Sandra Rafman

Funeral Service: Wednesday, January 04, 2023 at 12:00 PM
Chapel Service
Shiva: Wednesday, January 04, 2023 to
Friday, January 06, 2023

4350 Sherbrooke St. W. #213, Westmount H3Z 1E3
Shiva Details:
Shiva hours: Wednesday and Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Remainder of the shiva will be strictly private. 
Cemetery: Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery
Donations:
La Maison d'Haïti, (514) 326-3022, or the cancer research charity of your choice

Notes:
If you are unable to attend the funeral service in person, you may join it virtually on Wednesday, January 4 at 12:00 p.m.:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI44-JAG5dCDIjw49YmbZig/lives

At the family's requests masks are mandatory.

Leave a condolence Share

William EHRLICH - about 21 hours ago

Dear Jon & Rafman family, I am deeply saddened to learn of your Mother's passing. Sandra was a remarkable person . Her friendship will be remembered forever. May her memory be a blessing to all. With deep sympathy, Bill

Donna Casa Martin - 4 days ago

Sandra was a lively positive presence in the Montreal Children’s Hospital community, she will be greatly missed. Please accept heartfelt condolences.

Holly and Jack Kupfert - 4 days ago

Dear Jon, Please accept our deepest condolences on the loss of your dear mother. It has taken me some time to collect my thoughts. During the Herziliah school years, your mom and I had one very special thing in common and that was "our boys". We had many conversations while raising " our boys". The conversations were never boring and I enjoyed her insightful opinions on how she saw life. I always marvelled on how she was able to see things so clearly especially when there were decisions to be made like how it was ok for you and Mark to share a flat in the Plateau during your McGill School days. She said: we gave the kids their wings, now they have to fly!!!! I was a nervous wreck and she was calm and felt it was time. She was the woman behind the little boy growing up , to become the man you are today. Successful , a loving husband and father. Your Mom will always be with you

Chloé Roubert - 10 days ago

It was probably five years after the publication of an exhibition catalogue in which I had interviewed Jon that Sandra wanted to talk about the new thoughts she had on « your question about exoticism » . I didn't remember the question, and don't remember the conversation that followed but, that’s when Sandra stopped being « just » Jon’s mother (and editor) but a witty, unconventional and inquisitive conversationalist and friend. I will fondly remember her semi-hushed hilarious comments at openings and the way she made the pursuit of meaning on your terms the only thing she truly cared to hear about. Losing a parent is terribly difficult. Sending love as you navigate this new newness without her.

Ryan O'Toole - 15 days ago

When I first began working for Jon, a mutual friend remarked “You’ll probably get to meet his mom!” I soon did, and Sandra did not disappoint. She was immediately as sharp, funny, eccentric, and brilliant as the tributes here describe. I saw lots of her during my time at Jon’s studio, of course, as she was his constant and most essential collaborator. Sandra always had new and valuable ideas, insights, and criticisms. Following her visits during busy periods of looming deadlines, Jon would be newly inspired, driven and re-focused. But it was during slower times that I’d get to know Sandra a bit. She was full of humour, curiosity and advice, and entirely free of fluffy niceties. I don’t think she had the ability to be anything other than fully genuine. The last time I saw Sandra, I was leaving Montreal for an extended period to work on a large project of my own. I was going somewhere much smaller and Sandra asked me what I’d do for fun. Nothing, I told her - I planned to focus entirely on my work. She warned me that I needed to stay engaged, sharp, curious. I had no doubt, but it has been confirmed reading these tributes that Sandra practiced what she preached. Rest in peace, Sandra.

Grant Tyler - 17 days ago

I knew Sandra only briefly, and somewhat tangentially, as a professional assistant to her son Jon. But her reputation as a warmly supportive mother and intellectually ambitious woman preceded her. When I was merely a fan of Jon's art, and had not yet met him, even then I knew, as did all my friends, that one did not count as a Rafmanite until Sandra followed you back on Instagram. She certainly intimated greatness. Whether in her ability to spontaneously recall the details of a particular intellectual tradition and how it could enhance the conversation at hand, or in her ability to dispense with anxious tension with a warm candor and a joke, she had a way of casually bringing to the table precisely what was absent and needed most. Even though I only caught it in passing glimpses, either during her visits to Los Angeles or during the long virtual calls she and Jon would have while we worked, it was clear to me that the relationship she and Jon shared was nothing short of legendary. I can only imagine the full breadth and depth of her compassion, curiosity, and rigor. I'd like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Jon, Sandra's family and friends, and all those whose lives she touched. She will be missed.

Carlos Fraenkel - 17 days ago

So sorry to hear about Sandra's passing this morning from Adam! Our deep-felt condolences to Jon and his young family (whom we hope we will meet some time!). I have fond memories of Sandra when I arrived in Montreal at the turn of the millenium, a young prof who'd never set foot in North America before the job interview at McGill, who'd never taught or written in English, and who suddenly had to reinvent his entire life. Jon, Adam, and their friends were a wonderful group of students (among my very first) who later became friends, and Sandra was kind, almost maternal, in her concern and care. My very first academic article immensely benefitted from her incisive comments on grammar, style, and content. She worked through multiple drafts to help me sort out my views on how Maimonides's monotheism was converted into Spinoza's monism (it's still among my most-cited publications). I was surprised how deeply she engaged with these rather remote materials. Jon was writing his Honours thesis with me at the time on the infinite universe in Hasdai Crescas and Spinoza, so we became a kind of crypto-Spinoza club in Montreal... I've always enjoyed her eccentricity, bluntness, and humour and, like her, took pride in Jon's impressive career (she'd invite me to the Vernissages where we had a chance to catch up and where she met my wife and children in whom she also took a keen interest). I remember her pointing out with delight Jon's painting of her impressively chaotic working desk with the computer keyboard in the front at the Musee d'art contemporain exhibit a few years back. Very sorry that we won't have more opportunities to continue the conversation. Warmest regards from Carlos, Anne, Lara, and Ben

Jocelyn Drolet - 18 days ago

For the last 20 years I had the honnor to be Sandra’s hair colorist. We would discuss about art and things of life. She had the most incredeble sense of humor and contagious smile! I will miss those conversations. She was a premium human kind. May you rest in peace Sandra. Joce xx

Tim Hecker - 18 days ago

I met Sandra some time around 2014. She would join Jon on occasions, often unannounced by Jon and they often appeared inseparable. One time I ran into her late one night at a house party in LA. Another time at dinner in Montreal, she offered advice ranging from child psychology to art criticism. She was funny, compassionate, loved banter and cared for her son deeply. She will be missed by many people.

Lesley Braun - 19 days ago

I met Sandra well over a decade ago. In many ways, she became part of my own family, as she graced my parent’s dinner table during birthdays and other occasions. She was always the first person I visited when I came back to Montreal. Sandra was an important mentor to me during my intellectual journey through grad school. She lovingly read many versions of my PhD dissertation to help me disentangle my research questions and identify my theoretical contribution. Sandra was present at my thesis defense, offering me support and praise. Later, she taught me how to write award-winning grants. She would pull apart my applications to the extent that each idea became an isolated word floating on the page. After our sessions, my drafts looked like nonsensical dada poetry. She would then say, “now go put these fragments back together and bring it back to me.” Sandra was able to interpret and summarize what it was I was attempting to communicate better than I could. This act of translation was part of her genius, especially working with children and bereaved parents. Her spirit lives on through all of these encounters. Sandra had several jokes on her regular rotation, one of which I now also tell. The joke comes in the form of a question. Sandra says: “Ask me why I’m funny?” And before the person gets a chance to respond, she retorts: “It’s my timing!!” Sandra, indeed you had the best timing. You will be missed dearly for the levity you bring to the world.

Nataly Enman - 19 days ago

Our kids , Jon and Polina, are married. So , we are like sisters in law. We met only twice- in Venice and LA last year, so mostly communicated by talking on the phone. I will remember Sandra as an incredibly vibrant, witty, smart woman, knowledgable about so many aspects of life. But what I was struck by the most was their incredible connection with Jon, on an intellectual, spiritual, and emotional level. They adored each other, they were incredibly proud of each other. Sandra was a very strong woman - i never once heard her complain, even in the most difficult moments. It is sad that we will not get to enjoy the happiness of our children and little Evita together. We will miss you greatly, Sandra. And we are forever grateful to you for raising such an incredible son.

