There’s an old joke among Jews that in a room with 10 of us, you’ll find 11 opinions.
But growing up Jewish in Toronto, I learned early on that there were some things that you talked about among other Jews, and some things that weren’t supposed to come up. Being queer was one of them. Being critical of the Israeli occupation was another. From camp to campus, synagogue to Shabbat dinner, I was taught that all I should want from life was a free trip to Israel to hook up with a hot female soldier. That’s what we heard from our community media, and until very recently, I didn’t know anything different.
While American Jews enjoy a robust community media culture from all over the political spectrum, there is no parallel in Canada. Here, we have one newspaper that claims to represent all of the activities, interests, and ideas of our heterogeneous community. For Jewish Canadians who do not see themselves and their narratives represented, the media is just one more unsafe space where a constrained definition of Jewishness is the only acceptable norm.
There may be 11 opinions, but you’ll never hear them. Unless you listen to Treyf.