Howard Buchbinder

Howard Buchbinder, social science professor in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies (formerly Atkinson College) from 1972 to 1996, died on Jan. 8 at age 77. An obituary in the Jan. 13 Toronto Star said, “His rich life was an example of integrity and commitment, as a professor, social worker, poet, activist, folk singer, rebel, WW II soldier, author, kibbutz pioneer, kibitzer, union leader, traveller, civil rights marcher, friend, husband, father and grandfather.”

Professor Buchbinder was the loving partner of Roberta Albert, father and father-in-law of Amnon Buchbinder and Elyse Pomeranz, David Buchbinder and Roula Said, grandfather of Ishai, Caleb and Laila, brother of Harriet Aronson of Stuart, FL, and Richard and Marion Buchbinder of Philadelphia, PA, step-father of Jonathan and Amiel Kaplan of France, friend and former husband of Judith Weisman.

A private family service has taken place.  

The following notice about Professor Buchbinder was written by his friend and colleague, retired Atkinson social science Professor Griff Cunningham.

Howard Buchbinder was a professor in social science in the Atkinson Faculty, chaired the division for several years and was a major player in helping create the social and political environment we find today at York University. He was a very active member of the community at Atkinson and in the wider community of the university.

Howard played a major role in the early development of the Faculty Association, which he later chaired. He helped to create many of the existing institutions and practices that define the shape of faculty and administration relations today. His research before his retirement was on the relationship between universities, corporations and academic work.

Before his period of service at York University, Howard was deeply immersed in various community development initiatives in Toronto and in St. Louis, Missouri. A very special quality of Howard’s life was his wonderful immersion in the world of poetry. He wrote many poems over several decades and was still dictating poetry up to the very last days of his life.

Howard had been a resident of Baycrest Hospital for the last few years, and died peacefully with his family providing a very warm embrace.

Details of a public memorial celebration will be published on Friday, Jan. 23, in the Toronto Star. Donations in Howard Buchbinder’s memory may be made to the Toronto Social Forum, with cheque payable to “Gindin Chair in Social Justice”. Mail donations to J. Rebick, Room A715, Jorgenson Hall, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3.

Visit for details about the Toronto Social Forum.