60 Faces of NCSY

Often, a person has no idea of the impact he or she has made on someone else. 60 Faces of NCSY was created to change that. The people we feature every day were nominated by NCSY alumni and NCSYers to express gratitude to someone that inspired them.

Chaim Strassman

NCSY Advisor

Nominated and written by Naomi Benatar, NCSYer

Chaim Strassman was one of my TJJ advisors and he has continued to be an advisor with whom I can talk to about anything. I have been conflicted with how religious I will be when I grow up and I have been able to talk to Chaim about every aspect—from levels of kashrut to observing tzniut to covering my head when I marry. He never judges what I do or don’t know, or laughs when I need definitions for seemingly simple things. He finds parallel experiences from his own life to help me understand and to relieve some of my confusion and self-consciousness.

Chaim is also a fantastic educator. He is able to balance getting the job done with indulging related tangents. While I love pretty much all Jewish learning with every NCSY advisor, I particularly love learning with Chaim. While he is certainly more knowledgeable than I am of text and liturgy, he never insinuates that his opinions are consequently more true or correct. He respects and wholly hears every opinion, question or curiosity I pose. I am proud to be in NCSY, if for no other reason than to be associated with such kind, generous, intelligent, spiritual, funny and supportive people like Chaim Strassman.