About Rabbi Scher

Upon arriving in Canada’s capital to assume the leadership of Ottawa’s Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Rabbi Idan Scher was the youngest Senior Rabbi of a synagogue this size in all of Canada.

His warm, upbeat and engaging manner coupled with his brilliant synthesis of the modern and the traditional have allowed him to build on the prestigious 100 year old history of his synagogue. Rabbi Scher continues to see great success guiding Machzikei towards a vibrant future – over 100 families have joined the synagogue since his tenure, and the congregation continues to grow. 

In addition to this growth, in the short time that Rabbi Scher has been in Ottawa, Machzikei developed into the synagogue that one would most recommend to a friend in Canada (Measuring Success, 2016).  

Before coming to Ottawa, Rabbi Scher lectured in Judaic Studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and received an MA from Johns Hopkins University. On the strength of this background, Rabbi Scher brings forward authentic and relevant Jewish learning, applied to today’s context.

Rabbi Scher’s engagement in the community is also phenomenal, including the development of a series of Talmud podcasts, leading an unprecedented Ottawa delegation Berlin, Poland, and Israel, and now the launch of this comprehensive website which will be a go-to resource for Jewish learnings.

Outside of work environment, Rabbi Scher is probably best known in Ottawa for his championship winning goal in his freshman year in the Jewish Men’s Ice hockey League of Ottawa.

In Rabbi Scher’s opinion, his greatest accomplishment is marrying his wife Shifra, and raising the two beautiful children they share. 

Rabbi Scher’s work is grounded in the Jewish community, but also extends beyond in his work as a Jewish liaison to Ottawa’s other faith communities. He frequently represents the community in multi faith platforms , chairs an interfaith panel for federal government and private business workshops, and is the Jewish representative to the Spiritual Care Advisory Board at the Ottawa Hospital.


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