We watched Pierre Poilievre spend the weekend courting Toronto’s Jewish community

Pierre Poilievre at Beth Tikvah
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre hears from concerned Jewish Canadians at Beth Tikvah synagogue in Toronto on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (Ellin Bessner photo)

For the second time in less than two weeks, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is promising Canadian Jews that he has their backs after Oct. 7 in a way that, he says, Canada’s current prime minister no longer does.

Poilievre told a crowd of 600 people at Toronto’s Beth Tikvah synagogue on April 7 that he wants more done to protect Canadian Jews’ rights to live and worship in the country. He called for a crackdown on campus antisemitism, pushed for expanded funding for security around Jewish buildings, and slammed Canadian lawmakers who recently voted in Parliament on March 18 to block arms sales to Israel.

The message struck a similar tone to what Poilievre has been promoting in recent weeks—and he’s been finding a receptive audience among Canadian Jews. Many are frustrated with Canada’s resumption of funding for UNRWA, calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the refusal to denounce a UN court case investigating Israel’s “plausible” genocide against Palestinians—not to mention the fact that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet visited Israel, despite Hamas murdering eight Canadian civilians during the terrorist attacks six months ago.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, we followed Poilievre during his weekend campaign through Jewish Toronto. You’ll hear from Rabbi Jarrod Grover, who invited him; Rabbi Adam Cutler, and community leaders Claire Horowitz, Karen Kizell and Stan Korolnek. Plus, we tracked down Ephraim Shore, the mysterious rabbi whom the Conservative leader often credits with sparking his support for Israel and the Jewish people decades ago.

What we talked about

  • See Pierre Poilievre’s Toronto speech to Beth Tikvah congregation on April 7, 2024, and also watch his speech at the Six Months in Hell Rally for the hostages at Nathan Philips Square on YouTube
  • Read more about Poilievre’s stance on Jewish issues, from a November 2023 announcement he made at Shaarei Shomayim Synaogogue in Toronto, in The CJN
  • Why Poilievre didn’t sanction three Conservative MPs who met with a far-right anti-immigrant European politician in 2023, on The CJN Daily


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman 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 subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.