Michael Z. - 19 days ago

The last time I saw Sandra was in Berlin in 2014 or 2015. I went to the opening ceremony and party of the Berlinale or another one of the big summer art events there. It was extremely packed inside the hall. I caught a glimpse of Jon from across the space, surrounded by people and very occupied answering their questions. His work was one of the anticipated highlights of the festival. Luckily I ran into Lesley and Sandra, and we settled at a standing table in the corner having tiny overpriced soda waters. Lesley had to take off for a bit and I stayed to chat with Sandra. After a short time discussing how exciting the event was and how proud and happy we were for Jon’s show, Sandra then asked me how my writing was going. I couldn’t exactly remember the last time I had told her that I try to write, or maybe she knew this from Jon. What was clear was that her interest was genuine, even among this loud fanfare at which I was just a spectator. I shyly talked about my work. Sandra listened, pressed me further on certain points, made a small handful of comments that were insightful and without a trace of didactic. I’d only had maybe a half dozen conversations with Sandra before this. But from reading through all of these memories here, it is clear I am not alone in recognizing that here was a person who added to the lives around her in ways large and small, each contribution unique to the person and the moment: always seeing the good, the creative, the promise in people, and you felt it and in turn wanted to bring it out of yourself and also add it to the world, not in search of her approval, but for the reward of knowing that someone like Sandra is there to appreciate our gift; this was one of hers.

Lorne Svarc - 20 days ago

I spent the summer of 2006 working on a project with Jonathan, and in many ways, with Sandra as well. That was part of the magic—it was Sandra and Jon against the world, and the world didn’t stand much of a chance. Sandra's take on life scantly resembled that of the other parents I grew up around. Her energy was chaotic, yet clearly bounded toward something significant: the pursuit of meaning. She didn’t just support the work we were doing, she intimately engaged with it. She would not hesitate to call me out me out when I said something outlandish or naive (a common occurrence). Her interrogations were not always kind, but they were always sincere, and somehow, disarmingly charming. She pushed because that was the way to closer to what mattered. She genuinely cared, not about whether the project would be a success (whatever that means, and for the record we never came close to finishing it), but whether we were creating something with the potential for depth and meaning. This was the most marked distinction between her and even the most supportive parents I had known. She, through the way she lived, modeled a life that valued experiences and finding meaning, above all else. That's as inspiring now as it was nearly half my life ago. This is not to say that Sandra wasn't also your typical Jewish mom. She foisted food on us every time we passed through the door. I have everlasting memories of her offering, or in reality, forcing me to accept her smoothies. Sure, she'd often turn around and insist I give her a lift somewhere to run an errand in return for said smoothies. And, one errand often turned into an afternoons' worth but Sandra lived on her own timeline and she always found a way of getting to her destination. I'm just fortunate that I sometimes got to tag along for the ride.

Bernard - 20 days ago

Dear Jon, My brother Max and I are so sad to hear about your mom's passing. Sandra and I spent many sessions together - improving her mouth - on which she requested I play Leonard Cohen to relax her. Little did I know that the same songs relaxed me as well! She was a wonderful patient and a true lady. She will be missed. May she rest in peace, Sincerely Bernard (and Max) Mayantz

Phil Derkson - 20 days ago

To Jon and the Rafman family - my condolences on your loss. After reading the comments from your friends and family about Sandra, it is apparent that she had a positive impact on those around her and touched many people. May everyone she knew and impacted continue to promote her positive way of thinking. I hope that can provide some comfort during this time, alongside all the fond memories described here.

Frances Schanfield - 20 days ago

Dear Nancy and family, I was very sad to learn about Sandra's passing. She was a lovely, kind person. May your memories of her help you during this time. Frances Schanfield

Mona and Sol Polachek - 20 days ago

Dear Rafman Family We were saddened to learn of Sandra’s passing. We send you our deepest sympathies The Rafmans were lovely next door neighbours( to Mona) on Dufferin Road for many years, growing up. May you be spared further sorrows. BD E

Monica and Joseph Gauze - 20 days ago

Dear Nancy and Family, Our condolences on the loss of your dear sister. May her memory be a comfort and a blessing.

Parker Ito - 21 days ago

Jon I remember when we first became online friends around 2009 and we would gchat / video chat all day and occasionally Sandra would make an appearance when we were on video. I have this specific memory of her knowing who I was, remarking something like "I knew you and Jon were in contact." and I was surprised by this, it made me feel like you and I were actually real friends and not just random online acquaintances. I thought I had a photo of you Sandra from one of these sessions but it's just a photo of you with a parakeet on your shoulder. As we progressed from from baby net artists into "contemporary artists" we started traveling and seeing you each other internationally and it was always such a pleasure when your mom was with us. Everyone loved her. I remember this bucket hat she was wearing one time that said "NTBT" and we were all trying to figure out what it meant. I think she had bought it on Canal st. or something. I have a photo of it in my phone and when you search "hat" it's one of the first images that comes up. Sending love.

Jessica Noras - 21 days ago

I met Sandra in the early 1960s over lunch at a greasy spoon with mutual friends. She was in English literature and I, in psychology at McGill at the time. Through the years our paths would cross frequently by chance or by design: over bridge in the late ‘60s; at U of M, with Sandra into child psychology and me into bat biology; and more recently at P.A., on Greene and over meals, one of the most memorable being lobsters in Chinatown, followed by a stroll along Ste-Catherine Street to admire Jon’s name on the contemporary art museum. She was one proud mom. Sadly, our paths will cross no more but I consider myself lucky to have known such a delightful person.

Kenny Suss - 21 days ago

There are two stories that Sandra would always remind me of, and that I will always remember her by. How she ran into my mum who was on a casual stroll, just a few hours before giving birth to her fourth child. Sandra would remind me that she knew me from the day I was born! And a decade or so later, when Sandra was walking by Akiva school and saw me playing basketball with school friends. She came over to say hi and took a shot at the net. "Airball!!" all of the kids shouted out... and she was so happy and proud! Never had she won a pack of kids over so quickly... she was the coolest! A few hours later she found out that "airball" meant she missed the shot completely, the kids were calling out that she hadn't even hit the net! Sandra thought it was the funniest thing, and would retell the story in laughter for 20 more years.

Della Bercovitch - 21 days ago

Dear Jon, My best memory of your Mom was during the Ice Storm of 1998 when you both stayed with us for a couple of nights. She made an impression on everyone she met. May your wonderful memories of her be with you always! Wishing you and your family long and healthy lives and may you all be spared any further sorrow. Della (Julia Keshen's Mom)

Daniel Suss - 22 days ago

Jon, I am so saddened. There are so many things I will miss about Sandra. Your mom let us explore the world through our childhood like no other parent could. In the early 90s she introduced me to Japanese and Korean cuisine, uniquely addictive smoothies, and a special salad dressing. She also introduced me to philosophy and the philosophical approach to life. Sandra was always there with insight for my major life decisions, from university major to children. Over the last few years I got to see her special touch with my kids, her knack for asking them questions that made them think an extra second. She would get to the point and make light of the point simultaneously. I will miss our lengthy conversations into the nature of things most of all. A VIP to me and so many others, I miss her very much.

