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Simchat Torah Honoree Dinner

Saturday, October 7, 2023 22 Tishrei 5784

7:00 PM - 10:00 PMIn person




A pioneer in the field of personalized medicine, Gerald Batist is a clinician-scientist who has played an essential role in the creation of major research platforms and large-scale collaborative research networks for scientists in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada and internationally. Focused on drug resistance and the development of novel therapeutics tailored to specific cancers in patients, his research has led to major biological insights about cancer and to better outcomes for cancer patients. In recognition of his contributions he is a Member of the Order of Canda and a Chevalier of the Ordre Nationale du Quebec. In the late 1980s Dr. Batist visited cancer patients in the Jewish Refusenik community of the Soviet Union, bringing them medicines and hope. He subsequently founded the International Cancer Patient Solidarity Committee, which campaigned worldwide for the freedom of the people to come to the West, where family members awaited them and medical care was offered. Gerald’s wife Lynn Kiraly created and runs the Family Information Resource Centre at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Their daughter Kira lives in New Jersey with her husband Andrew and is a highly respected social worker in New York. Their son Zachary is completing his PhD in archaeology and Information Studies, and son Jonah practices law in Montreal.




Sylvie Bismuth’s renewed connection to the Jewish community began in her mid-20s when she realized how important the traditions she learned around the table of her Tunisian grandparents’ home were to her. While never having actively been part of the Jewish community until then, she began to explore and learn thanks to many amazing community leaders who helped guide her from one amazing project, cause or group to another. Sylvie’s involvement with the Shaar Hashomayim began long before her membership. She has contributed to the Young Families committee, is the co-Chair of the Shaar 2.0 initiative, and has participated in the expansion of the Mishloach Manot project which was established by the extraordinary Sisterhood. Motivated and inspired by the leadership within the congregation, Sylvie accepted and holds the role of Vice-President. Over the past twenty years, Sylvie has had the privilege of engaging with transformative community leaders who have connected her to meaningful experiences and serendipitous opportunities. Professionally she has worked with the board of directors and major donors of Moishe House and has also worked with the advisory committees of the community-established healthcare institutions to promote the involvement of youth in our community as future healthcare leaders. Delighted to have found a meaningful way to combine her background in financial services with the mitzvah of Binyan Ha’aretz, Sylvie currently serves as the Executive Director of Israel Bonds/Canada-Israel Securities, Limited for the Province of Quebec. As part of her strategic mission, Sylvie is passionate about sharing this message broadly and engaging young families in this dialogue. Along with her husband David, Sylvie is devoted to raising her stepson Jacob and their daughters Lily and Noa within our vibrant and thriving Montreal Jewish community.




Geoffrey is a lawyer and graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law with the degrees of BCL and LLB and he is a member of the bars of Quebec, New York and Massachusetts. Prior, he obtained a BA degree from Tufts University with the honours of Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. Congregation Shaar Hashomayim has always played a central role in Geoffrey’s family life. As a 4th generation Shaar member, Geoffrey has fond memories of attending holiday services with grandparents and family and learning his Bar Mitzvah portion of Toldot with Rev. Herman Muller z”l. Chairman of the Shaar Cemetery Committee and member of the Board of Trustees for almost 25 years, Geoffrey regularly attends Shabbat morning services. Geoffrey a rencontré sa femme, Dr. Isabelle Benoit, au Shaar quand elle a été en visite en provenance de l’Europe pour un congé sabbatique de recherche. Isabelle est professeur à l’Université de Concordia en génomique et génétique fongique. Leur fils, Jérémie, vient de commencer ses études en maternelle à l’école juive.



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Friday, September 22, 2023 7 Tishrei 5784