Glenn Nashen: Cote Saint-Luc’s Super Man and Bialik Alumnus

JPPS-Bialik Newsletter – September 2009

by David Smajovitz, JPPS-Bialik Communications Officer

If you reside in “the Luc” (Cote Saint-Luc), chances are that the September Bialik alumnus of the month and longtime city councillor (first elected in 1990), Glenn Nashen ’79, does not represent a foreign name. Come to think of it, due to his lifetime of involvement in the Montreal Jewish community and a myriad of other volunteering ventures, Glenn Nashen is likely a recognizable name regardless of where you live. When he is not attending meetings pertaining to Agence Ometz, (where he serves on the board of directors), volunteering his time to Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Medical Services (2009 marks his 30th year), or VCOP (Cote Saint-Luc’s own volunteer security service that he founded), he is proud to be the director of Public Affairs and Communications for the Jewish General Hospital. Mr. Nashen credits his own personal mission of practicing tikkun olam to his days at JPS and Bialik

“I wanted to help people who could not help themselves. That really is the spirit of tikkun olam. I didn’t learn that from anywhere other than my parents and from Bialik.” Mr. Nashen also deems that part of the foundation for his lifetime of leadership and public service was laid during the intense efforts to release Jewish political dissident Anatoly Sharansky and others from Russian prisons during the Refusnik movement time period. JPPS-Bialik as an organization was in the forefront of those efforts, as was our September honouree.

“Bialik was a magnificent stepping stone for me to get smarter and smarter. It created a real sense of leadership.” Throughout his time in the school, Glenn held the school newspaper editorship, as well being responsible for creating the first Bialik graduates society after a request from the late, great Nachum Wilchesky Z”L.

It is quite apparent that Glenn Nashen is both a Bialik and a Cote Saint-Luc success story, but this veteran legislator and public relations expert impeccably carries out both responsibilities despite that fact that he did not attend law school, nor does he have a formal degree in communications. In actuality, Mr. Nashen graduated McGill University with a degree in Industrial Relations. He explained to me that, while he had always recognized that his true calling and passion was public service, his life’s journey, thus far, could not have been foreseen way back in high school. To that end, Mr. Nashen advises that young people ought to “stick their toes in many different areas, even if the waters may seem a bit cold.”

As a current JPPS parent who credits his own parents for the sacrifices they bore to be able send him to JPPS and Bialik, Mr. Nashen closed by saying, “They could not have made a better decision for me than what they chose, and I could not have made a better decision than to send my children here. My hope is that it (JPPS-Bialik) will do the same for my children as it did for me. The people are different, but the neshama (soul) is still there.”