Mimi - 22 days ago

Jon, Sandra was such a force. I am so lucky to have known her. I still remember the first time you wanted to introduce me to her, we went over for dinner at her apartment. I was intimidated, because I had heard all these amazing things from you, and I wanted her to approve of me! The dinner ended up going well, and I think she liked me. I grew to get to know her a bit, and we even hosted her at our house in Connecticut when you two were on a road trip together, so she got to meet my family as well. Over the years, she kept in touch with me, and every so often I would get an encouraging note from her congratulating me on my life's achievements. I know that her own approach to raising children was deeply informed and that when it came to her own son, she did so much to help you cultivate your creativity. Unlike so many parents who sometimes discourage the artistic drive of their children, she not only encouraged you to pursue film and art and philosophy, but she also engaged with your work, providing critique and drawing on her own deep knowledge of art and literature to point you in the right direction. Jon, you are the artist you are because of Sandra, she was so unique and bright and funny and she gave you so much. I am thinking of you in this moment! Much love, Mimi

Elsa Kotler - 22 days ago

Dear Jon, Sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of your beloved Mom. As your teacher at Solomon Schachter I recognized her uniqueness as a parent and as a professional at the Childrens Hospital. She will be greatly missed by everyone who’s life she touched. May your memories and the love of family and friends bring you comfort at this sad time and in the years ahead. Sincerely, Elsa

Irène Krymko-Bleton - 22 days ago

Cher John, nous sommes devenues des amies proches avec ta mère quand tu es né. Tu as pratiquement le même âge que mon fils. C'est la grande culture, mais aussi le sens de l'humour de Sandra qui renouvelaient à chaque fois le plaisir de nos rencontres. Sandra a été une personne à la fois forte et fragile, que bien de gens ont pris plaisir à persécuter. Ta réussite a été sa plus grande revanche. Je te souhaite que tu puisses continuer sans elle à tes côté. Pour nous, mon mari Paul et moi, sa disparition fait un trou, même si nous ne communiquions plus beaucoup ces dernières années.

Rey Benjamin Quiles - 22 days ago

I met Sandra as a friend of her son Jon. His career was beginning to take off and he was living with Sandra at her home in Westmount. He said his choice to live with his mother was because he was ready to leave Montréal and did not want to put more roots down. After an invitation to dinner at Sandra’s home my suspicions were confirmed that Jon’s choice to live with Sandra during this stage was more than convenience, the two had an idillic bond. Sandra was wholly supportive of Jon, and believed in him unwaveringly. Her intellect and care was without doubt critical to Jon’s development. The pride she had for his success and accomplishments was felt tangibly in their presence. I kept in touch with Sandra after Jon left Montréal, occasionally getting lunch together, or going to Westmount just to catch up and chat. Eventually I too left Montréal, and on a return trip I am grateful I got to see her. We spent the day together on New Year’s Eve of 2019. Sandra may you rest in peace. I am thankful for the time we shared. You will live on in the many people you loved and influenced. And of the many more who never got to know you, they will know you through those that you touched. I am certain that during her time here Sandra made the world a better place.

Paul Cowen - 22 days ago

My most sincere condolences to Sandra’s family and friends.I will always remember Sandra for her unique combination of warmth, wit and wisdom. She was my colleague for many years and I will miss her kindness and her friendship.

Roxanne Yanofsky - 22 days ago

I have only the best memories of Sandra growing up and was so sad to hear of her passing. My condolences to you Jon, she was loved by many.

Louis Laurencelle - 22 days ago

Une grande intelligence et une amie que l'on n'oublie pas, cette Sandra Rafman avec qui j'ai partagé le curriculum de psychologie à l'Université de Montréal. D'une gentillesse exemplaire, d'une érudition peu commune (littérature incluant poésie, philosophie, histoire, etc.), d'une belle disponibilité à autrui, rien ne lui semblait étranger, et converser avec elle a chaque fois été un bonheur. La voici maintenant au-delà de la vie, et je lui souhaite là-bas les meilleurs interlocuteurs que lui a valus sa vie. Louis Laurencelle, Ph.D.

Roslyn and Norman Malin - 22 days ago

Dear Jon, Norman and I send our sincere condolences on the loss of Sandra. She was an amazing woman, always so proud of you and your accomplishments. I remember so many fascinating conversations with her about everything under the sun. I hope the outpouring of love from all who knew her will help provide comfort to you at this difficult time.

Perla, Aviva Penny - 22 days ago

Condolences for the loss of your mom, a magical woman and therapist.

René Bernèche - 22 days ago

Cher Jon, je suis attristé par le décès de Sandra, collègue et amie au Département de psychologie de l'UQAM. Je conserve de délicieux souvenirs de nos échanges, des moments passés à votre domicile lorsque tu étais tout petit: sa retraité prématurée de son poste de professeure à l'UQAM nous a privés de conversations si stimulantes: elle ne cessait pas de m'étonner par son intérêt pour la psychologie de la créativité, mon champ d'expertise. Je t'offre ainsi qu'aux membres de ta famille mes plus sincères condoléances.

Daniel Barna - 22 days ago

The first time I saw Sandra was on screen, in a bit part in one of Jon's early films. She acted circles around Emmett Zeifman, (which let's face it, is no small feat ;) It was clear even then that she had a fierce belief in her son's creative pursuits, and provided the kind of support⁠—both moral and intellectual⁠—one needs to make it in the arts. And boy did Jon make it! Sandra was always there, ready to hold court at an opening halfway across the world, or at a dinner surrounded by luminaries. As Jon's world widened, you could tell Sandra always had a special place in her heart for the OG's, for the ones that were there at those first screenings. And getting even a moment of attention from her amid all the chaos felt like being part of a very exclusive, privileged club. And while she's gone, she leaves behind an incredible, one-of-a-kind "how to be a parent" blueprint/manual for you Jon, and for you, Polina, one that your daughter will benefit greatly from. She's got a lot of support, love, and smoothies in her future. Love you all, and love you Sandra.

Craig Steinberg - 22 days ago

I always enjoyed the conversations I had with Sandra at the Passover Seders. Sending love and condolences to Jon and the family.

Michel Tousignant - 22 days ago

Chère (Sandra), cher Jon et membres de sa famille et de ses nombreux amis, C'est avec regret et tristesse que je viens d'apprendre le départ de Sandra que j'ai côtoyée depuis un demi-siècle, d'abord sur les bancs de l'université de Montréal, puis au département de psychologie de l'UQAM. Je l'ai connue en tant qu'étudiant et carabin dans ses partys mémorables dans son appartement, puis comme chercheuse et psychologue, comme amie, comme mère du petit Jon, comme confidente à l'occasion et comme une personne de grande culture. J'ai apprécié son génie, son empathie et son désir d'aider les personnes autour d'elle dans le besoin. Nous avons communiqué jusqu'à très récemment par courrier durant la pandémie pour tenter de comprendre une situation difficile. L'un de mes plus beaux souvenirs a été de produire avec sa collaboration en 2016 un article intitulé "Nos enfants dans le monde des arts" (https://apr.uqam.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Bulletin67.pdf) qui décrit les rapports de Sandra avec son fils Jon en tant qu'artiste en herbe. Sandra, tu laisses en nous quittant des souvenirs nombreux et marquants, en somme un héritage très riche de ton passage sur terre.

Gail Wallace - 22 days ago

Sandra’s kindness, compassion and support will never be forgotten. I will also miss her delightful laugh and sense of humour. I am so sorry for your family's loss.

Julia Keshen - 22 days ago

Jon - Your mom holds a special place in my childhood memories. Always the warmest, always the most open and always there. She was a bright light for so many of us who spent so much time at your McDonald apartment. I'm so sorry for this great loss, sending you and your family my heartfelt condolences xoxo

Irwin Block - 22 days ago

I first met Sandra at camp in the late 1950s and later while at McGill, hanging out at The Bistro on Mountain St. where we knew the same group of iconoclasts. We also reconnected through her longtime friendship with my loving partner, Barbara Moser. The thing that I most remarked about Sandra was that she seemed not only to have read any book that I might mention in our conversations but also to have a well developed and original opinion on its merits. She was one of a kind.

Chantal Martel - 22 days ago

I met Sandra when I was a Resident in Psychology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. We continued to collaborate together to accompany children and families facing significant life challenges. Her compassion, humour and intelligence were powerful healing agents. Sandra’s mentorship left an indelible impact on me both professionally and personally.

Robert Mayoff - 22 days ago

Dear Mark and Reggie, I grew up across the street from you on Dufferin rd. and would like to tell you how sorry I am to hear about yor loss. I remember Sandra as a lovely person and am truly sorry.

