Ottawa-The Jewish Federation of Ottawa says the beloved Ottawa Bir-Benbarka died at the age of 77.
He died Sunday morning in New York City, where he moved to spend time with his five children after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic and liver cancer in January.
Barca has been a rabbi and rabbi honor in Ottawa’s congregation Machikei Hadas for over 50 years, but his constant presence at the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa gives him the nickname “Canadian Rabbi”. Was helpful.
On June 3, federal law, which creates a week of kindness in the third week of February each year, was given the royal assent.
The bill was inspired by Barca’s own week of kindness, which was created 14 years ago to celebrate and promote the act of kindness in the community in Ottawa.
Barca’s funeral will be livestreamed from New York at 4 pm on Sunday.
The tribute was quickly flooded with social media because of the rabbi, who led many events aimed at advocating for purposes such as organs and blood donations and promoting tolerance and understanding of people of different beliefs.
“My heart hurts when Rabbi Ruben Barca died this morning,” tweeted Senator Jim Manson, the first sponsor of the Kind Week bill.
“But when we die, like life, we always have to think about good things. Thanks to our dear rabbi, we have a kind week in Canada. That we played a role in achieving that. Humbly. We made it a rabbi. We did it! “
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “As’Canada’s Rabbi’,’Rabbi Barca’has a dedication to optimism, humility and kindness to Jewish Canadians and people across the country. I urged him to live. ” “And thanks to his tireless efforts, Canada was the first country to create National Kindness Week. May his memory be a blessing.”
Barca was born in England on June 6, 1944, D-Day, but grew up in New York City. He moved to Ottawa in 1967 and became a rabbi in the congregation Machzikei Hadas. He was in that position until 2015 when he was honored by the rabbi.
In 2019, Ottawa renamed the park next to the Ravibarka Kindness Park in the synagogue. He was given the city key in 2010.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Rabbi Barca,” said Jim Watson, mayor of Ottawa. “He was a great community, a religious leader, gathering people, fighting racism, and spending his life seeking kindness to each other.”
He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2013 for his “dedicated service to the community, especially in promoting interreligious dialogue, health and humanitarian objectives.”
He was also awarded the Canadian Armed Forces Medallion as a meritorious person, “for preaching at national memorial day ceremonies, venerable beings, and a meaningful message to the Canadians.”
However, Barca was strongly criticized for his 1995 book against same-sex marriage and his role as a board member of the National Association’s Scientific Advisory Board for the Study and Treatment of Homosexuality in 2004. Of conversion therapy.
The House of Commons passed a bill last week banning the use of conversion therapy.