Sidney Shoham Place street sign CSL

 

It was a sunny and warm Sunday morning yesterday in Cote Saint-Luc when a large crowd assembled nearly a year from the day that Rabbi Sidney Shoham passed away. The assembly, in front of the Beth Zion Congregation on Hudson Avenue came together for the official inauguration of Sidney Shoham Place, renaming the section of Hudson in front of the synagogue.

It was a somber yet inspiring occasion to honour the life of the Rabbi and to forever commemorate his great contribution to life in Cote Saint-Luc and indeed across Montreal. Several dignitaries were on hand including Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and the City Council, MNA David Birnbaum, MP Anthony Housefather as well as former MNA Lawrence Bergman. Members of the Shoham family were in attendance including the late Rabbi’s wife, Jewel, and his three daughters. Additionally, congregation president Earl Rosen and Rabbi Boruch Perton were on hand to address those in attendance.

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Councilor Sidney Benizri, Executive Director of Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel delivered a brand new ambulance to the ceremony. Thanks to the generosity of the Rossdeutscher family the ambulance was dedicated in Rabbi Shoham’s memory and will soon be on its way to Israel.

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Rabbi Sidney Shoham presided at the Beth Zion Congregation for more than half a century 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.

Rabbi Sidney Shoham

Rabbi Sidney Shoham

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.

Beth Zion "Old-Timers" George Nashen and Rabbi Sydney Shoham

Beth Zion “Old-Timers” George Nashen and Rabbi Sydney Shoham

Rabbi Shoham touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of local residents and congregants throughout the years. How fitting that the new civic address of Beth Zion is now 1 Sidney Shoham Place.

 

 

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