Community mourns the passing of former CJC president Goldie Hershon – The Suburban Newspaper

Posted By on December 16, 2020

Canadians continue to mourn the passing of former Canadian Jewish Congress president Goldie Hershon.

Hershon served in a wide array of important roles for CJC, recognized as the Parliament of Canadian Jewry. She had a dynamic personality and during the three years she served as national president she travelled across the globe and met with world leaders. Goldie never developed into a politician per se. She was merely your down to earth mom, wife and community activist. Following her term in office at CJC she could have run for elected office in Hampstead, where she resided, and won handily.

By Goldies side was her devoted husband of 61 years, Shelly. Theirs was a true love story. Possessed with an equally dynamic personality. Goldie had Alzheimers Disease . As her condition worsened over time Shelly refused to have her placed. Instead, he and his family, along with round the clock caregivers, kept her at home.

Hershon was a pioneer in the Soviet Jewry movement, organizing important rallies to free Jews from anti-Semitic conditions they experienced in the former Soviet Union. It was never her idea to seek the national presidency of CJC. In 1995, Thomas O. Hecht declared his candidacy. What made the CJC different from any other organization is that leaders were elected and policies adopted by delegates at a triennial Plenary. Hershon was a last minute entry in the race. She narrowly defeated Hecht in an election that garnered national media attention.

Born to Polish Jewish immigrants in the Park Avenue district of Montreal, Goldie attended United Talmud Torahs and Baron Byng, Herzliah High School. She received a certificate in family life education from Concordia University.

Hershon became involved in Jewish advocacy after a 1979 visit to Auschwitz. Prior to seeking the presidency, Goldie served as national vice-president of CJC, Chair of the CJC National Plenary Assembly, Vice-Chair of the North American branch of the World Jewish Congress and member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. From 1989 to 1992, she was chair of the CJC Quebec Region. Besides the Soviet Jewry Movement, Goldie chaired Combined Jewish Appeal Super Sunday and helped spearhead the creation of Hebrew Foundation School in Dollard des Ormeaux.

In fighting against Quebec separatism, Hershon made her mark as part of the CJCs national unity strategy when we formed a national coalition of Canadas Italian, Greek and Jewish communities during the debate on the Charlottetown Accord. When then Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau blamed the ethnic vote for his teams referendum loss on taking Quebec out of Canada he meant us.

Former CJC president Les Scheininger praised Hershon in a special edition of Suburban On Air available on our website.

Hershon leaves her husband Shelly, children Cindy (Eric) and David (Sandy) and seven grandchildren.Contributions in Goldies memory may be made to the Goldie Hershon Memorial Fund c/o Alzheimers Groupe A.G.I., (514) 485-7233.

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Community mourns the passing of former CJC president Goldie Hershon - The Suburban Newspaper

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