Eulogy for Dr. Joe (April 14, 2017)
Not only is this my dad, and not only is it Dr. Joe, but I was at a very moving funeral several weeks ago and the Rabbi referenced something that I wasn’t aware of. Apparently, there is a Halacha (or Jewish Law) that you have to eulogize the deceased properly. “If you did not praise a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, there will be many more opportunities to repair it. So too, at the wedding, everyone is excited and not paying attention to what is being said. But a eulogy is the lesson we learn from the life of the deceased, and if you do not properly eulogize the deceased, we are all missing the lessons we can learn from the life of the deceased.”
So, on top of everything else, I have exactly one shot to get this right, and while I’m beyond honoured for the opportunity, all I can say is, I’ll try my best, please forgive me if it’s not perfect.
And, make yourselves comfortable.
What are the lessons we can learn from the life of Dr. Joe.? At the start of the service, you heard my dad’s dear friend Cantor Ben Maissner beautifully sing a prayer the he last sang for us at my daughter Syd’s Bat Mitzvah. While it was appropriate as a message for a girl entering adulthood and thus being held responsible as an adult member of the community, it perfectly captures my dad’s life. Here it is;
These are the obligations without measure, whose reward too, is without measure, in this World, and in the World to Come:
- To Honour Father and Mother
- To Act Responsibly, one to the other
- To hasten to the House of Study, both morning and evening
- To welcome the stranger,
- To visit the sick,
- To rejoice with bride and groom,
- To Pray with sincerity
- To accompany the dead to the Grave
- To make peace between one and another,
- But the study of Torah rivals them all and leads to them all.
Let’s look at these individually and see what lessons we can learn from the life of Dr. Joe, and more importantly, how he lived it.
To Honour Father and Mother
If you asked my dad about his parents, he would tell you that everything he did in his life, including how he practiced Medicine, was to honour his parents. His father Ha Rav Aaron, Z’l” was a Shoichet or a ritual slaughterer, an Itinerant Rabbi and a teacher, who escaped the Pogroms in their Shtetl near Odessa in the Ukraine, by a stroke of luck, some very quick thinking and the skin of his teeth. He brought his wife and 3 young daughters to Canada, not speaking a word of English, and with everything they owned melted into 2 silver serving spoons. A quiet and pious man, they said that when he went to study at the home of Rabbi Langner, he stood modestly at the back, but when he did speak, everyone paid great attention, such was the extent of his knowledge and insights. Unfortunately, in the midst of the Great Depression, he was infected with TB, and spent a great deal of time in quarantine in a Sanitarium. While he survived, never really returned to full health. Which brings us to my Grandmother, Sime, Z’L’ who my daughter Sydney is named after, although my dad would be quick to point out, “They tell me she’s named after my mother, but my mother’s name wasn’t Sydney!” As he would say, Anyway, my dad idolized his mom who I think was the greatest influence in his life. He described her beauty, her intelligence, her great sense of humour, her way of expressing herself, always saying that she spoke “not in words and sentences, but in poetry”. But the most important lesson was that, in the midst of the depression, and effectively a single mom due to my grandfather’s illness, with 5 kids, she took it upon herself to support the family by selling light bulbs door to door, never taking a penny of government support, or as my dad referred to it, Pogey.
Growing up we knew exactly who bought bulbs from her, and helped support her family, and who didn’t. Growing up we also had dozens of lightbulbs in the basement, I think my dad saw this as a measure of his own success, that he could afford as many lightbulbs as he wanted. One of her last surviving customers was Manny Mitchell Z’L, who ultimately became our relative, and couldn’t say enough wonderful things about my Grandmother. Their examples of modesty, piety, commitment to family and community influenced all of my dad’s behaviours, personal and professional and he lived every day to make them proud.
To Act Responsibly, one to the other
There’s a very good reason why for thousands of people in Toronto, if you mentioned the name Joe Greenberg, the response was “Oh, you mean Dr. Joe”. For my dad, Medicine was never a job, it was who he was, and at the core of that was acting responsibly, one to the other. A Dinosaur by his later years, he grew up as a Doctor at a time before what I refer to as “Post-Modern” Medicine. He didn’t know from Managing Patients, he had His patients who he cared for and about. He was on call 24/7 every day of his life. When the expression “Holistic Medicine” became popular in the early 80’s, his response was, “What the F#%$ do they think I’ve been doing here for the last 30 years?” For better or worse, there were no days off, and his sense of responsibility never left him. I remember one night, talking to him in the office, and 40 years after the fact, he was virtually inconsolable about the inadvertent overdose of one of his “favourite” patients, because he was on a rare holiday, and if he had only been in Toronto, she’d still be alive.
His care, while falling generally under the category of Medicine, certainly included many things that they don’t teach you in Medical school. Like buying groceries for people who couldn’t get out or couldn’t afford them, finding jobs for people, or, not infrequently acting as a matchmaker, a job for which, he was incredibly ill suited. His patients were all his favourites, the best in every way possible. He used to tell me that it was important that your patients loved you, and that could only happen if you were there for them when they thought they needed you, not when you thought they needed you. He loved them all, and that love was returned to him, as you can see today.
To hasten to the House of Study, both morning and evening
In this prayer, the House of Study actually refers to a place of Jewish Learning, but for my dad, his house of study was the Kitchen table, where he read Medical Journals (after the Sports Page and the Stock Market Reports) and the phone in his office. Among the most amazing things about my dad was both his desire and ability to stay current. He was 66 when I started in Practice and I thought I’d be lucky if I got 5 years with him. Well, in the 22 years that he was down the hall, over countless discussions and consultations, during which he’d ask me a question and then more often than not tell me I was wrong, I never once heard him say, “that’s the way I’ve always done it, so that’s how I’m going to do it.” If it was new or important he wanted to know about it. I can’t tell you how many times I would be upstairs to get a snack, and even well into his 80’s, he would say “Did you see this?” Or “did you hear about this?” Or “I was just speaking to so and so (invariably a professor or the chief of his department) and he told me that..”
So why bother when so many others fall victim to what is currently known as “Therapeutic Inertia”? One day I was talking to David Chernos, whose dad Bernie was a great friend of my father’s and a renowned litigator. He said to me “the difference between you and your dad and me and my dad, is that you love being a Doctor and I love being a Lawyer. Your dad Loves Medicine and my dad loves the Law.” Boy, did he ever. He could talk about patients and cases all day long, and nothing made him happier, or more proud, than when he could talk to a “Real Doctor”, one of the G-ds of medicine who made it into his little brown phone book of what he referred to as his Hieroglyphics, and who always took his calls, and to have a meaningful, colleague to colleague conversation about his patient’s conditions, including them telling him what the latest research or teaching was. These conversations were always interspersed with a couple of jokes in questionable taste and with some details about the patient that most would consider extraneous but that he felt were critical to painting a picture of the patient so that the consultant could feel like he knew the person and could give advice that would be the most appropriate for his patient.
