We have created this space to honor and remember our beloved Rabbi Akiva Wagner, the devoted Rosh Yeshiva of Toronto Yeshiva, who passed away on Monday, 17 Iyar, 5783 (May 8, 2023), just one day after his 55th birthday.
Born in Toronto, Canada, on 16 Iyar, 5728 (May 7, 1968) to Rabbi Refoel Menachem Nochum and Batya Wagner, Akiva was born into a family deeply committed to Torah. His father was a respected talmid chochom, and his mother was the daughter of Harav Dov Yehuda Schochet, a distinguished rov in the Toronto community.
As a young bochur, Akiva initially learned in Litvishe yeshivos before becoming niskarev to Chabad through his Schochet uncles. He then began studying in Oholei Torah in Crown Heights. In 5749, he was sent on bochur shlichus to Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in Los Angeles, under the leadership of his uncle Harav Ezra Schochet. After completing his shlichus there, he returned to New York to study in the Central Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in 770.
In 5751, Rabbi Wagner married Rochie Labkowski, and together they built a beautiful family. A few years later, he founded the Lubavitch Yeshiva of Toronto with Rabbi Yonah Shur, taking on the role of Rosh Yeshiva.
For decades, Rabbi Wagner dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the success of the yeshiva and its bochurim, embodying a love for Torah and a passion for Chassidishkeit. Even after being diagnosed with a devastating illness, he continued to invest every moment and ounce of energy in building the yeshiva, delivering shiurim, and leading farbrengens whenever possible.
This page is a place for all who knew and cherished Rabbi Akiva Wagner to come together and share their memories, stories, and reflections. We invite you to contribute your personal experiences and lessons learned from this extraordinary individual, who served as an inspiring example of dedication, warmth, and wisdom.
May Rabbi Akiva Wagner's memory be a blessing, and may his teachings and love continue to guide and inspire us as we strive to follow in his footsteps.