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Testimonials

There are so many reasons that people move to Ottawa and even more reasons why they stay! See below for personal testimonials from several of Ottawa’s young families and couples.
Elana, Adam, Mia (11), Noa (9) and Asher (5).

Aptowitzer Family

After attending law school in Ottawa, my husband felt it would be a wonderful place to settle and raise a family. In the lead up to our wedding in Toronto, where I was from and where he had been living and working, we decided to move to Ottawa, as it presented some interesting professional opportunities for us both.

While I was initially hesitant to move from a big city to a relatively smaller city, it only took a couple months until I was completely in love with my new home, community and city. More than that, though, Ottawa has been the most wonderful place to raise our family. With its more relaxed pace, less consumer-driven, and outdoorsy focus, I find that this city has offered my children tremendously stable, grounded, and joyful childhoods.

While we live just a 7-8 minute drive from the downtown core, we can also find ourselves in the midst of Gatineau Park’s deep woods, with all of its natural beauty, in the same amount of time. Green space is accessible here, even for those who live in urban areas. Cost of living, a helpful, kind and inclusive Jewish community, and great professional opportunities are bonuses on top of all that!

- Elana (originally from Toronto) & Adam (originally from Calgary)

Michael and Stacy (originally from Thornhill) with three of their four kids : Moshe (9), Elisheva (7), and Talia (4) and Eliezer (newborn, not pictured).

Goldstein Family

We moved to Ottawa from Toronto in 2010, and we absolutely love our life here. We have a wonderful shul community at Machzikei Hadas, our kids are getting an excellent education at Torah Day school, and we love all the outdoor activities that we can enjoy easily after work and after school.

But truly, it is its diversity and yet inclusivity that makes the Ottawa Jewish community so special. We are so happy that our kids have friends and classmates from different hashkafic backgrounds, and that our children are growing up with such a strong Jewish identify and, most importantly, a lot of Ahavat Yisrael. We’ve heard some people say that they need to live in a larger Jewish centre for the sake of their children’s chinuch (education), but we view it very differently: it is specifically because of our children’s chinuch that we are so happy to live in Ottawa.

- Stacy (originally from Thornhill) & Michael (originally from Ottawa)

Sarah and Sender Gordon, both originally from Ottawa, with their four children Yitzy (10), Chavy (7), Mushka (5), Menucha (2).

Gordon Family

Both my husband and I grew up in Ottawa.

We were living in Brooklyn when I was expecting our first child and as we got closer and closer to having our baby, it became clear to us that we would be heading home to Ottawa. While New York was a lot of fun, the day to day living could be difficult. Things like buying groceries, commuting to work, driving a car, buying a house etc were so much more challenging. We were used to a much higher quality of life in Ottawa and we wanted to return to that and raise our children in an affordable city with lots of beautiful green spaces, parks and family friendly activities.

We also love that the school is small and diverse, every staff member knows all of our children and they are cherished and their needs accommodated. We have lived in Ottawa now for over 10 years and could not be happier.

- Sarah and Sender Gordon

Jodi (originally from NY) and Jason (originally from Montreal) and their three boys Zev (17), Noah (15),and Eitan (11).

Green Family

We moved to Ottawa in 2018 when Jason accepted a job at KBI as the new Cantor. Having been overseas or in the US for the previous 15 years, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found was a warm welcoming community with so much to offer! Our youngest is currently a student at OJCS, our older two boys are highly involved in NCSY including Torah High, independent learning.


Outside the Jewish community, we love the outdoor activities available. We live in Centrepointe and can connect with the bike trail in the park and bike or walk along the river for miles. As a family we decided to embrace the Ottawa climate and learn to ski. This has become a favourite winter activity and we try to go every Sunday during the season. We love Ottawa’s proximity to so many mountains.


We are thrilled that we have made Ottawa our home!


- Jodi (originally from NY) and Jason (originally from Montreal)

Evan & Alicia Green, originally from Montreal, with their children Ella (12), Elijah (10), Eva (7) and Laila (4).

Green Family

We love living in Ottawa because it is a quiet, safe, clean, active and affordable place to raise a Jewish family and where we enjoy many big city amenities but in a smaller town community, feel and environment. We live in Barrhaven and go to Ottawa Torah Centre (OTC), all 4 of our kids attend Torah Day School of Ottawa.

- Evan & Alecia (originally from Montreal)

Dr. Sasha Carsen (originally from Toronto) & Eliana Mandel-Carsen (originally from Montreal) apple picking in 2019 with their 5 children, Noah (10), Micah (8), Leah (6) and Koby & Jonah (3) (current ages).

Mandel-Carsen Family

We originally moved to Ottawa from Montreal 13 years ago for school and we chose to stay for the quality of life! Our careers and family life have granted Sasha and I first hand knowledge of many of the wonderful institutions in our city. Sasha is a surgeon at CHEO and I am the director of Ottawa Talmud Torah Afternoon School. Our children attend OJCS where I am head of the PTA. Our family feels blessed to live in a city with access to great health care, wonderful educational institutions, a warm and supportive Jewish community and easy access to incredible outdoor amenities including biking and hiking trials, beaches, ski hills and so much more!

- Eliana (originally from Montreal) and Sasha (originally from Toronto)

Chovav and Revital with the kids [ברוך השם]: Nofech (16), Nedavia (15), Ahuv (10), Zchut (8), Shachak (6), Misgav (4).

