Rabbi Schachar Orenstein’s mission is to co-create a culture of higher consciousness and service inspired by Judaism and other wisdom traditions.
Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein initiated him into mystical Judaism via the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Hacohen Kook and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. This led R’ Schachar to immerse deeply in the Jewish Renewal movement. Inspired by Reb Zalman, R’ Schachar studied and received orthodox rabbinic ordination in Montreal from rabbis Leib Baron and Joshua Shmidman. R’ Schachar went on to serve prominent Ashkenazi and Sephardi congregations in Montreal and Vancouver including the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (10 years) and Congregation Shaar Hashomayim (3 years). He co-founded Teva Quebec in 2008, Quebec’s first Jewish environmental organization. One of its successful programs is an annual interfaith eco-action day on Victoria Day. He recently completed his MA in Jewish Studies at McGill with a thesis on “The Reclaimings of Ger Toshav”—a way to make Judaism more inclusive.
As a certified Yin, Restorative and Laughter Yoga instructor, he accompanies his yoga classes with live guitar music and Jewish inspiration. He was recently featured at the International Jewish Yoga Festival. He has also practiced and taught Jewish meditation for many years, trained in mindfulness leadership by Sylvia Boorstein and Rabbis Jeff Roth and Sheila Peltz-Weinberg.
He currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Aleph Canada. In this capacity, he promotes Jewish spiritual renewal across Canada and oversees various programs including the “Hinenu: Embodied Judaism Program.”
His French-Hebrew album for children, “Bonjour Mes Amis”, remains very popular.