We have all suffered a profound loss. The Jewish community in Toronto, and across Canada, were shocked to learn this past Friday about the tragic deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman. The Shermans were a unique couple who combined brilliance, generosity and a deep sense of responsibility for the community.
They each brought their individual talents to the table. Understated and unassuming, Barry Sherman provided both the visionary and philanthropic leadership that propelled organizations to respond to our community’s changing realities and to plan for future needs. He led by example and set the bar high: his aspirational philanthropy was his greatest gift to our community, one that helped ensure that Canadian Jewry, and the Toronto Jewish community in particular, will remain a vibrant and leading centre of Jewish life.
Honey Sherman worked with multiple communal organizations, holding leadership positions that required a tremendous commitment of time and effort. She displayed a pragmatic astuteness that demanded excellence in response, while displaying deep concern and compassion for the many causes to which she was so passionately committed. Honey Sherman acted in a vast number of capacities: as chair of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and the Neuberger Holocaust Centre, and UJA Federation’s campaign chair, to name but a few. She also served on numerous boards, including the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, the Baycrest Foundation and Mount Sinai Hospital.
It was their exceptional commitment that made Honey and Barry Sherman giants of our community and of the Jewish world.
In the days since Friday’s tragic news broke, organization after organization – within the Jewish world and far beyond – along with some of the most respected names in business and politics have mourned the loss of these unparalleled communal leaders and honoured the commitment the Shermans made to lead and support the Jewish community. UJA Federation, Baycrest, the Jewish National Fund, Mount Sinai Hospital – these are but a few of the institutions that have benefited from the incomparable generosity of the Shermans.
Their impact on the fabric of our community will continue for generations, not only through UJA’s Sherman Campus, The Apotex Centre, the York University Health Sciences Research Centre and other capital projects they funded, but also through the many lives they have touched and made better. Together, Honey and Barry Sherman represented the very best of community leadership, combining vision, generosity, energy and commitment.
There has been much speculation and misinformation surrounding the deaths of these two pillars of our community. That is terribly unfortunate. As the police investigation continues, The Canadian Jewish News pledges to provide our readers with the most accurate, reliably sourced information, and to celebrate the Shermans for their incredible contributions to this country and its Jewish community.
Our collective grief is immeasurable. On behalf of the board and staff of The Canadian Jewish News, our heartfelt condolences go out to the Sherman family.