Côte St. Luc resident, highly acclaimed volunteer and community notable and former council meeting regular Michael Kutz passed away a week ago Monday.
Kutz was a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family, and was one of 500 war orphans brought to Canada in 1948 by Canadian Jewish Congress, and after moving to Montreal, devoted himself to community service.
Kutz was named CSL Ambassador of the Year in 2013 and was "presented with the Supreme Chancellor’s medal by the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. Michael regularly spoke to students, was a longstanding member of the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club," former CSL councillor Glenn Nashen noted. As well, he received a medal from the Governor General of Canada in 1992.
Tribute was paid to Kutz by many local notables.
"He was an active volunteer in so many CSL activities and a leader in Holocaust Remembrance,"wrote CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and his wife Elaine. "He was kind, caring and passionate, always ready to lend a hand to support minority communities and believed strongly in justice and respect for all. It was a pleasure working along side him on so many important issues for over 30 years."
"Michael left an indelible mark on the Montreal Holocaust Museum as a Board Member, Chair of the Kristallnacht Committee, and survivor speaker," says a tribute by the Montreal Holocaust Museum. "Michael’s strength, determination, and resilience fueled every initiative he undertook."
"Michael was my neighbour, friend, supporter and advisor," Nashen wrote. "His assistance during election campaigns was always genuine and heartfelt. His opinion mattered to the entire council and helped to shape policies and programs. He was a true Mensch."
"He was a gentle and courageous soul, whose generosity of spirit was all the more exceptional given the harrowing experience of the Holocaust that he endured," wrote D'Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum.
"Michael was the embodiment of strength, dignity and Jewish honour," wrote Rabbi Reuben Poupko of Beth Israel Beth Aaron Synagogue in CSL.
“I have such fond memories of Michael Kutz," Councillor Mike Cohen told Nashen. "He and the late Gerry Weinstein were the dynamic duo of community activism. Michael was also a wonderful speaker about the Holocaust to young students.”
Kutz is survived by wife Patricia and children Randall and Judith, and grandchildren Joseph, Rhys, Adam and Orion.