To welcome the stranger,
For my dad, there were no strangers, for, as we used to say about Syd, strangers were just friends she hadn’t met yet. For my dad, they were just patients,friends and even family he’d never met yet. All were welcome, Boxers and Bankers, Cabbies and CEO’s. I never saw him turn anyone away, all were welcome, and as he’d often say, even to those who got his number from the phone book, if they even bothered to call at all, “I haven’t really got time to see you today, but come on over, and bring a shoehorn.”
So how does Family fit into this? My brother Aaron refers to our nuclear family as “The Original Six” but the lines between us and the non-bloods as we refer to ourselves, effectively don’t exist. When the doctor came to see my dad on Monday, he looked at Ian and said I presume you’re a son. We corrected him, but it wasn’t really necessary. At my nephew Michael’s Bar Mitzvah, one of the guests commented on what a tribute it was to my parents that there were so many people there who were so connected. I said “you don’t know the half of it. There’s a woman here today who is the Bar Mitzvah Boy’s Mother’s Brother’s Wife’s Brother’s Wife’s Mother. Most families wouldn’t even know she existed, and we would never have a family event without her.” That of course was Dina’s beloved mother Gertie, Z’L’. Starting with my Auntie Della’s family, the Goodmans, and after we started to marry Zagdanskis, Singers, Posluns, Friedmans, Fines, Krawitz, Cantors and Strauches all seamlessly became integral parts of Dr. Joe’s family, and their expressions of love since his passing are evidence of that and greatly appreciated. It could be quite confusing and comical when we would try to explain to others how we were related.
But for Dr. (assuming she passes her finals) Lauren Friedman, who my dad was particularly proud of for her choice of career and passion for it, found it quite simple. When she worked in my office a couple of summers ago and I introduced her to the patients as my niece, she would tell them, “He’s my uncle, but not by blood”
To visit the sick
Wow, where to start. Some of my earliest memories are of making House Calls with my dad, and I continued to do so even after I graduated from Medicine. As a very little kid, maybe 3 or 4, and well before seat belts and air bags, I would sit in the front seat of his Olds 88, Riding “like a horsey” on top of the doctor’s bag that is now famous from his recent star turn on Storage Wars. He would take me in to see everybody, and say “I brought a REAL Doctor with me”. Unless of course he didn’t want to stay long, in which case he would leave me in the car and tell the patient “I’d love to stay but I left my son in the car.”
There were so many lessons learned on those long car rides.
Medical lessons, not just about diabetic toes and heart failure and pneumonia, but about how it honoured the patients when you went to see them, and how much you could learn about them by seeing how they kept their home, how they welcomed you, etc.
Practical lessons, like how to plan your route before you start, what was the fastest way to get from point A to point B, for example from Bathurst and Sheppard to Keele and Sheppard, (it was actually through De Havilland Air Force Base, ((where the Hangar is now for the kids)) but you could only pass through if you told them you were a Doctor and had been in the Air Force) and to always look for the cheapest gas, even if it meant driving a half an hour to save a penny a gallon. As he liked to say, “That was a lot of money in those days.”
And there were life lessons as well. I remember very well driving with him on Old Forest Hill Rd when I was about 16, and out of the blue, he asked me, “What’s the first thing you notice about a girl?” Well, as a 16 year old with lots to learn, I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it, so I mumbled “Her Smile”. He said “No, it’s her posture.” I was incredulous, having never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. But much like Mark Twain’s dad who got smarter as Mark Twain got older, years later I was asked on National TV what’s the first thing you notice about a girl. Without hesitation, I answered “her posture”. I took a lot of ribbing for it from my friends, but I knew that my dad was right.
Of the hundreds and hundreds of house calls over the years, specific days and times stand out. However, I think the most memorable was Christmas Day, 1970. We went to see a family where the husband was Jewish but the wife wasn’t. We showed up around 3 o’clock, and they were in the middle of a Quasi Kosher Style Christmas Dinner. They were insistent that we join them and, of course we couldn’t offend them so we sat down and ate. We rolled out of there a couple of hours later. What neither of us had realized was that it was Friday, and when we got home, my Mother’s standard 4 main course Shabbat dinner was on the table. We looked at each other as if to say, “Boy did we screw this up” but we never said a word about already being stuffed, and sat down and ate like we hadn’t seen food in a week, ensuring that my mom never knew.
I’m now going to let you in on a few secrets about my dad. His showing up at the hospital very early in the morning was legendary, almost always waking the patients up. The specialists who then came by on their morning rounds were shocked when they were told by their patients “Oh, Dr. Joe was already here”. What no one realized was that this all started after they built the newest Mt Sinai and stopped giving doctors free parking. He got there that early so that he could park for free on University Avenue, and be finished before he got towed.
His office hours always started at 1. He would drive us to school in the morning and then make his rounds, mostly between St. Clair and Wilson, on either side of Bathurst. When he got home my mom would have something waiting for him to eat, but in later years he would say “The only place I ever see lunch is in the dictionary.” Well, the real reason he didn’t have lunch was because he’d already have had breakfast 7 or 8 times, all the ladies on his regular route thrilled at the chance to look after him and share stories and maybe a little gossip.
He basically cared for all of the apartment buildings on Shallmar and the surrounding areas, and as his practice aged with him, as he would say, he was running a virtual nursing home, and allowing these people to maintain their dignity and stay in their own homes. In the early 90’s the Government, in an effort to cut down on costs, decided to remove one of the payment incentives for house calls if more than half of your billings were from House Calls, the theory being that these doctors didn’t have any overhead but were just running a House Call service. So, my dad, because so many of his patients, 200 by his count, were being managed by him at home, got a letter from the Min of Health informing that he owed them back about half of his billings for the year. He was livid, and wrote this impassioned letter about how he was doing REAL medicine, that he was saving the Govt. tens of thousands of dollars etc. When he sent the letter, his impassioned and completely sensible pleas fell on deaf ears, Bureaucrats being what they are, and it looked like he was going to be on the hook for the dough. So, he sent it again, Fortunately, and unbeknownst to him, a friend who was well placed in the OMA had a word with them and they backed off. But we never told him so he still thought the letter worked and was very proud of it.
To rejoice with bride and groom
My dad loved to dance and was really good at it. He made fun of people who danced “just with their shoulders.”. He was very proud of the fact that he won a jitterbug contest when he was in the Air Force. Watching him dance with my mom was a treat. He had this “non- move” where he would spin her away, then stop for a beat, and spin her back. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. He took great pride and joy in attending the weddings of the kids that he delivered, and was always given a seat of honour, and mentioned in the speeches. Family weddings also gave him a chance to show off his vaunted public speaking skills. He described his speech at Sara and Ian’s wedding as “17 minutes of crying and 3 minutes of speech” and said that he was going to get windshield wipers for his glasses for the next one. In one of the funniest things we’d ever seen, at Aaron and Flea’s wedding, as he stood up to speak, a number of women ran up to him with boxes of Kleenex and even an umbrella in anticipation of another soggy speech.
