Jewish AM radio station goes on air in Canada
Radio Shalom, known by the call letters CJRS, officially went on the air the evening of May 5, 2007, at 16:50 AM. The independent, not-for-profit station received CRTC approval in March 2006. It broadcasts on the AM frequency of 1650 kHz.
Broadcasting in 60 per cent French, 30 per cent English and 10 per cent Hebrew 24 hours a day, six days a week, Radio Shalom is the only station in North America whose entire programming mix can be described as Jewish.
The content is a blend of news and information, religious and cultural programs, talk shows and music, most of it local and the rest from Israel and France. Nothing is live, however.
While the station is religious, as defined in its license, it is off the air on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. During Shabbat, the station’s air time is made available to other communities.
Radio Shalom operates out of modern offices with professional studios in Town of Mount Royal’s industrial park. Everything is in place for eventual live broadcasting. Projecting from its roof is a 75-foot state of the art antenna.
With 1,000 watts of transmitting power, six weeks of testing showed that Radio Shalom can be heard throughout the island, as well as in Laval and the South Shore. Someone from Trois-Rivières even picked it up. Of course, it can still be heard worldwide at www.radio-shalom.ca
The station’s only staff are two young interns from France, here on six-month exchange programs, whose salaries are paid by the French government.
Defining what is Jewish is an ongoing process. The station’s Jewish music is eclectic – chassidic to liturgical to modern Israeli are all in a huge computerized collection – but artists are not included simply because they are Jewish.