A tribute to Hyman Shoub: The man behind the scenes


By Wendy Singer

The Montreal General Hospital (MGH) lupus clinic has been holding bi-annual bazaars for several years. These bazaars have a long, rich history, beginning some 35 years ago with the National Council of Jewish Women Canada (NCJWC); the first Jewish women’s organization to be created in Canada.

MGH lupus clinic patient Lillian Shoub, wife of Hyman Shoub, was the Past President of NCJWC, Montreal Section (NCJWCMS), and the driving force behind this division for over 50 years. Although it was a women’s group, some very special men worked behind the scenes. Hyman Shoub, who, for a long time, was known as ‘Mrs. Shoub’s husband’, was involved with NCJWCWS from the time they were both teenagers, joining his wife at their study groups for couples.

NCJWCMS’s bazaars financed the group’s many projects and raised funds for a multitude of causes, including AIDS and autism, and were originally held at Decarie Square. Several years ago, Lillian had the idea of holding the sale at the MGH to benefit lupus. With Michele Tobaly’s (research coordinator, MGH lupus clinic) help, the MGH lupus clinic bazaar came to be.

Hy has been a consistent driving force behind the bazaars. Even in the midst of his successful career, he found a way to get the job done. A graduate of Sir George Williams University with a Bachelor in Commerce and major in Accounting, Hy held several high level positions in the fashion industry, including Vice-President of Finance and Administration for Esprit and Bootlegger, and Vice-President of Administration at Reitmans. His work in this industry certainly was beneficial to him, especially in relation to organizing bazaars.

The bazaar has changed significantly since it was moved to the MGH. NCJWCMS has disbanded, but the Shoubs and several loyal members continue their involvement, including Bella Nachfolger, who makes the crucial phone calls to some 200 suppliers for contributions. In the months leading up to a bazaar, Hy and his friend Miron Goldszmidt dedicate one day or more per week to pick up boxes of merchandise from suppliers.

Hy is grateful to Michele for her work in taking over the reins of this event. “Without Michele, this bazaar would not be possible. She arranges all the transports, rental of racks, volunteers, she is in the room for the entire bazaar. She’s an amazing person. It would not be as successful as it is without her,” adds Hy.

This 76-year old man is most impressed with the student volunteers that Michele recruits, and is delighted when he has the opportunity to share a story or two with them.: “I sat down with a bunch of them and explained how bar coding came to be,” shares Hy. “There is always a lesson to be learned. Whether you are ill or well, volunteerism is a fantastic way to feel good. Everyone benefits from it.”

This kind, giving man is a ‘people person’, and is most fulfilled when playing the role of ‘teacher’. “One of the things in life I enjoy the most is helping people. No matter what the problem, there is always a solution,” says Hy.

Hy has no plans to stop his volunteer work any time in the future. To be able to raise funds for the MGH Lupus Clinic gives him immense satisfaction. “Lillian has received such fantastic care at the lupus clinic. She has been fortunate to have the doctors she has. There is no end to their care. It has been a very good investment!” he adds.

The lupus clinic staff always looks forward to working with Hy. “He is an incredibly positive, supportive, easy-going man with a great sense of humour...nothing is ever a problem!,” shared Michele Tobaly. “Hy has been instrumental in the success of this substantial endeavour and his inspiring life-long dedication to fundraising is nothing short of exemplary."


Although retired, Hy continues to keep busy. He is the president of his condo building in Florida, area chair of seven buildings, and ombudsman for his condo building in Côte Saint-Luc. He is a proud Dad to Shelly and Alan, and grandfather of Carly. Conscious of keeping healthy after having triple bypass surgery eight years ago, he visits his local gym regularly. And then of course, there’s preparing for the bazaars!

The next bazaar is scheduled for June… 2013. All funds raised for the MGH lupus clinic go to the Singer Family Fund for Lupus Research at the MGH, and are matched by the MGH Foundation.

Thank you Hy!