Manuel Batshaw, ‘architect of Montreal’s Jewish community,’ dies at 101
Menu JTA Search

Manuel Batshaw, ‘architect of Montreal’s Jewish community,’ dies at 101

MONTREAL (JTA) — Manuel (Manny) Batshaw, who was considered “the architect of Montreal’s Jewish community,” has died at 101.

Batshaw, who died Monday, won praise for his work over the past nearly half century in structuring some of the community’s main institutions and his renown as a discreet community “fixer.” He was the first Jewish person to earn an honorary doctorate from McGill University.

For years Batshaw served as an adviser to his friend Charles Bronfman, the billionaire Jewish philanthropist and Seagram’s liquor magnate. After retiring from official community life, Batshaw became Bronfman’s director of Jewish affairs.

Batshaw served for 12 years as executive director of the Jewish Federation-CJA and its network of social service agencies, and worked with Jewish schools.

A social worker by training, Batshaw in 1975 issued an exhaustive report on child abuse that set the stage for Quebec to establish such institutions as the Batshaw Youth and Family Services Centre and legislation including the Youth Protection Act.

Batshaw continued performing volunteer community work as a fundraiser well into his 90s.