Another little secret about my dad, something that he was very proud of and some of you may have even benefited from, is that he apparently was the first Doctor in Canada to be allowed to write off Bar and Bat Mitzvah and wedding gifts. He told the auditors at Revenue Canada, “What choice do I have? If I deliver a Jewish Baby, I’m going to be invited to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah 13 years later, and I’m invited to all the weddings of the kids I deliver”. He won that one by himself.
To Pray with sincerity
Some of you may be wondering why a man who is so well known for his initially saving, and then his passionate and unwavering support of Congregation Shaarei Tzedec, an Orthodox Shul which is the second oldest continually active Shul in Toronto, is having his funeral at Holy Blossom, Canada’s foremost Reform Congregation. There are several reasons. His long relationship with Cantor Maissner, the fact that the Clergy have always been incredibly generous in welcoming and honouring him when he would come for services, that it’s so convenient to the cemetery (remember the planning your efficient route lesson) and quite frankly, with the Jays in town and the Leafs in the playoffs, the Rogers Centre and The ACC aren’t available and we thought we would need the space.
However, I think what most people don’t know about my dad is that while he was “President for Life” at “Dr. Joe’s Shul” for 50 years, and it is in fact an Orthodox Synagogue, my dad was no snob. His involvement there, much like his practice started in order to honour his parents who were members there. But, he wanted it to be a “Cool Shul”. He used to say “I don’t care if you come by helicopter, just come”. Our “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, basically was, if you come and fit in, we don’t really care who you are. Gay couples, non-Jews, even a nun at one point have all been regulars over the years.
What made my dad happiest was the fact that for some reason, so many people feel comfortable and inspired there. My cousin Earl has pointed out that it’s because there are no doors between the front doors and the sanctuary. My dad liked to say that “it’s the only Shul I know where you can come with your son and sit with your father” and the fact that we could do that with him for so many years was a great blessing. His grand vision was that it would become a self-sustaining center of prayer, learning and community that wouldn’t have to take any money from anyone, just for all to come and be welcome, is something that we will continue to strive to make a reality in the coming months and years.
To accompany the dead to the Grave
For many years, my dad stopped going to funerals. He would say to me, “I can’t do anything more for them now”, always making sure that he visited the family at home on the morning of the funeral, and perhaps more importantly, the morning after the Shiva. But in recent years, as he got out of the house less, he started going again, and especially to Shivas. I think it’s fair to say that he enjoyed the social aspect, and particularly, for lack of a better expression, the adulation. Taking my dad to a Shiva was quite an experience. For those of you that remember the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he strides on stage and you can hear the audience saying “Leopold, Leopold”, I would push him in in his wheelchair, and the crowd would part like the Red Sea with murmurs of “Dr. Joe is here”, people virtually fighting to get in line to say hello to him. We had a good laugh at the Shiva of his old patient and friend Lola Foster a couple of years ago. With her daughters Linda and Evie fawning all over him, at one point I heard one of them exclaim, “Your 92 and a half?!? I just looked at him and I said, “what are you, 2?!?”. But as my sister pointed out that half was important to him, and now that he’s gone I realize that that half is actually six months, an amount of time that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
It really was quite something for him to go, often not easy for him to get there, and, much like the house calls, he needed to honour his patients and friends by making the effort to comfort and console them in their time of need.
To make peace between one and another
My father considered himself a master of Détente, and even recently I think he felt that he could get Edwin (Encarnacion) to re-sign with the Jays if he could just get all the interested parties in a room with him. Interestingly, in the more orthodox Art Scroll Siddur that we use at his Shul, it doesn’t just talk about peace between one and another, but also specifically between a man and his wife. While he really did pride himself on his marriage counselling skills, he loved to tell a story about one that didn’t work out quite so well. One of his male patients came to see him and told him that he was potentially in big trouble. He told my dad that he had this mistress, gorgeous, sexy, and totally “in to him”, and that he had put her up in an apartment. He was afraid that his wife was getting suspicious, and he really didn’t know if she caught on whether he would leave the mistress or his wife. My dad said to him, “Take your wife put HER in the apartment, let your mistress look after your house, and you’ll wind up with the World’s Greatest Mistress, and a much better cleaning lady. Now go home and straighten it out”. So the guy goes home, doesn’t exactly come clean to his wife, but showers her with love and compliments and tells her he’s sorry he’s been so distant but he wants a fresh start. After they do what people do in these situations (we are in Shul after all)(*He would have said “Connubial Bliss”) He says to his wife, “Honey, this is so great, let’s order in Chinese” So he picks up the phone, orders the food, and when they ask for the address for it to be delivered, he gives them the address to his mistress’s apartment. Suffice to say, that didn’t quite work out as Dr. Joe envisioned.
But the study of Torah rivals them all and leads to them all.
My dad sent us all to Hebrew Day School, philosophically yes, but practically too, because he always resented having to go to Cheder after school, and he wanted us to be able to go out and play whereas he couldn’t. In retrospect, it’s not clear why he resented it, because, given the number of Cheders he was thrown out of, I’m not sure he actually spent much time inside. So my dad was no Torah Scholar, and his Hebrew wasn’t great, but to sit next to him in Shul while he would read along with the weekly Parsha was a treat, and really said so much about who he was. He loved reading the Chumash, Edited by Dr J.H Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire. He loved the language and the erudition and got great joy out of it. And every once in a while he would turn to me and say “Did you know that…” and I would just smile and acknowledge that I did, but after seeing it through his wise and fresh eyes, invariably I would get a new take on something that I had taken for granted.
So these are just some of the lessons we’ve learned from the life of Dr. Joe, how he not just fulfilled, but lived the obligations without measure, whose rewards too are without measure, in this world and in the world to come.
Was Dr. Joe rewarded in this world? Look around, and you’ll see the rewards in the faces of patients, friends and family who, by your presence today, not only honoured him, but reflect the rewards his years of fulfilling these obligations brought him.
As for the rewards at the end of his life, when speaking to my cousin Itzik in Israel and describing the details of his passing, he simply responded, Zeh Magiya Lo, that he deserved this, that this was fitting for him.
And as for the world to come? In an undergrad course I was given an assignment to write about Jewish concepts of the Afterlife. Unlike many other cultures and religions, there’s surprisingly little written about it, not much beyond the lines of the traditional wish of “finding your eternal rest in the Garden of Eden, under the protective wings of G-d’s spirit.” However, I’d like to think he’s reunited with his beloved parents, siblings and patients, Jitterbugging, playing basketball, hitting home runs, and making house calls and having breakfast to his heart’s content, and that in the World to Come, he’s enjoying all of the rewards that his fulfillment of these obligations in this world should bring as his eternal reward. Zeh Magiya Loh. More than anyone I’ve ever known, he deserves it.
