Skip to main content

Jewish Images from the Early Days of CBC: The Stories of Morley Torgov

Curated and introduced by Stuart Hands, Programme Director of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

In partnership with

Co-Presented with

Morley Torgov is an award-winning writer, who brought to life stories about Jewish communities in small-town Ontario with humour, warmth and a critical eye. In the mid-seventies, the drama department at CBC produced a series of television plays based on his acclaimed memoir, A Good Place to Come From (1974) about growing up in Sault Ste. Marie. Although these TV adaptations were done by other writers (Conrad Bromberg and Israel Horovitz), here is a chance to see how his sensibility was transferred to the screen.

A practicing lawyer since the mid-Fifties, Morley Torgov won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for A Good Place to Come From and The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (1982). In 2015, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his “contribution to Canadian humour.” Today, at age 93, he is still a prolific author, with a successful series of crime novels.

Today I am a Fountain Pen
Canada 1980, 90 min
Director: Herbert Wise

Living above his family’s dry goods store in Sault Ste. Marie, ten-year-old Irving Yanover has a crush on his family’s young Ukrainian housekeeper. Starring Harvey Atkin, Hollis McLaren, Helen Burns, Allan Levson and Sean McCann.
Photo: Courtesy of CBC Still Photo Collection

The Making of a President, 1944
Canada 1978, 60 min
Director: Robert Stevens

In wartime Sault Ste. Marie, the mayor invites the president of the Jewish congregation to speak at the town’s upcoming ecumenical war bonds rally. However, the president has just quit and nobody wants the thankless job. A funny and endearing drama featuring Melvyn Douglas, Nehemiah Persoff, Paul Soles and a 15-year-old Mike Myers.

Free ticketed online screening,

available to view February 1st- February 3rd

 Click Here to subscribe to the Holy Blossom Temple Newsletter.

Feb 3rd at 7:30pm: Zoom Q&A with writer Morley Torgov; Lawrence Mirkin, Story Editor in the CBC TV Drama Department in the mid-70s; Robert Cohen, Director on the Executive Committee at Congregation Beth Jacob in Sault Ste. Marie

Access Zoom Q&A Here