The City of Côte Saint-Luc will formally rename a section of Hudson Avenue to Place Sidney Shoham Place at a ceremony on Sunday, September 25 at 10am.
Beth Zion Congregation will host a small reception afterwards, which the entire community is invited to attend. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held indoors, followed by the unveiling of the street sign.
Rabbi Sidney Shoham passed away on September 21, 2015, at the age of 86. He retired 10 years earlier as the founding rabbi of Beth Zion after having served in that role for 50-plus years. Rabbi Shoham continued to remain very active in synagogue life and in fact, passed away only hours after attending the synagogue’s annual Cantorial Concert, of which he was most involved.
Beth Zion president Earl Rosen said that it would be most fitting to rename the portion of Hudson Avenue, and the synagogue address 5740 Hudson Avenue, to 1 Sidney Shoham Place. He extended his appreciation to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillors Mike Cohen and Allan J. Levine for their assistance. Councillor Cohen is responsible for naming rights; Councillor Levine represents the district. At the ceremony, the new street sign will be unveiled and there will be words of welcome from Mr. Rosen, Mayor Brownstein, Rabbi Boruch Perton and a member of the Shoham family.
On Tuesday, September 27, Beth Zion will host Scholar in Residence Rabbi Benjamin Blech at the Rabbi Sidney Shoham Memorial Lecture and then, on Thursday, October 6, the newly renamed Rabbi Sidney Shoham Tribute Concert called “The Gift of Music” will take place.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland the son of the late Rabbi Yechiel and Rebbetzen Ethel Shoham, Rabbi Shoham attended the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and then went to Mesivta Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, New York. While studying at the yeshiva, Rabbi Shoham attended Brooklyn College at night and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in psychology. Later, he attended graduate school at New York University, School of Psychology and continued his studies in Montreal at the Allen Memorial Hospital – McGill University where he furthered his degree in Pastoral Psychiatry.
Rabbi Shoham arrived in Montreal in 1955 to visit his brother Gilbert, who was Rabbi of the Beit Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue on McKenzie. While here, he met with an enthusiastic group of individuals anxiously waiting to build a new community in the western suburb of Montreal. After discussions with the committee, he was quickly hired as the Rabbi of Beth Zion. Over the years, he had been active with nearly every Jewish organization in the city, notably Combined Jewish Appeal, B’nai Brith and State of Israel Bonds and the founder of the much needed Miriam Home.