With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Jack Geller, QC, our Honourary Life President.
Jack joined Holy Blossom Temple in 1950, at 20 years of age. He served Holy Blossom Temple as President from 1976-1978 and was appointed as Honourary Life President in 1998.
Jack had an illustrious career, first as a lawyer in private practice, then as Vice Chair and then Acting Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission. He married Sybil more than 60 years ago and together they raised four children, Dana, Larry, Janet and Harold.
Our Temple community knows Jack best for his roles as President and Honourary Life President.
In the words of Morris Cooper, the President during whose term Jack was appointed to his role as Honourary Life President, “Jack was a remarkable voice of reason in our Congregation”. Widely admired for his common sense and leadership, he was appointed for his unique ability to combine that common sense with an historical perspective. At board meetings he was able to use his skills to resolve difficult discussions, guiding the board to wise outcomes.
Jack’s mentor was Max Enkin. The value of selfless service to the community which Jack embraced placing the community first before personal connections or relationships, reflected the model Max Enkin provided. And Jack became a model for those values himself.
Rabbi Emeritus Dow Marmur writes:
He was a widely respected member of his profession, a pivotal figure in the life of Holy Blossom Temple, a beloved and valued counsellor, a steadfast friend. He faced heroically the pain, the limitations and the frustrations that his disability imposed on him over many years. He was supported with boundless love and amazing fortitude by his wife Sybil, their children and their families. He was a giant of a man, a devoted Jew and a distinguished Canadian. He was a role model and an example.
We are honoured to have worked, studied and prayed with Jack. We will miss his wise counsel, his leading presence, and his unwavering commitment to Holy Blossom Temple. Jack Geller’s memory will forever be a blessing to our congregation.
The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. on Friday at Holy Blossom Temple. Shiva details will soon be posted on the website of Benjamin’s Memorial chapel at www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca.
Please leave messages of condolences to the Geller family or to share a memory of Jack’s leadership at Holy Blossom below.
The Geller Family has indicated that donations in memory of Jack, may be made to the Holy Blossom Temple Renewal Project, the Aphasia Institute or The Temmy Latner Centre For Palliative Care.
Rabbi Yael Splansky Joan Garson
Senior Rabbi President