Barbara Moser - 22 days ago

Dear Jon, The number of condolences I have read here are a testimony to your mom and what she meant to those who were in contact with her professionally and personally. Especially noted are those from your friends who knew her and loved her as Jon's mom. Sandra and I met when you and Molly were in pre-school and we forged a relationship as mothers and friends that would last almost 40 years. I treasured your mom for her openness and unique parenting style. I loved just handing around at the MacDonald apartment and sharing holidays with her and you and the birds! Molly, Amy and you became friends and that friendship has lasted until now. We are so very sad that Sandra is gone and can't imagine how difficult the last days were for her and for you. Yes, it's sad that she didn't get to meet your Evita but your daughter will know her through you and all the stories you will tell about growing up with this exceptional, brilliant, funny, entertaining woman. I remember visiting on MacDonald when you were little and seeing lots of coins on the carpets and asking Sandra why they were on the floor. The answer was so Sandra: Because if I need coins I know where to find them. Oh Jon, there never was a mother who cherished, nurtured and praised her son like your mom! It was also unusual for you and Molly to be so close since in those days when you were a little boy, boys played with boys, not girls. But Sandra and I nurtured your relationship with Molly and Amy. Sandra was always there for me when I needed her advice and saw me through difficult times. The last conversation I had with her before I went to Amy's wedding was on the phone and lasted two hours. She wanted to hear all about my daughters and my new grandson and shared her stories of you and Paulina and the coming baby. You were her world Jon. She was so proud of you and always let me know of your upcoming exhibitions. Amy, Molly and I will miss her forever. I somehow know that your daughter and my grandsons will be friends. And we can tell them stories of Sandra!

Nick Martin - 22 days ago

I don't remember specifically when I first met Sandra. Sometime in the early 2000's...maybe after a play Jon wrote was performed at the Main Hall (an opener for the Lovely Feathers). I do remember the first time I got to know her. Jon was working on a short film and wanted me to help with the edit. He invited me out to their apartment in Westmount. Sandra was immediately so warm, curious and hospitable. I spent several days there working on the film - Sandra entering the "edit suite" every few hours to make sure we were nourished. I remember what struck me most was her interest in the process and how much Jon trusted her artistic feedback. The three of us would watch a cut of the film and then discuss what the intention was, what worked and what didn't. It was always helpful and never unwanted - made us think about the piece from a different perspective. She improved the film immensely both from her artistic insight and from fostering a creative environment for us to work in. I'd see her again over the years and we'd always greet each other like old friends even though sometimes close to a decade would have passed. I'll miss her greatly.

Julian Garcia - 22 days ago

I must have met Sandra sometime in 2010, a little after meeting Jon. It was gradually that we talked more and more, and over the years we would always stay in contact. Sandra was a tremendous intellect, always eager to engage with great focus in conversation and yet with a sense of humor that was never amiss. You could count on her to see the little absurdities in the ordinary. I am very happy that i got spend time with her. I remember one time after dinner downtown, her and I went shopping. We made fun of ugly clothes together and as I was trying coats on she advised me on which one was best. It was this ability to make something out of every situation that i found so special. When i helped her with her writing, we would make fish and salad, and over the meal every conversations yielded many excellent book and movie recommendations. Jon, i hope you find solace in the many good memories and tremendous efforts that she shared with and passed onto you. She is very proud.

Raphael and Evelyn Schachter - 22 days ago

My dearJon and family...Evie and I were heartbroken to hear of Mom"s passing....Evie was especially close to your Mom, especially these past few weeks, and we all mourn your loss, together with you and the family...May her sweet soul rest in peace....

Paul Maurice - 22 days ago

Je suis peiné du décès de Sandra avec qui j'ai eu l'occasion de collaborer dans un cadre universitaire et clinique. Toutes mes condoléances à son fils et à sa famille. Paul Maurice Professeur retraité Département de psychologie UQAM

Kenny Suss - 22 days ago

My earliest memory of Sandra is Sandra's earliest memory of me: running into my mom as she was casually strolling down Cote St. Antoine with me - a few hours before I was born. I remember Sandra telling me this story so many times throughout my life, as though she was proud that she knew me from the beginning. I always tried to make her laugh/smile when I saw her, and she always treated me like family.

Adam + Louisa - 22 days ago

Dear Jon, Louisa and I are very sorry for your loss. It was always a special treat to see Sandra at various art-related events over the years. We will fondly remember the meal you and your mother shared with us at Kronenhalle, following a little apero at the bar. And of course the last time our paths crossed with your mother in Berlin, in the autumn of 2017, for your exhibition with Sprüth Magers. Sandra was a continuous force of energy with a great memory, we were amazed she would even attend the after parties! By chance, at the end of that trip, we were going to to the airport at the same time she was. Naturally, Louisa and I offered her a ride, and we got to have a little recap of the Berlin experience before dropping her off at her terminal. Sandra is the kind of mother you want in your corner, not only as an artist, but as a child too. And she always made us feel like she had our backs as well, just by being your friend. So happy to have known Sandra, she will be missed! Love, Adam and Louisa

GERALD WEXLER - 22 days ago

Hi, Jon; You had one proud mother. Perhaps it’s because I’m a scriptwriter and am involved in some way in the “artistic world” that Sandra delighted in talking about you and your career when we met at the Shaar. Sometimes I would approach her, other times she would eagerly approach me with news of your latest exhibition. Through her I lived through your disappointment with your time as a student at the California Institute of the Arts and appreciation of your time at the Art Institute of Chicago and then followed the trajectory of your career. I eagerly attended every show of yours I could. It was great having you and Sandra as regular guests at our Seders, and I really appreciated the great discussions that you both contributed to. Covid took a lot from us, including those Seders, and seeing Sandra these past couple of years. You had a wonderful mother who wore her pride for you on her sleeve. I’m sorry I won’t have the chance to meet her again.

nira sharkoviak - 22 days ago

Dear Jon, how can I describe my Sandra, the intellectual, most intelligent, witty, funny, companionate, caring, eccentric special best friend I ever had? We went through so much together-Jewish holidays, great discussions, conversations about family, life, religion and literature, sharing happy times, sad ones as well as challenging times, and throughout all was her love for you, her pride - you were the light that brightened her life. What will I do without her in my life? It was so fast, I asked you to tell her to wait for me. I’m still in denial. You and her were part of our family and will always be. I’m hugging you, Polina and little Evita. She will be watching over all of you with pride and love. May she Rest In Peace . I will miss her forever.

Steven Merling - 23 days ago

Some of my fondest childhood memories stem from times spent at 5140 Macdonald (was it apartment 504?) with Jon and with Sandra. They were magical. At as young as 11 years old, Sandra made me feel like a contemporary. She treated all of Jon’s friends with such warmth and, moreover, with such respect. She was a friend inasmuch as Jon was, ever-encouraging of our our self-expression, of our creativity, of our exploration and of us. She was so brilliant in so many ways and I’ll forever cherish the time spent and the meaningful conversations we shared. Sandra was the coolest mom. Period. Jon - we send our heartfelt love and our most sincere condolences at this most difficult time. I know that losing Sandra isn’t just losing your mom, but it’s also losing your truest best friend. May you find comfort in the time spent together and the many, many memories you shared.

Cheryl and Joel Merling - 23 days ago

Dear Jon and family. We are so sorry for your loss. Sandra was a very special person. She was so smart and funny and welcoming. We had such fun when we were younger. She loved you so much Jon and was so proud of you. Our hearts are with you. May the memories of her be a blessing.

J. Barry Gurdin - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Rita and I are so sorry to learn of your mother's, my close friend's, passing. As you know, your mom and I were very close friends, and I really valued her good heart, great intelligence, and compassion. Our friend, Miriam, in Montreal notified me today. While we wish we would have known about her illness, I am sure she had excellent medical care, and we were touched that you were by her side until the end. May HaShem greet her with the love she has shown you and others into the HaOlam HaBah (The World-to-Come), J. Barry and Rita J. Barry Gurdin and Rita J. Jeremy 247 Ortega Street San Francisco, CA 94122-4617 gurdin@hotmail.com 415-734-8425

Ji-Hae Kim - 23 days ago

Sandra was truly an exceptional person. She was the mother of one of my husband's childhood friends, however, very quickly, became my very own friend and we would often independently catch up with each other despite living in different cities and despite our cultural/generational differences. Her empathy, sense of humor and intelligence transcended time and place. She gave a beautiful speech at our wedding and was my mentor through university years, conversion, motherhood, professional life and many other important life junctures of mine - ever so grateful. She will be missed by so many.

