In Memory of Rabbi Bulka

By Cancer Foundation on June 27 / 2021



As together we mourn the passing of Rabbi Bulka, may these memories we share bring us strength and serenity

Leave a Tribute Message  Make a Tribute Gift

For decades, Rabbi Reuven Bulka’s gentle presence has been at the heart of our work. Having lost his first wife Naomi to cancer in May 2001, he personally understood how cancer can profoundly affect entire families and communities, and always advocated for improved cancer treatments and person-centred care.

Rabbi Bulka contributed to some of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s most important memories and milestones. Among other leadership roles, he served on our Board of Directors, co-chaired and played key roles in major fundraising campaigns, was a member of the President’s Advisory Council, and never missed an opportunity to contribute with a smile and kind word.

Rabbi Bulka was an exceptional collaborator who excelled at bringing people together. He was instrumental in helping the Foundation build partnerships across the cancer-care community, including with The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, and the Canadian Cancer Society. In Rabbi Bulka’s words: “We’re all better when we work together”. Across Eastern Ontario, his influence and collaborative spirit truly transformed local cancer care.

Rabbi Bulka was humble and gracious, particularly in applauding the contributions of others. He enjoyed presenting Kindness Awards to staff at the Foundation and The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, among others, and always shared words of gratitude when invited to bestow the Carole and Norman Zagerman Compassionate Care Award (as pictured above, in August 2018). We were an honoured beneficiary of his personal generosity as well; proceeds from two of his books were gifted to the Foundation for aid in cancer research.

Rabbi Bulka’s legacy and presence at the Foundation and Maplesoft-Jones Centre for Cancer Survivorship will be felt for years to come. Understanding the important role that faith and spirituality can play for families facing cancer, he was instrumental in creating the Centre’s Multi-Faith and Meditation Suite. Our Rabbi Bulka Family Room was named in his honour by proud community donors Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg, and our Rabbi Bulka Award recognizes exemplary service in the community to those facing cancer. It is the highest honour the Foundation can bestow.

We are grateful for Rabbi Bulka’s guidance and inspiration and for the incredible impact he made on the lives of cancer patients and their families, and the lives of staff, volunteers, and donors. Foundation President & CEO Michael Maidment said of Rabbi Bulka: “He was not just a friend, he was family, and he made Ottawa a better place to live for us all.”


A Champion of Local Cancer Care
Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, CM
May his memory be a blessing


Leave a Tribute Message  Make a Tribute Gift


We welcome words of tribute in the comments section below

Back to Blog Listing