Ellin Bessner is a Canadian journalist based in Toronto. She is the author of a book about Canada’s 17,00 Jewish servicemen and women who fought in the Second World War. The book is called “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II, and was published by the University of Toronto Press (2019). She also contributed a chapter to “Northern Lights”, published by the Lola Stein Institute (2020). It is the story of the contribution of Canada’s Jewish community to the country’s military record from 1750 to today. Ellin hosts the podcast The CJN Daily: it’s a bite-sized look at news about Canada’s Jewish community, for the Canadian Jewish News.

Ellin was born in Montreal and graduated with a degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University. Her career as a journalist took her around Canada and around the world, working for CTV News and CBC News, and also stringing for the Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press and other organizations. As a foreign correspondent based in Rome, Italy, during the 1990s, aside from reporting on the Vatican, the Mafia, Italian food, fashion, and opera, and of course, on Italian soccer, Ellin also covered several brutal civil wars in Africa. She’s interviewed the late Prince Phillip and the Dalai Lama. She was a business anchor for many years at Report on Business Television, now BNN.

Ellin also taught hundreds of budding young journalists, in her capacity as a professor at Centennial College Journalism School in Toronto, and before that, at Seneca College and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Ellin Bessner
Photo credit: Daniel Ehrenworth

In her spare time, she plays walks, gardens and loves the “Outlander” series. She lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario with her husband John Friedlan. They have two sons, Alex and Evan (z”l).


For More videos go to Ellin’s Youtube channel

woman prays at memorial
Ellin recites memorial prayers in May 2017 at the Kamp Vught, a concentration camp in Holland, from where 1,200 Jewish children were deported to their deaths by the Nazis during the Holocaust. (Alex Friedlan/photo)