Elsa Brito - 23 days ago

My deepest condolences to Joh, all her family and friends. I’m thankful to have had the honour to meet Sandra. The world is a better place thanks to her. I learned so much from her.

Patricia Rafman-Gilmore - 23 days ago

Dearest Rafman family, Sending you all so much love and support during these incredibly difficult times. Sandra was always such an incredible source of knowledge and support, we are so grateful for her kindness and expertise. Dear Jon and Polina, may you grieve peacefully and knowing that your mother left a lasting impact on all those she touched. With much gratitude, love and support from Carolynn, Patricia and the late Dan and Kate Rafman 💗

Mike Taylor - 23 days ago

I’d met Sandra a couple of times, but only first got to know her at a dinner after one of Jon’s shows. I was seated with her at one end of the table while the man of the hour was way down at the other. I thought to myself “I’ll put in five minutes or so with Jon’s mother, and make my way down the table to say hello to everyone else.” Ninety minutes later I’m still talking to Sandra. We spoke about an array of things, but mostly psychology and art, and the interplay between the two disciplines. She patiently answered every question I had about an essay she’d written to preface the book Jon had just released. Her writing was intellectually miles away from what I was capable of parsing (and that’s MY fault, not hers) but she broke it down for me in a way that was so thoughtful and enlightening and without an iota of condescension. At that point she no longer Jon’s mother: she was Sandra. Afterwards Jon joked “thanks for monopolizing my mother all night.” “Hey it`s not my fault she`s one of the most interesting people I`ve ever met.” Jon smiled. “Yeah. She’s...” He paused. “Really impressive.” My love goes out to Jon, Polina, Evita, and everyone else Sandra touched and loved. Mike

Guerda Amazan - 23 days ago

Chère Sandra, Tu es partie vers l’au-delà certes, cependant, tes actions et ton impact comme ressource dans le secteur de la psychologie et comme membre du conseil d’administration de la Maison d’Maison Haïti resteront bien vivant parmi nous. Merci pour ton humanisme et ton désir de vouloir toujours aider les autres. Repose en paix! Mes profondes condoléances aux proches et aux membres de la famille.

Marion Roth Wilansky - 23 days ago

The Rafman Family , My Sincerest condolences to you on the loss of your mom. She was such a special person. May all your cherished memories help you through this very difficult time. My thoughts are with you. Marion

Twee - 23 days ago

Sweet Sandra I'm still half in denial and submerged by guilt and other incomprehensible feelings, resentment towards God and the urge to contemporaneously cry and destroy random stuff around me. We haven't met yet, corporally, in a traditional way but I've been a human spyware of yours and collected all the little data I could find about you on the internet. I love when you posted that pic of a maze cake at Jon's opening at Future Gallery and you wrote you would have been the minotaur :) in that moment you taught me how to celebrate my friends' success and one day maybe even my son's ones. [told u this already: my parents kinda suck because they have bad mental health, but they've improved much and they're in therapy! Me too I made progress c:] I bought a red dress similar to the one you wore while eating (and reviewing) a salad in one of your favourite places :) I wear it at times and subtly cosplay u, feeling full of your kindness, classiness and charisma. Also you looked so much like Jon when u were younger! it's insane! One could see glimpses of you in Jon as well and I fell that leaving some of ur manners and ur expressions in Jon was so generous of you because you'll never go away and I'll always have a mommy to look up to. Also I'll keep u forever trapped in my sims game, hahah i remember the first time I heard you sing while cooking waffles or that every man in al simhara felt in love with you! And that time the Sigmund Freud i made tried to seduce you? lol and still thank you for the hugs I needed when depression was hitting me the most. And for letting me spy and somehow feel part of all the wholesome moments u shared with Jon. We'll keep playing and we'll meet soul to soul in some decades, my dear when I'll hopefully grow into you aka a wise blessing for the whole earth. or maybe we'll see each others before, like... computers are magical and at times it's as if your little character knows my troubles and it's there for me. thank you, I'll take good care of lil sim Sandra and show her all the art i made and will make about you c: [lol who cares about *my* art hahah sorry it's just my mute way to say 'I love you' c:]

Adam Etinson - 23 days ago

I first met Sandra very soon after I first met Jon, when I was 17. Normally, as a teenager, when you hang out at your friend’s house, you go to hang out with your friend, not their mom. But I think I speak for all of Jon’s friends when I say that we would go over to his place also to hang out with Sandra, which was genuinely fun, and usually involved a delicious Greek salad. We did this frequently. And these were some of my favourite memories from my youth. I think part of what made Sandra so welcoming and fun to be around was the genuine interest she’d show in you - something echoed in lots of the beautiful comments posted here. I always felt that Sandra was curious to know what was on my mind, my opinions, what was going on in my life, and that she would carefully listen. I remember very early on that she asked to read and comment on something I had written. I wasn’t so sure she was impressed in the end, but I was honoured that she took the time to do that. She gave great advice at some key points in my life. Sandra’s buzzing intelligence was always warm and inviting, full of levity, and never pretentious. She was a wonderful person and I’ll miss her greatly. Sending lots of love to Jon, Polina, Evita and to Sandra’s friends and extended family.

Daisy Alcindor - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Offering you my deepest condolences. Your mother had such a great gift of presence and attention to others that will be missed by many. Wishing you peace in theese tumultuous times, Daisy Alcindor

Carole Blank - 23 days ago

Dear Family, We were so saddened to read of Sandra's passing. Due to covid, we haven't seen her in several years.... at the Shaar. She was always a smiling, happy lady and fun to be around... our thoughts and hearts are with you at this difficult time. Sincerely, Carole and Howie Blank

Donna Steinberg - 23 days ago

Hi Jon, I am just so sorry to hear about Sandra’s passing. She had an incredible and profound influence on my life and I credit her mentorship with my becoming a clinical psychologist. Not only did she take me under her wing professionally, she was also so kind and so generous with her time. I will miss her but feel so lucky to have had had her in my life. May her memory be a blessing. Love, Donna and Lawrence

Richard Yanofsky - 23 days ago

One of the great fortunes of my life is that I got to grow up having spent so much time in the world that Sandra tended for Jon and his friends. Beyond her sweetness, warmth, joyfulness, generosity, intelligence, openness, worldliness, iconoclasm and curiosity lay the deepest respect for every little creature that had the good fortune to wander into her welcoming presence. I am hard pressed to think of another adult who gave us children as much credence, interest, and sense of value as she did. No good fantasy would be left unexplored and no creative endeavour unnurtured. She helped me understand what a parent could be and how real empathy is achieved through patient understanding. I know that her position never faltered throughout her life, and her pride as a parent only grew with the successes of her son and the people around him. Jon, it brings me so much comfort and joy to know how much of her is in you. There is no loss greater than a mother as great as yours. Thank-you for sharing her with me growing up, her memory will be deeply cherished by myself and countless others. With all my love, Richard

Deborah Goodman Davis - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I was so saddened to hear the news of the passing of your beloved mother. I remember how excited we were when we discovered our connection to each other through our mother's childhood camp friendship. I was glad to have the privilege to get to know her as a brilliant scholar, a devoted doctor, a kind, generous and lively friend and the most devoted mother. I admired your closeness and know that your heart must be broken right now. Please know you are in my thoughts and that she will always live on inside of you and now in Evita.

