Rabbi Chaim Strauchler loves being a rabbi. When asked about his work, he replies, “I wake up every morning and do mitzvot – good deeds.” As a rabbi, he is fortunate to help people during their most joyous and also most challenging times. He particularly loves the opportunity to teach Torah. Rabbi Strauchler has been blessed with superb lay leadership and has partnered with them to create a meaningful and exciting synagogue environment.
Rabbi Strauchler believes in synagogue life. “A great synagogue like Shaarei Shomayim is a multiplier. It is the place where we go to make a difference, to make our Jewish lives matter. We come together here to do things that we cannot do alone. We educate the next generation in our values and enjoy the seasons of Jewish life together. We support the State of Israel and work on behalf of the beautiful Canadian society in which we are so blessed to live. A shul is a place where we do things together that truly matter.”
Since Rabbi Strauchler’s arrival at Shaarei Shomayim in 2008, the shul has witnessed dramatic growth. In the past two years, the shul has welcomed over 60 new families. In May 2015, the synagogue completed a momentous renovation and fundraising campaign – the largest in the synagogue’s history. The success of this effort reflects the vibrancy of Shaarei Shomayim and the continued importance of Modern Orthodoxy in Toronto.
While committed to Modern Orthodoxy, Rabbi Strauchler stresses the importance of being able to see past labels, towards the right and the left of the religious spectrum. He tries to look at a person for who they are, and not at the external appearance.
Rabbi Chaim Strauchler received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Strauchler earned a Diploma in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and is a Wexner Graduate Fellowship alumnus. As a student, Rabbi Strauchler founded the literary journal, Mima’amakim. Before joining Shaarei Shomayim, Rabbi Strauchler served as rabbi at Beit Chaverim Synagogue in Westport, Connecticut. Rabbi Strauchler is currently a member of the executive of the Rabbinical Council of America and the Rabbinical Vaad HaKashruth of COR.
Rabbi Strauchler is married to Avital. They have five children: Tehilla, Adir, Atara, Zvi and Freda.