Jews were once embraced by progressive activists. Did Oct. 7 permanently change that?

A pro-Palestinian protester marches in London, UK, in Nov. 2023, in the wake of Oct. 7. (Photo by Alisdare Hickson/Flickr Creative Commons)

Bernie Farber helped create the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) in 2018, and sat as its founding chair until shortly after Oct. 7, 2023. The organization—which investigates, publicizes and works with journalists to report on hateful far-right extremist groups—was infamously silent in the weeks following the Hamas slaughter and kidnapping of 1,200 people in Israel, which sparked waves of antisemitic acts across Canada. It was around that time that Farber quietly stepped down as chair. Amid the tension and silence, many wondered how correlated the two events were.

Now, in a candid conversation with his old friend (and fellow progressive Jew) Ralph Benmergui on Not That Kind of Rabbi, Farber opens up about the real reason why he left CAHN. Further on, he reflects on decades of work educating non-Jewish communities about antisemitism and traces how progressive Jews and Zionists—once embraced and even looked up to by other minority and community organizations—came to be challenged and excluded from left-wing circles.


Not That Kind of Rabbi is hosted by Ralph Benmergui and produced by Michael Fraiman. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.