Kaitlin Till-Landry - 23 days ago

My deepest condolences to you Jon, Polina, family and friends of Sandra. It is so sad to hear this news, a great loss. Sandra’s warmth and the care she showed to me from the moment we met will stay with me forever. Seeing the support and dedication to you Jon, was unique and inspiring. Sandra made me (and from reading these notes, so many others) feel special. Little things she would say when we saw each other, or taking a moment to walk beside each other while going from one of Jon’s openings to a next location, or messaging online were all always meaningful exchanges. I remember right before Sandra and I met I was with Ben and he knew we were all going to meet up. Ben said something like “you’ll get to meet Jon’s Mom”, in a tone that implied I was about to receive a gift. I felt honored to be someone she took time to remember. May her memory inspire and live on vibrantly. A true gift to have known her. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Sending love, Kaitlin

Julia Brownstein - 23 days ago

Hi Jon - my deepest condolences go out to you in this hard time.I have very fond memories of her and you. You were both a big part of my childhood. I’ll never forget going to your house, birds flying amok, filming your « movies », laughing like crazy. And more recently sitting next to her on a plane home from Florida where we talked the entire time, mostly about you and your work, she was always an interesting and fascinating woman to me. May your memories of her comfort you in this time.. thinking of you both.. Julia ❤️

Linda Silverman - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I am saddened to hear of the loss of your beloved Mom. It was a pleasure to know her for the past 7 years since we all met at your exhibition at the MAC in 2015. Sandra was brilliant and your biggest fan and supporter. May you find comfort in her blessed memory and know she will always remain in your heart. My deepest sympathy to you, Polina and Evita. Much love, Linda

Viviane zicherman - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, please accept my deepest condolences at a seismic loss. Sandra had a heart as big as the world , and did her best to make the world a better place, one person at a time. She will always be cherished by me for her throaty laugh , her deep insights, and her kindness of spirit. She will be missed by so many, but for sure there is comfort in seeing so much of her essence in her abiding love for you. She was a unique, one of a kind person, and will be much missed by many, our thoughts are with you Viviane and Howard Yanofsky

adelia bensoussan - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I have wonderful memories of your Mom as a fellow Solomon Schechter parent.She was always smiling and so proud of you . May your family be spared future sorrow . Adelia Bensoussan -Eytans Mom

Fr. Paul Geraghty - 23 days ago

This is sad news of the passing of an intelligent, fun and caring lady. After I retired from the MCH Sandra and I would bump into each other on Ste Catherine Street and Rabbi Rafman, as I called her to her delight, and Father Geraghty would spend the next few minutes in a wonderfully fun, enjoyable conversation, shoring up Jewish Christian relations! I wondered where she had disappeared to. Now I know and I am sad. My sympathy to her family.

Farla Cohen - 23 days ago

I missed seeing Sandra in shule. She was a beam of light that infiltrated our souls, a light that will always flicker, inspire and never go out.. Her smile, enthusiasm , positivity was contagious. Her love and pride for her son was so evident. We will miss her. She was unique.

Mireille and Murray Steinberg - 23 days ago

Dear Nancy, Jon and Mark, We are stunned and deeply saddened by the news of Sandra's death. What an immense loss for your family and for all those who knew her. Please know that our thoughts are with you at this painful time.

Jack Strulovitch - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Nancy, and family. I am very saddened to hear about Sandra’s passing. I have fond memories of sharing stories with Sandra and enjoying her fabulous sense of humour. It was always a pleasure to see her after we both left the Children’s. She was truly an inspiration to everyone in the field. May she rest in peace.

Philomene Magers - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I am so saddened to hear about your loss. Your mother was such a wonderful, curious, smart and funny woman. It’s really heartbreaking, but a privilege to have known her. Lots of love, Philomene

Gwyn - 23 days ago

It has been a long time, but I still remember your face. I broke your toe by accident, when I was a guest in your home on Macdonald. You were an older person who felt like a peer. Be at peace!

Simone Manwarring - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I am so sorry for your loss, I know how close you and your mum were. I will never forget how proud she was of you at your opening in Berlin in 2017. Where she sat and at the entrance to your installation, speaking engaging with everyone as they experienced your work. She brought such a beautiful flair and discourse to the evening! The life of the party at the dinner. Her support of you and what you do was truly something wonderful to witness. Much love Simone

Joyce Fishman - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, We met you and your Mom over 30 years ago on the beach at Ogunquit, vacationing with the Yanofsky’s, And many more times in the years that followed. She was so warm, so smart and funny and she loved you so very much. Our last encounter was at Richard’s wedding in Toronto where she was so very comfortable among your gang of friends. She was always wonderful to be around and so skilfully navigated among different cultures and different generations. She is gone too soon but she will live in your heart and your memories forever. Long life to you Jon from all the Fishman’s as we send you our heartfelt condolences.

Amina Amer-Ouali - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Mark and Nancy, please accept my deepest condolences. It was always a pleasure seeing Mrs Rafman. Her good mood and great sense of humor made all our appointments together a real pleasure. She truly was a great spirit and a wonderful woman. Amina

Andy Faulkner - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, sincere condolences for the loss of your incredible mother. She illuminated every room with her wit, intelligence, and profound openness. You were her life, and in you and your family, her flame will burn forever. May she be ever watchful over her beloved son, his children, and all the generations of Rafman’s to come.

Rebecca Binik - 23 days ago

During encounters over the years, Sandra was always a warm, funny, and ever-flowing source of knowledge and welcomed input. I remember her discussing the more difficult (for me) aspects of logic after a treacherous exam when I was a philosophy student with Jon. Years later, she shared an on-point bit of parenting advice that I sorely needed at that time. Seeing Sandra was always charming. Condolences from our family to yours.

Bill and Doris Steinberg - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Nancy and Mark, We are so very sad to hear of Sandra’s passing. Whenever we met, she was always upbeat, laughing and a pleasure to chat with. As others have noted, she was eccentric in a good way but really it was just because she was unconcerned about trivial customs and conventions. She cared about what was important, Jon, family and her work. We last ran into her at the Tavern on the Square where she had taken a booth and was working on her book. We joined her and had a lovely dinner together. While we knew she had cancer, you could never tell from her positive attitude. May all the good memories be a comfort at this difficult time. Bill and Doris

Brahm Steinberg - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Nancy and Mark, Please accept our condolences on the loss of Sandra. She was a very special lady. Sincerely, Brahm and Carol

Jon leitner - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, deepest condolences to you and your family. I will always have the warmest memories of your mom, her smile and sincere interest in whatever it was I was doing or thinking about. I was lucky to know this most charming, engaging, interesting and funny woman. My thoughts are with you.

Ben Barna - 23 days ago

I’ve known Sandra for almost as long as I’ve known Jon, and she became more of a friend to me than a friend’s mother. That was just her way. Funny, always smiling, and as eccentric as she was intelligent. She was also very curious about our lives, eager to ask questions and offer advice. I have a Facebook Messenger exchange with Sandra that dates all the way back to 2013, which is unusual for a mother and one of her son’s friends. But Sandra was an unusual woman in the best way. We were exchanging messages as soon as last month, when she shared a photo of Jon holding his new daughter. I’m glad she got to see that. A lot of the messages on here describe how proud she was of Jon, and it’s true, but a specific memory I have of her and Jon might help explain why. It was in New York City, probably around 2009 or 2010, and I was staying with Sandra and Jon at a rental in Park Slope. Jon was at the peak of his struggling artist phase, deep in student debt, and having just bought some expensive computing equipment on credit. Sandra was clearly worried, even angry, and she and Jon got into a heated argument about his future. It was the only time I’ve ever seen her upset, but it was only because she cared so much and knew his potential. Jon’s success was sweeter for her, not just because he was her son, but because she knew better than anyone else how hard it was to get there. I’ll miss her a lot. -Ben

Eugene Kotlyarenko - 23 days ago

Sorry for your loss Jon. Sandra was a very special person. Highly intelligent, driven by curiosity, with a generous spirit and unique sense of humor -- when I met her, who you were became much clearer to me. Glad I got to have a couple of deep convos with her and that she will live on in my memory. As impossible as it might seem, let this moment be a celebration of the woman who raised you ❤️ Sending you and your family all my love.

Lorna Rafman - 23 days ago

Dear Jon,Nancy and Mark - I am sorry for your loss of Sandra .She was a unique individual and through her work did good in the world.

