Or Shalom’s Interim Rabbi – Rabbi Louis Sutker

After an extensive interview process with the Rabbi Search Committee and the Board, we are pleased to announce that Rabbi Louis Sutker of Victoria has accepted the position of interim Rabbi for a one-year term beginning July 1.


Rabbi Louis has been very active in the Victoria Jewish Community for many years, and many Or Shalomniks know him from being a guest Rabbi at the Or Shalom 2007 Retreat. “I’m very much looking forward to taking on the role of Or Shalom’s interim rabbi. I received my smicha from Aleph:Alliance for Jewish Renewal in the same year as Reb Laura. I hope to maintain Or Shalom’s momentum and add my own enthusiasm, davenning and experience, as you search for your full-time rabbi.”

Rabbi Louis W. Sutker, Ph. D. is a transplanted American from the deep South who came to Canada in 1974 as a professor of Psychology to teach at the University of Victoria. He soon became involved with the Victoria Jewish community serving in many capacities including Gabai and President of Emanu El, first President of the Victoria Jewish Federation and on the Board of Directors of the Victoria Hebrew Free Loan Society. He also served as Jewish Chaplain at the University of Victoria and was on the Executive of the Victoria Multi-faith Society.

After his term at the University, Louis was in full-time practice as a Psychologist in Victoria with specialities in neuropsychology and forensic psychology. Before his retirement from his Psychology practice in 2013 he was contracted with the Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services and was the Regional Clinical Director of the Northern Region.

While in Victoria Louis had the privilege of meeting people involved with the Jewish Renewal movement and gradually became involved himself. He often led davening, read Torah, conducted services, led educational groups and trained bnai mitzvah. Louis entered the Aleph Rabbinic training and after five years of study received Smicha in 2005. He led High Holiday services at synagogues in Canada and the United States.

Rabbi Sutker delights in learning in order to teach, creating innovative liturgy, working with the Sephirot and translating Psalms in such a way that the English resonates to the Hebrew words.

Even though his start date is July, Reb Laura and the board will start preparing for Rabbi Louis’ arrival, and one of his requests is to help find rental accommodation within walking distance of Or Shalom. If you can help in this regard, please contact the board.

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