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Jewish Western Bulletin
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Cynthia Ramsay

Oral Interview with Cynthia Ramsay for the JMABC Artists Scribe. Interviewed by Daniella Givon. Cynthia was born in Moncton, NB but spent most of her time growing up in Winnipeg. She talks about her family history, including her father’s second marriage to a Jewish woman allowing her the choice of converting to Judaism. She speaks about her Jewish education and embracing Jewish family and traditions, as well secular education including degrees in economics. Cynthia talks about her early career at an economic think tank and career at the Jewish Western Bulletin. Cynthia describes coming to own the JWB with her colleagues and changes the publication went through moving it beyond a solely right wing paper. She speaks about her marriage and how she met her wife. Cynthia talks about how she first joined the Scribe as editor and how she began producing the Scribe editions thematically. Cynthia discusses how working on the Scribes fostered a deeper connection to the Jewish community in Vancouver, but also provided insight into prominent Jewish families and businesses in BC, and how their impacts persisted into the present day.

Pat Johnson

Interview with Pat Johnson for On The Record: The BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project in collaboration with JQT Vancouver. Interviewed by Carmel Tanaka via remote Zoom video call. Pat (he/him) is a non-Jewish gay man who is a prominent figure in Jewish journalism in Vancouver. Pat talks about how he was introduced to Jewish culture and community throughout his education, including taking Jewish Studies at McGill, and political organizing on campus. Pat talks about returning to Vancouver, pursuing journalism school and writing for Xtra which eventually introduced him to the Jewish Western Bulletin. He talks about his 25 year history of working for the JWB, now Jewish Independent, including the story of how he came to co-own the paper. Pat talks about the changing attitudes to LGBTQ and interfaith issues within Vancouver’s Jewish institutions, and Jewish institutions participating in Vancouver Pride. Pat and Carmel discuss a vigil Pat organized for Carmel’s cousin who was murdered in Israel for being gay. Pat talks about experiencing anti-Zionism within the Queer Film Festival community. He also talks about Jewish Family Services and their attempts to offer queer programming. Pat closes by reflecting on the most significant works of his career and academics he admires.