Thoughts about Dr. Joe from the community
The community Said
I love Dr. Joe. When I first arrived in Toronto in 1997, I lived at Palmerston Blvd and Ulster and by divine providence I walked into his doctor's office at 619 Bathurst. He introduced me to the shul. He has left behind a huge legacy! A true mensch and a tzadik gadol.
I first met Dr jo when I visited his son David I often met him on my visits. He always spoke and asked how I was and how the family was. This world has lost a loving and cairing Doctor. Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the family
I called Dr. Joe just to say hello two or three years ago and spent close to two hours listening to him. I loved every second. David, your dad was a great man and he will be dearly missed.
MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES ON THE PROFOUND LOSS OF YOUR INCREDIBLE FATHER AND REMARKABLE HUMAN BEING, JOE.
Dr. Joe, a true mensch! A great story teller, our friend ... he will be missed. Zikhrono Livrakha, May his memory be for blessing.
Selma Lenchner Frankel, Jordana Frankel-Sable, Steven
In Memory of Dr. Joe Greenberg- beloved Dr. Joe to all of us- the most incredible son, husband, father, grandfather and most esteemed doctor to everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.
Dr. Joe wrote the book on patient care, kindness and compassion. He will be truly missed by all.
With Love, Steve and Pam Freedman
Dear David and family, my condolences on the loss of your father. May his memory always be for a blessing.
"Dr. Joe"'s life was intertwined with the Stroms for many,many years. We all have wonderful stories of our encounters with him. He was a great, compassionate doctor but what I loved best were his kisses, and his sense of humour and playfulness. He never lost that!! When my dad died he came to the shiva but he wasn't able to get out of the car. When we heard he was outside, we were so happy to see him and ALL ran out to talk to him and hear stories of our dad. He was one of a kind and he will be greatly missed, Carol Strom
A larger than life character who served humanity with the utmost in dignity and humility. For a small man in stature he packed a hell of a punch. I always loved to sit in the waiting room and hear him trade barbs. A truly great man full of integrity. He left the world a much richer place.
Dr. Joe meant the world to us. He was like sunshine....warm, bright and with a glowing smile. We will hold memories of him deep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. The many newspaper articles praising him were well deserved. Rest in peace dear Dr. Joe.
Shelley & Syd Sukerman
Dear Sara & Family
I was extremely sad to hear of your father's passing. He was a most selfless & non-judgemental person. I feel honoured to have known him!
Dear David : Our condolences to you and your family on the passing of your very special father.
Brahm Eiley, Victoria BC
Dear David and Aaron, our deepest condolences to your entire family and friends.
My sincere condolences on the passing of Dr. Joe. He was one of a kind and a mensch. Shirley Swartz
Heartfelt condolences to the Greenberg family. We will celebrate his incredible life and legacy.
My condolences to the entire family. Dr. Joe gave new meaning to dedication, kindness and caring. He was a beautiful soul and will be sorely missed by all in Belle Ewart.
Dear Sara and Ian and family Our deepest condolences on your loss. We hope you will find comfort in his memory and legacy. Love, Felicia and Eddy
Felicia & Eddy
Over 50 years of love and friendship that often stretched across the miles. My deepest condolences to the family of this unique human being. May you all have the love, strength and support of each other to sustain you during this sad time. The kind of love Dr. Joe epitomized does not vanish. His wonderful spirit and soul and the lessons he lived in his good life will transcend all and last forever. The world is a darker place as the light from this precious soul ascends.
He had a twinkle in his eye, a sense of mischief, laughter was his gift to others, a love for people and to share the moment with whomever he was talking to just because he cared about them. This is a rare quality. He would hold out his hand & pull me in for a hug & a kiss. A gentleman & a mensch. What a role model to his family & to our community. Jews & gentiles knew & respected "Dr. Joe". My sincerest condolences, Ellen Morris
To The Entire Greenberg family, please accept our condolences on the loss of your Husband, Father & grandfather.Dr Joe was a true mensh.. He was a Kind soul, He NEVER NEVER said no I dont have time, It did not matter how many people were waiting to see him , We all got in with a smile and a huge Hug.. We will never forget you Dr joe you were one of a Kind.. RIP Laurie & Jeff Yanofsky
Laurie & Jeff Yanofsky
Dear Greenberg family...our deepest condolences on the loss of your father/grandfather..words cannot adequately describe how grateful we are for our "Dr. Joe". He delivered our children and continued to care for our entire family until his retirement. What an incredible man! May you gain strength from all your wonderful memories..we will miss him.
Susan and Joseph Deluca
Dear Amy, David, Sara, Aaron and Pepi, There are few people in my life who have made the lasting impact that your dear father and husband has. Outside of immediate family, only Dr. Joe would always greet me with a kiss on the lips whenever I visited. While I hated those kisses as a kid, they were truly an expression of who was and his love of people. And while I rarely saw him over the past number of years, I will always remember him as a role model in how to make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
I read the condolences and ask myself, "what can I possibly add"? Doc Joe has been there for me and my extended family far too many times to mention: theres simply not enough space here. His assistance knew no boundaries and had no time limits. He gave and he gave. He wore his huge heart on his sleeve; he was so easy to love. A real hero has passed.
Dear Pepsi, David, Sara, Aaron , Amy et. al: Where to start...our beloved Dr. Joe was so much more than a doctor to all of us.. He became a life long friend of my parents, Harry and Hilda Mitz and could often be found in their kitchen having breakfast and a kibbutz with Harry .. As much as I loved him, he loved my father more! There wasn't a Jewish holiday that went by where my mother did not show up with a little something for Dr. Joe and Pepi to acknowledge the holiday... Sometimes homemade gefilte fish but more often home made Mandelbrot.. When my daughter Jennifer was born, July 5th, 1976... Joe arrived from the cottage where he had been writing his reports with a 3 day growth of beard and an Honest Eds shopping bag. He turned to me on the table about to give birth and said.."I'm glad to see you put on a little makeup!" I looked at him while in the throws of labor and said.."it's good I know you are a real "doctor" So many wonderful memories, we were blessed to have him in our lives and I can well imagine he will be telling the same Dr. Joe jokes in heaven to all who have gone before him.. I know for sure my Dad Harry has been waiting 16 1/2 years to be reunited..with his dear friend Dr. Joe.. Rest in piece..you were a one of a kind doctor and friend...
Barry and Melanie Cohen
Joe will be in our hearts as a wonderful person , excellent physician and friend. We will miss him Khush and Olive
Khursheed and Olive Jeejeebhoy
Dr Joe was more than our doctor for many years, he was a cherished friend of our entire family. Visits to his office were legendary, as he will be remembered as well. My sincere condolences to the entire family.
