Barry and I were like two soldiers during wartime – like two brothers taking care of each other to survive each and every day. As interns and residents during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the Bronx, we battled daily for our patients and for ourselves.Barry was a great “soldier” who led by example and continued on as a Chief Resident training other doctors to care for some of the sickest patients in the hospital. He was an exemplary physician and human being, whose mission was to help others. That was Barry.
When I think of Barry (and I still do often), I think of a person about whom nobody had a bad thing to say. Whether a colleague, acquaintance, friend or patient, Barry was always thought of as an individual characterized by his warmth, generosity, and affection for people. Barry had the ability to connect with others and make them feel special. He especially loved Israel, hockey, medicine, a good joke and quite simply – life.
In the short time he spent on this earth, he touched the hearts and changed the lives of countless people including mine.
One could never ask for a better friend than Barry.
Barry loved sports but he especially loved hockey. I suppose it had something to do with being Canadian.Any chance he could get he would round us up to play roller hockey in the courtyard in front of our apartment buildings. It didn’t matter that there were no boards to keep the ball from rolling away and cement was cracked so you could rarely complete a pass without the ball popping up and ruining your play.
He just loved to play.He was a much better hockey player than all of us but never flaunted it (unless you had the nerve to insult his Canadiens – then you would be down four goals before you knew what happened).
Cindy & Ezra Haller
Deena and I only had the privilege of knowing Barry for three years yet feel that the memories and experiences we shared numbered what most friendships share in a lifetime. It was quality over quantity and Barry’s wide, devilish smile is an image I think about often.Barry was all about making people smile. He was always sharing a funny story or playing a practical joke and his smile and hearty laugh were infectious.
Saul & Deena Fiedler
Like a baby laughing, I couldn’t help but smile when I was around Barry especially when he broke out into that laugh that usually swallowed up the ending of the sentence he was finishing. As much as I wanted to share a story about Barry that was not associated with his hospitalization…it is one of the stories, which for me, personified Barry so well.I had gone to spend some time to visit Barry in the hospital prepared for any interaction that seemed right, but I knew that he was in the mood for some normal “hanging” and when it came to Barry that meant lots of laughing. I can readily admit that at the time I was also looking to have some normal time with my friend. As impactful and large his illness was at the time the essential part of Barry was always that radiant smile and innocently mischievous laugh. That little mischievous side once emerged when he almost got me, this non-French speaking American to wish the Canadian guard at the border crossing a great merde day by putting that in the instructions for his friends when we came to spend the weekend.
But on this day when I went to visit Barry in the hospital I brought along with me a movie for us to watch together. I wasn’t quite sure if it was the best idea because I wanted to get a chance to speak and catch up. The answer to that dilemma came rather quickly. I watched Rat Race alongside Barry. When I sat alongside Barry in that hospital room, both of us hysterically laughing, I experienced the true essence of who Barry was. We did speak that day and catch up and joke around, but hearing him laugh that day in his hospital room brought us both to a place far from the illness and to a place that was who Barry was. Barry thanked me for giving him that laugh and I thanked him for being able to laugh with him.
I always remember Barry for that radiant childlike smile and laugh. He was truly a great friend who lit up a room full of people wherever he went. He was always like the birthday boy from my childhood, everyone wanted to get to sit next to him.
I am so lucky to have once been counted by Barry as a friend.
Barry Mishkin was a dedicated friend, a superb clinician and an inspiring husband, father, and son. Barry and I met as medical students at Einstein. Although he took his learning seriously, he always knew how to have fun and make others laugh. He loved playing and watching hockey. He loved his Canadiens. He always walked around with a gray McGill backpack and everyone knew his happy smiling face.We did residency together at Montefiore, and I was always impressed by his knowledge. He was devoted to his patients and was very competent and efficient at getting his notes done and starting on his scut. He helped me start IVs and do blood cultures more times than I can count.
In July of our internship year, I stuck myself with a needle from an AIDS patient. I was in a panic and called Barry. He was post call and exhausted, but still in the hospital. He calmed me down and waited with me for hours in the ER until my boyfriend came from Westchester. Thankfully, everything was ok, but this just shows how caring he was.
After our respective weddings, we both moved to Riverdale together and were later chief residents together. All of the housestaff knew Barry and respected his clinical judgment. He was “a wall” at blocking inappropriate admissions to the medical teams. He helped me pass the internal medicine boards by encouraging me to study even when I was too tired and lazy. I loved precepting clinic with him. He had such an easy way of teaching the residents and medical students. Everyone felt comfortable confiding in him and asking him for advice.
I still think of Barry often, especially when I have a challenging patient especially with GI issues.
I miss my friend. He had so much to teach all of us!
Barry was a friend throughout high school. He was the guy you could talk to, even though he was a “guy,” on a wide range of topics. He was funny and never took things too seriously, but was still the one you could count on if you needed help. We worked together developing films for the yearbook (yes, not only was there film in cameras, but we developed some black-and-whites ourselves!) and it was just fun working together – the right mix of laughter and work. He was a great guy. One of the best.
Lori Rosenberg (Dannenbaum)
The last time I saw Barry we were in Montreal for a family bar-mitzvah (and then Gershon got engaged). Barry was in town too. He came over to my parent’s house on Melling.I am holding Tal, who was about two months shy of her second birthday. I guess Jason was a little bit older. I remember Adi, who was almost four, was sleeping. We had just returned from Parc Safari.
