Rabbi Shaanan Scherer

“This is what I love to do! It’s Jewish education, with the best classroom ever!” Rabbi Shaanan Scherer articulated to himself post-yeshiva in 1997. He had toured some of Israel with the famous tour guide Barnea Selevan, and attended an inspiring one-man theatrical show with R’ Benji Levine. So, in 2005, after obtaining an MA in Jewish History amidst studying for smicha, he decided to take the 2 year Israel tour guide course that he felt “was the greatest experience in Jewish education. When I’m in Israel, I feel a complete soul… It’s something that lacks when I’m not there. There, I feel I’m in the right place and always feel that way, even when I visit.”

Shaanan uses his inspiration from Barnea and R’ Levine to combine information and drama by dressing up and acting out many characters to make his tours (offered in Israel twice a year) come alive. He also started to lead Jewish Toronto Tours in 2017 which offer the same style of theatrical and informative historical tours. 

Reflecting on other life- changing experiences. “Life is fragile. Our health is a blessing. It sounds cliche but it’s very true, every day is a blessing, we can’t take it for granted.” Shaanan was 10 when his older brother Danny, then a 19 yr old leader in his community, survived a serious car accident. “He is brain injured, but his soul shines bright. He’s very positive, very loving. There are many people with brain injuries who are depressed, and we’re very fortunate that he’s happy.” Shaanan, along with his 6 siblings, lovingly take care of their brother. Danny’s life has shaped Shaanan‘s life and has a great impact on his children as well. 

With a career in Jewish education, and currently teaching at TanenbaumCHAT, R’ Scherer knows first- hand the challenges that Jewish institutions are facing, including the alarmingly low rate of Jewish professionals choosing to become Jewish educators. “I love what I do. It’s a very meaningful life. It would be nice to see parents encouraging this path for their children.” 

Shaanan and Emma have 5 children; 1 Netivot graduate and 4 current students.