Home » Rabbi Lazer Gurkow – Profile and Approbations

Rabbi Lazer Gurkow – Profile and Approbations

Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

With his easy, informal manner of presentation, Rabbi Gurkow engages his audience and leads them on provocative journeys of thought. He has lectured on many topics and was invited to speak to audiences throughout Israel and North America. Gifted with the ability to present the complicated in easily understood language, Rabbi Gurkow has successfully lectured to University students and community groups.

A prolific writer, he is the author of more than three hundred articles that appear regularly in both on line and print publications. He is the author of a weekly Torah essay that is distributed via email and is published on numerous websites.

He is the author of www.innerstream.org, a web site devoted to presenting the inner stream of meaning within Torah and he is a long-standing Scholar in Residence with Askmoses.com.

Rabbi Gurkow serves as Rabbi to Congregation Beth Tefilah and resides in London Ontario with his wife and four children.

Rabbi Gurkow is available to lecture to your community and is prepared to tailor his talk to the needs of your audience. You can reserve Rabbi Gurkow for an evening lecture on the subject of your choice or for a full Shabbaton weekend.

For more information or to learn more about Rabbi Gurkow’s lecture titles and fees you may contact  him directly at rabbi@innerstream.org.


Rabbi Eliezer (Lazer) Gurkow serves as pulpit rabbi at congregation Beth Tefilah in London, Ontario. His rabbinic career began at sixteen when neighborhood synagogues began to call upon him to lead services, read the Torah and offer sermons.

After completing his studies at the Oholei Torah Yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Gurkow was recruited to the Yeshiva Gedolah of New Haven Connecticut, the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey and the Yeshiva Gedolah of Sydney Australia. He eventually returned to Brooklyn to receive “Semicha” (Rabbinic Ordination) at the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Brooklyn New York.

During his years of study Rabbi Gurkow was deeply involved in community activities.  He acted as Director of Jewish Summer Camps in Massachusetts and in California; did Chaplaincy work in prisons across New England, directed statewide holiday youth programs in the state of Connecticut; traveled to South East Asia to work with the local Jewish community and reach out to the many Jewish tourists of that region and, while studying in Australia, was invited to substitute for pulpit Rabbi in various congregations.

In addition to these more permanent roles Rabbi Gurkow often traveled to communities around the country to assist in a variety of programs.  From Texas to Florida, from Iowa to California, Rabbi Gurkow worked with children and adults directing and implementing programs such as youth camps, adult education and youth related activities. Wherever he traveled Rabbi Lazer, as he prefers to be called, consistently combined scholarship with activism, touching the lives of many.

After his marriage to Basie (nee Block) the young couple moved to Marina Del Rey, California where he acted as Assistant Pulpit Rabbi and Director of Adult Education. In that capacity he demonstrated creativity and dynamism in the organization and executed successful outreach, educational and holiday programming to his congregation and the wider community.

He was invited to Loyola Maramount University as guest lecturer on Chassidic, Orthodox and Reform Judaism and to the Jewish Community of Laguna Beach, CA, as scholar in residence. He was also instrumental in bringing many guest lecturers into the community including Mr. Dennis Prager, Dr. Lawrence Shiffman, Rabbi Manis Friedman and Rebbetzin Esther Yungreis. He lectured extensively on Kabbalah and Mysticism and  created and delivered several successful crash courses on basic Judaism.

Since his acceptance of the position of Rabbi for the Beth Tefilah Congregation in London Ontario Rabbi Lazer has only increased his educational activities in breadth and scope. He has lectured on numerous topics, led many discussion groups and hosted weekend retreats. He also travels extensively to speak at synagogues and organizations in Israel, Australia, Canada and in the United Satates.

Rabbi Lazer is a prolific writer. He has written extensively on many Jewish topics including Shabbat, Kashrut, Jewish Holidays and family purity.  His more than six-hundred articles have been published in many print and online publications including Chabad.org, Israelnationalnews.com, Askmoses.com, local newspapers and other regional Jewish publications. InnerStream.orgwas established to provide a central location where all of his articles, speeches and essays could be made available to the inquisitive mind searching to understand and appreciate the “inner streams” of meaning that flow beneath the surface understanding of the Torah text.

 What People are saying about Rabbi Lazer

(A leading historian of our generation, Sir Martin Gilbert is the official biographer of Winston Churchill, a preeminent scholar of holocaust history and author of more than seventy volumes on various historical themes. Honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford, Sir Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995. He also served as advisor to former Prime Minister of Great Britain, John Major.)

 11 January 2007

 To whom it may concern

 I am very glad to give this endorsement to Rabbi Lazer
Gurkow, whom I have known for more than four years,
and to whose sermons it is always a delight to listen.

 Rabbi Gurkow draws out, in each Dvar Torah, a
fascinating, wide ranging and profound perspective that
never fails to stimulate thought, in the most constructive and  spiritually uplifting way.