Arye Kremer - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Baruch Dayan Emet. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have very fond memories of your mom from when I was growing up.

Robert Steinbergg - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, Nancy and Mark, I am so sorry to hear of Sandra's passing. Deepest condolences to all. May her memory always be a blessing for you.

Michael Z - 23 days ago

My condolences to Jon and to everyone whose lives were brightened by Sandra's openness, wisdom and generosity.

Chantal Ismé - 23 days ago

Sa douceur, son sourire lumineux et surtout sa grande générosité la gardera toujours vivante dans nos cœurs et dans nos actions. Tu vas tant nous manquer à la Maison d'Haïti, au CA et dans la communauté. Mes plus sincères condoléances Jon et à toute la famille. Bonne traversée Sandra, continue à nous sourire! Chantal Ismé, Vice-Présidente du CA de la Maison d'Haïti.

Marie-Christine Jeanty - 23 days ago

My deepest condolences Jon & to your entire family. My late Father was very fund of your Mother. Her input to Maison d’Haïti wilk never be forgotten. MC Jeanty

Andrew Garonce - 23 days ago

Jon, my sincere condolences, very few of us in this life are so privileged to have the type of beautiful relationship you had and have with your mom. She was so present and your biggest fan. An amazing energy, loved by everyone. I used to bump into her and she’d always always open with talking about you, My heart breaks I for you & your family. I know words can only go so far. Love you brother.

Cory Kandestin - 23 days ago

Jon, I was really saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. She was unique. From my perspective as a kid/young adult, your mom was a free spirit and very kind. (Except maybe that time she got really mad at me during a sleepover for continually plugging in the TV at midnight to watch Bleu Nuit). I have fond memories of her and of those times. I’m so sorry for your loss. Cory Kandestin

Marjorie Villefranche - 23 days ago

Cher Jon je suis tellement désolée du départ de Sandra , c’est une grande perte pour nous toutes. Soyez assuré que la Maison d’Haïti chérira sa mémoire très très longtemps. Elle nous a tant donné à nous et à la communauté. Recevez cher Jon nos plus sincères condoléances. Marjorie Villefranche pour toute l’équipe de la Maison d’Haïti

Francine Adelson - 23 days ago

Dear Nancy, i was so sorry to learn of the loss of your sister, Sandra. My sincere condolences to you and the family. Frankie

irwin liebman - 23 days ago

Dear Jon/family. Your Mom was unique, brilliant but most of all genuinely kind without pretense. Will be missed by so many especially you. Baruch Dayan H'aemet. Anne, Michael and Irwin Liebman

Marlene Lewis - 23 days ago

Dear Jon and family, BDE.My deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. Dr Rafman worked with my son many years ago at the MCH. One year when my son was in hospital over the Passover holiday, she arranged a seder, in hospital, for our family, something so special that will never be forgotten. I remember meeting Jon as a young boy- no mother was more proud of a child than she was of Jon. She was a very special woman. May her memory forever be a blessing.

David Weinfeld - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, from back in our elementary school days, your mom was always a dynamic, larger than life presence. She engaged with everyone and took everyone seriously, even children, asking us questions, sharing her own stories and adventures. She charmed all who knew her with her wit and warmth and zest for life. I especially appreciated her intellectual curiosity. This is a quality you clearly inherited from her, one you display in your personal and professional life that made her so proud. You carry on her legacy. May her memory be a blessing. - Dave

Marilyn Reim - 23 days ago

Dear Nancy & family our deepest sympathies.I am so saddened to hear of your loss.. Sandra was always ready to listen & give her sage advice.. She was such a beautiful person I will miss not bumping into her at West Mountain square

Moe Liebman - 23 days ago

So sorry for your loss Jon. Sandra was so special- I’m fortunate to have spent the time we spent together. Wishing you and all her loved ones strength during this time. May her memory be a blessing.

Judy Kremer - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I’m so sorry for your loss and extend my deepest condolences to you and your family. My family has many fond memories of her throughout the years. She was always so engaging, curious, loved to laugh and was extremely proud of you, her cherished son. May you find comfort in your good memories of her and the special bond you held and may her legacy live on in the good values she passed on to you. Wishing you much strength through this difficult time. BDH

Helaine Kliger - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, My sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear Mom and friend. She exuded such positive energy and such love and admiration for you. Sandra was so smart, funny and truly unique and she was your greatest champion. May you carry her memory in your heart.

Monna Malkinson - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I was so sorry to learn of the untimely passing of your mother and I send my heartfelt sympathy to you and all the members of your family. May the cherished memories of happier times offer some solace to you all in the days ahead. Sincerely, Monna Malkinson

Michael Hollander - 23 days ago

Jon, I still have such fond memories from when you and Sandra lived across the hall at Le Doray all those years ago. You were her entire world. I still remember coming over to feed the parrot and who could forget how well our video game collections complemented each other. I'm really glad that both you and Sandra kept in touch. She was always a pleasure to speak to, full of class and optimism, and I will miss her. Baruch Dayan Emet.

Emmett Francoeur - 23 days ago

Dear Jon, I was very saddened to hear of your Mom's passing. Our paths crossed so often, including when you were born as one of the last babies born at the Montreal General nursery. Her contributions to clinical care and research into children's psychological pain were always inspired since she had an intuitive brilliance when relating to children of all ages. Her unique and sincere compassion for all her patients and colleagues will remain in all our memories. I send my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Sandra will be missed.

David Steinberg - 23 days ago

We send our heartfelt condolences for the loss of your mother Ruth and David Steinberg

Munesh Sobha - 23 days ago

Jon my deepest condolences on hearing this news this morning. My heart is broken. Your mom was such an amazing human being that I have ever come across. She loved you so deeply and spoke about you every day. She was so proud of you. I know how much you loved her and I am sending you and your family my heart felt condolences. She made everyone feel listened to and that’s so rare in our world. I will miss her so much and our conversations and cafe dates. Sandra was so intelligent and warm. She knew so much about the world and about human nature. She always made me laugh and felt cared for. Although we didn’t share the same age she felt like a great friend I’ve known a long time. I will miss seeing that amazing smile greeting her at a restaurant or cafe. I will carry her smile with me always.

Natalia Sokolova - 24 days ago

Dear Jon and Polina, My sincerest condolences for your loss. Wishing you courage and lots of love at this time. Natalia

Janice and Gerry Kandestin - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, Our hearts are broken . Sandra was a special lady and such a devoted and proud mother. . We have so much history together watching our children grow up. Sandra was always up for an adventure and game for anything you were interested in. I fondly remember her skiing in Stowe with you and forgetting to wear her hat and gloves. Her radiant smile will always be in my mind . Sandra was a brilliant « absent minded professor « and a truly good person. Gerry and I will miss her. Our deepest condolences to you and your beautiful family..

Sasha Doubik - 24 days ago

Jon, my sincere condolences. It was feeling like bayitt (home in Hebrew, Sandra taught me this word) near Sandra. She was an amazing woman with a lot of warmness in her heart. We spoke a lot with Sandra, and all her words was so special. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, mother in law and a friend to many. Spending time with her was an absolute joy, I love her very much.

Simon Denny - 24 days ago

Sandra was a very special person that I met many times in my friendship with Jon over the years. She was present at all exhibition openings of Jon's I was fortunate enough to attend and group exhibitions we shared. The time I remember best was my first substantial exchange with Sandra when I visited Montreal for the Montreal Biennale in 2014 and Jon was planning his upcoming show at the MAC. We spoke in depth about my work and she offered many substantial insights and interpretations I would otherwise not have thought of. Her curiosity and engagement with Jon's artist friends on their own terms, with respect and care, was unusual and impressive. She made her own lasting relationships among that cohort and added value to all of the artists she spoke to – I often heard many details about similar exchanges with other artists later. An exceptional energy that will be missed by many. My condolences to Jon and all those that survive her.

Eli Kerr - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, I am thinking of you and your family today, and of your beloved mother. Sandra had a brilliant and courageous spirit, I will remember her for her sharp intellect and boundless compassion. She was also lots of fun and was a reminder to live vivaciously to anyone who was ever lucky enough to meet her. A remarkable woman, she is so proud of you. My deepest condolences.

