The Honourable Jerahmiel Grafstein retired on January 2, 2010.
Appointed to the Senate by the late former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Senator Grafstein represents the province of Ontario and the Senatorial Division of Metro Toronto. He has served in the Senate of Canada since January 13, 1984.
He is currently a Member of the following Senate Committees: Foreign Affairs, and Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. He has also been involved in other Senate Committees over the years including the Library of Parliament (Joint), as well as with Parliamentary groups including the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, the Interparliamentary Union, and the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. Areas of interest and specialization include communications, foreign affairs, and legal and constitutional issues. His pastimes include tennis and squash.
A lawyer by trade, Senator Grafstein has a long and distinguished career in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, this has included serving as Counsel with the law firm of Minden, Gross, Grafstein and Greenstein. It also includes founding and editing the Journal of Liberal Thought (1965-66). He has chaired boards of corporations including those of CUC Broadcasting Ltd. and CITYTV, and served as a Board Member for other corporations including Toronto Life Magazine.
Senator Grafstein has been heavily involved in the public sector over the years. Most recently, this includes his participation in the Canada Loves New York Weekend, which saw thousands of Canadians travel to New York City to share the encouragement and spirit of all Canadians in the tragic aftermath of events on September 11th. Senator Grafstein’s work in the public sector has consisted of many different contributions, including as Co-Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the 1988 Toronto Economic Summit, and as Chairman of the City of Toronto Asia/Pacific Committee.
Senator Grafstein is a Queen’s Counsel (1973). He has been involved with many legal organizations in the community, among them: the Ontario Bar Association; the Canadian Bar Association; the American Bar Association; the York County Law Society; and, the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Educated at the University of Western Ontario where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, Senator Grafstein also holds an LL.B. from the University of Toronto Law School. He was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1960.
Born on January 2, 1935 in London, Ontario, he is married to Carole Sniderman.
They have two children: Laurence Stephen, and Michael Kevin.