the producer. Andre Goulet is the technical producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.