Marantz Family

Originally from Mazkeret Batia, near Rehovot in Israel, we moved to Ottawa last summer (after a year in Montreal) and we love it. We looked for a community that'll fit us and we found the community of Machzikei Hadas in Alta Vista. It really feels like family. People are warm, welcoming and very positive and active. The atmosphere in Ottawa is relaxed and very family oriented with great parks and beautiful scenery very close by. Our kids learn in Torah Day School of Ottawa and enjoy high quality education with very dedicated staff and PTA. We are very happy we chose Ottawa.

- Chovav & Revital (originally from Israel)

Rabbi Gavriel Rudin (originally from Passaic, New Jersey) and Malka (originally from Tuscon, Arizona) moved to Ottawa in the summer of 2019, with their children Moshe Dov (11), Nechama (9), Nachy (8), Rena (6), Eli (4), and Rivi (3). Baby Nota Tzvi (14 months) was born in Ottawa. Porch portrait during COVID-19.

Rudin Family

We arrived in Ottawa in August 2019, most recently from Norfolk, Virginia. Ottawa was attractive to us, as we were looking for a small, close knit community that still offered the amenities that a Jewish family needs.

Ottawa boasts multiple shuls and schools, as well as eruvin and a mikva. We also have a nice variety of kosher food, and orders from Montreal are just a few computer clicks away.

We were blessed to become Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Young Israel of Ottawa, where we have been warmly welcomed with open arms. Even during these uncertain times, we have been blessed to feel the love and support of our shul and our community.

- Rabbi Gavriel Rudin (originally from Passaic NJ) & Malka Rudin (originally from Tuscan, AZ)

The Scharf kids enjoying the beauty of the Ottawa Greenbelt, which is less than a 2 minute drive from Craig Henry.

Scharf Family

We moved to Ottawa in 2007, after meeting and getting married in Israel. I am originally from Montreal and came to Ottawa for a job with the Government of Canada. Jeff is from California, and immigrated to Canada, making Ottawa his home. He works as a psychotherapist and community counsellor. We moved here because Ottawa has all the small city benefits without sacrificing big city amenities. From theater and festivals, to outdoor activities and little traffic, the quality of life in Ottawa is among the best in Canada. And I know, as I lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver before making Ottawa my long-term home. If you come to Ottawa, you will find us in the Craig Henry neighborhood. Located within a 5-10min drive of the kosher Loblaws, Torah Day School of Ottawa and the Jewish Community Center - and within a few minutes' walk of Congregation Beit Tikvah - the neighborhood was so conveniently located we could not turn it down. Overall, we love Ottawa because it is down to earth, and a wholesome place to raise our three kids.

- Jeff (originally from San Diego, California) and Debbie (originally from Montreal)

Tal (originally from Chicago) and Odelia (originally from Paramus, NJ), with their three children: Kayla (7) and Shlomo (5) and Lielle (1).

Scher Family

Ottawa is truly one of the most warm and welcoming communities we have been part of.

After deciding to move from Chicago in 2015, my husband and I worried that our family would have a hard time fitting into the seemingly close knit Ottawa community. We were shocked and touched at the immense welcome we received. From meal invitations, care packages, playdates, and even offers of babysitting (in order to help us unpack), we truly felt like we hadn't just joined the community, but have been apart of it all along. We have now been here almost six years and it feels as if we were never anywhere else. Ottawa isn't just another community; it's a family.

- Odelia (originally from Paramus, NJ) and Tal (originally from Chicago).

Isaac and Julia’s engagement at Rockliffe Park in Ottawa - July, 2020

Julia Van Drie and Isaac Bushewsky

I moved to Ottawa in 2014 to attend Carleton University, while Isaac moved to Ottawa to attend law school in 2019. From small-town Ontario, I was enamoured by the city’s beautiful green spaces, and was attracted to Ottawa’s political opportunities. Originally from Edmonton, Isaac loved that Ottawa was a similar size, and also featured an extremely warm, welcoming, and tight-knit Jewish community.

We were previously active in on-campus Jewish groups but are now active members of the Glebe Shul for young professionals. We love life in Ottawa because of its outdoor spaces, the wonderful friendships we’ve built here in the community, and the opportunities the city presents for establishing a solid Jewish home.

- Julia (originally from Alliston, ON) and Isaac (originally from Edmonton)

Isaac & Julia’s wedding, at Orchard View (just south of Ottawa) - January, 2021
Jonathan and Elyssa, both originally from Montreal, celebrating their first home purchase in 2020.

Jonathan Greenberg and Elyssa Nassi

When we came to Ottawa from Montreal, we didn’t know what to expect. We quickly realized that we had to immerse ourselves in all things community if we wanted to create a fulfilling and Jewish life for ourselves.

Once we did, everyone was so welcoming, from the staff and volunteers at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa (where we ourselves volunteer on multiple Federation committees and are co-chairs of the Emerging Generation annual fundraising campaign), to the professionals at Congregation Machzikei Hadas (where we are also both members and volunteers), and everyone in-between!

There is always a place for everyone in Jewish Ottawa. It’s time to choose Ottawa!

- Jon & Elyssa (originally from Montreal)

Jonathan and Elyssa at the Tulip Festival.