Philip Doubik - 24 days ago

Dear Jon and Polina, yesterday we were celebrating Sandra’s granddaughter’ first month when we received the saddening snews. I’ve only met Sandra twice, first time in Madrid at the premier of Jon’s opera and I remember how proud she was of her son, literally sparkling with joy. Our second and last encounter was in a very different situation, when you were trying to live through the most tragic times. Sandra was there with you despite her ill health and doing her best in helping you to survive through this tragedy. I believe Sandra passed her best merits to Evita, and part of her will keep on living in your baby. Philip Doubik

Cigal Gabay - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, We were all so devastated to hear that our dear and beloved Sandra had passed away. She was a kind, warm, loving, non judgmental and supportive woman with a big and beautiful heart. She always took such a deep and genuine interest in everything and everyone in my family. Today, my kids will be asking their teachers to dedicate their learning to the Iluy (Ascent) of her magnificent soul. May your precious memories of her carry you through this very painful time and may you always feel her presence by your side. Sending lots of love from Israel.

Jon Cercone - 24 days ago

Jon, spent countless nights chatting basketball with Sandra at the resto. Wishing you the best from all of us at the Taverne.

Schachar Orenstein - 24 days ago

Feeling the pain of the loss.

Esther & Sydney Marovitch - 24 days ago

Dear Rafman Family, We are so sad to hear of the loss of your dear Sandra. She was so very brilliant, caring and very proud of her family. Our thoughts & prayers are with you. May her sweet memory be a blessing. Sincerely, Esther & Sydney Marovitch

Jonathan Schouela - 24 days ago

Jon, I am so sad to hear of the passing of your beloved mother and friend, Sandra. What an engaging, interesting, and genuinely fun person to speak to. Her memory is a blessing to everyone she met. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Mark Kupfert - 24 days ago

Jon, I became close friends with you in Grade 9. Very quickly your mom left a massive impression on me and has continued to do so. Sandra took a special interest in our lives, essentially becoming a dear friend. She was wildly smart, funny and well-read but never judgemental. Your house was always full of interesting books, clothes, travel trinkets (spears lol) and other curiosities. For a 15 year old DDO boy, it was really a whole new world. haha. No question she had an influence in many of my pursuits---and was incredibly supportive throughout them. Whether I was off studying in a Yeshiva or back in MTL playing music gigs, Sandra was always there cheering me on, asking questions, debating, critiquing -- but always in the most giving, generous way. Sandra was truly one of a kind. A very special, loving human who will be deeply missed. May her memory be a blessing and may may God comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem xox Mark

Ari Schachter - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, I was so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Whenever I saw her over the years, she always had the brightest smile on her face, and loved sharing what you were up to. She was so proud of you. She was a wonderful friend to my mom - they had a really special relationship that I know was cherished dearly. Sending my deepest condolences. Ari

Margot Steinberg - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, We are so devastated for you. Sandra was an extraordinary woman. A brilliant scholar and practitioner and truly ahead of her time. But ultimately she was your biggest supporter and could not have been more proud of your well deserved accomplishments. She was thrilled about the birth of your baby girl and we are just so sorry that she did not get to meet her. We had such a lovely conversation the day before Evita was born. Our hearts go out to you and Polina. Sending our deepest condolences, Margot and Stan.

Stephen - 24 days ago

My deepest condolences. Sandra was a very beautiful and smart woman. Sandra and Jon always have been an example of true love. Even after her pass she will still inspire and guide her son, family and students through life.

Peter Braun - 24 days ago

My family and I had the pleasure of sharing several celebratory meals with Sandra in our home. We will always cherish her vivacious spirit, her infectious laugh, her brilliant conversational insights, her appreciation of each one of us. Sandra will live on with affection and admiration in our memories. We extend our deep sadness to Jon and his family.

Jaclyn Stein - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mother was an amazing and unique person and she could not have been prouder of you. I feel very fortunate to have grown up together and for having known her. We will always remember her as the kind, unique and wonderful person that she was. She was so supportive and always put a smile on our faces. I know that her love, passion and creativity will live on in you and you will continue to make her proud. Sending you and the family lots of love.

Ariel Helwani - 24 days ago

Sandra was a beautiful soul. So happy we got to spend time with her this past June. She was truly one of a kind and possessed an infectious joie de vivre. She made everyone feel appreciated and welcome. My heart goes out to the Rafman family. Much love from the Helwani family.

Natasha Arora - 24 days ago

Oh my dear sweet Sandra! Shocking to learn of your passing. I had been thinking about you these past few weeks and we hadn't crossed paths in awhile. My sincere condolences to your devoted son, Jon, and family.

Lori Merling - 24 days ago

My deepest and sincerest condolences to Jon and family. I was so sad to hear of this news, as I have such fond memories of Sandra. I remember spending time with her and my mom when I was a kid. We’d do things like go ice skating at hampstead park. I remember as a kid how much I loved being around her - she exuded wisdom and kindness. She was always cool and fun, and I was always excited when our families would go out for dinner together. No surprise kids loved and gravitated toward her - she was brilliant with all of them. Grateful to have these memories- and may her memory be a blessing bc to everyone she knew.

Stephen Liben - 24 days ago

I had the pleasure and honor of working with Sandra at the Montreal Children's Hospital over many years. She was such a positive person, smiling often, and she was always openly compassionate and truly wanted to help no matter how dire the situation. I saw her at a restaurant just this past Fall where we briefly chatted and I had no idea she was going battling ill health. She will be very much missed . My very deepest condolences to her family.

Steph Braun - 24 days ago

My deepest sympathies to Jon/Polina and extended family. Sandra was one of the smartest and funniest people I've ever met, and I feel privileged to have been able to call her my friend. May her love, wisdom, and wit live on.

Ty Jeevaratnam - 24 days ago

Dear Jon and family, although we have never met formally we share many a friend and I wanted to permit myself to share with you a memory of Sandra at my old stomping ground: Aquascutum at Ogilvy. I distinctly remember when we had moved from the 2nd to the 3rd floor and your dear mother came in, her invitation in hand. A familiar face and a friendly smile. We shared pleasantries, she commented on my frame, and days past of a former figure. She tried things on and left with a patterned hat. She left a mark on me, she looked me in the eyes, made me laugh, and was so kind. I hope you know she made her mark wherever she went how and on so many - particularly her wit - but her kindness above all. The memory of her is truly a blessing and I hope you find comfort in the flood of good memories she will bring to you.

Mercedes Muhlegg - 24 days ago

Dear Jonathon, Polina, and all family members, I am deeply saddened by the terrible loss of your beloved Sandra. She was a lovely lady with a beautiful smile and an intelligent mind. May her soul be bound to the bonds of eternal life Mercedes Muhlegg

Saleem Razack - 24 days ago

Dear Jon and Polina, We have never met. I worked with your Mom at the Children’s for many years. I am saddened by her passing and send my condolences to you. Saleem Razack (MD who worked in PICU, now in Vancouver)

Tara Steinberg - 24 days ago

Jon, I am so sorry to hear about your mom's passing, but I know how proud she was of you and all of your accomplishments. Most recently, I remember how excited she was when you and Polina wed. She was a unique and incredible woman, a trailblazer in so many ways. I have fond memories of her from passover seders at my grandmothers when we were younger and every time I saw or spoke with her in the following years, it was such a pleasure. May her memory be a blessing.

Sam Malkinson - 24 days ago

Dear Jon, my deepest sympathies upon hearing of the loss of your mother. Though we haven't seen each other in a while, I have very fond childhood memories of play-dates in the park with your mom watching over us. I ran into her many times over the years, and she always beamed with pride when telling me what you were up to. May her memory be a blessing for you.

Daveed - 24 days ago

Sandra was a pillar for all our friends, her memory can never be replaced, Sandra was a pillar for all our friends. She will leave behind a legacy that can never be replaced, we will cherish those memories for all time. She will be remembered and missed with love. Best towards Jon and everyone else who knew her.