It was a short visit and even then I wondered if I would ever see him again. He looked strong and happy so that is how I remember him always.
When I think of my friend Barry the very first thing I always think of is his laugh. It always started as a child-like giggle, one you would think was coming out of an 8-year-old mischievous little boy. We laughed together A LOT. One of my favorite things to do was make Barry laugh. From goofy jokes to childish pranks, he was an easy audience, and always laughed hardest when I “got him”.One evening I came over to his house to study with him. It was dusk and he was in his bedroom on the ground floor with a big window that looked out on the front yard and driveway. As I walked up the driveway I could see him sitting at his desk facing the window. He looked up at me and I waved to go up to open the front door, but he did not acknowledge me and looked back down into his book. So I walked right up to the window and put my face right up to the glass. Just then, he looked up again to look out the window and saw my face.
He shrieked like a little girl, grabbed his chest, and flipped backward off the chair onto the floor, gasping. I laughed so hard I fell on the ground, and his family came running into his room to see what was going on. All he could do was point at the window (but I was rolling with laughter on the grass). We laughed for hours after that and laughed every time we remembered it for years afterwards.
I miss a lot of things about Barry, but his laughter and good humor is up at the top of the list.
It’s unfortunate as the years go by memories fade but one of my most vivid memories of Barry is during a hockey game we played when we were in high school.We were in 10th or 11th grade and our class had rented out the Samuel Moscovitch Arena for a friendly ice hockey game. Since it was just a pick-up game, very few of us wore equipment. Barry wore a helmet but I did not. Halfway through the game, there was a loose puck at centre ice and I skated as fast as I could to get it.
Since I was skating with my head down, I did not see Barry skating from the other direction to the puck. Since he also had his head down, he did not see me coming either. We both reached the puck at the same time and our heads collided. Or rather, my head collided with his helmet. I hit the ice and blacked out for a few seconds. Barry was not hurt. I got up and finished the game with a nasty headache.
After the game, I did not feel well at all so I decided to go to the hospital. Barry didn’t want me to go alone so he came with me. We took a bus together and went to the emergency room at the Jewish General Hospital. I don’t remember how long we stayed there but Barry stayed with me until my parents came and he saw that I was alright.
Barry was always thoughtful and caring for his friends.
We miss him greatly.
I will never forget the evening Barry and I spent in Jerusalem in the mid-eighties, when the Mishkins came to visit me and my family after my move from Montreal.We decided to leave the apartment to sit outside and star gaze. Barry and I discussed how lucky we were to be friends and how much we will miss each other’s friendship. We both had tears rolling down our cheeks when we suddenly saw a bright shooting star. We contemplated about our future and when we will reunite.
We didn’t have the chance to meet again, but I was fortunate to speak with him in early 2002. Upon learning about Barry’s situation, and fate, I was devastated and broke into pieces.
I will always remember Barry as a sensitive, genuine, humble, and noble individual. His soft voice and his happy face always placed you in a good mood even when having a bad day. There are not enough stars to reflect the brilliance of our friendship.
Barry, a true friend, my shooting star, is immensely missed.
Once he was on your side, Barry was fiercely loyal.It began with his family, and I can recall admiring how close knit he was with his siblings in a way that made me mildly envious. I remember once joking that “if you step on Daniel’s toe, Barry would say ‘ouch’.” Watching Barry, Daniel, and their father playing a game of pickup hockey at the outdoor rink at Hampstead Park with the name ‘Mish’ on the back of the jersey reminded me of Gordie Howe on the New England Whalers playing with his sons Mark & Marty.
But that loyalty also extended to friendships and Barry was someone you wanted on your side because he would go out of his way to offer support.
When it came to sports Barry would be the one who was first to rush to your side if the situation called for it. He was a great hockey player and if someone made a dirty play or took a wild slash that crossed the line, he was the player immediately getting into the other guy’s face.
I will never forget a football game against another grade in high school. By the end of the game, it had turned from competitive to nasty and one loudmouthed opposing kid had particularly gotten under our skin. We were all mad at him, but Barry was seething. In the huddle, Barry was all worked up and I remember him speaking to us through gritted teeth, challenging all of us that we had to win the game just to shut that player up. Ultimately it was Barry that made the play and silenced the other team.
The stability and permanence of friendship and, in fact, all of our relationships is supported by loyalty, and I think that this particular trait made Barry a special person.
While I think of Barry daily, with Passover approaching missing him is only amplified.For over 30 years I had the pleasure of spending time with Barry when visiting my family for the holiday. Whether it was leaving shul to go for our annual l’chaim at David Hutman’s, taking me to my first wrestling match downtown, or even inviting me to join him on his dates – Barry always made my time in Montreal full of fun and laughter.
May his neshama have an Aliyah.
I love Barry’s quest for knowledge and he exhibited a patience for teaching others what was really important.When we last spoke, he made it infinitely clear that he wanted his life to be celebrated and he never wanted anyone to feel bad for him.
He is still in my heart and I miss him very much as I know his many friends and family do too. I will always remember his smile and most importantly his kindness.
He was truly one in a million.
If you would like to share a memory and/or a photo that you have with Barry, feel free to contact me