We apologize that due to technical issues, the funeral could not be broadcast in real time. However, an archived version of the funeral service can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/569579198
Rachel Hazan (nee Benzaquen)
1926 – 2021
Our family is heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend Rachel Hazan, on Tuesday June 29th, 2021. Rachel has been the rock that has anchored our family since its beginning. She has set the bar for integrity, compassion, love and kindness for her children and theirs. She has been a role model for strength, ingenuity and humour and her ability to make the best of any situation is a legacy that she has passed on to all of us. As the last remaining child of Sultana and Shalom Benzaquen of Tangiers, Morocco, Rachel suffered great losses in her lifetime including her parents, beloved sisters and brothers, her husband David Hazan zl, her precious daughter-in-law Suzanne Hazan zl and her niece Gina Levy zl and nephew Nisso Laredo zl.
Rachel is survived by her children Syd (Suzanne zl)), Charly (Judy), Harry (Sylvia Bashevkin), Stan (Julie), Camila (John), Sylvia (Josh) and Harvey (Judy). She leaves behind 19 grandchildren (David, Michael, April, Lauran, Jenny, Aleah, Emma, Claire, Josh, Jamie, Rebecca, Aaron, Rachel, Sarah, Ben, Jonah, Elias, Izzy and David), and 19 great grandchildren (Jake, Ella, Nate, Elisha, Tom, Eitan, Noa, Yoav, Sophie, Matty, Joey, Asher, Rafael, Levi, Beau, Ernie, Ari, Hadassah and Shimon).
Rachel was a born storyteller. She would captivate her family and friends with amazing stories about her life; always relishing the funny parts and sharing her vibrant memories of Tangiers. She was a founding member of Petah Tikvah Anshe Castilla Congregation. She sewed the first curtains to grace the synagogue’s Aaron Kodesh. She worked tirelessly for her community and supported the efforts of her husband David Hazan and her brother-in-law Frank Levy in their quest to build Toronto’s first Sephardic synagogue.
When Rachel’s youngest was in kindergarten, she found a job and began her career at Sears Canada, where she was a valued employee for many years. She carefully saved her money and bought a home for her family; an investment that secured her family’s financial future. She was generous to a fault, an avid casino patron, adored bingo, loved playing the lotteries and shared her dreams of divvying up a big win with her children.
Rachel was the glue that held her family together. Her Friday night dinners, her holiday feasts, even her everyday meals were incredible culinary events. Her cooking skills were legendary, and she generously taught her daughters and daughters-in-law how to master the kitchen.
Rachel was blessed with the ability to appreciate what she had; and what she had was an adoring family who honoured her every moment of every day. Her daughters Camila and Sylvia were her constant caregivers, using their intelligence and compassion to ensure that their mother was always well-cared for. Her sons never missed an opportunity to tell her how much she meant to them. In the last year or so, the family relied on two personal care workers Sharon and Imelda, who provided heartfelt care to Rachel and loved her as if she was their own mother.
The family is very appreciative to the palliative team Pessie Shields and Dr. Jennifer Shapiro who helped get us through this last and painful stage of Rachel’s life. We are grateful to Kensington Place for their help and support.
The family would appreciate tributes to Rachel through donations to Petah Tikvah in her name.