Karen Kadish z”l

Our mother Karen was a beacon of love and inspiration to all. She was an educator by profession—a drama teacher to be more precise—and her desire to make any life experience a teachable moment spilled over into so much of what she did.

She believed in exposing us to new things, exploring our creativity, and giving back to our community. Our mother loved culture and wanted to broaden our knowledge, even outside the Jewish community. She made sure we were immersed in musical theatre and the symphony orchestra, active in the wider community, and that we appreciated being a part of something larger than ourselves. We were encouraged to volunteer and to give back whenever and however we could. We have fond memories of attending the Walk with Israel, volunteering at food banks, and raising funds for the MS Society, to name a few.

Our mother had Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but that did not stop her from living her life to the fullest. Her determination allowed her to live to meet several of her grandchildren and we are so thankful she had those special moments before she passed away in December 2019.

She had a solid, Jewish upbringing. Her father was a successful dentist, and her mother was a modern mother type, teaching fitness classes and selling real estate, amongst other things. As the eldest of four children, Karen used her mother’s basic formula, with some modern twists, for raising her children.

She was selfless and always focused on other’s needs, and was acutely aware that she was in a position of privilege. She instilled this in us, and we will certainly be passing this notion on to our children.

We are proudly sharing her story to honour her memory and to inspire others to live as she did. Even in the face of her progressing medical challenges, she lived by her values. She taught us to make the best of every situation no matter where you may find yourself; to be able to laugh at circumstances that you cannot change; and, to step back and see where you are in the world, and take stock of your good fortune.

She valued being a part of the Jewish community in Toronto and it was so important to her that the community be supported. The Fund established in her name with the Jewish Foundation will honour her and her values.

The analogy that best captures her life is one of the two wooden poles of a Torah scroll; our father is the other side. Together they turn toward each other, wrapping between them both their lives and ours and meet to complete the scroll. Like the Torah has always been with the Jewish people, so will their story.

As told by her four children David, Carli, Joel, and Seth