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Rabbi Chaim Strauchler - Senior Rabbi

Office Phone: 416.789.3213 ext 201
True Emergencies: 416.886.4237
Blog: Rabbi's Blog

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 consistent growth.


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 their 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 an associate editor of Tardition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He is involved in a number of ongoing projects for TraditionOnline including The Best and Rabbi Sacks' Bookshelves. Rabbi Strauchler is currently a vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America and a member of the Rabbinical Vaad HaKashruth of COR.


Rabbi Strauchler is married to Avital. They have five children: Tehilla, Adir, Atara, Zvi and Freda.

Ralph Levine - Shamash


Ralph Levine, Shaarei Shomayim’s Shammas and Baal Koreh, is responsible for the Torah readings at our services and for overseeing daily morning services. Ralph is a resource to those who are sitting shiva and can assist with the recitation of kaddish. He offers training to boys in advance of their Bar Mitzvah and can provide tutorials to adults who wish to improve their davening or haftarah reading skills.

Rabbi Elliott Diamond - Downstairs Minyan Rabbi


Rabbi Elliott Diamond has long been associated with Jewish education in Toronto and currently serves as the Vice Principal of Jewish Studies at Netivot HaTorah Day School. Rabbi Diamond has been an important member of the Shaarei Shomayim community for many years and has contributed to the synagogue in many capacities. Currently, he is the leader of our Downstairs Minyan and a member of the synagogue clergy.

Rabbi Diamond holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, pursued his Masters in Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education and received his rabbinical ordination from the late Chief Rabbi of Montreal, Rabbi Pinchas Hirzprung, z”l.

The Downstairs Minyan at Shaarei Shomayim offers an intimate Shabbat and holiday service led by participants. Rabbi Diamond’s weekly d’var torah is a thoughtful and meaningful part of the service. “Everyone deserves a moment of inspiration,” says Rabbi Diamond. “At the Downstairs Minyan we try to make that moment happen in our warm and friendly atmosphere.”

Rabbi Diamond and his wife Rochelle have three children, Avi, Eliana and Amiel.


Chaim Freund - Chazzan


Chaim received his Rabbinical Ordination from the Rabbinical College of America and from Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former chief Rabbi of Israel. He served as lead Chazzan for the High Holidays in London, California, and he served as year round Chazzan and Ba'al Koreh at Chabad of the Shore in Deal, New Jersey. He studied at the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute under Chazzan Naftali Hershtik, as well as Professor Johannes Sweiger from NYU in New York City.

Chazzan Freund is married to Mirel, and they have a daughter, Sarah.

Wed, 28 July 2021 19 Av 5781