Mayor Samuel Moskovitch


Samuel Moskovitch was born in Montreal on October 4th, 1904, the son of Simon and Sonia Moskovitch. He was educated at the High School of Montreal. He received a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in 1925 and was awarded a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1928. He received his formal education as a corporation lawyer and became King’s Counsel in 1948. He was also secretary of McGill’s Law Class in his graduating year (Suburban, May 29, 1976). He married Bess Zumar and had two daughters: Shirley and Mona Joy.

Samuel Moskovitch was well-known in the Jewish community of Montreal and Côte Saint-Luc. He was a legal adviser to the Fur Manufacturer’s Guild of Montreal for 31 years. He was a leader in B’nai B’rith, involved in its affairs for almost 50 years. He served the City of Côte Saint-Luc for 30 years before becoming its first Jewish Mayor, between 1963 and 1976. Mayor Moskovitch was responsible for taking the necessary steps in opening the Cavendish section of the City of Côte Saint-Luc. It was under Mayor Moskovitch that the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library was founded, which opened its doors in 1966. Today, the Samuel Moskovitch Arena in Côte Saint-Luc is named after him.

Some of his accomplishments include: Chairman of the Combined Jewish Appeal (1948), Director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews (1948), Member of the Board of Administration of the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, Chairman of Building Fund of the Maimonides Home for the Aged (which was under construction at this time in 1963), President of the Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged in 1965, former president of the Montefiore Club (1948-1949), and founder-president of the Man’s Association of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim (1949-1951). He received the Maurice Memorial Award as Man of the year in 1966 in recognition of his distinguished service as legal counsel to the Fur Manufacturers Guild Inc. (Gazette, May 25, 1976). He also established the Hilel Foundation at McGill University.

In 1975, Mayor Samuel Moskovitch headed a Canadian delegation to Israel for a twinning ceremony involving the City of Côte Saint-Luc and the City of Ashkelon in Israel. The delegation was composed of 20 persons representing various localities and religious affiliations. The official ceremony was held on the morning of Tuesday, August 26th, 1975. Featured in The Suburban, Mayor Moskovitch states that he was “thrilled with the opportunity to lead this delegation of Canadians to Israel and to profess profound admiration for the courage and fortitude exhibited by the people of Israel during the past difficult years. I trust that the future will hold endless and lasting peace for them.”  The twinning of the two municipalities was affected by the Town Twinning Association of Canada, which pairs Canadian localities with cities of mutual interest in various countries of the world. The project encourages social and cultural exchange of information on municipal affairs for the benefit of the residents of each area. (Suburban, August 13, 1975).

In April 1976, Mayor Moskovitch was honored for his 40 years of dedicated community service at the annual dinner of the Canadian Association for Labor Israel at the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue. The Canadian Association of Labor Israel is an organization that supports the Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation. They provide multiple health, welfare and educational services to Israelis. Moskovitch was presented with the Histadrut Mayor’s Award in honor of his 40 years of exceptional service, both for Canadian public life and as a leader and worker in Jewish communities in Canada and Israel. (Suburban, April 21, 1976).

He was said to be an outstanding orator, being well versed on many subjects. His best speeches contained the message of being a good citizen, a good Canadian and a concerned member of the community. He was a great humanitarian, a man dedicated to his community and to people of all faiths (Suburban, May 29, 1976).

Mayor Moskovitch passed away on May 24, 1976, at the age of 71, falling ill while addressing a local audience at a 25th wedding anniversary party at the Hillsdale Golf Club in Côte Saint-Luc. He died in his Laurentian Country home of an apparent heart attack. His funeral service was held at the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation, at the corner of St. Antoine road and Kensington Avenue.

A month following his passing, the newly constructed municipal arena was named Samuel Moskovitch Arena in dedication to him. In addition, a community and sports center was erected at the ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training) school in Ashkelon as a tribute to Mr. Moskovitch.

From: Côte Saint-Luc Archives