Dr. David and family . We were all very saddened to hear about Dr. Joe's passing... Dr. Joe was the epitomy of a mensch... He was The Rolin Family doctor for many many years and we loved him dearly! A very very "Special" human being! Our sincere condolences
Andi and Ian Rolin and kids
Dear Aaron and Family, I send my deepest condolences on the passing of Dr. Joe. Take comfort in knowing he was loved and highly respected by all who knew him!
Dr Joe was much beloved in our home he cared for our dad Frank Fox and all of us during the early years when my brothers played hockey at forest hill. I have never met another person like Dr Joe he was a national treasure. I feel blessed to have known and loved him. May you find peace and comfort together as a family during your time of sadness. We are away or would certainly have been present at the service . Anne &Claudine Fox and family .
I'm soooooo very sorry to the whole family!!! Dr Joe was the most amazing Dr ever!! I will miss his wet cheek kisses and huge hugs!!! Thank you Dr Joe for everything you were and will continue to be...An amazing human being!!!!!I Love You Dr Joe always and forever
Dr. Dave and family, sorry for your sad loss. Our thoughts are with you.
David: Joe was special. We spoke often. He would call and tell me a tale with all the humanity of the quintessential physician. He was like no one I ever interacted with. He was special.
We are sorry for your loss. Dr. Joe was one of a kind and his memory will be held in our hearts forever. Our heartfelt condolences at this sad and difficult time.
Dianne and Leon Ikka
Sending all my love, and my deepest condolences to the Greenberg family. Dr. Joe was the kindest, most loving, caring, and humble person I have ever known. He served in RCAF with my Zaida. He was all of my family's Doctor at one time or another. Having Dr. Joe and his loving wife Pepi at my wedding was a huge honour for me. I will miss hearing "hiya" whenever I called the office. There was NEVER a time when he was too busy to help me, yet he was the busiest Doctor on earth. There will never be another Doctor who took care of his patients like Dr. Joe did. He is the epitome of the word "mensch. I will miss him with all my heart. I truly loved him so much, as I believe everyone who knew him did. Again, I am so, so sorry for your incredible loss.
Dear David and the entire Greenberg Family Doctor Joe was a giant amongst giants. His care and kindness know no limits. His endearing smile warmed the hearts of all those who were lucky to be the recipient of it. I was fortunate to have Joe not only as my doctor but my friend and mentor. Not only did he guide me through matters of health but also through the bumpy road of life.We were saddened to learn of his passing. Our deepest condolences and may you and the family know no more sorrow. All our love Izzie and Malki
Izzie and Malki Abrams
Dear Pepi and the family of Dear Dr. Joe Greenberg. While there is never a good time to lose a treasured patriarch, 'Dr. Joe', as we all knew him, left a legacy of love, caring, and friendship that raised the benchmark just a little higher. He is one of the few gentleman that left the world a better place because he was here. 'Dr. Joe' will be sadly missed but fondly remembered in the wonderful stories and memories that we all share. We often thought of him as the mayor of 'Belle Ewart". Please accept our most sincere and heartfelt condolences. Our hearts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Elaine and David Ross
Dear David and family: Sincere condolences on the passing of your dad, one of the last elder statesmen of the Jewish GP Community.
Dr. Seymour Berlin
Dr. Joe was the only doctor we ever knew who would call our home just to say hello. It was always such a warm feeling to hear that familiar, "hi ya", on the other end of the line. He would ask about the family; name each of our children; and reminisce about a thought or wish for all of us. What a wonderful human being. We loved Joe, but Dr. Joe loved everyone. Our sincere condolences to his family; his neighbourhood; and our city, because we have lost one of our best.
Clyde and Evelyn (Hava) Gray
He was a truly wonderful, caring, saint of a man. Cared for four generations of our family. A memory like a steel trap, the language of a longshoreman and the touch of an angel. He could make you laugh your illness away.
Words cannot describe my feelings for Dr Joe He was the epitome of kindness thoughtfulness and in general an amazing human being. He delivered all my 7 children and, in fact drove me to the hospital from my house when my son called because I had back pains and was expecting my 7th Had he not been at a shiva house nearby my 12 year old would have had to deliver I will always remember the drive to the hospital when dr joe kept telling me jokes on the way Upon arriving at the hospital he left the car open and rushed me to the delivery room just in time for Sari to be born Dr joe had been my doctor since summer of 73 when I had a bad car accident He also took care of my father in his later year until his death My family will always be indebted to him and his memory will linger on in our hearts forever Hashem yenachem etchem I'm sheor Bnei Yisroel Be proud of him and all he achieved in his lifetime He will not be forgotten but will live in our hearts forever
Dear David and Family, we are so sorry to hear about the passing of our beloved, Dr Joe. We will always remember his big smile, kindness, house calls, and Big Kisses. He made us all feel so special. We loved sitting on the table and having our annual camp check ups and all of you coming home from school to check in. He has touched so many lives. Treasure all your wonderful memories as a family. Lots of love, Evie, Josh and The Fosters
All I can say is that he was the best.
Dr. Joe was a part of our lives. Ben 's relationship goes back to 1951 at the ph1 dee eh fraternity. He was part of our rhumba band, playing the marachas. When Rachel came to Toronto in 1960, he became our doctor and delivered all four of our children (including twins we knew nothing about until they were born). Mutti, Rachel's mother kept a supply of nuts for Joe's weekly home visits.We sat in the office every week for allergy shots Joe was a real "Mensch".. We all thank Joe for his wonderful care of the whole family. Rachel, Ben, Avi, Leo, Esther, Michael (Schlesinger)
My father was friends with Dr.Joe way way back. Dr.Joe delivered me and my sister and others in my family. He loved us and we him. My father passed away and Dr.Joe was there to help pick up the pieces. When I got married he told me it was an honour to say the prayer over the bread but the truth is the honour was all ours. Dr. Joe held my daughter on the bima as she was given her Hebrew name. Next Year when my eldest stands on the same bima Dr.Joe and my father will be beside him. I will forever miss and love this man. G-d has blessed us all for having him in our lives.
Dr. Joe was a second father to our sister, Tina Urman (Diamond). He knew our Father through the RCAF and involvement in sports.
Our Dad was so very special, and when he passed at 65, Dr. Joe was able to help ease the sorrow. He and Tina had a wonderful relationship both personally and medically and we lived vicariously through it with all of the warm and special stories she told us.
Additionally, we had the opportunity to spend time with this very special human being on many occasions. We loved our Dad dearly, and to say that Dr. Joe was a second Father could be no better tribute to anyone.
Thank you, his family, for sharing him with the world. So many will be have their own memories and stories and he will live on.
Sharyn & Tony Lewis
Dear Pepi and family, We are so sorry to learn of the passing of Joe.He was unique and a true legend that will always live on , be loved and cherished for his goodness, caring and devotion to all. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time.
Beverley Bobkin English and Norm English
Our sincere condolences to the Greenberg family. A life to be celebrated.
