Bishop John Boissonneau receives Inaugural Dr. Victor Goldbloom AwardFriday, June 09 2017
Toronto, ON –The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) presented its inaugural Dr. Victor Goldbloom Award for Outstanding Interfaith Leadership on 6 June 2017 to The Most Rev. John A. Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. As one of its four Vicars General, Bishop Boissonneau serves the Western Region of the Archdiocese while also working in various capacities to advance interfaith dialogue and cooperation, including as Co-Chair of the ongoing national dialogue between the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and CIJA’s Canadian Rabbinic Caucus.
“It is a pleasure to celebrate the work of Bishop Boissonneau in a manner that honours Victor’s extraordinary legacy,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA. “In addition to his many achievements, Bishop Boissonneau has proven an exceptional interfaith bridge-builder by playing a pivotal role in the national Jewish-Catholic dialogue – the first of its kind in Canada. Our community has been touched by his dedication, thoughtfulness, warmth and good humour – all of which, combined with his record of contribution, make him a fitting recipient for the inaugural Dr. Victor Goldbloom Award.”
Upon receiving the award, Bishop Boissonneau stated: “I wish to commend CIJA on its timely and universally applauded effort to both maintain the spirit of Dr. Goldbloom and to encourage the essential work of dialogue between our various faith communities. I am deeply moved to have been considered as the inaugural recipient of this award. In accepting it, I do so only with the recognition that I am a small player in a large ensemble of dedicated women and men who will always look to Victor Goldbloom for inspiration.”
“In devoting much of his life to strengthening interfaith ties, my father was an inspiration for so many within and beyond the Jewish community,” noted Jonathan Goldbloom, son of Victor Goldbloom, and current CIJA Board member. “I am humbled that his work continues to be a light unto others, and I am pleased that – through this annual award – his name will be blessing for leaders of other faiths who carry this torch in the years to come.”
The Dr. Victor Goldbloom Award for Outstanding Interfaith Leadership has been launched as an annual initiative to recognize the contributions of leaders from various faith communities in advancing interfaith relations. The late Dr. Victor Goldbloom, after a lifetime of service as a medical doctor, elected official, and interfaith leader, was first elected to the National Assembly of Quebec in 1966, and was appointed Quebec’s first Jewish provincial cabinet minister in 1970. The many honours bestowed upon Dr. Goldbloom include being named an Officer of the Ordre National du Québec and a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made him a Knight of the Order of Saint Sylvester for his outstanding contribution to promoting Christian-Jewish dialogue and understanding.