Message to Sam Fishman December 14th Special Kiddish to honour Sam Fishman sponsored by The Sobel & Wolfman families Valerie & Ed and Nona & David Valerie Sobel's message to Sam
It’s great to have everyone here today to honour someone who probably we all know well. Someone who always sparkles with positivity and leaves you feeling like sunshine. It’s rare gift to make people feel good, but he does it so well.
Of course, you’ve all guessed - I’m talking about our very own Sam. Sammy. SAm I am. I am Sam Dad Zaida Sam Fish. Or ....Mensch ! Otherwise known as the incomparable hard-working President of this Shul, Mr. Sam Fishman.
First, I’d like to welcome Sam’s daughter Marcy, her family, and all of Sam’s friends here. Thank you Marcy for providing a few fill in the blanks items about your dad.
Most of us know Sam as a tall, very intelligent, handsome man, proudly Jewish, proudly Calgarian, a proud supporter of Israel and Jewish causes.
But did you know…..
that Sam is one of Calgary’s most notable and passionate sports fans? So much so that The Calgary Sun did an article on him in September of last year...pretty much declaring our Sam, our Jewish Sam...the unofficial real coach of the Calgary Stampeders!
Sam is a true Cowtown pioneer. Born in Calgary Nov. 6, 1935 to Jack & Lily Fishman (Lily from Poland), members of the Switzer family. He has 2 Siblings: older sister Jessie who lives in Toronto & younger brother Benny of loving memory, who resided in Calgary and passed away in 2013.
As a teenager, Sam attended Crescent Heights High school where he played....what else? Football! And basketball, and fastball. (Later in life he took up tennis...)
He left school to help his parents with the family business, “Economy Cleaners”, something you know today as “Fishman’s Cleaners.” (And Thank you Fishman’s for doing Ed’s shirts so I don’t have to...)
Sam went on to work at Investors Group for almost 1/2 century : 45 years!
He married Doris with whom he had 3 amazing kinds: Marcy, Brent (Ottawa) & Aubrey.
Sam is also the proud Zaida of 5 granddaughters and proud great grand Zaida to 2 great grand children!
He is an avid traveller who made many memorable trips: amongst these - a family trip to Israel to celebrate granddaughter’s Aviva’s Bat Mitzvah. Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Czech Republic, the North American continent and Central America are just a few of the spots Sam visited.
But back to what’s really important....Football...!
Sam is a Stampeders season ticket holder since the mid 1960s, for over 45 years, almost 1/2 a century .... and has by now attended 42+ Grey Cup Championships!
At age 12, Sam attended summer camp in Chestermere...at the same time the Stamps were playing an exhibition game with Montreal at the old Mewata Stadium. Well!!! What was Sam to do ...? Leave it to this 12 year old to sneak out of camp and hitchhike to Calgary for the game !
The result of the game didn’t matter. Supporting his team meant everything. And that was worth whatever consequences waited for him back at camp.
Did they make you scrub the toilets..? Yes, yes they did!
Around 1970, our Sam and a group of rugby players friends started a tradition of attending the Grey Cup every year, no matter where it took place.
He is also widely credited for establishing the party atmosphere that surrounds the CFL Championship game every year. And from what we hear that party atmosphere is more than wild ...
Horses in Hotel Rooms during Grey Cup Festivities?
The Tailgate parties before the games are legendary and Sam doesn’t miss a beat
For tickets, I understand Sam now sits between the 50-55 yard line ...
Every fan in Calgary knows, If Sam was the Stampeders Coach, the team would be in the finals this year....
Both David and I (and as probably most of you) know Sam as the always-well-dressed, always gallant gentleman. A man interested in a wide range of subjects, issues and ideas. But also a man who will never forget to wish a Happy Birthday or to congratulate on a simcha. Or just give a pat on the back.
Every hour is happy hour with this warm and sensitive family man. He loves this Shul, loves humour, loves his family, socializing with friends, loves good food, good laughs, good entertainment and good dancing. He’s been know to throw a party or two ...and even celebrated his birthday twice a year and in style! And he loves celebrating Simcha’s!
Event though Sam’s got a terrific sense of humour, enjoying Stampede every July, Sam takes very very seriously.
As a friend, Sam is beyond generous and kind. Happy to take the shirt of his back for a friend ...and dry-clean it too !
Sam Fishman is a two-time recipient of Beth Tzedec’s Yasher Koach Award & Shem Tov Award for his dedication to the community. At the Beth Tzedec, the joke was - he was the TEMPORARY bingo chairman - his tenure was 10 years...!
The man of the hour simply can’t say no to helping good causes at casinos, bingos, golf tournaments, Alzheimer Society, Shul, Jewish Family Services, Chabad and any charitable community events. This tireless volunteer even does night shifts!
And he has many hobbies too: tennis was a big passion, spending hours on the courts. He loves cards, and games and happy hour at Bayshore Park, as well as his workouts at the CJC. He hasn’t missed any of the recent Beit Halochem concerts and you’ll find him every year at The Jewish Film Festival.
Sam’s motto has always been “Lead, follow or get out of the way”. Kehilat Shalom is a testament to this belief.
We are all so grateful to SAm (and other like minded individuals) for founding this Shul. He loves this Kehilat family and we look forward to seeing Sam here every Shabbos.
And this is why it is so important for us, the congregants of this Shul, and more importantly, Sam’s friends ...to say “Thank you”. Thank you for establishing this Kehilat Shalom family, for your devotion to this Shul and so many other worthy causes, for being so proudly Jewish - an example to future generations, and just for being you. Thank you for being a great gentleman, a thinker, a fan, a friend, a doer - not just a talker, and always a welcomed member of all of our families.
Yasher Koach SAm! Happy belated Birthday. And we love you and thank you for all that you’ve done, continue to do and will do.
And I want to thank David, for coming up with this terrific idea to honour SAm. Long overdue !
Everyone - Please enjoy a kiddish lunch in honor of Sam Fishman following Services sponsored by our 2 families: David and Nona Wolfman and Ed Sobel and myself.
Response from Sam:
My Board Members, Congregation and friends,
I want to thank everybody for the Honor I am humbled to have received, and to those who were able to attend this special Shabbat Service in my honor.
Thanks Valerie Sobel for her message to me and the Congregation, and David Wolfman for his presenting to me an inscribed Gavel to run my Board meetings.
Thanks everyone, and to a Joyful Hanukkah and A Happy New Year with family and friends.
Sam Fishman President Kehilat Shalom
Services at: The Calgary Jewish Community Centre (CJCC)
1607 - 90th Avenue SW
Mailing Address: Kehilat Shalom Society of Calgary 11 Sinclair Crescent SW, Calgary, AB T2W 0L8 . Phone: 403-613-1848 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org