Keeping Judaism alive in Sudbury

Emily Caruso Parnell, top centre, celebrating Hanukkah with Ari Parnell, Mara Parnell and Vivian Field. (Photo courtesy Emily Caruso Parnell)

Growing up in Sudbury, Ont., Emily Caruso Parnell wasn’t Jewish. Later in life, after she converted to Judaism and spent years away, she returned to her native Northern Ontario home in search of a meaningful, quiet life (and an affordable house). In doing so, she became one of a handful of active Jewish residents in the former mining capital, keeping the Jewish spirit alive through campus outreach, local participation, virtual events and personal connections.

In today’s episode of Yehupetzville, our podcast about Jews carving out lives in small Canadian towns, Emily joins host Ralph Benmergui to discuss her conversion process and why she chose to settle down in a community still struggling with its Jewish identity.

Follow Emily on Twitter @teachontheverge, or visit her website,

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: learn more about them at This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network—you can find more great Jewish podcasts every day at