Heather and Mark Librach
Dear Pepi, David and family I know you know what Dr. Joe means to me and my family. Words can not express what I'm feeling in my heart. G-d bless you all during this most difficult time. Dr.Joe you were always there for me in sickness and health. I will forever love you. Madame Butterfly
Listening to all of you speaking today I will never forget. We wish you all Long Life. Love Anita and Jerry.Sherman.
Anita and Jerry Sherman
Dear Sara, Ian and Family, My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. That truly was a meaningful funeral today and I sure felt the love and admiration you had for your father. You were really blessed with a special man and role model. May you carry with you many memories and lessons with you and always have lots of love and support around you. Sending hugs. Love, Marla Kamin and Family
Dear Greenberg Family, I have known Pepi since the time we were tennagers through our mutual aunt. She married Joe who fell head over heels in love for this adorable young girl! They both wanted a big and beautiful family. Joe looked after our son and myself many years ago." Dr. Joe" was all you elegantly described today at his funeral! May his memory be a blessing and give you strength during this sad time.
Dear David, My deepest condolences to you and the whole Greenberg family on the passing of Doc Joe. He was most certainly one of a kind. A truly great man. From the old days at the cottage usually for ear infections to his house calls looking after my Nana and of course at the rink. Nothing but wonderful warm memories.
My sincere condolences on the passing of Dr. Joe -- what a special man. He was my obstetrician and pediatrician for my first born son and my gp for many years. What a wonderful doctor and man. He was compassionate, caring, kind, attentive, a true mensch. I watched his son David on t.v. and he reminded me so much of his father. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. I truly loved this man and I am sure that he is being welcomed with love and open arms by the many patients of his who went before him.
Dr. Joe leaves a legacy of kindness and consideration and selflessness. May we all catch these qualities, along with his infectious smile.
Condolences to David and Sarah and all. Doc Joe was a legend. Can't imagine playing hockey without him in the stands. Not to mention his storied career as a medical practitioner from days gone by. A loss for all of mankind.
Dear Pepi, Amy, David, Sara, and Aaron, I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He was such a special human being and loving doctor who delivered my three children. I was always so proud to refer to him as my distant cousin. (His mother was my grandmother's first cousin.) The funeral service today touched my heart and reminded me of my first husband, Marvin's last days on earth in 1992. Joe came to visit him at the hospital and attempted to feed him. He told Marvin he should accept some nourishment to regain his strength. Even though Marvin respected and admired Dr. Joe, he refused his offer of food. I guess he felt it was time for him to leave this earth and didn't need the nourishment. I will always remember our Dr. Joe and the difference he made in so many peoples' lives.
NIsan 18, 5777. Second Day of Chol Hamoed Pesach: To the Greenberg Family and friends: Our condolences to you on the loss of your beloved Dr Joe A"h.. May his memory be for a blessing. We were glad that we we able to be of service to you and wish you all good health and happiness. May Hashem comfort you, with all the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher V'Sameach
Avi and Chaim of Sunrise Kosher Food & Catering
Dear Greenberg family. Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your beloved husband, brother, father & grandfather. Dr Joe was truly a special human being and will greatly missed. May you find comfort in your memories.
Brian & Patrice Pollack
Sincere condolences. Dr. Joe was a lovely man and always had a smile, even on the phone.
My sincere condolences to the entire family. Our family's bond with Doc Joe goes back at least 60 years when he looked after my grandparents and my father and his siblings. Whenever I saw him he would always have a story about his relationship with my grandparents and my parents that would undoubtedly bring a smile to my face. He was always there for the tough times that they experienced and carried himself with compassion and civility. There will never be anyone like Doc Joe. Truly the world has lost an iconic figure. May his memory be for a blessing.
David, I have wonderful memories of visiting you and the rest of the Greenberg clan down at 619 and getting to know your entire family thru our high school years together, and beyond. Dr. Joe will always be remembered as a kind soul who gave everything to his family and to his patients/friends. He was a tremendous help to my dad in the last few months of his life and the Pivnick family was always very grateful for that. My sincere condolences to all of you on the passing of your dad/grandfather. Lastly, it is also lovely to see how close a family all of you are -- a great legacy to both of your parents.
Dear Greenberg family. There really are no words to express the feeling of sadness over the passing of Dr. Joe. He was a special human being. Definitely a humanist - someone who genuinely cared about anyone and everyone he came in contact with whether it was a friend or a patient. He was funny, sensitive, caring and made the world a better place. He will live on in our hearts. Love, Billie Stone and family
To Mort and all of the Greenberg family we, the Pearls, send our condolences on the loss of a true community hero. The emptiness in your family cannot be measured. Hold on to a lifetime of good memories. Marvin and Mary Pearl, Pompano Beach, Florida.
Dave: Lisa, Kevin and I are sending you all our love during this very difficult time for you and your family. Your dad was a wonderful man as literally the entire city of Toronto will attest to. Sending you love and strength.
Dear David and Family, I am truly sorry to hear about the passing of the great Dr Joe. I will always remember his big smile, kind heart and his house calls and waiting hours for my appointments. But he was totally worth the wait. Most of all going out of his way for his patients. He made my family feel so special when after my dad passed away he would weekly come and ck up on my mom. Until passed on. He was a great man who will be truly misses.
The last of a kind .They do not make doctors like him anymore. Deepest condolences to the faintly.
Dear Pepi, Sara, David, Aaron, Amy and families, Harry and I were saddened to hear of Dr. Joe's death. I'm sure you all realize how he impacted our lives and how he helped us survive the most unbearable times. You might not remember this, but after our son David was born, your family went to Israel. When you got home, Dr Joe came to our house to visit and see how we were coping. He was carrying a little box with Hebrew writing on it. Inside was a small Tallis for our sweet son. That was in December 1980. To this day when we tell people this story, we cry. Tragically, David died when he was 10 years old. He was buried wearing the Tallis your family brought for him. We loved your husband and father very much and he will always be part of us. With love and our deepest condolences,
Harry and Iris Kohn
Dr. Joe was my family doctor for many years. He was often called the last of a generation of family doctors but he was so unique and far surpassed a simple “last of a generation” title. Over the years he was more than a doctor to me and my wife, my parents, sister and he provided many years of dedicated care to my Nana and Grandpa Ben. He was a family friend, I went to camp and school with his kids, and he was a neighbor at the cottage. He kept office hours, delivered babies, was out doing house calls (hospital visits and retirement homes too), visited his elderly patients on a regular basis, and just kept going. His office was a constantly ringing phone with rarely a receptionist and Dr. Joe answering almost all calls personally, a waiting room that always held one more last minute patient, kisses on the lips especially if you had mono, and always a sense of humour no matter how exhausted he must have been. I have many stories (or he had stories about me) about Dr. Joe but his thorough enjoyment of my fainting was a constant. After years of fainting from needles and blood tests he just tended to ignore me. But when I sat on his floor and fainted, came too and I said ‘I just fainted’ he and my mother just kept talking until I said, “Dr. Joe, you have a new floor”. From then on most times I came into the office he would tell everyone in the waiting room that I may always faint but I am the only patient who noticed the new floor. Most importantly he was always there for his patients. When my wife found a lump in her breast 21 years ago she was of course very upset. Her OBGYN at the time told her she had nothing to worry about as no one her age got breast cancer and he would see her in a few weeks. Alex called Dr. Joe and he told her to come immediately and he would deliver “curbside drive-thru boob service”. He had her seeing the surgeon a couple days later with a quick biopsy to follow and an appointment with the oncologist to confirm her cancer in just over a week. He was there every step of the way reading every report and fully update on her progress when he called to check-in or as he followed-up for the next few years. Thank you to the whole Greenberg family for allowing Dr. Joe to give so much to so many.
