What did we talk about before we talked about antisemitism?

Google's Ngram Viewer analyzes the number of times a selected word or phrase appears in the 40 million books digitised by Google.

It seems like discussions of antisemitism have devoured a larger share of the Jewish community’s mental bandwidth in recent years. It dominates the headlines in every Jewish publication, and the social media from Jewish organizations. It’s what we talk about at the dinner table, in synagogues, on the internet, when we lie down and when we rise up. 

On this episode of The CJN’s weekly current affairs podcast Bonjour Chai, we’re asking: Why has it become such a major preoccupation of our communal conversation? And which conversations about Jewish life are being crowded out?

In their search for answers, Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy do a deep dive into the archives of The Canadian Jewish News. They also discuss thrifting while Jewish: how to juggle the joys of bargain hunting for vintage clothes—while avoiding a Jewish stereotype.

What we talked about:


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive 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.