Cote Saint-Luc and the Montreal Jewish Community lost a legendary leader with the sudden passing of Rabbi Sidney Shoham early this morning. Cote Saint-Luc City Council held a moment of silence tonight out of respect for this outstanding man who made his home here, and presided at the Beth Zion Congregation since the late 1950s.
My own connections ran deep. Rabbi Shoham signed my birth certificate, Bar Mitzvah certificate and Marriage certificate. He officiated at many more of my family’s key events over the last half century. Whenever I would see him, in shul, around the city or at the JGH, the Rabbi would quip, “How’s Georgie’s Boys,” his affectionate salutation for my father’s (George) four boys, or how’s the “doc,” as he referred to my wife.
My dad and Rabbi Shoham go back to 1958, when my folks moved into Cote Saint-Luc. This was three years after the founding of the shul, on Hudson Ave. My father became involved and eventually served on its Board of Directors.
My father and the rabbi also became “buddies” and they played badminton and their main sport, tennis, for several decades together.
Rabbi Shoham touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of local residents and congregants throughout the years. Tributes will pour in from around the globe.
May his memory be a blessing. Deepest condolences to his wife Jewel and his entire family.
Mike Cohen’s Suburban blog: tribute to Rabbi Shoham
Funeral for a Rabbi fitting for a head of state (Mike Cohen)