I love you Dr. David. When I hugged and kissed your son JJ at the subway station I saw a vision of him, you and your father, like an incarnation. It was very beautiful. About a year or so ago I had a fascinating conversation with Dr.Joe about women's rights and support of breastfeeding - and realistic, guilt - free education regarding methods of childbirth/ pain management. When it was my turn to see you, your Dad held both my hands and thanked me warmly for the talk. God Bless him. What a sweet and sublime person and sole. When my Mom died I opened only one of many, many sympathy cards. It said "may God bless you and give you Peace of Mind". I liked that a lot. Had no need to open the others. Love to you and your family always,
Pepi, Sara, David and families, It's a happy day in heaven, because they just got the best!! Forever in my heart Love Nancy
Nancy Dover Fleischer
Dear David Margot and family, please except my condolences on the loss of your father. He was a unique, compassionate individual and a one of a kind physician. I had the privilege of working with him both in the legal and insurance profession. I only have good memories, he will be greatly missed by the whole community. I am glad David will be able to carry-on the Greenberg tradition .
Dear Amy: So sorry to hear the sad news about your beloved dad. I'm thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
Dear David Margot Aaron Felicia and pepi My heartfelt condolences for your loss. May his soul rest in peace in the best place in heaven Amin. Love Ghazala
I did not know Dr Joe very well but we can all see that his legacy lives on in the work of Dr Dave, whom we wish arichas yomim
Dear Sarah and family. I am so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. My sincere condolences to all of you. I have many nice memories of your wonderful father from Belle Ewart days. May the many memories that you have in your hearts help you through this sad time. Warmly, Elise Cohen
David, Margot and entire Greenberg Family: We send you our most sincere condolences. We are so sorry for your loss.
Miles Kettner & Melissa Muskat
Pepi and David and family - my most sincere condolences. Joe was a great doctor and a wonderful friend and the warmest human being ever. I will certainly miss him, as will countless others who knew him for even a moment.
My sincere condolences to the entire Greenberg family. I had the pleasure of knowing the Greenberg family and Dr. Joe, having been a classmate of Amy’s at USDS and FHCI. Of course, there were are all the Cedarvale house-calls growing up and the weekly allergy shots at 519 Bathurst which began with a dirty joke, continued with sage words about the human condition, and ended with Joe arranging a ride for me, north on Bathurst with one of his patients. It is probably Joe’s fault that I am an orthopaedic surgeon; though, I realize it is impossible to match his clinical acumen, advocacy for his patients, and ceaseless battle against managed care. The greatest honour I received in medicine was a call from Dr. Joe to talk about the latest news in orthopaedics, and if I could help one of his beloved patients. Dr. Joe, all of us miss your calls, your humour, your sincerity, but know your care and generosity continues to set the example.
Dr. Joe had an outstanding personality and generous disposition . When I was a pharmaceutical rep many years ago he also found time for me and when I told him I was on the YMHA Judo team he indicated he would make himself available to treat our members. Fortunately we were ok but I really appreciated his volunteering. It is no wonder so many people feel we have lost a great champion for humanity.
Norman and Gail Gardner
What an amazing man, Dr. Joe was just so special in every way and unique. A mensch in every sense of the word and a Jew who gave to the world. David and family, a legacy that will live for a long time. He will be missed by everyone who ever met him.
Dear Greenberg family, My deepest and heartfelt condolences to all bloods and non-bloods. Dr. Joe had the kindest of souls, and the wettest of kisses and always made me feel like I was the only one in the room...despite needing a shoe horn to get in there! It was Dr. Joe who guided me on my path to education and encouraged me to be a special education teacher. He was a mentor and role model and shared his limitless love and passion with all those around him. I am blessed to have known him and grateful to have been a part of his legacy. I will miss him dearly... Love to the family
My heartfelt condolences on the passing of a true mensch . who lived a life devoted to his community.
Amy and Luis-With sincere sympathy to your family
Sharon & Les Kravitz
Ian and Sara,
My wife,Carole and I were so saddened to hear of the recent passing of Dr. Joe.
Many words have been written and spoken about this icon of a person, who looked on everyone that he treated, as just a person who needed his help. It did not matter if a person was of high station, rich, or famous, or just an newcomer to Canada, when you sat in Dr. joe's office you waited your turn to be seen by him. No one jumped the queue unless Dr. Joe said. The Greenberg and Sherkin families have had a long and colorful history together, and as much as we miss your dad, I know that you miss him more. I hope you find some solace that he is resting in peace, and if G-D ever gets sick, we know that Dr. Joe will get him(or her!) better in a very short order.
Carole and Marvin Sherkin
We were very very sad to hear the news of Joe's passing, whom we have known for nearly 50 years. He was truly a unique phenomenon - a brilliant doctor, compassionate, a true friend - and on top of it, with a great sense of humour. Our deepest condolences to his whole family.
Jytte and David Birnbaum
He was a wonderful human being and we all loved him.
One of a kind human being. I don't know anybody else like him. He should definitely be in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and a proper tribute should be given to him in the Globe & Mail's Obituary section, on the last page of the Sports Section, which is also appropriate based on his pioneering career in Sports Medicine, with his work in the boxing world. Hopefully, one of the children will take the lead on this. He was known internationally, and this would be a nice way to notify those outside of our city, and within it too. It was a privilege to know him, as we should all feel so privileged for those who shared an ounce of time with him. As incredible would be his wife. As we all know, behind every great man is standing as equally a great woman. May your Mom be in good health for years to come. May he rest in peace and may the Almighty comfort the family among those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.
With Love, the Winston Family
We were very very sad to hear the news of Joe's passing, whom we have known for nearly 50 years. He was truly a unique phenomenon - a brilliant doctor, compassionate, a true friend - and on top of it, with a great sense of humour. Our deepest condolences to his whole family.
Jytte and David Birnbaum
Dr. Joe leaves a legacy! David and family, I'm so sorry for your loss. May your dad live forever in your hearts! He was the best!
