About Us

Welcome to The Chai Centre!

It is with an abundance of gratitude to G-d that we introduce you and your family to The Chai Centre. The goal of The Chai Centre is to bring Jews of all backgrounds to a community-like atmosphere where we can all grow together.

It is about bringing Judaism to life!

It is about having a place to call your second home, a place where you feel free to spend time learning and growing.

It is about Jewish education; understanding what Judaism is really all about, not just a list of rituals.

It is about community, where people can feel safe, comfortable and not judged by anyone else’s standards.

It is about igniting a passion towards a connection with G-d.

It is about understanding what it means to be a Jew and what G-d wants from us.

It is about sharing in the good times as well as the difficult times, but where we understand that a problem shared becomes half a problem.

It is, The Chai Centre!


To help everyone have a part in the continuity of Judaism by learning its core values regardless of one’s current affiliation.


To build a strong community that will endure the trials and tribulations of our generation.


Our Staff

Rabbi Heshi Kuhnreich

Rabbi Heshi Kuhnreich, Director

Rabbi Heshi Kuhnreich has been involved in Jewish outreach since 1985. Rabbi Heshi, as he is affectionately known, has the unique ability to unite Jews of all backgrounds into a single unit making everyone feel "at home."

Over the many years, Rabbi Heshi has been involved in numerous community activities, helping many organizations get started and ensuring their continuity.

The Chai Centre is the pinnacle of his efforts to bring Jews together from around the globe. His classes on a wide array of subjects are always inspiring and thought provoking. Come and see for yourself!


Herb Waters

Herb Waters, Counsellor

Jessica Klein

Jessica Klein, Facilitator

Jessica Klein is a television writer/producer who specializes in programs for "tweens" and teens (including the iconic hit Beverly Hills 90210.

She has spoken across the US and Canada about her Jewish journey, and her experiences with trauma and recovery.

She relocated to Toronto for a couple of years, but she has returned to her home in Los Angeles where she is happy to live near her children and grandchildren.

Rabbi Shmuli

Rabbi Shmuli Soroka, Educator

Rabbi Shmuli Soroka, M.S.Ed has been involved in Jewish Education for over twenty years, in both formal and informal settings.

In addition to his training as a Rabbi and educator, he has a background in marketing and once ran his own coffee company. His lock-down accomplishments include learning to play guitar and how to install a toilet. He currently teaches Judaic studies to Middle School students at Netivot HaTorah Day School in Toronto.

Rabbi Shmuli is passionate about teaching and learning Torah, as well as personal growth and he is excited to be combining all three at the Chai Center!

Elana Soroka

Mrs. Elana Soroka, Educator

Elana Soroka M.S.Ed is an elementary school Methods and Resource teacher and coordinator. Elana has been involved with Jewish Education, formal and informal for over two decades teaching students from nursery age through college and adults. She currently teaches at Netivot Hatorah Day School. She also gives mikvah tours and classes to interested Jewish women.

In her spare time, Elana enjoys reading and doing sudoku puzzles. She has recently taken up more extreme sports including giving her 16 year old driving lessons.

Elana is passionate about Judaism and loves bringing her experience and Torah knowledge to join others at the Chai Center!

Deborah Jacobs

Deborah Jacobs, Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW


As a trauma-informed therapist, I believe that all our lived experiences leave an imprint on the mind and body, which in turn can have a long-lasting impact on our brain functioning and perception, and affect our reactions and interpersonal relationships. I specialize in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, couples therapy, anger and chronic pain management.
I utilize a variety of different treatment models including sensorimotor, somatic, and mindfulness informed interventions, EMDR & CBT, and the Gottman method helping my clients understand and compassionately connect with both their physical and emotional experiences. Warmth, empathy and compassion are my signature traits and are foundational to my practice.
We are not able to change our lived experiences, but we can change the impact of our past and how it impinges on our present. I firmly believe that healing is possible for anyone who is willing to actively work towards it because everything we need is already inside of us. By working together we can make positive change a reality.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Chai Centre where I will be able to use my skills to help many people succeed.
Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz

Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, Educator

Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz focuses on dispelling modern angst with ancient texts.

As a Rabbi, his career has included positions as a primary school teacher, principal and congregation leader. Over the last 40 years, Rabbi Schwartz has been a regular volunteer at Aish HaTorah.

Rabbi Schwartz has authored Reward Miles to Heaven (Judaica Press) and The Last Word on the Parsha (Amazon), lectured in many venues, and produced many YouTube videos on Torah subjects.

Rabbi Schwartz is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant, having served as a controller, computer consultant, financial software designer and property manager. In 2007, he appeared on Dragon’s Den with his invention of the Shelevator (no deal) http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/pitches/shelevator.

In addition to Rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Schwartz has earned Bachelor degrees in Talmudic Law, Psychology, and Commerce and a Master of Arts in Education from Ner Israel Yeshiva College, University of Toronto, University of Windsor and Simon Fraser University, respectively.

Rabbi Schwartz is married with three children and a growing cadre of grandchildren.

Dr. Chayim Newman

Dr. Chayim Newman, Educator

Dr. Chayim Newman holds his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University. He has worked in numerous respected clinical settings including: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, The Albert Ellis Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has studied mindfulness and meditation disciplines with several of this generation’s preeminent teachers. Dr. Newman regularly delivers lectures and seminars on stress management, meditation, and mind-body health.

Dr. Newman’s clinical practice (www.drchayimnewman.com) focuses on the use of a variety of therapeutic modalities (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT, CBT, Mindfulness, traditional psychotherapy) in the treatment of difficulties with anxiety and stress, mood and depression, relationships, coping with chronic or stress-related medical illness, and other psychological/emotional issues. 

Having been involved in the entertainment industry for over two decades, as a touring performer, event producer, and artist liaison, Dr. Newman possesses a first-hand understanding of the unique challenges and stresses facing creatives, performers, high-profile individuals and those with distinctive lifestyles. Dr. Newman is the co-founder of Borer Newman, a first-of-its-kind company providing customized mental health solutions for the entertainment industry (www.borernewman.com) and the Tour Health Research Initiative (THRIV), the leading organization dedicated to conducting research on health and mental health in the touring music industry (www.tourhealth.org). 
Carol Molko

Carol Molko, Administrator

Carol has a U of T bachelor's degree in Math, Computer Science and Psychology and previously worked in the computer industry for 15 years before she ultimately resigned from it to raise her young family of four children.

Pursuing new interests and passions, for the past 18 years she has been working concurrently as a Freelance Editor, Tap and Jazz Instructor & Choreographer, and is a licensed Realtor alongside her husband.

She loves to learn as much as she loves to teach, help, and serve others! She has recently reignited her strong desire to learn more about Judaism after having traveled to Israel (twice) with a dynamic Jewish women's group back in 2013 and 2014 and has never looked back. She is proud and honored to be welcomed both as a contributing member and student of The Chai Centre.