John practices in the areas of family law and civil litigation. He is counsel to the law firm of Garfin Zeidenberg LLP. Mr. Syrtash is a senior trial lawyer and also conducts a family law mediation and arbitration practice at the firm.
A former adjunct Professor of Law at the Union Institute (Ohio), John is the author of Religion and Culture in Family Law, Butterworth’s(1992.). He is a regular columnist on family law in both the Canadian Jewish News. for almost two decades and the Toronto Star, as well at the national newspaper for legal professionals, The Lawyers Weekly. John also edits and publishes the Syrtash Family Law Netletter on Quicklaw and has created Canada’s national “Spousal Support Database” in partnership with the Quebec government and others, as part of his Nationwide Family Law Research Service (www.spousalsupport.com ).
John’s dedication and hard work led to the “Get” legislation, amendments to Canada’s Divorce Act and Ontario’s Family Law Act, designed to help spouses obtain a religious divorce. Most recently, John presented this Canadian model to the Israeli rabbinical courts, the Prime Minister’s Office and their Justice Ministry officials, explaining how the Canadian innovations helped lower the number of agunot among Canadian Jews. Details are contained in this article from the Jerusalem Post entitled “Canada to the Rescue of Israel’s agunot”.
An award-winning, dedicated and tenacious advocate with training in advanced mediation, John is devoted to assisting his clients in obtaining excellent results. John has also been retained by the Department of Justice for the Government of Canada to provide recommendations on amendments to Canada’s spousal and child support laws. He is also a featured speaker across Canada on family law issues. This includes a number of Law Schools conferences and Canada’s bi-annual National Family Law Program sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association/[Canadian]Federation of Law Societies, for whom he has presented published researched papers on a broad spectrum of topics for other family law lawyers. He also written for the National Post, Sun Media (24 Hours) and has appeared on C.B.C., C.T.V. and, Global to comment on family law matters.
His short-stories about Toronto-area Jewry called “A Calendar of Northern Fables” (2016) has been widely praised by several notable reviewers.
John has three children.