 Yours sincerely,

 (Sir) Martin Gilbert


 Lazer Gurkow may be a small town Rabbi,(currently serving in  London Ontario) still, he has the charisma, humour, wit, and  wisdom to  impress and captivate the best and the biggest.  Whether he is lecturing, addressing a formal dinner, or serving  as a master of ceremonies, his delivery is smooth and  seamless. On numerous occasions he has spoken on our  behalf and left an indelible impression on the entire assembly.

 Rabbi Zalman A. Grossbaum,
Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Ontario


As someone who has experience on both sides of the podium – booking speakers and speaking for others, I believe Rabbi Gurkow will prove an effective choice to shluchim. Rabbi Gurkow is a speaker who can present core concepts and values of Yiddishkeit and Da’ach in ways the full spectrum of your communities will appreciate.

Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe
Congregation Agudas Achim
West Hartford Connecticut


I have known Rabbi Lazer for 10 years now. I first met him in Los Angeles, where I found him to be an engaging, entertaining, and a knowledgeable lecturer. It came as no surprise to me that he began public speaking at the age of nine!
After spending Shabbat at his house innumerable times, it became clear to me that his knowledge of Judaic studies is immense. His web site does not do justice to the over 300 articles that he has personally penned, but this impressive number does clearly point to his extensive lecturing and public speaking ability.
As a teacher of Dentistry at UCLA, I am always impressed when I encounter someone who can engage others on any topic, especially one that is religious in nature. I always look forward to hearing Rabbi Lazer speak. I recommend him highly and full heartedly!

Jay S. Grossman,DDS
Founder, Homeless Not Toothless
Private practice, Brentwood, CA
Lecturer, UCLA College of Dentistry, Residency Program


We were very fortunate to bring in Rabbi Lazer Gurkow from London, Ontario. He was wonderful and easy to work with! His honorarium is very reasonable.

Rabbi Gurkow first spoke to the students in the Day school. He was able to engage and interest them in everything he spoke about. He made the story of 19 Kislev come alive in their minds. He then spoke to an audience of about 90 adults. He has a great sense of humor, a lot of toichen and his talk was just fantastic!
Everyone went home very inspired.

Dr. Yosef Caytak
Ottawa Ontario


When I heard that theintent was to bring out a lecturer who would speak, first, to a group of children and later to a mixed audience of adults, I was skeptical. An appropriate speaker for young children was unlikely to be right for a sophisticated group of adults.

Rabbi Lazer proved me wrong. Not only did he hold the children’s attention completely-he also read the grown-up audience and adjusted his talk to effectively reach every element of the audience. Later he surprised me, yet again, by sitting down to farbreng with a smaller group late into the night. This was notwithstanding an early flight out the next morning.

If you are looking for a versatile, moving, speaker who will work with you toward the success of your event and mosed (as opposed to behaving like hired-help), I cannot recommend Rabbi Gurkow strongly enough.

Rabbi Yeshua Botnick
Chabad Ottowa Ontario


A big yashar koach to those, who referred me to Rabbi Lazer Gurkow and in so doing, allowed me to discover a great, and reasonably priced (and easy to work with) speaker.

Soft-spoken and smooth, Lazer is able to comfortably take intellectual ideas and ease them right into the minds of the entire cross-section of people that make up the typical Chabad House crowd.

His talk on Friday night had many people discussing the issue–until the farbrengen on Shabbos day, which was participatory, and the best we have had in the last 10 years. On Sunday, people were simply riveted to every word of his talk on the afterlife.

Rabbi Falik Schtroks
Center for Judaism
Surrey British Columbia


The youthful, humorous and naturally charming demeanor of Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow belies an intelligence, depth, and sense of purpose that characterize a wonderfully unique and gifted speaking persona. Keenly alert to both audience and event theme, Rabbi Gurkow inspires as he communicates, engagingly threading insight with humour and anecdote to maintain a purposeful and meaningful command.

He is at once respectful and lively, polished and haimish, sensitive and articulate, endearing and charismatic.  Refreshingly bright, personable and quick-witted, he embraces change of pace or new material with grace and adeptness. The audience welcomes his authority, instruction and most of all awaits the wisdom that is quickly established to be at the core of his personality. 

Rabbi Gurkow’s name will deservingly become one of those distinguished and sought after for integrity and command, and as an inspiring and engaging presence in the world of social/spiritual gatherings.

Rabbi Yisrael Landau
Chabad Israeli Community Center
Toronto, Ontario

FROM RABBI Elchonon Lisbon

Rabbi Lazar Gurkow served as our Scholar-in-Residence in Baltimore, Matland. Rabbi Gurkow was outstanding; in each of his talks he successfully connected with his audience. His wisdom, inspiration, wealth of stories and personal demeanor create a powerfully positive atmosphere of unity and strengthened identity. We nearly the entire Shabbos afternoon together; his listeners were glued to their seats. Rabbi Gurkow was a pleasure to work with.

Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon
Chabad of Baltimore, Maryland