Montreal, QC—Upon learning of the death of Dr. Victor C. Goldbloom, highly respected former Quebec Cabinet Minister, Jewish community leader, and a pioneer in Christian-Jewish Dialogue, CIJA released the following statements:
“The Jewish community of Canada has lost a beacon and one of the most outstanding leaders of our time. It was a privilege and honor to know Victor and to work with him in my role as chair of CIJA. His contribution to the Jewish community both in Quebec and Canada will continue to be remembered well beyond his passing.
“He dedicated his life to fostering better understanding between Jews and non-Jews in Quebec and elsewhere, serving as an example to all of us. His accomplishments as a parliamentarian, as a community leader and in forging relationships between the Jewish community and other faith communities are without parallel.”
– David J. Cape, National Chair, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
“Long after Victor Goldbloom achieved legendary status in Canada and beyond he continued to add multiple chapters to his story. Victor with his sensitive soul, brilliant analytical mind and persistent optimism brought about real and lasting change in the relationships between faith communities in Canada and worldwide.
“He saw the best in people and was able to nurture it to fruition. What he was able to build and sustain leaves us an incomparable legacy and a strong foundation to build upon. In his name we pledge to uphold his vision and to guard it. We have lost a dear friend and Canada has lost an indispensable leader.”
– Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Chair, the Canadian Rabbinical Caucus, incoming Co-Chair, CIJA Quebec
“Victor Goldbloom was the very embodiment of Jewish values of leadership, community, and Tikun Olam. He dedicated himself to public service, not just to the Jewish community but to all communities and to the benefit of the wider Quebec society. The enormous respect he garnered from fellow parliamentarians, community and faith community leaders in Quebec, in Canada and around the world are a testament to his commitment to making the world around him a better place.”
– Evan Feldman, President, Federation CJA
“In addition to his innumerable communal accomplishments, Dr. Goldbloom contributed in countless small ways to improving the lives of the individuals and families he touched, from the house calls he made to patients’ families, like mine, in his early days as a pediatrician, to the thoughtful and gentle support that he provided to people of all ranks and backgrounds who sought his wise counsel. He will be deeply missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.”
– Deborah Corber, CEO, Federation CJA
“Victor’s passing is a major loss. He was a pillar upon whom we could rely and to whom we could turn for thoughtful advice and wise counsel. He was a true gentleman, moderate in his views, balanced in his judgment and generous with his time for community, building bridges and goodwill. His passing leaves a profound void. We shall miss him greatly.”
– Eric Maldoff, Chair, CIJA Quebec
“As both a master of multiple languages and a connoisseur of ironic humour, Victor would have understood the ironic inadequacy of our everyday language to express true praise. Talmud enjoins us only to mention a small measure of a person’s virtues in his presence, but when a truly great person passes full praise sounds like cliché.
“Dr. Victor C. Goldbloom’s virtues are, to be sure evident in the lengthy list of his peerless accomplishments. For me, however, they are embedded as much in who he was as in what he did. Victor was a paragon of good-humoured rectitude and integrity; a wise, patient, warm and compassionate mentor; a unifier within and among communities; ohev yisrael and a true humanist; fearless, forthright and forward-thinking; a leader, a gentleman and a mensch; above all, a friend.
“May we all strive to attain a small measure of his virtues.”
– Marc Freiman, former Chair, Canadian Jewish Congress
Background on Dr. Victor C. Goldbloom
Dr. Victor C. Goldbloom was the first Jewish cabinet minister in Quebec, a province in which the Jewish community dates back over 250 years. He served as president of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the Montreal Christian Jewish Dialogue, as well as on a variety of Christian Jewish Dialogue Committees and councils. He was an active member of CIJA and its predecessor organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress, where he served as the Quebec president.
Among the many honours bestowed upon him, he was named an Officer of l’Ordre National du Québec and a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest distinction. In 2012 he received the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Sylvester Pope and Martyr from Pope Benedict XVI for his outstanding contribution to promoting Christian-Jewish dialogue and understanding.