Dear David and family. Our heartfelt condolences on the loss of a larger than life man. I will miss his "Hi ya's" and "don't hang up" (never would I try!). Not to mention his repetitive crazy jokes and his big hugs and kisses. We will forever be grateful for the influence you have had on our family and for your cherished friendship, wisdom and care. May your family gain strength in this time of reflection and sorrow and be filled with the wonderful memories you have left them. Rest in peace, Dr. Joe. You have earned it... Sue, David and Billy
Sue Cohen and David Silverstein
Dr. Joe was one of a kind, never to be seen again He was a MENSCH in every sense of the word His memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of so many Our heartfelt condolences to Pepi, a special lady, daughter, wife, mother, buby and friend and to the entire family Henry Sonia and Family
Our deepest condolences to everyone. Love to all The Sandler family
Tommy and Aline Sandler and the kids
Dr Joe was a fixture at Forest Hill Hockey Loved by all our condolences to the whole family
So sorry to hear about Dr Joe. Condolences to all of you. He was a special person.
To Pepi and all of the family, my deepest condolences. Dr. Joe has left a huge legacy to honour, cherish, and emulate. If such a thing is possible, Heaven is even better now with Dr. Joe's arrival. Please try to create an online collection of stories we all have about Dr. Joe.
To the Greenberg Family: Members of the Spiegel family were patients of Dr. Joe for many years. He was deserving deserving of the encomiums that have been spoken about him. Dr. Joe practised the Healing Arts as opposed to the Health Sciences. Dr. Joe was the embodiment of "Chessed", beloved of Man and G-d. His devotion to his patients was exemplary and his adherence to Jewish tradition was noteworthy. Dr. Joe has been taken from us but his "Shem Tov" his name for good deeeds lives on. To quote one of his famous quips, "Az ich hab dos derlebt" - "That I have lived to witness this" Rest in peace our beloved Dr. Joe. - Adrienne & Bernie Spiegel
Dr joe was just the most warm and inviting person .. every time u met him. He had a wonderful disposition.. a soft and gentle demeanour and was very funny and an off the cuff kinda guy. He had a special way of making you feel more than comfortable as a patient and he opened his heart to build a relationship with so many people and families. He delivered my sons.. billy and bobby.. and graced them with a perfect entry to the world. His bedside manner was outstanding but more importantly he shared his compassion for his career thru all of us. He was a stellar person and a pure legend of a mensch and a prize winning doctor. Most of all he was our friend at the end of his phone with a huge smile on his face. Joe was a legend. Bravo for being perfect in so many ways. Your fan club will never forget who u were and what you did for all of us down here. Blessings to the family.
Dear Pepi, David, Sara, Aaron, Amy and the Greenberg Family, We are sadden to learn about the passing of our dear Dr Joe. I know you all know how special he was to my family, especially to my father Marty. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Felicia Cohen, Mitchell Cohen and Evy Strasberg
The Cohen Family
Dear David, Margo and all of the Greenberg family, There was no one quite like him! As a Doctor and as a friend. Sometimes Joe would drop by for a cup of coffee; discuss old times and check my Dad 's blood pressure...just to make sure that everything was ticking along okay. We all loved him! It feels like we just lost a member of the family. Our thoughts are with all of you during this time.
The Winthrope Family
Our deepest condolences to the entire family. There was no greater mensch than Dr. Joe. It was an honour to have known such a special human being and to have received his wonderful care growing up.
Rhonda & Jeff Solomon and family
Our deepest condolences to the entire family. There was no greater mensch than Dr. Joe. It was an honour to have known such a special human being and to have received his wonderful care growing up.
Lorin and Tommy Klein
Dear Dr. David and Family, I met Dr. Joe years ago but I had no relationship with him. Dr. Ari Freidman told me that your dad passed away on April 10th, the day I came into your office. My condolences are with you, now.
We just found out two weeks too late of Dr Joe's passing, and are so sorry that we missed being able to pay our respects.
Dr Joe was whip smart, a great comic, and could make you feel better already with a warm hug and a kiss. He and Dr David ran such a busy office, and despite the throngs he would make the time to listen intently to small children. He would tell great stories of his time in the Air Force, and ringside in the boxing world. Dr Joe was so pleased to hear of how we had moved into Kensington Market, giving us a history of the area, and how he had dated a girl once before the war who had lived on our tiny street. When our second son Jacob was born with critical heart problems, at the beginning Dr David would visit us every couple of days at Sick Kids to make sure we were holding up, and Dr Joe wanted regular updates. In that year when Jacob was so often in G-d's hands, we counted our blessings in the care and support that we received.
Tonight as we sat down for dinner, I shared the news of Dr Joe's passing with my husband and the children, and as we said grace, at the end, our little Jacob piped up and added "and please dear Lord say " Hi" to Dr Joe". He was well loved and will be missed.
Johanna and David
Markus, Jacob and Anneke Wong
Johanna Heselmann Wong
Dr. David Greenberg and family,
Nancy and I were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Joe's passing. Only by an unscheduled visit on April 25th for my wife Nancy with Dr. David Greenberg (his son).
He was one of the nicest and most professional doctors we have ever met.
Dr. Joe assisted in the birth of our four children, Claudio (1976), Cathy (1978), Michael (1982) and Melissa (1984)(they all shared with sadness his passing).
His gentle manner and reassuring demeanor at this time was forever remembered and appreciated by our family.
My thoughts go out to both his wife, children, as well as all other family members during this this time of grieving.
He was a true gentleman who touched so many people's lives over the years, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Rest in peace Doctor Joe
Tony, Nancy and (Cipriani) family.
Tony & Nancy Cipriani and family
We loved Dr. Joe and love the entire Greenberg Family. Dr. Joe you left a legacy on so many people. Thank you for being in our lives.
Sharon and Harvey Lipman and Family
Sharon and Harvey Lipman and Family
Dr Joe delivered me in 1972 and remained my doctor for thirty five years thereafter. He was my confidante, a second father. I knew how much I was loved every time I entered his office. It was always like going home. He touched so many lives with his love and compassion. He will be missed and there will never be another like him.
Andrea Romano (nee Genco)
To the entire Greenberg Family: My most sincere condolences on your loss.
Dr. Joe was an icon of the Shul, an amazing person, and he will be dearly missed.
Dr. Joe was our hero to mother Esperanza and son Matthew. Matthew has emotional/behavioural/deveopmental disability and many health issues. He helped us one by one and step by step to all the way. The tears, laughter and joy that we shared, and also the hugs from Dr. Joe everything was fine again. After his retirement we went to his house for a visit mortly his birthdays. We talked and talked. We always laughs and laughs more and it was very good for the three of us. Dr. Joe just saying "Thank you" doesn't seem enough, Hope you know how much your thoughtfuliness was appreciated. You had always held a very special in our hearts and that place will always be reserved for you.
Esperanza and Matthew
My Name Is Esperanza Lee
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